China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 1, 2016
Executive Summary: Two ex-presidents who were elected following the implementation of direct elections, cling desperately to their former political influence. They continue to wage ideological war. By doing so, they make blue vs. green conflict on Taiwan ever more fierce. Lee Teng-hui relies on the TSU. Chen Shui-bian is worse. His historical legacy is corruption. He entered prison in handcuffs, and became a blot on Taiwan's democracy. Ma Ying-jeou will of course not become another Chen Shui-bian. But he should also avoid becoming another Lee Teng-hui.
Full Text Below:
Public calls for a meeting between the “two Yings”, Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen, has finally led to a meeting between the two at the Taipei Guest House. President Ma Ying-jeou, Chairman of the Kuomintang, and President elect Tsai Ing-wen, Chairman of the DPP, formally met. The two exchanged views on foreign affairs, education, energy policy, pensions, and other transition-related issues. This was only the second time the two met since the 2010 debate over ECFA. The ruling and opposition party leaders had a frank exchange of views. Nothing untoward happened. No conspiracy theories were floated afterwards. This was rare on the Taiwan political scene – unseen for decades.
The two parties differed over minor details, such as whether the talks ought to be open or closed. The two parties sporadically touched upon matters of profundity. Overall, the atmosphere was amiable. It set an example for a society rife with violence and regret, and left the door open for blue green reconciliation. For this, the two deserve praise. The door has been left open. That said, the blue and green camps, as well as Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen, still have much to do.
Do we have regrets? The two sides of the Strait have been separated for six decades. We have gone from open military clashes, to isolation and stalemate. Ma Ying-jeou and Xi Jinping overcame historical animosities in Singapore, with a smile and a handshake. Ma Ying-jeou has been in office for eight years. Why has it been so difficult for the “Two Yings” to sit down and talk? Ma Ying-jeou is only one month away from leaving office. Was it really necessary to delay until now? Blue and green are ironically farther apart than Taiwan and the Mainland. How can we not feel regret? Couldn't the two Yings not have met sooner, without so many preconditions? Couldn't matters of state have been discussed in a calm and rational manner? Wouldn't Taiwan be in a very different place today? Scorched earth democratic civil war has torn Taiwan apart. Wouldn't we have been spared at least some of the pain it caused?
The meeting between the two Yings was so difficult to arrange because partisan interests invariably trump national interests. We urge future presidents-elect and outgoing presidents learn a lesson from this. Change your attitudes, forsake opposition, and put Taiwan's interests first. For the sake of Taiwan, support each other, help each other. Help each other instead of fighting each other. Heed the voice of reason. Transform society by transcending hostility toward those who hold different views.
Tsai Ing-wen should treat Ma Ying-jeou as a political asset and not as a campaign opponent, especially on cross-Strait issues and pension reform. This is especially true for the former. Deep distrust between the red and green camps will be the greatest danger during a Tsai Ing-wen regime. Ma Ying-jeou vigorously promoted cross-Strait peace. He established trust and understanding between his administration and the Mainland. He can be the lubricant between the red and green camps. He has valuable experience many future presidents could learn from. Ma Ying-jeou will no longer be running for office. He is no longer Tsai Ing-wen's rival. The t wo are no longer locked in a zero sum game. Tsai Ing-wen should find it in herself to adopt a win-win attitude, and cooperate with Ma Ying-jeou for the sake of Taiwan.
Tsai Ing-wen rejected Ma Ying-jeou's previous invitations. After she takes office, Tsai Ing-wen may wish to make Ma Ying-jeou her personal consultant. When she encounters major difficulties, especially with cross-Strait relations, she could consult with Ma Ying-jeou on how to stabilize the cross-Strait situation. On pension reform, Ma Ying-jeou could use his influence. He could help the Tsai government balance different interests in society. Ma Ying-jeou is an outgoing President. He will no longer be involved in election matters. He should break free of political shackles, whether blue, green or red. He is no longer hostage to ideological or political interests. He can rise above them. He can demonstrate his loyalty to the ROC, by promoting cross-Strait security and peace. Is Ma Ying-jeou high-minded enough? If he is, then ex-President Ma could play an even more important role than President Ma.
Two ex-presidents who were elected following the implementation of direct elections, cling desperately to their former political influence. They continue to wage ideological war. By doing so, they make blue vs. green conflict on Taiwan ever more fierce. Lee Teng-hui relies on the TSU. Chen Shui-bian is worse. His historical legacy is corruption. He entered prison in handcuffs, and became a blot on Taiwan's democracy. Ma Ying-jeou will of course not become another Chen Shui-bian. But he should also avoid becoming another Lee Teng-hui. He should become politically detached. He should care only about the ROC's interests. The nation's future must be his sole concern. He must remind himself to be an ex-president of the Republic of China, not an ex-president who belonged to the KMT. He must allow himself to be remembered as the legendary Ma Ying-jeou.
The murder of the little girl known as “Little Light Bulb”, has traumatized society. The tragedy has provoked intense public controversy. But the Little Light Bulb's mother has suppressed her grief and reminded everyone to remember the importance of love. We hope the meeting between the two Yings and the urging of Little Light Bulb's mother, can change peoples' attitudes and heal society's wounds.
國民黨馬英九總統和即將接任總統的民進黨主席蔡英文正式會面， 雙方就外交、教育、能源、年金等多項交接議題交換意見， 這也是兩人繼2010年雙英ECFA大辯論後第二次見面對話。 朝野政黨兩位領袖坦率交流意見，會中沒有出現意外場景， 會後亦無陰謀論傳出，倒是台灣政黨政治數十年來所僅見。
談話過程中偶有小言語機鋒外，整體來說相當友善， 為充斥暴戾之氣的社會留下了正面示範， 也為藍綠和解開啟了一道門隙。就此而言，應該給兩人掌聲。 但這道門隙要成為開敞的迎客之門，藍與綠，蔡英文與馬英九， 還有許多要做的事。
馬英九與習近平已能跨越阻礙與歷史仇恨在新加坡相逢一笑， 握手一會。馬英九執政8年，雙英要好好坐下來談話， 竟然如此艱難，要到馬英九卸任前一個多月才能一見， 藍與綠的距離竟大過兩岸的距離，實在讓人感慨。 雙英若能早一點不預設議題、不預設形式、不預設條件， 如此這般理性平和會商國事，台灣今天會不會有不一樣的局面？ 我們相信，台灣至少會少受一些民主內戰的焦土之苦、撕裂之傷吧！
就是把政黨利益放在國家利益之上造成的結果。 我們要給雙英的第一個建議是， 未來的總統與卸任總統應能記取教訓、改變心態、放下對立， 事事以台灣利益為先，為台灣相互扶持，成為彼此的助力， 而非互相消耗的阻力。風行草偃之效， 必能改變社會不同意見與立場間的對抗仇恨情緒。
選舉的敵人」，尤其在兩岸與年金改革議題上。特別是前者， 由於綠紅互不信任，將成為蔡英文治理國家最大的隱患，就這一點， 任內大力推動兩岸和平，已與大陸建立互信基礎與默契的馬英九， 應該可以成為綠紅潤滑劑， 他的經驗也應該有許多是未來總統可以參酌或借鑑之處。 馬英九不會再參選，也不再是蔡英文的「對手」，兩人不再有「 立場的零和衝突」，蔡英文應以治國的高度找出兩人雙贏、 台灣大贏的合作交集。
蔡英文不妨把馬英九定位為「私人資政」， 讓馬英九成為個人諮商對象，遇到重大困難， 特別是兩岸關係上的困難，可以徵詢馬英九的意見， 共同找出穩定兩岸局勢的方法。在年金改革議題上， 馬英九同樣可以運用影響力幫助蔡英文政府， 找出不同族群間的利益平衡點。在馬英九這一面， 卸任總統後即不再有選舉議題的糾纏，更應在政治上擺脫束縛， 不再被藍綠紅意識型態或政治利益綁架，展現新高度向台灣示忠誠、 為兩岸保和平。如果馬英九有此心胸見識，說不定卸任後的馬總統， 會比在任的馬總統，在歷史上扮演更關鍵的角色。
戀棧政治影響力，繼續在意識型態上呼風喚雨， 讓台灣藍綠對抗更激烈；陳水扁更不必論，貪汙已成其歷史定位， 鋃鐺入獄成為台灣民主政治的汙點。馬英九當不至於成為後者， 卻要避免變成前者。他應在政治上力求超脫，真正以台灣利益、 國家禍福為唯一掛念，要期勉自己當「中華民國」的卸任總統， 而不是「國民黨」的卸任總統，建立讓人懷念的馬英九傳奇。