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Taiwan's China policy may cause regional defense changes: former envoy

2012/04/29 22:05:36

Taipei, April 29 (CNA) A former Taiwanese diplomat said Sunday that President Ma Ying-jeou's China policy could lead the United States and Japan to alter their defense strategies in the Asian region.

Taiwan is a significant part of the defense line structured by the U.S. and Japan, which links democratic countries from Southeast Asia to East Asia to serve as deterrence in the face of a rising China, Taiwan's former representative to Japan Lo Fu-chen said.

But Ma's policy, which seems to lean toward China, could imply a change in the status quo in Asia, which also means Washington and Tokyo may need to alter their defense strategies in the region, Lo said at a seminar.

Lo's remarks were made against the backdrop of a statement by Wu Poh-hsiung, honorary chairman of the ruling Kuomintang, who used the term of "one country, two areas" to describe Taiwan-China ties during a meeting with Chinese top leader Hu Jintao in Beijing in March.

The idea of "one country, two areas" raises concerns of whether the Ma administration is leaning toward China in an attempt at unification, Lo said.

This can confuse Japan and impact negatively on Japan's trust in Taiwan, Lo said at the seminar hosted by the Taiwan Association of University Professors, a pro-Taiwan independence group.

Lo, now chairman of the Taipei-based Taiwan National Security Institute, also urged Taiwan's new representative to Japan Shen Ssu-tsun to clarify the "one country, two areas" statement to the Japanese government to ease its concerns.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwan Solidarity Union have blasted the use of the term, saying it undermines Taiwan's sovereignty.

However, the Ma administration maintains that the concept is in line with the spirit of the Republic of China Constitution. The "one country" refers to the ROC, while the "two areas" refer to Taiwan and mainland China, the administration said.

(By Elaine Hou)