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`One country, two areas' easily misunderstood: scholar

2012/03/24 21:25:23

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) The concept of "one country, two areas" could be easily misunderstood because the word "area" is not precisely defined, National Chengchi University Vice President Lin Bih-jaw said Saturday at a forum on Taiwan's foreign affairs.

The word "area" should be replaced with "legal territory" for more clarity, said Lin in reference to a statement made by a senior ruling Kuomintang (KMT) representative during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao two days earlier that aroused controversy.

Wu Po-hsiung, a KMT honorary chairman, told Hu in Beijing that President Ma Ying-jeou's "one country, two areas" guideline has helped improve cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

Wu's remark prompted the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party to describe the concept as dangerous because it defines the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as "one country."

Responding to a reporter's question after delivering a speech at the forum, Lin said that "legal territory" is a more suitable alternative because the current domestic political climate often allows the twisting of meanings.

Legally speaking, "one country, two areas" has a solid basis, said Lin, who served as deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council in the late 1990s.

Taiwan's case, however, is special because the legal territories stipulated in its constitution are now different to what it can actually control, he went on.

As to whether the concept of "one country, two areas" can influence Taiwan's future diplomatic relations with other countries, both Lin and Ho Szu-yin, a professor of politics, said it is too early to comment.

(By Nancy Liu)