Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has declined Wen Jiabao’s invitation for closer Taiwan ties, stating that “relations are too tenuous to consider discussing political or military issues.” From the Washington Post:
Analysts in Taiwan and on the mainland said Wen’s overtures are unlikely to bring substantial results in the short term, given the substantial domestic political pressure on Ma from those who remain wary of Beijing’s motives.
“Accepting the ‘one China’ principle would be political suicide for Ma,” said George Tsai, a professor of politics at Taipei’s Chinese Culture University.
Before moving forward with any discussion with China, Taiwan must first resolve its domestic debate, said Zhang Wensheng, a Taiwan researcher from Xiamen University on the mainland. “There is a lack of consensus on military and political talks within the island itself,” Zhang said.
Ma, who is expected to run for election again in 2012, has said he wants to put aside political differences to focus on creating closer business and economic ties.