MELAKA, Nov 18 – Taiwan has been rejected from participating in several major international conferences under the pressure from China since the country’s independence-leaning DPP party took the helm of the country last May. On Thursday, even a China-friendly former president was treated unfairly at an international event and complained that the move was “hurting cross-strait relations.”
On Thursday, former president Ma Ying-jeou was upset and angered by a decision by the World Chinese Economic Summit in Malaysia to intentionally omit Ma’s title from the summit handbook, which referred to him simply as “H.E. Ma Ying-jeou.” In protest at China’s move, Ma wore a self-prepared name badge that clearly identified him as “Former President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).”
At the beginning of a scheduled speech at the 8th World Chinese Economic Summit in Melaka, Malaysia, Ma emphasized his identity as a former president of the Republic of China (Taiwan). In the speech, Ma also urged participants to help Taiwan join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and said he believes business and trade will bring Taiwan and ASEAN closer in the future.
In Taiwan, the Presidential Office extended its support to Ma. Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang said it is extremely impolite and inappropriate for the organizer of the meeting to treat a former ROC head of state in such a way. Huang also demanded an immediate apology from the organizer and corrections in the summit handbook.