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What do you want me to ask Ma Ying-jeou this Friday?

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou

Anything you want to know from Taiwan’s president?

On Friday morning, President Ma Ying-jeou will give an English press conference for the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents‘ Club. Like all members, I will have the chance to ask him one question. What would you suggest?

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou

What do you want me to ask Ma Ying-jeou?

Please leave a comment with your suggestion.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Only serious suggestions. I will not publish anything else here.
  • No arguing. I am only interested in suggestions.
  • Not too uncritical. Even if you like the man or his politics, I believe that journalists should always have a critical attitude towards those in power. Also, it would be a wasted opportunity.

    Negative example:
    „President Ma, please explain how you will improve the relations with Beijing even more.“

  • Not insulting or confrontative. Even if you dislike the man or his politics, he is a duly elected head of state, and foreign media ought to respect his status.

    Negative example:
    „President Ma, don’t you agree you should step down, since you obviously lost the public’s support?“

  • Not too predictable. Ma is a seasoned professional when it comes to dealing with media, and you can be sure that he has a lot of stock answers prepared in the back of his head.

    Negative example:
    „President Ma, there are people who accuse you of selling out Taiwan. How would you reply to these accusations?“

  • Not too long. Everyone only has 30 seconds to ask his question.

Your comments will appear after I’ve approved of them. No need to post more than once.

What then?

I will take all suggestions into consideration and then try to ask Ma the question I find most interesting on Friday morning.

Please note: There is no guarantee that I can actually ask a question. The whole event is limited to an hour, and the moderator will select questions through a show of hands. There will probably not be enough time for everyone to ask.

In any case, I will try to post a video of the whole press conference as soon as possible.

„We are an independent country“ *

Over the years, I’ve seen Ma Ying-jeou address the foreign press in English on at least five occasions.

Ma last addressed the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents‘ Club in 2010. Back then, I filmed this video with a key quote:

It was even featured on an Al Jazeera program in the run-up to Taiwan’s 2012 presidential elections.

(* Note that Ma carefully says „we“ and not „Taiwan“, so he probably means the Republic of China. Nothing spectacularly new in this statement, really.)

More videos of Ma Ying-jeou speaking English

2012, international press conference ahead of the presidential elections (video):

2013, welcoming a group of international human rights experts (video):

What did the scholars say about Taiwan’s human rights situation?

About me

I am a German reporter living and working in Taiwan. Read more English posts on this otherwise mostly German blog. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, and Google Plus.

English posts you might want to have a look at:

Klaus Bardenhagen

Klaus Bardenhagen


17 Antworten

  1. The last point on the „report on the implementation results“ also remains unclear. What is he referring to? The 82 suggestions? The general process of bringing Taiwan’s laws in line with the UN Covenant (he says already 70% of Taiwan’s laws have been reviewed in this respect). Can these 70% be confirmed by anyone? And when is the report he mentioned going to be published? Who knows…

  2. Good question, the answer not quite so good: (Ministry of Justice and other related bodies)“…making sure, whether…“ . Perhaps he better should have answered that question in Chinese.

    1. Maybe ask „which have been implemented, or which would like to implement in the coming year?“

      Otherwise we might get „I’m not aware of the exact number“. 😉

      1. Great that you asked this important question. His ‚answer‘, however, was more or less ‚We’re working on it’…

        Thank you for involving us and keeping us up-to-date.

    2. I would like to see this list of the recomendations! Any link for me to be able to see it? It sounds like a rather way to looooong list, like intend for North Korea or Iran?! Wondering what it’s all about with the human rights vialations in Taiwan?! (I figure out the death penalty is human rights watchers reason to comlain on top of all?)
      – Thank you and best regards!

      1. Sure Marc, the list is here:

        Some background in my German report:

        It’s not as much about „violations“ as about fulfilling the requirements of the conventions that Taiwan chose to sign voluntarily. The experts applied the same criteria for their evaluation that the UN Human Rights Council also uses.

  3. Mr. President,

    maybe 2 questions:

    If you have a time machine that will bring you back to beginning of the year 2013; What would you have done differently this year?
    (maybe top 3 things …..)

    What is Your vision for the country in 4 years when you were re-elected in 2012?
    Is the envision still on track?
    is the vision adjusted / changed now?

  4. One: If the Constitution calls for unification, and the KMT supports eventual unification, and you yourself have said ties with China „are not international,“ then, given the right circumstances, do you aim for Taiwan to unify with China?

    Two: Even though The Gambia is the first ally to break off relations in years, countries that recognize the ROC have only decreased over time, not increased. President Ma, what do you say to critics who argue that Taiwan’s foreign policy „status quo“ is not sustainable in the long run?

    Three: As Taiwan faces a demographic crisis, what is the government doing on a national level to encourage a raise in birth rates?

    Four (My only serious suggestion): What is the single biggest challenge facing Taiwan over the next 10 years, and what can be done to face it?

  5. „There has been a series of home evictions und house demolitions recently, mostly targeted at elderly people with low income, having no place to go. Are you afraid that those human rights violations will reflect badly on Taiwan’s international status as an advanced society?“

  6. When Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said:
    – – –
    „[…] Taiwan is not like Hong Kong; we are a [sic] independent country with full sovereignty.
    – – –

    … it’s impossible to interpret „we“ as meaning anything other than „Taiwan.“ Not that he believed himself. He was only saying what would benefit him politically.

    Ma’s recent statements about relations between Taiwan and China not being international clearly contradict his 2010 statement about Taiwan being independent.

    Perhaps you could ask him about that discrepancy:
    – – –
    „President Ma, in 2010 you said — and I quote — ‚Taiwan is not like Hong Kong; we are a[n] independent country with full sovereignty.‘ Yet this year — on Double Ten and once again earlier this month — you contradicted yourself by saying that ‚relations between Taiwan and China are not international.‘ How do you explain this?“
    – – –

  7. Since Morakot, which measures has the Taiwanese government taken to improve disaster readiness?

    How can the rights of indigenous people be strengthened against land developers?

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