Netizens Unimpressed as Ma Meddles in Cross-Strait Affairs

Netizens Unimpressed as Ma Meddles in Cross-Strait Affairs
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

What you need to know

Former president Ma riled Taiwanese netizens today after saying that Taiwan and China should share historical records on the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Speaking at a book launch in Taipei on July 7, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that Taiwan and China should work together on editing historical records.

Online reactions to the Chinese-language Liberty Times' coverage of Ma's speech were very critical, with many questioning why the former president was still talking about the issue.

One user commented, “Has he [Ma] forgotten that he’s no longer president? Most Taiwanese ignore him, but when he speaks he angers everyone.”

Ma was speaking at the launch of a new book about former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and the Second Sino-Japanese War. He said that while there has been renewed interest in the events following a series of activities last year commemorating the 70th anniversary of the war with Japan, current research remains limited.

The former president added that he would only agree to such cooperation if both China and Taiwan granted each other full access to relevant historical files.

Despite selectively granting access to historical documents from the war period, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to enforce a version of history that downplays the leading role played by Chiang's Nationalist forces in resisting Japanese Imperial forces.

The issue of cross-strait cooperation was raised during Ma's meeting in Singapore with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Nov. 7 last year. During the summit, Ma stated his support for cooperation on historical research to improve cross-strait relations.

First Editor: Edward White
Second Editor: Olivia Yang