The full excerpt is now published (or here). This is what Ma actually said,
- AP: So, do I understand you correctly that, if economic issues are
resolved during your second term, during that term, you might move on
to political questions?
President Ma: As I said, it depends on how fast we move, whether these
issues are satisfactorily resolved, and of course all the policies regarding
the mainland are very sensitive, and we certainly will also make decisions
on generally whether the decision receives popular support. So usually
when we lay out our general policy, we will say that: first of all, it has to
be something needed by the country; secondly, it has to be supported by
the people; and thirdly, that it will be supervised by the national
parliament to make sure that this is a policy basically meeting the needs
of the people.
- In between the poles of union and separation, Ma said his government is prepared to discuss political agreements, including security issues, as soon as the priority economic issues are dealt with. He suggested that those political talks could start as early as a second four-year term if he wins re-election in 2012.
- "We are not intentionally delaying the talks on political issues. Certainly the economic ones are more important to people here. People also support the idea (of) economy first, politics later," said Ma. Asked if he would move to political talks in a second term once economic issues are dealt with, Ma said "it depends on how fast we move." Political issues, he said, "will come after all the major economic issues are resolved."
AP: Now, since you touched on the natural resources, the U.S. has voiced
some concerns that, you know, there’s the Diaoyutai and then there’s the
larger issue of the free passage of shipping through the South and East
China seas and access to natural gas deposits or whatever might be down
there on the ocean floor. And the U.S. has voiced concerns that the
mainland is really trying to cut off access to foreign trade in that area,
which would have, obviously, a poor effect on Taiwan, which really owes
its existence to free access to those shipping lanes. So, do you share the
concerns of the United States?
President Ma: Certainly. I think most of the waters in the South China
Sea should be open waters, the so-called high seas according to the Law
of the Sea. And they’re open to international traffic for sure. Actually, as I
said, countries started to occupy and garrison those islands a long time
ago. So this is not a very new issue. We sent our troops, our Marine Corps,
to station on those islands as early as 1956. Just 10 years ago, we changed
that with Coast Guard instead of the Marines. I served in our Navy more
than 30 years ago, and my unit had the responsibility to supply all these
islands. So I understand this issue well.
AP: So is China trying to interfere with the open water policy?
President Ma: No. So far no. And I don’t think mainland China would do
that. You know, when they are becoming a power in the region, they also
become more careful about those issues. Certainly, it wants to maintain
its sphere of influence but I don’t believe that will reach the level of
interfering with international traffic.
AP: They often raise objections to the passage of U.S. military ships
through the South China Sea and they have, at times, taken measures to
block those ships from passing through. The argument that some people
in the mainland make is that free passage does not extend to military
vessels, that that can be considered to be preparing the battlefield for the
future. Does your government believe that these types of military
surveillance activities are normal and should be allowed?
President Ma: Well, certainly all the activities on the oceans, particularly
in international waters, are regulated by the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea of 1982, which came into effect in 1994. It’s very
important to note that there are rules of conduct. For instance, a warship
is not supposed to sail through the territorial waters of other countries, but
if the waters are too narrow in an international strait, then they certainly
have to do certain things to make sure that it’s an innocent passage. There
are rules. I think that each country should follow the rules.
- "China has lodged a solemn representation to the United States as the USNS Impeccable conducted activities in China's special economic zone in the South China Sea without China's permission," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular news briefing.
- "We demand that the United States put an immediate stop to related activities and take effective measures to prevent similar acts from happening," Ma said.
Mr Hutzler, you need to do your homework before an interview, and you need to go back to school to study how to write a report.