Yesterday Chuang Kuo-jung, Today Chiang Wei-wen
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 30, 2011
During the 2008 general election, the Chen regime touted "de-Sinicization" and the "elimination of Chiang influences." Then Ministry of Education Secretary General Chuang Kuo-jung made himself the focus of public attention. He publicly shouted, "F**k Chiang Ching-kuo." Now, as we approach the 2012 general election, Chiang Wei-wen, an associate professor of Taiwanese literature at Cheng Kung University, is in the news. Chiang distributed posters blasting author Huang Chun-ming as a "Taiwanese author who does not write in Taiwanese, but instead in Chinese. He is a disgrace! "
Chuang and Chiang have something in common. Both promoted "de-Sinicization" and the "elimination of the legacy of the Republic of China." Both were young or middle-aged professors at national universities. The only difference was that Chuang Kuo-jung promoted "de-Sinicization" and the "elimination of the legacy of the Republic of China" as a mouthpiece of the Chen regime. Chiang Wei-wen promoted the same ideas under the guise of an opposition scholar. He and current Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen both argued that "the Republic of China is a government in exile."
This is a living portrait of the Green Camp political culture. Chiang Wei-wen and his followers are pillars of the Green Camp. Therefore, when the Green Camp is in power, Chuang Kuo-jung and his followers can lead the ruling administration around by the nose. The ruling administration has no choice but to daqnce to the tune of Chuang Kuo-jung and his followers. Otherwise it will be unable to answer to them. If it loses the support of Chiang Wei-wen and his followers, it will lose the Chuang Kuo-jung seal of approval. Therefore is is hardly surprising that Tsai and Chiang both argue that "the Republic of China is a government in exile." Tsai Ing-wen gains the support of Chiang Wei-wen and his camp followers. Chiang Wei-wen and his camp followers, meanwhile, pin their hope of "de-Sinicizing" Taiwan on Tsai Ing-wen. To Chiang Wei-wen and his camp followers, Tsai Ing-wen is the next Chuang Kuo-jung or Chen Shui-bian.
The Chiang Wei-wen incident is not about academics. It is about politics. At its core, is the notion that "the Republic of China is a colonial government in exile." According to Chiang Wei-wen, the "Taiwanese language" includes the Hakka dialect, the Taiwanese aboriginal languages, and so-called "Taiwanese," i.e., the Minan dialect, but not the "Chinese Language." Why? Because the "Chinese Language" is purportedly "the language of the colonizers." Therefore it must be lumped in the same category as Japanese, English, and "other foreign languages."
According to their logic, the public on Taiwan is under ruled by "the Republic of China colonial government in exile." Its official language, Chinese, is a "foreign language," and yet it is deemed the "National Language." Chiang Wei-wen proposes to repeal the "Republic of China" national title. He says that to retain this national title is to retain the colonial government in exile. He proposes to abolish the "Chinese Language" and by means of "education," and change it to the "Taiwanese language."
Chiang Wei-wen's language proposal is merely an instrument of his political proposals. In fact, so-called "Taiwanese" is one of the basic "Han languages." Chiang Wei-wen and his followers want to rewrite "You and I" as "You kap me." But all they have done is take a regional dialect and call it a "language." All they have done doing is carry out an experiment. They have not departed one iota from the main body of the Chinese language. Besides, even the "Taiwan Independence Party Platform" is written using Chinese characters. Is that too "a disgrace?" Now consider their political concepts. So-called "Taiwanese," in its written form, is obviously Chinese. Suppose they completely jettison the traditional written form and write it using Roman letters? Chen Shui-bian advocated something similar when he claimed that Taiwan was actually under the jurisdiction of a U.S. military government. That claim amounted to the unconditional surrender of the Green Camp's hallowed notion of "Taiwan's primacy."
In 2008, Chuang Kuo-jung ranted and raved. Shih Ming-teh was the leader of the Red Shirt Army. The Green Camp accused Shih of "selling out Taiwan," It denounced Shih as a "traitor to Taiwan." Today, Chiang Wei-wen is ranting and raving. He has denounced Huang Chun-min, saying that Huang is a "Taiwanese author who does not write in Taiwanese, but in Chinese. He is a disgrace!" As the Green Camp sees it, when Shih Ming-teh championed "opposition to corruption," he betrayed "Taiwanese values." Huang Chun-min is a prolific author whose works are rich in local content. But as Chiang Wei-wen and his camp followers see it, none of that matters compared to a single "you kap me" phoneticization. The Green Camp's central article of faith remains the notion that "the Republic of China is a colonial government in exile."
Chiang Wei-wen is a Deep Green icon. His views are typical of Deep Greens. Most Green Camp figures are not quite so ridiculous. But all share the same central article of faith: "the Republic of China is a colonial government in exile." This is true of Lee Teng-hui. This is true of Chen Shui-bian. This is true of Koo Kuan-min. And this is true of Tsai Ing-wen.
Therefore if Tsai Ing-wen is elected president, she will be Chen Shui-bian redux. How can she possibly step up and assume the duties of "Republic of China President?" Chuang Kuo-jung, Chiang Wei-wen, and their followers, insist that "the Republic of China is a colonial government in exile." How can Tsai Ing-wen possibly assume the reins of such a government? For example, Chuang Kuo-jung, Chiang Wei-wen, and their followers oppose the 1992 Consensus. How can Tsai Ing-wen possibly free herself from this Green Camp/Taiwan independence movement straitjacket?