Su Tseng-chang: Terrified even of "I am a Singer"
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 16, 2013
Summary: The Hunan Satellite TV show, "I am a Singer" is a sensation on both
sides of the Strait. Both the contests and the winners have become hot
topics. Cross-Strait exchanges are clearly intensifying. If a political party hopes to survive, it must live in the present. It must offer people a future. The DPP cannot understand why "I am a Singer" is so popular. The problem clearly, is not with other people.
Full text below:
The Hunan Satellite TV show, "I am a Singer" is a sensation on both sides of the Strait. Both the contests and the winners have become hot topics. Cross-Strait exchanges are clearly intensifying. The DPP, from top to bottom, should set aside hatred and fear, and address the cross-Strait reality that this program represents.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang accused the CCP of "waging a war of reunification," of "entering the island, entering our homes, entering our brains." His charges were truly dismaying. They were also at odds with the facts. "I am a Singer" was not produced by the CPP, in order to wage a "war of reunification" on Taiwan. Nor did it gain currency as a result of Taiwan media hype. It is a program that the public on Taiwan went online to watch on their own initiative. It soon became a sensation. Only then did the media begin reporting it. No political conspiracy was involved, anywhere in the entire process.
The program attracted the attention of people on Taiwan mainly because four of the seven finalists were from Taiwan. A Mainland singer won. But the singers from Taiwan became famous on the Mainland. During the competition, the competitors often sang Taiwanese songs. The show even included a special tribute to Taiwanese singer Chyi Chin. This program, which became a cross-Strait phenomenon, exuded a strong Taiwanese flavor.
Nor was this an isolated phenomenon. Over the years, pop music from Taiwan has dominated the Mainland. The Mainland market has fattened the wallets of Taiwan television networks. Performing artists and singers from Taiwan often go to the Mainland to make career comebacks. The once famous "Little Tigers" are now primarily based on the Mainland. In 2012 the trio sang golden oldies on the CCTV Spring Festival Show. Mainland fans were moved to tears. They grew up with those songs.
For many middle-aged Mainland fans, many songs we are familiar with, are their shared memories. These songs speak of the love, heartbreak, and sweetness of youth. They are songs that people on both sides sung in unison, and that evoke common memories. Cross-Strait exchanges are increasing. Personal interactions are expanding.
This is especially true for popular music, for the performing arts, and for drama. Taiwan leads in creativity due to its greater freedom and openness. This creativity is valued on the Mainland. The variety show "Kangxi Has Arrived" is widely watched on the Mainland. Young people on the Mainland all know "Xiao S," the host of the show, by sight.
Conversely, young people on Taiwan are entirely accustomed to watching Mainland produced films and music online. The shows use simplified characters, but they watch them anyway. They watch the Mainland's most popular programs in real-time. The popular "Hou Gong Zhen Huan Tales" have also swept Taiwan. Campuses on Taiwan have many young students from the Mainland. Many Mainland tourists stand on Taiwan street corners, holding maps, looking for places to eat. Many young people from Taiwan look for work on the Mainland. Young people on both sides consider it perfectly natural to establish links with the other side. They are beginning to share many life experiences.
This represents the cross-Strait present. It also represents the cross-Strait future. If the trend continues, the two sides can soon put past hostilities behind them. They can inhabit a totally different world. But many Green Camp people insist on in living in the past. The insist on clinging to hatred and fear of the Mainland. They insist on perceiving even the people and the culture of the Mainland as Evil Incarnate. They refuse to acknowledge that cross-Strait exchanges are booming, and have become a perfectly natural phenomenon.
Long years of confrontation, different forms of government and thought, differences in freedom, clashes over sovereignty and military threats, all constitute a chasm that must be spanned. Green Camp wariness about the Mainland has an historical basis. Security considerations are real. But cross-Strait exchanges are so very close. This cannot be denied. Nor can it be undone. Therefore any policy path must be rooted in reality. It cannot ignore or deny reality. Otherwise it will be utterly unrealistic, It will run counter to the currents of history.
The Democratic Progressive Party, under the leadership of Su Tseng-chang, persists in living in the past. It persists in demonizing the Mainland. It persists in opposing closer cross-Strait relations. It attempts to isolate Taiwan from Mainland influence, in order to ensure Taiwan's autonomy. But history has moved on. Gone are the days when the two sides were totally isolated. Any attempt to maintain Taiwan's autonomy and values, must be accomplished amidst ongoing cross-Strait exhanges. Autonomy can no longer be maintained by preventing the two sides from having contacts.
Su Tseng-chang's declaration is seriously at odds with cross-Strait reality, The DPP has obstinately clung to an impracticable cross-Strait policy. Even when it established a "China Affairs Committee," it merely went through the motions. To the public, the Green Camp's rhetoric is tired cliches. All the Green Camp does is rant about Commie conspiracies. Ask it to elaborate, and it is at a complete loss. Young people have no desire to listen to their boring rants.
If a political party hopes to survive, it must live in the present. It must offer people a future. The DPP cannot understand why "I am a Singer" is so popular. The problem clearly, is not with other people.