Love Taiwan, Enrich Both Sides, Revitalize the Chinese Nation
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 7, 2013
Summary: Our feet stand on Taiwan. Our hearts embrace China as a whole. Our vision encompasses the entire globe. This is the China News' fundamental position. It is moderate, rational, and demonstrates love for Taiwan. It is what we have always advocated. We must stand by our ideals, make full use of our advantages, especially our soft power.
Full Text below:
Over the past year,Taiwan's economy has remained weak. The ruling and opposition parties continue to point fingers at each other. Cross-strait relations remain stalled. People suffer great pain. Everyone finds life difficult. This year many changes are in store. But the situation may not show significant improvement. President Ma himself harbors doubts. The people feel suffocated. This is our reality. If we cannot find a way out, Taiwan's economic advantages may no longer be sustainable. One cannot help but be concerned. We cannot afford to continue spinning our wheels.
Over the years, "Love for Taiwan" has become de rigeur Political Correctness. Everyone who lives here wants Taiwan to become more prosperous. But some political parties exploit "Love for Taiwan." They use it as an instrument of political struggle. They use it to discredit political opponents, to smear them as "Communists." Political parties and media organizations that dissent from their orthodoxy, are accused of "selling out Taiwan." This is especially true whenever an election rolls around. Fortunately the marginal utility of such smear tactics has increasingly diminished. One one can only hope that such hollow accusations as "pandering to [Mainland] China and selling out Taiwan" will disappear in the future. Absent such irresponsible name-calling, we may be able to discover out special advantages and strengths. We may be able to make Taiwan better than it is currently. When it comes to bad-mouthing Taiwan, Taiwan's short-sighted politicians, media organizations, and talking heads bear the greatest responsibility. They have made rational debate concerning the abolition of nuclear power generation, pension reform, and free speech impossible. In the guise of championing justice, many engage in ideologically motivated political struggle. A joke circulating on the Mainland says that those who have been to Taiwan know that the Cultural Revolution has yet to end. An outsider unfamiliar with Taiwan, who listens to certain Taiwanese politicians, media commentators, and news reports, might think that Taiwan is in total chaos and about to perish tomorrow. The prospect of a country unsafe to visit and unsafe to live in is on many peoples' minds. Taiwan must avoid continued decline. It must reclaim the initiative. Only that is truly "Love for Taiwan."
At the same time, we call on the government, the opposition parties, and the public, to acknowledge the reality of cross-Strait relations. The positive development of cross-Strait relations requires more than a joint effort by the two governments. The public must also learn to see things clearly, and think about things clearly. Members of the public must try to understand each other's positions. Improving cross-Strait relations and enriching both sides does not mean that people on Taiwan must sacrifice their own principles, dignity, or interests. On the contrary, the improvement of cross-Strait relations, and a reduction in cross-Strait tensions, is a win-win proposition for all. It is the best result possible. For Taiwan in particular, the prospect offers real world political, economic, and security benefits. Taiwan can take advantage of these benefits to fulfill its potential and make itself strong. It can also contribute to the modernization of the Chinese nation. What reason then do we have not to proceed?
Looking to the future, the rise of the Mainland offers Taiwan opportunities, challenges, and threats. The Chinese Communist regime still faces many political, economic, and social problems. But its peaceful rise is likely to continue. Its influence is certain to expand. The Mainland factor is a reality, one that Taiwan must forever face. Given Taiwan's economic development, increased participation in regional economic integration and international activities will require continued improvement in cross-Strait relations. The Mainland's Taiwan policy is a subject that can be debated. But the DPP must be rational and alter its hostile attitude toward the Chinese mainland. It must relinquish its Sinophobic attitude. The KMT meanwhile, clings to a policy of "no reunification, no independence, and no use of force." Such a passive posture fails at showing leadership. It must improve its approach. It must do a better job of changing hearts and minds.
President Ma says he is not promoting two Chinas; or one China, one Taiwan; or Taiwan independence. His past position of remaining close to the United States, friendly towards Japan, and at peace with Mainland China accomodated a variety of political considerations. We understand and empathize. But suppose Taiwan ceases passively rejecting this and refusing that? Suppose it advances its own vision for the future? Suppose it helps the world community and Mainland China? Suppose it helps the Mainland to make a peaceful rise. Isn't that better? How can one love Taiwan, enrich both sides of the Strait, and revitalize the Chinese nation? This is the real issue. Only this will enable us to truly solve the problem we face.
We love Taiwan. Therefore we must find a better way for Taiwan, a way that is healthy, rational, moderate, and balanced. We look forward to the sound development of cross-Strait relations. That is the correct path. Taiwan's economic development has contributed to the economic modernization of the Mainland. Taiwan's gradual political reforms are also achievements the Mainland can emulate. Healthy interdependence between the two sides will naturally have a positive impact on Taiwan's economic development, participation in international activities, and social stability. If cross-Strait relations are benevolent, mutually beneficial, and win-win, the two sides will naturally be able to set aside their differences, reduce suspicions, and cooperate in tackling domestic and international challenges, both political and economic.
Our feet stand on Taiwan. Our hearts embrace China as a whole. Our vision encompasses the entire globe. This is the China News' fundamental position. It is moderate, rational, and demonstrates love for Taiwan. It is what we have always advocated. We must stand by our ideals, make full use of our advantages, especially our soft power. In fact, we have no reason to despair over the fate of Taiwan. In cross-strait coopetition, Taiwan has value. This is what all Taiwan has struggled to achieve. Isn't this what President Ma advocated when he spoke of strengthening Taiwan and revitalizing the Chinese nation? Isn't this a concrete expression of what Beijing has long advocated in cross-Strait relations -- the joint revitalization of Chinese civilization? A weak and debilitated Taiwan, and a Mainland that goes its own way, is the worst possible outcome for both sides. How can one not be concerned?