How the Republic of China Can Become an Asset to China
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
March 5, 2014
seek to survive. But we have made too many erroneous assumptions. The
Republic of China is not Taiwan. Taiwan is not the Republic of China.
The Republic of China is 103 years old. Its sovereignty includes the
whole of China. People still cherish the goal of national reunification
and the dream of a strong and prosperous China. Sun Yat-sen dreamed of
founding a nation. Only such a Republic of China can deal with the
Mainland on equal terms and with equal dignity. Only such a Republic of
China can sit down with Beijing to discuss the future of the Chinese
nation, and realize the Chinese Dream.
Full text below:
Leaders from the ROC have recently visited the Chinese mainland, twice. Honorary KMT Chairman Lien Chan told CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping that, "The Republic of China is an asset, not a liability." This newspaper has published a series of editorials repeating that same fact. The existence and prosperity of the Republic of China is an asset for China, for both the Mainland and Taiwan. This is something we encourage and anticipate. But it has a precondition. The Republic of China must survive. The ruling and opposition parties must set aside their differences. The ruling party must have the courage to do the right thing. The opposition party must be willing to change its course. The public must be rational in its decisions. Otherwise, everything will remain as it was. Internecine political battles will persist. The two sides of the strait will remain becalmed in deep water. Taiwan will be left behind by regional integration. It will truly become the "orphan of Asia."
Many people on Taiwan feel powerless. They sense that time is not on our side. They believe Taiwan's best days are over. They suspect it is becoming another Philippines. They see no light at the end of the tunnel. Think back to the outbreak of civil war in 1946. Three years later, the KMT government was forced to hand control of the nation to others. The exiled Nationalist government on Taiwan had to learn from bitter experience the lesson of good governance. The Two Chiangs promoted land reform, economic reform, and the gradual introduction of democracy. They laid the foundation for Taiwan's modernization. But this minor miracle, during which people struggled side by side, shoulder to shoulder, was much too short-lived.
Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian practiced political separatism while paying lip service to political reform. People became adept at infighting, but terrified of outsiders. Their vision became myopic. Ideology reigned supreme. People lost their sense of direction. The economy lost its momentum. Taiwan pointlessly squander 20 years. Anyone who dared to invoke the Two Chiang era was pilloried. They were condemned as reactionaries. They were subjected to public witch trials and labeled Communists. Ma Ying-jeou, who attempted to set the record straight, was one such victim.
The DPP has long painted others as "Reds." Only their position is acceptable. Others are not allowed to have ideas. They refuse to recognize the Republic of China, while simultaneously engaging in backdoor listing. They fly the ROC banner while opposing the ROC. The ruling KMT lost its bully pulpit. But most surprisingly, it dared not champion the Three People's Principles and its long-cherished goal of national reunification. Instead it promoted a policy of "no reunification, no independence, no use of force." They were equally myopic. They concerned themselves only with near term election success. They saw maintaining the status quo as the supreme value. They sought only safety. They blanked out any personal responsibility for the Chinese nation as a whole.
Lien Chan said, "The Republic of China is an asset." Not a single KMT politician or party official echoed his sentiment. So-called Kuomintang elders paid pro forma lip service to the concept of "two sides, one China" and "one nation, two regions" during visits to the Mainland. But they never promote these enlightened concepts upon returning to Taiwan. No wonder outside observers characterize Taiwan's ruling and opposition parties as "one chaotic party" and "one crummy party." This may be self-deprecating. But it reflects public opinion.
Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that Taiwan independence is a thing of the past. Reunification of the two sides is inevitable. John Mearsheimer is a famous scholar of international relations and a chaired professor at the University of Chicago. In the March issue of the the National Interest, Mearsheimer published an article entitled, "Say Goodbye to Taiwan." He pointed out how the Chinese mainland's economic and military power is growing. A decade or two from now, America will no longer be able to protect Taiwan. Taiwan will have no choice but to move toward reunification. Many allies agree. Taiwan has been unfairly treated by the international community. But Taiwan's future will not include a "Republic of Taiwan." This is dictated by objective factors in the international environment. But the main factor is cross-strait relations. They cannot be severed. The CCP regime continues to grow and thrive. It is becoming stronger and more powerful. Taiwan's ruling and opposition parties need to ask themselves how many cards Taiwan holds? Fifteen years from now, politically and economically, in international diplomacy, in strategy and tactics, how strong a hand will Taiwan still hold?
If the ruling and opposition parties on Taiwan persist in political and ideological infighting, it will lead only to a dead end. They will no longer be able to remain outside China's future. The ruling administration must regain the initiative. It must insist that "We too are China's masters!" They must ensure China's economic future. The public must understand the situation. It must accomodate or exploit Mainland China's economic growth. This is the inevitable path it must go down.
Under the circumstances, everyone must share Taiwan's past experience with the Mainland. They must share their experience with economic growth. They must shared the traditional Chinese culture that has been preserved on Taiwan. They must share the civic virtues embodied by the Taiwan public. They must inject new elements into the development process. Even the negative examples learned during Taiwan's democratization process can help future Mainland reform. We on Taiwan must have the courage to display our weaknesses as well as our strengths. That is the right way. We must not compete with the Mainland over our own weaknesses.
Only by respecting ourselves, can we expect respect from posterity. We seek to survive. But we have made too many erroneous assumptions. The Republic of China is not Taiwan. Taiwan is not the Republic of China. The Republic of China is 103 years old. Its sovereignty includes the whole of China. People still cherish the goal of national reunification and the dream of a strong and prosperous China. Sun Yat-sen dreamed of founding a nation. Only such a Republic of China can deal with the Mainland on equal terms and with equal dignity. Only such a Republic of China can sit down with Beijing to discuss the future of the Chinese nation, and realize the Chinese Dream.
中國時報 本報訊 2014年03月05日 04:09