Taiwan Independence Street Violence: Resurgence or Countercurrent
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 7, 2014
Summary: Street violence, hunger strikes, and reversion to promoting Taiwan
independence will never solve Taiwan's problems. They are nothing more
than political blackmail. They do not represent democracy and the will
of the people. This resurgence of Taiwan independence and street
violence has been destructive of democracy. They are part of a
countercurrent that will destroy Taiwan through internecine struggle.
Full Text Below:
The Sunflower Student Movement exploded on March 18. On April 30, Lin Yi-hsiung ended his fast against the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, aka NPP4. Taiwan independence rhetoric has returned. Street protests have returned. Mob violence has returned. Has the tide turned in the affairs of men?
Most of those who participated in the Sunflower Student Movement were not advocates of Taiwan independence. But the mob leaders were. They were unquestionably Taiwan independence zealots. The Sunflower Student Movement demanded a "Cross-Strait Agreements Oversight Bill."
Its purpose? To force the government to change its cross-Strait policy to one consistent with Taiwan independence. The nuclear power plant controversy obviously involved anti-nuclear demands. But Lin Yi-hsiung's declaration reveals that the amended referendum law, opposition to the free trade zones, the "Peoples Constitutional Convention," and the constitutional amendment constituted their real political agenda. Their real goal was a nuclear-free Taiwan independence homeland. Such a homeland would not tolerate cross-Strait economic and trade exchanges. Hence their opposition to the STA. They would demand an even more isolationist policy. Hence their opposition to free trade zones.
Ever since the protests erupted, the STA dispute has ostensibly been over generational deprivation. The NPP4 dispute has ostensibly been over nuclear safety. These concerns are of course real. Today the protests have temporarily died down. What is the Sunflower Student Movement's solution to these problems? Is it a Taiwan independence closed door policy? What is Lin Yi-hsiung's solution to exorbitant electricity rates?
Is it an independent, nuclear free "Nation of Taiwan." Are these the proper solutions to Taiwan's problems?
Many attribute the current controversy over the STA and the NPP4
to "poor communications." But is Taiwan independence the panacea for all that ails Taiwan? That is hardly a matter of "poor communications."
The Sunflower Student Movement may have scored a victory in the political arena. But it failed to score a victory in the moral arena. Its victory consisted of forcibly occupying the Legislative Yuan and using it as a bargaining chip for political blackmail. By the same token, Lin Yi-hsiung may have scored a political victory with his hunger strike. But he too failed to score a victory in the moral arena. His victory used his own death by starvation to blackmail the Ma administration. Therefore, they may have gained the upper hand on the STA and the NPP4. But is Taiwan independence really the solution to these problems?
Consider the global perspective, cross-Strait fluctuations, and internal changes. Lin Yi-hsiung threatened to starve himself to death in response to the NPP4. The Sunflower Student Movement forcibly occupied the Legislative Yuan in response to STA. It smashed windows, blocked off streets, and threatened to assassinate a local precinct police chief. It stooped to brute force extortion to achieve short term goals. But it failed to reach just and reasonable solutions. This was true for the STA. This was true for the NPP4. The Sunflower Student Movement and Lin Yi-hsiung cannot achieve Taiwan independence by forcibly occupying the Legislative Yuan, conducting hunger strikes, and lying in the street in front of cars. The Sunflower Student Movement and Lin Yi-hsiung
hope that by opposing the STA, the NPP4, and free trade zones, they can promote a constitutional amendment to achieve Taiwan independence. But that is a pipe dream. They will not achieve Taiwan independence. But they will destroy Taiwan.
Taiwan independence, street protests, and mob violence have temporarily receded. Over the past two years, DPP insiders have even talked about "freezing the Taiwan independence party platform" and promoting a "Resolution on the Republic of China." So far however, no progress has been made toward reform. The Sunflower Student Movement and Lin Yi-hsiung have once again raised the banner of Taiwan independence. Doing so could put DPP reformation on indefinite hold. The DPP may not be able to complete the "final mile." It could be compelled to revert to Taiwan independence. The Sunflower Student Movement and Lin Yi-hsiung may be delighted at the reversion to Taiwan independence. But the Democratic Progressive Party and Tsai Ing-wen hope to return to power in 2016. For them this amounts to an intolerable setback. .
Chen Shui-bian assumed power in 2000. He was forced to accept the 1992 consensus and political reintegration. But Lee Teng-hui founded the Taiwan Solidarity Union, which bound Chen Shui-bian hand and foot. Lee eventually forced Chen to endure defeat as a result of Lee's cross-Strait policy. Today, Lin Yi-hsiung's "Taiwan Citizen Union," clearly identifies with Taiwan independence. Is the Taiwan Citizen Union a successor to the TSU? Will Lin Yi-hsiung hobble Tsai Ing-wen the way Lee Teng-hui hobbled Chen Shui-bian? The Lee Teng-hui tail wagged the Chen Shui-bian dog. Will the Lin Yi-hsiung tail wag the Tsai Ing-wen dog in the same fashion?
The storm has temporarily subsided. Some may harbor doubts about the STA. But does anyone really think Taiwan independence and isolationism are the answer? Some may harbor doubts about the NPP4. But do people really approve of usingnuclear power as a bargaining chip on behalf of Taiwan independence?
Taiwan's most serious problem is Taiwan independence. Taiwan independence advocates turn almost every public issue and social movement into political chips. This includes opposition to Guoguang Petrochemical, to Wenlin Yuan, to Ta Pu, to school curricula, to the STA, and to the NPP4. All reveal the heavy hand of "Nation of Taiwan civil disobedience toward the ROC" and the promotion of Taiwan independence by means of social movements. Public issues are no longer debated fairly and rationally. This type of "social movement" uses public issues as pretexts to take over the government and implement Taiwan independence. The Sunflower Student Movement and Lin Yi-hsiung have forcibly occupied the Legislative Yuan and conducted hunger strikes. They have blocked off streets, caused traffic jams, and engaged in street violence. Their political blackmail has not won them any genuine victories. Quite the contrary, victims of their political blackmail who were forced to make concessions did not really lose. Taiwan was the loser. No one was a winner.
Street violence, hunger strikes, and reversion to promoting Taiwan independence will never solve Taiwan's problems. They are nothing more than political blackmail. They do not represent democracy and the will of the people. This resurgence of Taiwan independence and street violence has been destructive of democracy. They are part of a countercurrent that will destroy Taiwan through internecine struggle.
2014.05.07 02:14 am