China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
March 16, 2016
Executive Summary: Tsai Ing-wen is wondering how to respond to the 1992 Consensus. We hope she realizes Taiwan's greatest danger is the De-Sinicization Express. Some green camp leaders who revel in their victory would hurtle forward at breakneck speed. We only hope Tsai Ing-wen has the courage to apply the brakes to green camp de-Sinicization. We hope she will honor the spirit of the Constitution, and acknowledge that "I am both Taiwanese and Chinese". We hope she will avoid disaster to Taiwan, and find a way for the two sides to live in peace.
Full Text Below:
"Are Taiwanese Chinese?" This question should never have arisen in the first place. Yet is has mired Taiwan in an identity crisis for over 20 years. It has undermined social cohesion and economic competitiveness. Now that the Democratic Progressive Party has assumed “total government”, it is likely to turn the Taiwan Strait into a powder keg.
No conflict is ever the result of a single factor. Rational factors include disputes over territory, sovereignty, authority, and economic advantage. Irrational factors include race, religion, and ideology. The latter involve identity politics, and are the most difficult to resolve. The DPP is about to implement “total government”. If it refuses to see the error of its ways, the two sides are likely to descend into an intractable conflict over national identity.
After 20 years of de-Sinicization via the educational system, “cultural Taiwan independence” propaganda, and political demagoguery, polls now show six out of ten people identifying themselves as “Taiwanese only”, just over three out of ten identifying themselves as "Taiwanese and also Chinese", and under four out of one hundred identifying themselves as “Chinese only”. Even more seriously, those who refuse to identify as “Chinese”, refuse not because they don't know what it means to be Chinese, but because they harbor intense hatred toward those they consider Chinese. Just as “reunification” has been demonized on Taiwan in recent years, so "being Chinese" has become Politically Incorrect.
If Taiwan were already an independent nation, such identity crises would be a domestic matter. If Taiwan were located geographically in the vicinity of Hawaii, there will be no external problems. But Taiwan is a mere 100 miles from the Chinese mainland, where everyone agrees that "Taiwanese are Chinese", while on Taiwan six out of ten people agree that "Taiwanese are not Chinese" It is hard to imagine how cross-Strait mutual trust can be established under such conditions. And if conflict erupts, what will be the result?
Being “Taiwanese” was originally nothing more than a regional identity. But in pursuit of Taiwan independence, Lee Teng-hui and the DPP transformed peoples' "Taiwanese" identity into a matter of national identity. In order to achieve their political objectives, politicians extracted "Taiwanese" from "Chinese", and repositioned them opposite each other. They portrayed "Chinese" as uncivilized oppressors of "Taiwanese". If Taiwan independence were still feasible, then Lee Teng-hui and other green camp people might be regarded as "Taiwanese" national heroes. But are they really so ignorant as to imagine that Taiwan independence remains feasible? Do they not know that Taiwan independence is impossible, and can only bring disaster to Taiwan? If they realize this, but persist in de-Sinicization regardless, then their course of action is the height of immorality and irresponsibility.
Many politicians are dishonest and prone to gross exaggeration. They indoctrinate the public, especially youth, telling them that “Taiwan has nothing to do with China”, and that “Taiwanese are not Chinese”. They do so to win votes. Some uninformed people naively affix “Nation of Taiwan” stickers to their ROC passports. As a result they are refused entry and sent home. At such times, one never sees any politicians condemn the nations involved. Nor do the provocateurs who instigated the farce feel any guilt.
dChina, the Government of the Republic of China, and the Government of the People's Republic of China are three different things. From 1912 to 1949, the Republic of China was China. Republic of China citizens were of course, Chinese. After 1949, two governments co-existed on Chinese national territory. Both are part of China. The people are of course, Chinese. The only difference is one is under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Republic of China, while the other is under the jurisdiction of the government of the People's Republic of China. Taiwanese live on Taiwan, just as Shanghainese live in Shanghai. These are merely regional identities, nothing more. If the Taiwan independence movement were to succeed and found a nation, then people on Taiwan would of course no longer be Chinese, but “Huaren” or “ethnic Chinese”. But as long as the Republic of China Constitution remains in force, then people on Taiwan are Chinese.
Taiwan is an immigrant society. It may be diverse, but its cultural core remains Chinese. The pan green political parties' strategy has been to trumpet multiculturalism while suppressing Chinese culture. It has been to highlight Japanese colonial contributions in order to demean Chinese civilization. Pan green political parties need to realize that their attempts to de-Sinicize Taiwan's history and culture cannot succeed. They can only pit Taiwan against the Mainland, thereby forfeiting one of Taiwan's most valuable cultural assets. Short term election success does not represent the success of de-Sinicization. Chinese culture is resilient, and not so easily deconstructed.
Taiwan is an tiny island. It cannot afford a divided sense of identity. "I am Taiwanese" is of course a consensus in Taiwan society. But if we persist in identifying ourselves as “naturally not Chinese”, we risk losing the sympathy and support of 1.3 billion Chinese on the Mainland. The DPP snickers with glee when the percentage of people who say "I am Taiwanese, not Chinese" is on the rise. It does not occur to them that the probability of war between Taiwan and the Mainland is therefore also on the rise.
Tsai Ing-wen is wondering how to respond to the 1992 Consensus. We hope she realizes Taiwan's greatest danger is the De-Sinicization Express. Some green camp leaders who revel in their victory would hurtle forward at breakneck speed. We only hope Tsai Ing-wen has the courage to apply the brakes to green camp de-Sinicization. We hope she will honor the spirit of the Constitution, and acknowledge that "I am both Taiwanese and Chinese". We hope she will avoid disaster to Taiwan, and find a way for the two sides to live in peace.
卻讓台灣陷入20多年的認同困境， 影響到台灣的社會團結與競爭力。如今， 特別是在民進黨完全執政後， 它極有可能成為兩岸關係衝突的火藥庫。
主權爭端、政權控制與經濟衝突，理念性的因素則是種族、 宗教與意識形態，而後者均涉及自我的身分認同。 任何一個衝突如果夾雜了身分認同，這個衝突就難以化解。 即將完全執政的民進黨如果再不認真修正， 兩岸有可能會陷入最難處理的身分認同衝突問題。
現在的民意調查顯示，認同自己只是台灣人的比例已經約有六成， 認同自己「是台灣人也是中國人」只有三成多， 單單只有中國人認同的不到百分之四。更嚴重的是，不認同自己是「 中國人」的原因，不是陌生，而是帶有負面的情緒。如果說，「 統一」在台灣已經被妖魔化，這些年來，「中國人」也已經成為「 政治不正確」的身分認同。
或者台灣目前的地理位置在夏威夷附近，也不會有外部問題。 但是當與台灣僅隔著百里的大陸，全民幾乎一致認為「 台灣人應該就是中國人」，而在台灣「台灣人不是中國人」 的認同卻超過六成時，難以想像兩岸互信如何建立？ 一旦衝突會發生什麼樣的結果？
但是在李登輝與民進黨追求台獨的政治訴求下，「台灣人」 變成一種國族的身分認同象徵。為了遂行其政治目的，政客們把「 台灣人」從「中國人」抽離並放在對立面，並將「中國人」 塑造成一個不文明且打壓「台灣人」的他群。如果「台獨」 尚有成功的機會，李登輝與若干泛綠人士或有機會被視為「台灣人」 的民族英雄。但如果愚昧地以為台獨可行，或明知台獨無法做到， 而且會給台灣帶來災難時，卻仍然製造「去中國化」， 就是不負責任與不道德的政客了。
教育年輕人，台灣與中國無關，台灣人不是中國人，以爭取選票。 一些不明就裡的人，天真地將中華民國護照外面貼上台灣國貼紙， 結果是被拒絕入境，遣送回國。 這時候看不到任何一個政治人物會譴責當事國， 始作俑者也沒有任何的愧疚。
2年到1949年，中華民國就是中國， 中華民國的國民當然是中國人。1949年以後， 中國的土地上有兩個分治政府，它們都是中國的一部分， 人民當然還是中國人，差別僅在於一方受中華民國政府管轄， 一方受中華人民共和國政府治理。台灣人在台灣， 如同上海人在大陸，都只是個地域性的身分名稱而已。 如果台灣獨立成為一個國家，台灣人當然就不再屬於中國人， 而只能算是華人，但是只要《中華民國憲法》仍然有效， 台灣人就是中國人。
泛綠政黨這些年的策略是以揚舉多元文化來壓抑中華文化， 以凸顯日本殖民貢獻來貶低中華文明。 泛綠政黨應該認識到歷史與文化的「去中國化」不可能成功的， 反而會讓台灣在與大陸在競爭時，失去最可貴的文化資產。 一時選舉的勝利並不代表「去中國化」成功， 中華文化的力量不容易如此被推倒。
我是台灣人」當然是台灣社會的集體身分認同， 但是當對中國人的認同愈少愈負面時，也會快速失去同為中國人的1 3億人民的關心與支持。當民進黨在竊喜「我是台灣人不是中國人」 的比率攀升時，他們沒有想到，兩岸衝突可能性的曲線也在上升。
台灣更大的隱憂是「去中國化」 的列車正在一些得意於勝選的人士驅使下快速前進。 希望即將上任的蔡英文能夠勇敢勸阻泛綠人士「去中國化」的操作， 依照憲法精神接受「我是台灣人也是中國人」的認同， 如此才能為台灣避免災難，找回兩岸的生機。