Lin Tzou-yien “Sells Out Taiwan” -- Just Like Yeh Chin-chuan Before Him
United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 11, 2016
Executive Summary: Yeh Chin-chuan was heckled in Geneva seven years ago for "selling out Taiwan". Lin Tzou-yien is now proceeding down the same path. We hope his journey is without incident. For the people of Taiwan, this is a lesson learned over seven long years. Scurrilous accusations of "selling out Taiwan" will merely blow back on those who known only how to shout empty slogans, and nothing about taking real action.
Full Text Below:
In May 2009, Minister of Health Yeh Chin-chuan led the very first "Chinese Taipei" delegation to attend the annual WHA conference in Geneva. The evening before at dinner, DPP Youth students studying in France surrounded him and screamed, "Yeh Chin-chuan is selling out Taiwan". Seven years later, the DPP has received an invitation to the WHA including the text of the UN resolution on one China. The DPP has also decided to send future Minister of Health Lin Tzou-yien to the WHA, also under the name "Chinese Taipei". Will people on the sidelines heckle Lin for "selling out Taiwan"?
Lin Tzou-yien is traveling down the very trail that Yeh Chin-chuan blazed. Over the past seven years, four health ministers have walked down this very trail, and presented Taiwan's views to the WHA. Does accepting the label "Chinese Taipei" really amount to "selling out Taiwan"? If it did, would an invitation have been extended to Taipei? Would Taiwan still be not be heard on the international stage? If the DPP feels that the label "Chinese Taipei" demeans or sells out Taiwan, it is perfectly free to turn down the invitation. Yet Tsai and her administration swallowed the "one China principle" in its entirety. As she explained, international participation is more important than word games. As Yang Chi-liang put it, "one exists only if one attends". This shows that scurrilous charges of "selling out Taiwan" are merely for domestic consumption.
The KMT blazed this trail. Therefore it need not deliberately embarrass the DPP during the handover of power, or attempt to box it in. Since the DPP has chosen to go down this trail, it has no right to complain about the going being too strewn with obstacles. If the DPP thinks it has the wherewithal, it can blaze its own trail. It can then see whether it will still be granted observer status by the WHO and other international organizations.
Will Lin Tzou-yien be able to attend the WHA without incident? That will depend upon Tsai Ing-wen's May 20 inaugural address. In any case, given current developments, the prickly last-minute invitation is better than no invitation at all. The new government's decision to participate, is better than rejecting the chance to attend altogether, then griping about it afterwards. The DPP is at least willing to confront its opponent head on. It is no longer hiding at home, denouncing the KMT and CCP for the benefit of their supporters.
One thing is especially noteworthy. The wording of the WHA invitation, the raised threshold, and the timing, all reveal Beijing's concern over the matter. It has thought out every step along the way. By contrast, our side is caught in a power transition. The old and new governments lack consensus. They continue to spread rumors about each other. They continue to fight with each other. They cannot even coordinate with each other over the WHA conference. In this divided Taiwan, the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing. Each side has its own agenda. How can it possibly cope with CCP persecution? Even if the United States wanted to help, what could it do?
Our situation reflects a harsh reality. Over the years, Taiwan independence elements have held forth on national dignity, Taiwan's primacy, and nativist pride. But their rhetoric has always been for domestic consumption. It has never been able to cope with the outside world. Their grand slogans have merely served as ammunition in the domestic political struggle. They do nothing to enhance Taiwan's international status. As a result, DPP Youth, sporting in the latest fashions, lap dogs in their arms, journey from Paris to Geneva to heckle Yeh Chin-chuan for "selling out Taiwan". But have they ever dared venture forth to protest CCP persecution? What sort of “Taiwanese consciousness” does this represent, if any? How do any of these antics make Taiwan proud?
Tsai Ing-wen could have cited the "one China" clause as reason to forbid Lin Tzou-yian from attending the WHA. She could have denounced it for “demeaning Taiwan”. She could have cited "CCP persecution", "KMT complicity”, as excuses for domestic political struggle. That would have been easy. That would have been consistent with traditional DPP strategy. But Tsai Ing-wen refrained from doing so. She chose to confront reality. For this, she deserves recognition. Tsai Ing-wen has asked Lin Tzou-yian to follow in Yeh Chin-chuan's footsteps. She realizes that attending a WHO Annual Meeting is a good way to participate part in international activities. Therefore the new government has the responsibility to maintain an even keel. It must not permit unforeseen events to stand in the way of progress down this road.
Yeh Chin-chuan was heckled in Geneva seven years ago for "selling out Taiwan". Lin Tzou-yien is now proceeding down the same path. We hope his journey is without incident. For the people of Taiwan, this is a lesson learned over seven long years. Scurrilous accusations of "selling out Taiwan" will merely blow back on those who known only how to shout empty slogans, and nothing about taking real action.
2016-05-11 02:36 聯合報 聯合報社論
準衛福部長林奏延。 聯合報資料照片 記者陳易辰/攝影