Taiwan's Primacy Requires Resolute Opposition to Taiwan Independence
China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
June 14, 2016
Executive Summary: Many on Taiwan are willing to relegate themselves to the status of pawns of other great powers intent on containing the Mainland, merely for the sake of Taiwan independence. In doing so, they have reduced Taiwan to the laughing stock of the world. Twenty-first century China is no longer post-Opium War China. Many think a new era of joint Sino-US co-governance has arrived. Others think the 21st century will be one in which the East dominates the West. China awaits transformation. It looks to a future full of challenges. The world is rapidly changing. Western models of governance are undergoing major crises. We on Taiwan should insist on Taiwan's primacy. But we must also approach the Mainland with an open mind. We must integrate the best of Chinese culture and Western values. We must work with the Mainland to birth a renaissance of the Chinese people. That is the path we should take.
Full Text Below:
In recent years, a rising tide of Taiwan independence sentiment suggests that "natural Taiwan independence" has gone mainstream. It suggests that a split between the two sides is a foregone conclusion. But upon closer scrutiny, the Taiwan independence movement's words and deeds always seem a little off, and always ring a little hollow. One might even say that the Taiwan independence movement's words and deeds are a tree without roots.
Advocates of Taiwan independence adopt an “If not me, who? If not now, when?” attitude. They claim the exclusive right to decide who “loves Taiwan”. They claim the exclusive right to define Taiwan's "sovereignty" and "dignity". Green camp “love for Taiwan” is presumed. The blue camp, conversely, cannot possibly “love Taiwan”. When the ruling DPP uses the term "Chinese Taipei", it has done nothing to demean Taiwan. When the ruling KMT uses the term "Chinese Taipei" however, it has “humiliated the nation”. When DPP city mayors and county chiefs solicit business on the Mainland, they are “rational and pragmatic”. When the KMT increases Mainland tourism to Taiwan, it is “pandering to China and selling out Taiwan”. Examples of such DPP hypocrisy are too numerous to list. Any rational person can see the absurdity of such DPP rhetoric. Unfortunately such demagoguery sells all too well on Taiwan.
Those inclined toward Taiwan independence consider “Taiwanese primacy” and “Taiwanese dignity” as matters of major importance. They scrutinize every exchange with the Mainland with a magnifying glass. Anything that can be perceived as a slight is cited as evidence that the Mainland has "demeaned Taiwan". Meanwhile, they themselves constantly taunt the Mainland. They constantly accuse the Mainland of having a "glass heart". They constantly boast that “Taiwan is Number One!” In their refusal to bow before the Mainland, one might imagine that they embody the Hakka spirit of defiance.
Sadly, that is not the whole picture. There is another, paradoxical phenomenon. Even the Japanese admit they imposed colonial rule on Taiwan. Yet many on Taiwan insist that their motherland is Japan. Really? Were these people in fact classified as Japanese during Japan's colonial occupation? When asked whether the comfort women volunteered or were forced, they say “Some were but some were not”. Opponents of school textbook corrections even argue that claims that the comfort women were forced hurts the feelings of the Japanese. When the Japanese expel Taiwan fishing boats from Cong Zi Niao Reef, these same advocates of Taiwan independence dare not utter a peep about whether Cong Zi Niao is a reef or an island. They dare not criticize Japan, yest insist they alone are qualified to deal with the fishing rights dispute. These advocates of Taiwan independence cannot even defend the dignity of their own countrymen. The Japanese spit in their faces, and they respond by meekly wiping the spittle away. How exactly have they defended Taiwan's sovereignty and dignity? What exactly has become of Taiwan's primacy?
For too many years Taiwan has paid too a high price on behalf of these advocates of Taiwan independence. Taiwan has sacrificed its sovereignty and dignity. It has suffered other more tangible losses as well. This is especially true since the new government came to power and allied with the US and Japan to oppose the Mainland. It has abandoned many positions long held by the Ma government. The importation of US pork was merely a matter of time. The new government is about to allow food imports from Japan's nuclear disaster region. Arms purchases from the US will soon be on its agenda. US lawmakers have even come calling, and demanded that arms purchases be increased to 3% of GDP. Many of these moves were intended to buy US and Japanese support in resisting pressure from the Mainland. Chen Shui-bian era checkbook diplomacy is still fresh in people's memories. Yet the new government yearns to become the next sucker?
In order to rid itself of so-called “dependence on the Mainland”, the new government is pushing its New Southern Strategy full force. It is even subsidizing descendants of immigrants if they return to Taiwan. It is calling for increased awareness of the mother country, and closer contacts. New immigrants and their descendants were subject to discrimination in the past. Taking care of new immigrants is the right thing to do, and something we support. But isn't the new government's discriminatory policy just a tad too flagrant? What about Mainland spouses and their children? Aren't they Republic of China citizens? Don't they need to strengthen ties with the Mainland? Or does anyone who has any connection to the Mainland vilified as “The Other”?
If we truly love Taiwan, if we truly believe in Taiwan's primacy, we must punch holes in the Taiwan independence movement's hypocrisy. We must resolutely oppose all words and deeds that incite hatred against our Chinese origins and Chinese heritage. We must confidently oppose Taiwan independence. As long as one lives on Taiwan, one is qualified to “love Taiwan”. Whether one was born on Taiwan, born on the Mainland, or an indigenous person is of no importance. Nor does it matter whether one is blue or green. Taiwanese are also Chinese. One can love Taiwan while supporting reunification. None of these should be cause for conflict.
We hope everyone on Taiwan will realize that Taiwan's dignity cannot be achieved by groveling. Still less can it be achieved by means of media deception. If we wish to win the world's respect, we must first determine who is really Taiwanese. Taiwan clearly cannot sever its links with the Mainland. The two sides share the same Chinese culture and Chinese civilization. Also, the Mainland has become a world-class nation with international influence.
Many on Taiwan are willing to relegate themselves to the status of pawns of other great powers intent on containing the Mainland, merely for the sake of Taiwan independence. In doing so, they have reduced Taiwan to the laughing stock of the world. Twenty-first century China is no longer post-Opium War China. Many think a new era of joint Sino-US co-governance has arrived. Others think the 21st century will be one in which the East dominates the West. China awaits transformation. It looks to a future full of challenges. The world is rapidly changing. Western models of governance are undergoing major crises. We on Taiwan should insist on Taiwan's primacy. But we must also approach the Mainland with an open mind. We must integrate the best of Chinese culture and Western values. We must work with the Mainland to birth a renaissance of the Chinese people. That is the path we should take.
2016年06月14日 04:10 主筆室