China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
August 28, 2015
Executive Summary: The 2016 election campaign is heating up. Cross-Strait issues have become the hot topic. Pro-Mainland China and anti-Mainland China clashes are proliferating. Interestingly enough, Tsai Ing-wen herself has deliberately avoided reunification vs. independence controversy. On cross-Strait policy, she talks about "maintaining the status quo". She expresses sympathy for the students who oppose school curriculum revision. She also distances herself from the comfort women issue and the students who oppose school curriculum revision. Former President Lee Teng-hui, Tsai Ing-wen's erstwhile mentor, has been shrilly proclaiming that "Diaoyutai belongs to Japan", and "Japan is our motherland". He has precipitated a new wave of "Sinophobic civil war". Lee is a politically experienced strategic thinker. He is not the "senile old man" most of the media portray him as.
Full Text Below:
The 2016 election campaign is heating up. Cross-Strait issues have become the hot topic. Pro-Mainland China and anti-Mainland China clashes are proliferating. Interestingly enough, Tsai Ing-wen herself has deliberately avoided reunification vs. independence controversy. On cross-Strait policy, she talks about "maintaining the status quo". She expresses sympathy for the students who oppose school curriculum revision. She also distances herself from the comfort women issue and the students who oppose school curriculum revision. Former President Lee Teng-hui, Tsai Ing-wen's erstwhile mentor, has been shrilly proclaiming that "Diaoyutai belongs to Japan", and "Japan is our motherland". He has precipitated a new wave of "Sinophobic civil war". Lee is a politically experienced strategic thinker. He is not the "senile old man" most of the media portray him as.
Lee Teng-hui has been arguing that "Diaoyutai belongs to Japan" for years. But he chose this moment to raise the ante by praising Japanese colonial rule. His assertion that "Japan is our motherland" was motivated by darker strategic considerations. Japan's right-wing conservative Abe regime has been aggressively championing collective self-defense and new national security laws. He has been racheting up his rhetoric regarding the Chinese mainland. Lee's remarks have rallied anti-[Mainland] China elements on Taiwan. Lee has forced people to choose sides on the sensitive issue of sovereignty. He has intensified pro-Mainland vs. anti-Mainland polarization on Taiwan.
The Diaoyutai Islands dispute is a dispute over sovereignty. Lee's affirmation of Japanese colonial rule is a matter of historical record. It is how he feels about it. Strictly speaking, unconditional affirmation of Japanese colonial rule is a hard sell. Even pro-Taiwan independence historians dare not express such extreme views. At most they say Japanese rule exhibited both colonialist and modernist traits. That perhaps qualifies as an affirmation of Japanese colonial rule. But as far as the claim that "Japan is our motherland" goes, Lee Teng-hui is the first politician to make that claim, and will probably be the last.
Lee's affirmation of Japanese colonial rule is not an isolated political stance. It is intimately linked to Lee's repudiation and rejection of Mainland China. Many who sing the praises of Japanese colonial rule concede that Japanese rule was foreign rule. But they argue that Japan modernized Taiwan more thoroughly than China modernized the Mainland. They argue that Japan modernized Taiwan more thoroughly than the Qing Court or the Kuomintang modernized Taiwan. Japan's colonial rule may be a historical fact. But the purpose of singing the praises of Japanese rule over Taiwan is to incite hatred against and intensify opposition to Mainland China. The deeper purpose is to intensify opposition between older generations of so-called "native Taiwanese" who lived under Japanese rule, and so-called "mainlanders" who resisted Japanese military invasion. Its purpose is to label those who are critical of Japanese colonial rule and who affirm resistance against Japan as "pro-China", and to label those who affirm Japanese rule and are critical of resistance against Japan as "native Taiwanese" who "love Taiwan" and "oppose China". The goal is to marginalize pro-China, pro-reunificaiton forces.
Lee Teng-hui is a skilled political strategist. He knows that as long as he raises these issues, he will silence skeptics of Tsai Ing-wen's "maintaining the status quo". He knows he will bring alienated Taiwan independence elements back into the fold. Meanwhile, given Ma Ying-jeou's values, the Ma administration is certain to blast Lee's ideas full force. Given Taiwan society's current indifference to reason and ubiquitous anti-Ma sentiment, the great majority will remain silent. Moderates within the green camp will refuse comment. As a result pro-China, pro-reunification elements will be isolated.
This "Sinophobic civil war" continues to heat up day by day. What Taiwan needs is a merger of pro-China, pro-reunification forces at the grassroots level. Such a pro-China, pro-reunification force must not be equated with blue vs. green political reunification vs. independence. In fact, many traditional supporters of the green camp, even major figures, believe in a rational middle way. They are willing to acknowledge the rise of Mainland China. They hope that cooperation between Taiwan and the Mainland will benefit both sides of the Strait. They feel the two sides should cherish their common culture, history, and national identity. The late Yu Teng-fa was an older generation green camp political leader, and a triad head in Kaohsiung. Although he was a victim of KMT political repression, he championed cross-Strait reunification. In his later years he even served as honorary chairman of the Alliance for the Reunification of China.
The late Su Tung-chi was an advocate of Taiwan independence and a former political prisoner. HIs son Su Chi-hao has repeatedly reminded the DPP that cross-Strait policy is the party's blind spot. He says the DPP "persists in spinning its wheels and clinging to its rigid ideology". He says the DPP "lacks the vision, heart, and intellect to fling the doors open and gaze upon the future". For Su Chi-hao, Taiwan independence was mother's milk. Yet he argues that "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are both part of the same nation." He urges "the maintenance of cross-Strait stability, guaranteeing a half century of peace". He has long believed that "cross-Strait cooperation benefits both sides, while confrontation harms both sides". These are not isolated examples. In an atmosphere of rising Taiwan independence sentiment, many knowledgeable members of the green camp find it difficult to say what they really think. But in fact their ideas continue to grow within our native soil.
More and more young people believe that Taiwan cannot afford to remain complacent. It must cease barricading itself behind closed doors. Human resource surveys have repeatedly shown that on Taiwan, the younger a person is, the more willing he is to visit the Mainland, face its challenges, and take advantage of its opportunities for education and employment. The younger a person is, the more willing he is to avail himself of the resources of the Mainland to flex his muscles, to help Taiwan prosper, and to benefit both sides of the Strait. This sort of thinking is perfectly normal for many young people. Politically speaking "Sinophobic civil war" may have considerable market appeal. But practically speaking, those who think the two sides should abandon confrontation and seek win/win not only exist, their numbers are growing.
Pro-China and pro-reunification forces are merging and growing, not for myopic electoral advantage, but for Taiwan's long-term survival and prosperity. Not for fleeting political passions, but for the sake of solidarity among Chinese people the world over. This is the new social movement that befits Taiwan's entry into a new era.
親中與仇中道路爭議也漸漸蔓延擴大。耐人尋味的是， 蔡英文刻意迴避統獨爭議、在兩岸政策上高談維持現狀論， 甚至一方面擺出同情反課綱學生姿態， 另方面卻刻意在慰安婦議題上與反課綱學生拉開距離。 但一手提拔蔡英文從政的前總統李登輝，卻藉「釣魚台屬於日本論」 、「日本祖國論」等發動新一波「仇中民主內戰」。以李城府之深、 謀略之精，當非一般媒體所謂「老番顛」隨興之作。
更加碼提出「日本殖民統治肯定論」、「日本祖國論」， 很可能有更深的戰略考慮。畢竟日本保守右翼的安倍政權， 這段時間以來積極推動集體自衛權、新安保法案， 與中國大陸的對立越來越深，李登輝的言論顯然有凝聚、擴大台灣「 仇中派」聲勢，一方面在中日間敏感的主權問題上選邊站， 一方面激化台灣內部親中、反中爭議的企圖。
那麼李登輝重新丟出的「日本殖民統治肯定論」 則是歷史與情感的課題。嚴格說來，徹底的「日本殖民統治肯定論」 在台灣的言論市場空間並不大，即使是獨派歷史學者， 多數也不敢持如此極端的立場，頂多是曖昧的表明要研究、 認識日本統治台灣的性質具有「殖民性」與「現代性」的雙重性格， 算是某種「日本殖民統治部分肯定論」。至於主張「日本祖國論」， 李登輝可能是政治人物第一人，也很可能是最後一人。
話語爭奪上從來就不是單獨存在的，而是和「中國否定論」、「 中國排斥論」緊密連結的。「日本殖民統治肯定論」 真正要論證的是，即使承認日本是異族統治台灣， 但是在現代化的推進上、在治理的績效上， 都遠遠超過中國大陸本身，也超過清朝和國民黨統治下的台灣。 所以，「日本殖民統治肯定論」雖然是歷史的課題， 目的卻是要在現實中激起仇中、反中的情感，其更深層的目的， 則是圖謀要激化上一代、上兩代曾經歷日本統治的所謂「本省族群」 ，與上一代、上兩代曾有抗日經驗的「外省族群」的對立， 進而在政治論述上劃定「批判日本殖民統治」、「 正視抗日經驗教訓」＝「親中派」，而「肯定日本統治」、「 否定抗戰價值」＝「本土派」＝「愛台灣」＝「反中派」的公式， 希望進一步邊緣化親中、合中的社會力量。
一方面有助於凝聚潛在對蔡英文維持現狀論不滿、疏離的獨派力量， 另方面以馬英九的理念與價值，勢必引發府方的全面批判火力， 而又以台灣社會近乎不講道理、不論事實的廣泛反馬情緒， 中間沉默多數，以至於綠營內部比較中道、 理性的力量可能都會噤聲而不表態，使得親中、 合中的力量陷於孤立。
台灣需要的是在社會層面逐漸凝聚合中、親中的力量與聲量。 這裡所稱的「合中」、「親中」力量， 不能等同於政治上的統獨藍綠。事實上，不少傳統綠營的支持者、 甚至重要人士中，確實存在中道理性、願意正視大陸崛起、 希望台灣與大陸走向合則兩利局面， 也願意珍惜兩岸同文同種的歷史與民族情感的力量。 在老一代的綠營政治領袖中，已故的高雄黑派掌門人余登發， 雖然曾受到國民黨的政治壓制，但卻始終支持、 認同兩岸統一的主張，晚年還曾出任中國統一聯盟的名譽主席。
兩岸政策是該黨盲點，「盡在僵化意識型態中打轉」，「 沒有大開大闔的遠見、胸懷，沒有宏觀前瞻的視野、思維」。 從小受到台獨運動深刻影響的蘇治灝，仍願意主張「 兩岸同屬一個中華民族，兩岸維穩，五十年和平不變」， 他始終認為「兩岸合作兩利，對抗兩害」，這並非孤例。 在獨派氛圍高漲的時候， 許多綠營中的有識之士不願也難以表達內心真正想法， 但是類似想法、實踐卻不斷在本土土壤滋生。
人力資源調查一再顯示，越年輕的台灣民眾， 越有意願前往充滿挑戰與機遇的大陸求學就業、開拓事業， 運用中國大陸的資源，鍛鍊自己、壯大台灣，最後兩岸互利， 這是許多年輕人可以接受的思維。在一時的政治硝煙中，「 仇中民主內戰」或許有相當市場，但在實際的生活層面、 在理性的思維深處、在社會的各個角落，認同兩岸應該拋棄對立、 兩岸始終是合則兩利的力量不但存在，而且在成長中。
而是為了台灣長久的生存發展，不是為了昂揚政治激情， 而是為了全世界華人社群的團結與光大， 這應該是新時代台灣的新社會運動！