Sun, Jan 14, 2001 - Page 8 News List

Chen should rethink China policy

By Lin Pi-yao 林碧堯

Many Taiwanese people might have been taken aback by local newspaper headlines on New Year's Day, which included: "President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) seeks `a new framework of permanent peace and political integration' (政治統合的新架構) between Taiwan and China."

After reading Chen's New Year address, I was really disappointed! In the 20th century, Taiwan endured hardships when it was colonized by Japan in the first half of the century, and again when it was ruled by the autocratic KMT in the second half of the century. Consequently, many Taiwanese have placed their hopes on the establishment and local political parties, hoping that local Taiwanese can have a chance to "become their own masters" (當家作主) and to steer this state (海洋國家) to sail on the world stage.

On March 18, 2000, the DPP's victory in the presidential election was only the beginning for Taiwan. The DPP government also brought new hope to this island when it was formed on May 20, 2000. However, seven months after the "rotation of political parties" (政黨輪替) was achieved, the DPP government has been stumbling and wavering along its way. Taiwanese who are pensive about the current situation must try to understand the internal and external difficulties the DPP government is facing. Meanwhile, each of us must exercise forbearance for the sake of the country in order to continuously uphold the "Taiwan spirit" (台灣精神). Thus, we must all make some concessions and be confident that the government will work to fulfill our hopes and dreams and lead Taiwan to a brighter future in the new century.

Unfortunately, Chen's New Year address clearly declared that Taiwan is heading back to the old path with the DPP government deciding to bow its neck to Beijing's "one China" (一個中國) principle. More seriously, when Chen uses his "hot face" against Beijing's "cold butts" (熱臉貼冷屁股), not only does China's government not appreciate his speech, but many Taiwanese are hurt by it as well.

China has always wanted to annex Taiwan using its hegemonic power. No matter how hard Chen tries, his attempts will never be recognized by Beijing. Despite Chen's goodwill, sincerity and humble attitude, Beijing officials still have the skeptical attitude of "listen to what he [Chen] says and observe his moves" (聽其言, 觀其行). In other words, the Chinese government does not believe Chen at all. In fact, the Chinese, including Taiwan's "mainlanders" -- the people who immigrated to Taiwan with the KMT after the war and their descendants -- have always looked down on Chen and the native Taiwanese. The chaos in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan over the past seven months is the result of these "anti-Chen" (打扁) legislators' lack of cooperation. The interpellation session in the Legislative Yuan has also become a forum for Taiwan's "mainlander" legislators to open their hearts to the Chinese government and to echo Beijing's voice. Even the opposition parties' reactions to Chen's New Year address were very similar to Beijing's, proving that they are actually "sharing the same views and following the same path" (志同道合).

What upsets me most is that Chen's address showed that the DPP government has made a compromise of capitulation under the pressure of Beijing's threats and the despotic power of the savage and absurd "opposition-alliance" (在野聯盟) in Taiwan. When Chen repeatedly stresses that "the people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same ancestral, cultural, and historical background," he is not only giving China a good excuse to annex Taiwan, but also making many Taiwanese feel scared about the possibility of reunification. Many Taiwanese people are still confused about the advantages and disadvantages of reunification.

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