Sat, Feb 17, 2001 - Page 8 News List


Farewell Taiwan

We've finally come to the historical turning point at which Taiwan will start sailing towards China's grasp. The world's consensus has been formed. In the early 1990s, didn't some European journalist make a comment to the effect that nobody can help Taiwan if she doesn't help herself?

President Chen [Shui-bian (陳水扁)] has been doing exactly the opposite. He has been telling the world that Taiwan is fine with the current arrangement and with the perspective of a future "one China." Chen has been telling the world not to bother siding with Taiwan. How in the world would any country risk the accusation of imperialism by speaking up for Taiwan, in spite of his "Don't bother" message?

Chen has proven that he has neither a deep vision for Taiwan nor an understanding of world politics. He has shown since his inauguration that he is a politician of convention, not one of conviction. As such, he doesn't know where he is leading the country. He will not accomplish anything visionary except for holding on to power for as long as he can. Involuntarily or not, he has been dragging Taiwan into China's hungry mouth.

Sing Young


DPP has to straighten up

If pompous rhetoric would solve the nuclear question -- see the article by Christopher Macdonald ("Nuclear power in its last hurrah," Feb. l2, page 8) -- then Taiwan could move on.

Unfortunately, the article offered no constructive suggestions on realistic alternatives, and while we might concede the obstructionist attitude of the KMT, it ignored the ideological rigidity that DPP has demonstrated in the face of a democratic, consensus favoring the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (核四) and the government's woeful but near complete incompetence generally.

To suggest that the latter will encourage the electorate to favor the DPP in the fall is folly. Without a change in what has been a totally sophomoric approach to governing, the country is doomed to four years of the current gridlock. A dangerous situation.

John Hanna

Taoyuan City

Language as a living tool

With reference to Paul Li's (李壬葵) article, ("We must fight to save Taiwan's languages," Feb. 2, page 12) and Martin Williams response ("Letter," Feb. 3, page 8), here is a proposal for saving Taiwan's Aboriginal languages.

Li and his colleagues should design programs to teach these languages -- not as dead languages, but as living languages, just like English and Mandarin. They should strive for the opportunities to teach these courses in universities and other institutions, and on radio and television programs. They should strive for the cooperation of Christian churches and Aboriginal elders of tribes for such courses and the help from singers like A-mei (張惠妹).

We should urge the government to support this initiative, not for any direct economic benefit, but simply because it is what our government should do. We should also try to get the support of various enterprises. No matter how many students will attend these courses, they should be maintained.

If nobody wants to publish the course material for Aboriginal languages, the government should do it. That is one of the reasons why we need a government. I know it is difficult and it's hard to find incentive to motivate people to learn these languages. But the government should try to let people know that learning an Aboriginal language is a matter of great pride.

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