Wed, Jul 30, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letter

Soong enamored with PRC

One of PFP Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) favorite mantras is that we should put the economy first and politics second. Let us decode this statement to reveal its real meaning.

Soong frequently attacks President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) insistence on national security, his comment that there is one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait and the fact that the "one China" policy is unacceptable to the people of Taiwan. This is what Soong means by politics. This is what he criticizes about the interview Chen gave to the Far Eastern Economic Review ("Soong slams Chen over `FEER' interview," July 26, p. 4).

Based on what Soong says, the thing that matters most is economics, which, if we look again into his real meaning, means what is good for Taiwan-ese businesses operating in China. "Chen is provoking China at the expense of business," Soong said. So according to Soong, the security and prosperity of Taiwanese businesses in China are the only things that matter. As long as these businesses prosper, it doesn't matter whether the people of Taiwan lose their rights and freedoms; it doesn't matter if Taiwan loses its sovereignty.

For Soong and his supporters, the fact that the president of Taiwan is insisting on respect for the nation's sovereignty is somehow behavior that is provocative and out of bounds.

Soong speaks as if he were a young person in love. When a person is in love, the object of his affections can do no wrong. It would seem to be the case that Soong is in love with the PRC. He is constantly harping on the bad relationship between Taiwan and the PRC, always putting the blame on Taiwan's government. From Soong's perspective, any negative aspects of this relationship could never be Beijing's fault. Based on his past and present rhetoric, one would infer that Soong would even view the 450-plus missiles Beijing has aimed at Taiwan as somehow being Chen's fault. And this is why Soong behaves like a person in love -- the object of his affections could never be at fault.

People who follow this line of thinking are the biggest threat to the democracy in Taiwan, even more so than Beijing's missiles. They are willing to prostitute themselves, to turn Taiwan over to the enemy in order to obtain power and financial security, to get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow they see in the skies over China.

This is the thing that I find most disappointing in Taiwanese society -- that there are people like Soong, who will eagerly abandon sovereignty and the democratic ideals of Taiwan just for money and power. They don't have an iota of the spirit found in people who had to fight for their freedom and independence, the spirit embodied in mottos such as New Hampshire's state motto, "Live free or die," or the Spanish communist revolutionary slogan, "It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

It seems Soong and company would be happy to live on their knees, as long as they have a nice, fancy, plush, Chinese cushion to kneel on.

Taiwan is a wonderful country, but it is also somewhat strange in one respect. It is the only country I know of where a leading politician can consistently make remarks criticizing the government in a way which even in democratic countries would be considered unpatriotic at the least, yet not be thoroughly denounced as a traitor. Such a politician, who attacks the president and government in a way that mimics the political attacks from a hostile, foreign government, should be tossed out into the street and pelted with rotten produce.

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