Thu, Dec 02, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Mainlanders, cast off your shackles

By Paul Lin 林保華

Both my wife and I are well aware of this situation. I am from China, and my wife is a second generation Mainlander. Taiwanese in New York generally assume that we both support the pan-blues. In the last election we voted for the greens and, in addition to receiving threatening phone calls, we were also reproached in the streets for this. Just as I was branded a traitor by the Chinese communists, so was I condemned by some Taiwanese pan-blue supporters. Naturally, I find it very strange that they see eye to eye with Beijing on this.

So what did I actually turn my back on? I turned my back on the inhumane dictatorial system of the Chinese Communist Party.

After I arrived in Hong Kong, despite never specifically supporting independence for Taiwan, I never actually opposed it. During my 21 years in China I learned the real meaning of the fact that human rights are more important than who controls a country.

After I got to Hong Kong, I was against the return of its sovereignty to China, and the reason I respect Taiwan's right to choose its own future is that I would hope that others respect my right to do the same for myself.

So why did I finally choose to support the green camp? First, when China fired missiles into the seas off Taiwan in 1996, and with their subsequent threats of military force, it became clear to me that they had cut off their own route to achieving a peaceful unification.

Taiwan, however, wants to survive, and must therefore seek to be internationally recognized as a sovereign nation. Second, after losing the 2000 presidential election, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), in an exercise of self-preservation, turned his back on Lee's drive toward localization and started seeing things the same way as China.

If we had supported them, we would not only have been traitors to the people of Taiwan, but also to the democratic movement within China.

It was for these reasons that I came out as a supporter of those who represented peace and a democratic transition within Taiwan. In order to face the increasing threats from China; to prevent Taiwan's democratic, political and economic achievements being trampled on; and how to stop these dictators from swallowing up Taiwan is not only the responsibility of the people of Taiwan, it is the sacred duty of the people of China and of Chinese living abroad.

In the legislative elections the blue camp is naturally fielding Mainlander candidates. The fact that the greens have a number of second-generation Mainlanders has special significance. In addition to the DPP's Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) seeking another term, the TSU is putting up Yin Chien-ying (尹餞瑛), Ling Tzu-chu (凌子楚) and Liu I-de (劉一德). If these candidates are elected it will be a great blow for the politicians who are trying to use ethnic differences to their advantage. It will also be a new development for the political scene in Taiwan, following the establishment of the Goa-Seng-Lang Association for Taiwanese Independence, and will be good for ethnic integration.

Taiwan's food production feeds its 23 million inhabitants, and its mountains, rivers and blue skies provide spiritual nourishment. If Taiwan is to have a bright future, the Mainlanders living there have to remove their psychological shackles, join hands with us, and welcome a new beginning.

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