Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 8 News List


ROC as relevant as the dodo

Changing the names of Taiwan's businesses to erase references to China is a great idea that should have been done long ago. Who, apart from locals would know or believe that China Airlines does not even fly to China? It is both ridiculous and confusing. These companies are an unwelcome reminder of the post-civil war era when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) still harbored foolish dreams of one day returning to its beloved motherland. Pan-blue politicians and supporters will inevitably complain that this is President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) latest maneuver in his independence-by-stealth campaign. But this is just the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) way of gradually erasing the fallacy that is the Republic of China (ROC) from the view of the world and it should be congratulated.

Who but the pitiful KMT and their supporters could deny the Taiwanese people the chance to assert some form of identity for themselves and their nation, after a century or more of repression and imposition from different peoples? Those who still believe in a ROC and that Taiwan is a part of today's China should be given the chance to move back to their homeland across the Taiwan strait. There they will realize that apart from economic growth, things are not as rosy as they seem -- especially if they practice Falun Gong, protest against social justice, set up a labor union, or try to run as a candidate for democracy in China's sham local elections. They are more used to authoritarian rule, where money talks, loyalty is rewarded over talent, and you do as we say, or you go to prison. They are still finding it hard to adjust to the hard-won democracy that the people of Taiwan have achieved.

The ROC is about as relevant today as the dodo. And those who endlessly carp on about it are living in denial. Does Mexico still consider itself the legitimate government of the western part of America? Does Germany still lay claim to Austria and the other lands it conquered during the course of World War II? Of course not. Wars are won and lost, governments fall, and (some) people admit defeat.

No wonder KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) cannot bring himself to admit defeat in the presidential election, when the very society he lives in has failed to admit the death of an institution that occurred over 50 years ago. It's about time those whiners realize how lucky they are not to be living on the other side of the Strait and admit the reality of their situation. They do not live in China anymore, and deny it as they might Taiwan is a sovereign, independent nation in all but international status. And changing the name of a few institutions is just one of the first steps in the journey to finally ridding Taiwan of its unwelcome legacy.

Richard Hazeldine


Aussies not on China's side

The Taipei Times does its credibility a disservice by publishing Yang Chih-heng's article ("Australia siding with China in the Pacific," Dec. 8, page 8).

Australia, as the donor of relatively large amounts of foreign aid, has its own very real and genuine concerns as to how Vanuatu is be governed, and ensuring that such liquid aid is being allocated with probity and transparency. The timing of her actions in the South Pacific were no doubt dictated by the increase in instability in the island nation's political scene -- an instability that Taiwan itself has utilized to attain recognition from yet another a foreign nation.

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