Fri, Dec 24, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Call for a joint China-Taiwan election

By Henry Ting丁士康

Everyone is exclaiming in shock and surprise at the results of Taiwan's legislative elections. They cannot figure out how the clueless Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its ally the People First Party (PFP) could have withstood the challenges posed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Neither foresaw the mood of the majority of Taiwan's people, whose first priorities have long been peace and prosperity.

None of the political parties in Taiwan have a platform or strategy that takes into consideration the aspirations of the middle class. The verdict of this election is not a victory for the pan-blue camp, but rather a somber defeat of the pan-green camp. This political trend will continue to solidify in future elections.

The DPP counted on its ability to fan the fire of passion in its constituents for Taiwan's identity and independence. They woefully failed to realize the majority of people in Taiwan are conservative and middle class, whose major concerns politically are security and economical opportunity. Their concern for peace and prosperity is far more important than the reckless rhetoric about a national referendum and separation from China. They believe that constitutional amendments will not make any difference to their pocketbooks or security.

People in Taiwan are well aware that current and future US administrations are not going to support an independence movement in Taiwan due to the more pressing urgency of the global anti-terrorist campaign.

The elections serve as a wake-up call for Taiwan's political parties to clear their thoughts and pursue a better long-term political objective for Taiwan. Both parties have long ignored that the essence of democracy is to have a clear vision for the well-being of Taiwan's people.

It would be beneficial for Taiwan -- both politically and economically -- to call for a national referendum so that all the people of China and Taiwan can jointly decide important issues affecting them within a certain period of time; for instance, 30 years from now, in 2034.

For these 30 years all political parties -- including the KMT and DPP, as well as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and other political parties and groups -- could be allowed to participate in open and transparent political debates and campaigns to convince people of their plans for the future of China and Taiwan.

Then all the legitimate political parties will be allowed in the year 2034 to test their ideas in a general election for all the people in China and Taiwan.

It is not pure fantasy to say this when you look at China's present political situation, where Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and his administration are losing, intentionally and unintentionally, the characteristics of their predecessors in term of absolute power and perennial dictatorship. As a result, their resistance will be limited and subject to a lack of intensity and fanaticism.

The KMT would have everything to gain in the long run to seek an eventual power base. The DPP which has a perfect ally in Hong Kong's Democratic Party, which is making a lot of noise for a direct plebiscite by 2007. The party should come to the realization that an independent Taiwan, in this close geographic proximity to China, will never have a chance for a peaceful and stable settlement in the Taiwan Strait. Any wishful thinking for an outright foreign intervention in this part of world is vanishing fast in this international environment of global anti-terrorism.

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