Sun, Jan 02, 2005 - Page 8 News List

The crisis is of our own making

By the Liberty Times editorial

As China's National People's Congress prepares to review an anti-secession bill, Beijing has released a white paper on defense in which no effort was spared to intimidate Taiwan.

According to the white paper, "China will never allow anyone to split Taiwan from China in any manner or form. If the Taiwan regime boldly proceeds with a major independence campaign, the Chinese people and armed forces will do everything within their power to crush the plot with unwavering determination at all costs."

The simultaneous release of the white paper with the push for an anti-secession law suggests that Beijing is raising the heat against Taiwan using a threat of war to bully it into submission.

Since 1995, Beijing has released five defense white papers, three of which were released after Taiwan had its first transfer of political power in 2000 and a native consciousness became part of mainstream thinking.

The central theme in China's Taiwan policy has been none other than warning that once Taiwan declares its independence, the Chinese people will crush Taiwan's claim in order to protect Chinese sovereignty.

The threats and coercion contained in the white paper this time around are really no exception.

Yet there is no real change in the level of threatening language, so there is really nothing special about it.

However, the fact that the white paper has been released while Beijing is seeking to enact an anti-secession law does suggest there is growing worry in Beijing about the direction Taiwan is taking.

Thus, although China is unable to stop the trend toward self-determination displayed by the Taiwanese people, it is still vainly attempting to counter the popular will by turning up the volume with its threats.

Every step of the process by which Taiwanese seek to establish a normal country -- nativization, a referendum, arms procurements, name rectification and a new constitution -- was labeled by the white paper as "the obvious intensification of the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) regime's deliberate challenge to the status quo that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the same `one China' and the movement toward Taiwan independence and the splitting of Taiwan from China."

The white paper went on to state that "[Chen] continually promotes the splittist stance of `one country on each side' of the Taiwan Strait, uses the referendum to engage in splittist activities, incites the people of the island [sic] to resent the Chinese mainland and purchases offensive arms on a large scale. It has not given up on heading for Taiwan's independence through drafting a so-called `new constitution of Taiwan' and is still waiting for the opportunity to instigate a major incident relating to Taiwan independence through so-called constitutional and political re-engineering."

The things that are being rejected and criticized by the white paper are the core of Taiwan's democratic reforms -- the most precious accomplishment in Taiwan's history.

The white paper essentially suggests that Taiwan can be free of Chinese threats only if it relinquishes democracy and its sovereign status, returns to the embrace of authoritarian rule and accepts the "one China" principle.

However, once Taiwan accepts the "one China" principle, and gives up its democratic reforms, it would be no different from returning to a prehistoric jungle and becoming the political, economic and cultural slave of China.

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