Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 8 News List

China lives down to expectations

By Bruce Jacobs 家博

Last Friday's speech by the fourth-ranked Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader, Jia Qinglin (賈慶林), clearly demonstrates that China still does not understand Taiwan. Although it was a major statement commemorating the 10th anniversary of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin's (江澤民) so-called Eight Points, the speech said little that was new. Other than giving a few hints about China's proposed anti-secession law, the speech uses racist argumentation and falsehoods to make its case.

Jia begins by noting how Jiang reiterated the policies of "peaceful unification" and "one country, two systems" -- policies which came from Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平). According to Jia, everything was fine until the mid-1990s when Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) pushed the "separatist activities" of creating "two Chinas" and "one China, one Taiwan."

Jia said that Jiang's eight points "supported the principle of one China, the foundation and prerequisite for achieving peaceful unification."

But the speech did not recognize that such a prerequisite would end negotiations before they began. This renders meaningless the subsequent statement that "under the prerequisite of one China, we can discuss any topic."

Perhaps the most disappointing feature of Jia's speech is its use of racist argumentation. He claims that Taiwanese are Chinese because of their "bones and flesh" and states, "the 21st century is the century of the Chinese people achieving a great renaissance," a "great renaissance that is the joint desire of all Chinese sons and daughters."

Such racist language goes back to Sun Yat-sen's (孫中山) theory of nationalism. Adolf Hitler also used such logic. In the 21st century, most people -- including those in Taiwan -- realize that nations cannot be founded on racist principles. At other times, of course, it is argued that China is a multi-national country, including such non-Han peoples as the Tibetans, Mongols, Uighurs and the Zhuang, but such inconsistency does not seem to bother China's rulers.

The one new point in Jia's speech is his short discussion of the proposed "Anti-Secession National Law" (反分裂國家法). He says, "This law will codify as law the policies which our party and government have implemented for more than 20 years to achieve a peaceful solution to the Taiwan question using the basic policies of peaceful unification and `one country, two systems' and the Eight Points."

According to Jia, "This law will also make clear that all the Chinese people will defend the nation's sovereignty and its territorial integrity, and that they absolutely will not accept `Taiwan independence' separatist forces using any name or any method to separate Taiwan from China."

Jia says that in the early 1990s, Taiwan accepted the "1992 consensus" in which both sides agreed to "one China, with each side making its own interpretation." Originally, China denied that such a 1992 consensus existed, only saying in late 2001 that such a consensus had been agreed to, during Taiwan's legislative elections when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said as much. At that time, Su Chi (蘇起), a former KMT official who later served as vice-chairman and chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), maintained that such a consensus existed, but people in the MAC looked for evidence and found none.

Finally, Jia argues that we "advocate the new path of developing relations across the straits with Taiwan's political parties, groups and representative personages to seek discussions and the resolution of problems."

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