Fri, Feb 25, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Dismantle the ROC

By Christian Lloyd Bell

The Republic of China (ROC) regime is problematic because it is misleading China and the global community. I agree with Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and those before him that a democratic China will help resolve cross-strait relations, but it is also imperative to get rid of the name "ROC" to decrease tensions and safeguard Taiwanese residents.

Also, international media reports about direct air links have misrepresented Taiwan's interests and this has been quite damaging. The direct flights across the Taiwan Strait during the Lunar New Year must be viewed only as temporary, and serve only as another olive branch extended by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to China. This is because Taiwan's security is foremost. China's ambitions are clear, and Taiwan should be gravely concerned and not let businesspeople and economics dictate foreign policy. It's time to deconstruct the relationship of rivalry between economics and politics.

It has always been China's goal to have full direct links with Taiwan, so that it can annex the island and its off-shore territories by having absolute personal contact on more than just an economic level. For security reasons, Taiwan maintains "mini-links" not only to keep China at a distance but also to acquire more time to facilitate nationhood. Although this approach seems inadequate to some Taiwanese it remains important. For example, direct links represent unification efforts by China and the pan-blue alliance, whereas "mini-links" are indicative of the self-determination movement of the pan-greens and their allies.

In my opinion, full direct links with China will not be possible until Taiwan has been integrated into the world community and its citizens afforded UN protection. China, Chinese in Taiwan and Taiwanese businessfolk are local and regional China-centered forces that are marginalizing Taiwan and maintaining ethnic strife. Counter-hegemony provides security for Taiwan's interests. Since most UN members have been coerced into the "one-China" policy, in effect shaping their foreign policy, Taiwan must safeguard its own national security and not let time play into China's hands.

Now it is important for the Taiwanese government to accelerate Taiwanization and abandon the make-believe ROC. This will be the only way to communicate to the democratic nations and their citizens that Taiwan is not controlled by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and is still engaged in a post-civil war milieu with the People's Republic of China.

This is pertinent because many people in Canada, for example, still think that Taiwan is a refuge for the iniquitous KMT and its authoritarian regime. The KMT and its ROC aid Chinese hegemony at work all over the globe.

The ROC cannot enable Taiwan to gain entry into the UN, nor can it remove the "one-China" principle from the foreign policy of other democratic nations. As an example, Canada's foreign ministry states: "Canada is not the only country with a `one China' policy, and we did not invent the concept. Even today, the government of Taiwan continues to adhere officially to this principle. The fact is that there is no mechanism allowing a country to officially recognize both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, as Taiwan persists in wanting to be called. Canada does not have diplomatic relations with the Republic of China." (Ms. Aileen Carroll, parliamentary secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs William Graham.)

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