Sun, Mar 27, 2005 - Page 8 News List

March showed the will of Taiwan

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) indicated before yesterday's march that he "would not and cannot" be absent from the march and that he would take his entire family to join the people, to walk and stand by their side, and to be among them. He said he will "neither give any speech nor stand on the frontline." He said that in the 228 Hand-in-Hand rally last year, more than 2 million people demonstrated -- "hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart" -- to the international community the collective will of the Taiwanese people.

Through yesterday's march, the people of Taiwan would again voice the genuine hope of protecting Taiwan in peaceful and democratic ways, Chen said.

Before Chen made these statements, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) also said that "civil servants are unable to separate themselves from the destiny of Taiwan." He said that as part of the collective destiny of Taiwan the government should stand alongside the people. Hsieh also participated in yesterday's march. This was a demonstration of the collective will of the people of Taiwan to the international community and the Chinese regime.

Hsieh's comments subtly encouraged civil servants to participate in the march. As a result, the march was joined in by the ruling party, the central government and the Presidential Office. They joined the Taiwanese people in speaking their minds in a peaceful manner.

The participation of Chen and Hsieh should not be simply viewed as part of their personal activities. Their decision showed that they have come to realize that the theme of the march -- "peaceful and democratic protection of Taiwan" -- is the popular will.

In view of the situation both in and outside of Taiwan, Chen and Hsieh faced pressure not to participate. However, they still decided to walk with the crowd. Why? It was because the purpose of the march was the protection of the common destiny of the people of Taiwan.

On the surface, China's enactment of the "Anti-Secession" Law targets the "Taiwan independence forces." In reality, anyone who rejects unification is part of the "Taiwan independence forces." After the Anti-Secession Law began to surface in discussions, certain politicians within Taiwan have tried to draw the line by saying that this legislation -- which authorizes the use of force against Taiwan -- has nothing to do with them.

Once China adopts "non-peaceful means and other necessary measures" against Taiwan, these people believe they can stay away from the whole thing.

However, many moderate voters and grassroots members of the pan-blue camp participated in the march yesterday. This explains why the majority of the Taiwanese people have come to realize that the threat against Taiwan draws no distinctions between pan-green and pan-blue camps.

Recently, an association comprised of Mainlanders who consider themselves "Taiwanese" called on Mainlanders, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People's First Party (PFP) to transcend differences between pro-unification and pro-independence camps and the pan-blue and pan-green divisions, by participating in the march to express outrage about the Anti-Secession Law.

The association emphasized that human rights, democracy and peace have become values jointly treasured by all the people of Taiwan, including Mainlanders. Support for either unification or independence is a matter of personal choice and freedom. People who choose to support Taiwan's independence are not the "evil force" depicted by the Anti-Secession Law, but friends and family who share a life with us.

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