Sun, Apr 24, 2005 - Page 8 News List

To achieve a lasting peace, defy aggression

By Chang Hsi-mo張錫模

"Uphold peace across the Taiwan Strait" is perhaps the most popular catchphrase that Taiwanese politicians like to chant nowadays. However, upholding "peace" has also become the most plausible excuse to justify their immorality.

Most Taiwanese are doubtless peace-loving and averse to war because human lives are priceless. Respecting and caring about human life is the most precious quality that the Taiwanese possess and the Chinese government lacks. In view of this, Taiwanese people do not want any war in the Strait.

Although war is abhorrent, the ultimate evils are autocracy and aggression, rather than war itself. If we are peace-loving out of our passion and respect for life, then we have to admit that there is only one cause that can justify war: the protection of human freedom.

If anyone or any country attempts to strip the Taiwanese of their freedom and enslave them to a regime, the Taiwanese will also rise up and fight.

However, in Taiwan nowadays there are no politicians from the governing party willing to promise to fight for the life and freedom of the Taiwanese. Rather, they have followed in the footsteps of the opposition parties and jumped on the "peace" bandwagon.

How can peace be ensured? China's aggression is what threatens peace across the Strait. Unless Beijing is willing to renounce its aggression against Taiwan, there is no way that Taiwan's politicians can guarantee peace.

Defined by the communist regime, the status quo across the Taiwan strait is that the two sides remain in a state of civil war. Moreover, Beijing has never considered the status quo peaceful -- it defines the status quo merely as a ceasefire. Unless Taiwan surrenders or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) disintegrates, Beijing will never be willing to re-define the cross-strait situation. A state of war or at least a ceasefire is the reality of the status quo across the Strait.

The peace-loving Taiwanese do not like this kind of status quo. But they have to understand that there are only two possibilities that can change the status quo: the disintegration of the violence-loving Chinese regime, or the surrender of Taiwan to this autocratic regime. If politicians claiming to be peacemakers fail to strongly demand that Beijing renounce its autocratic rule and practice democracy, they will only lead the Taiwanese to submit themselves to China's authoritarian regime.

The problem is that submission cannot bring lasting peace. Instead, it encourages more aggression and leads to the death of the human spirit. We cannot call the devastation of the soul created by an authoritarian regime a state of peace.

Many Jews who were slaughtered during the Holocaust had put down their guns and submitted to Hitler's aggression. In view of this historical tragedy, former Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol once pointed out that what is more wicked than violence is to succumb to violence.

Such wickedness is now in vogue in Taiwan. Rather than asking Beijing to pursue democracy, politicians only speak about how they can bring peace. But in doing so they are encouraging Taiwanese people to give in to China's tyrannical regime. Although they may cloak their words in the garment of peace, they are advocating a submission to violence.

Capitulation to violence only feeds further tyranny and aggression. It is a pity that both the governing and opposition parties in Taiwan have decided to adopt this morally bankrupt strategy. Whether or not the Taiwanese can resist the siren call of peace will determine the fate of their hard-won freedom and democracy.

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