Mon, May 02, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Attaining peace is simple if you capitulate

By Paul Lin 林保華

Disregarding the serious domestic conflict in Taiwan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) set his mind on making his pilgrimage to Beijing. He has dubbed the trip a "visit for peace" and duped the Taiwanese people by posing as an angel of peace. Peace visits don't come cheaper than this: As long as he is willing to capitulate before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), achieving peace will be the simplest of things.

For years now, Lien and his generation have seen how China has been making military threats at Taiwan, without trying to unite the Taiwanese people in resistance against the enemy, but rather revelling in the disaster and seeing it as paving the way for their "peaceful surrender.

When Lien and his generation have been advocating unification, have they then been advocating having the Taiwanese democracy join the Chinese dictatorship, or the Chinese dictatorship joining the Taiwanese democracy? Having the democracy join the dictatorship, of course. If not, it would have been "a visit for democracy" instead of a "visit for peace. There are two fundamental reasons why Lien does not want a visit for democracy.

First, Taiwan's democratic elections have led to a transition of government, and although the long-time ruler, the KMT, has lost two elections under Lien, he refuses to pass on the leadership, and he also refused to attend President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) presidential inauguration. Filled with hatred, Lien has also used the pan-blue camp's legislative majority and ignored national interests by resorting to a scorched-earth policy that has destroyed good things with the bad. This all proves his inability to accept democracy.

Second, if the KMT wants to regain their hold on power, they can wait for future presidential elections. Lien, however, cannot wait too long if he himself wants the top seat, and that is why he must join hands with the communists against Taiwan. He therefore has to accept the ideologies of the CCP's dictatorship, and he will not promote any ideas of democracy and freedom or demand that the CCP adopt political reform.

Even if Lien is given the same presidential treatment as former US president Bill Clinton and is given the opportunity to speak at Peking University, these two points guarantee that he will not follow Clinton in praising the universal virtues of freedom and human rights or criticizing China's persecution of religious followers, minorities or political dissidents.

And by the same token, it is unthinkable that he will promote Taiwan's democracy to the Chinese people. He may even go so far as to label Taiwan's democracy populist, since he was not elected president.

There are many historical examples to back a claim that "peace visits" are deceitful. When, on the eve of World War II, Western countries sold out the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Germany in the name of peace, they got not peace, but war. In 1973, then-US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, member of the Vietnamese Communist Party's Politburo, negotiated a ceasefire between the US and North Vietnam for which they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

After Le declined the prize, the Vietnamese broke the peace agreement and by 1975 had captured all of Vietnam. Trying to establish peace with Nazis and Communists is like asking a tiger to hand over its skin -- an impossibility.

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