Sun, Jul 17, 2005 - Page 8 News List

China's `goodwill' threatens Taiwan

By the Liberty Times editorial

Now that a delegation from the New Party has finally paid a visit to China, the chairmen of all three main opposition parties have had their turn. No sooner had Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) left Chinese soil was he was followed by People First Party (PFP), chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜). Hot on their heels was New Party leader Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), who chose July 7, the anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident that marked the beginning of the second Sino-Japanese war, for his "journey for the Chinese nation."

The Chinese refer to the war as the War of Resistance against Japanese aggression, and despite the fact that the Chinese communists also battled with the KMT while fighting against Japanese forces, Yok praised the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its "great achievement" of "fighting together with us to resist Japanese aggression."

The "China fever" that the pan-blue camp is in the midst of has caused confusion about Taiwan's status in the international community. This led President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), in a meeting with former US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Randall Schriver, to reiterate that despite the China visits, the Taiwanese people understand that China is not sincere in wanting to improve cross-strait relations.

They knew, he said, that the whole affair was simply designed to further the cause of unification and create divisions within Taiwanese society so the "China fever" would endure. Chen emphasized that China's actions has made it clear to the Taiwanese that they should carve out their own future.

All three pan-blue chairmen, regardless of how relevant they are on the Taiwanese political scene, were treated by the Chinese as if they were visiting diplomats. The New Party does not enjoy much support, and this trip was far less newsworthy than the story of top model Lin Chih-ling's (林志玲) horse-riding accident in Dalian, China. Nevertheless, the moment the delegation set foot in China it was given a rapturous welcome, and Yok even got to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), albeit for a shorter period of time than that given to either Lien or Soong.

From the first-class treatment the New Party delegation received, to the praise Hu heaped on Yok for his anti-Taiwan independence viewpoint, it seems that China has already made considerable headway in its goal of pulling in the pan-blue camp and causing divisions within Taiwanese society.

These politicians and the parties they represent -- who have changed their stance regarding the "one China" principle -- mistakenly think that this contact with China will win them political points. These politicians have come off worse in two successive presidential elections and are witnessing their political parties slowly coming apart at the seams. They now feel they are above political stunts such as kissing Taiwanese soil and are seeking their glory on the soil of Red China.

However, as Chen said, history has shown us that anyone who secures the favor and support of Beijing is unlikely to hold on to their popularity for long within Taiwan, and will gradually be pushed out. A helping hand from China is no help at all.

It is difficult to say whether or not "China fever" will cool down in Taiwan. In the past an interest in China resulted in the migration of Taiwanese manufacturing, and even though this has dealt a serious blow to our economy, the government has yet to come up with an adequate strategy to stem the flow.

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