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 (
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 (
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.
There is no reason to believe that these politicians and parties will see the error of their ways and turn their energies back to finding a future for Taiwan. Nevertheless, one thing is certain, and that is that these pro-China politicians will gradually lose the support of the electorate.
Ultimately, the conclusion is not too difficult to predict. Eventually, these pro-China politicians will find themselves shunned in Taiwanese society, and they will only have themselves to blame, as they have turned their backs on mainstream public opinion and the national interest. To put it another way, their actions are akin to driving against the tide of democratization and localization, and this is tantamount to political suicide. It will be very difficult for them to claw their way back from this.
The most detestable part of all this is that this small group of pro-China politicians is well aware of the fact that China has only one thing in mind for Taiwan -- to swallow it whole. Any contact or exchange, any gesture of goodwill, is geared to the same end.
Either the blue camp has had the wool pulled over their eyes, falling hook, line and sinker for China's "goodwill," thinking that the advantages might outweigh the disadvantages, or they actually want to cooperate with the CCP simply to gain power for themselves and to unite with Beijing against independence forces.
Recently, the KMT has made no bones about the fact that they intend to cooperate with Beijing, and it is quite evident this is all about gaining power back in 2008. China only has one thing in mind for Taiwan, and this is a far cry from a "strategic alliance." The so-called goodwill and advantages to be had are merely bait hanging from the hook: the blues are looking to Red China for support, but in the end they will discover that they have been dreaming.
When the KMT regime still ruled Taiwan, it constantly trumpeted the need to "retake the mainland," and painted the communist regime as villainous and bandit-like, insisting that only by obliterating the regime could they save their compatriots. This sort of anti-communist propaganda can now be regarded as ridiculous, but in the context of the nationalist-communist conflict, it fit the circumstances of the time.
Historically, the conflict in which the two sides were engaged was conducted with the utmost viciousness, caused thousands of deaths and planted the seeds of enduring enmity. Even if we put history aside, China's ambitions to extinguish Taiwan's existence has not diminished. In any case, the government of the People's Republic of China remains our implacable enemy.
To put it another way, the enmity between the blue camp and the Chen administration is conducted through a peaceful competition between political parties under a democratic system and reflects the variety of views among the electorate. The enmity with China is one that exists under the threat of military force, and is a case of "us or them."
It is inexplicable that the KMT sees fit to put aside its historical feud with the CCP, disregard its military threat, and join the enemy under the banner of "peace, nationalism and ethnic harmony" simply to get the upper hand on the current administration.
Taiwan's "go west" policy greatly assisted China's economic development, which gave it the strength and resources to expand its military establishment to threaten Taiwan. Through the "go west" policy we may be sowing the seeds of our own destruction.
Currently, some pro-China politicians and parties are trying to promote another wave of "go west" fever, pushing democratic Taiwan toward an economic policy that leans toward China, and that would allow it to fall under its control. If they achieve this goal, that will certainly lead to Taiwan's demise. The majority of Taiwanese are not willing to simply sit back and watch the spread of this "China fever," as it poses a threat to the nation's survival.
Translated by Paul Cooper and Ian Bartholomew
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