Fri, Aug 19, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Ma's not fit to rule

By Chen Ming-chung

To compare the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), one only has to compare the 228 Incident with the Tiananmen Massacre.

Like his counterparts in the CCP, KMT chairman-elect Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) charm includes giving small favors in exchange for great chunks of political capital. One example is his mild criticism of Beijing's "Anti-Secession" Law, which, though costing him a Hong Kong visa, earned him good words from some media outlets, and a degree of trust from "middle" voters who hope he can stand up to China.

But deep down he is a fraud.

To say that Taiwan can begin to talk about unification with China only if the CCP reverses its verdict on Tiananmen -- his true intention in any case -- is like saying that the KMT would only have to reverse its own verdict on the 228 Incident to rule Taiwan in perpetuity.

The KMT has never apologized for the 228 Incident, which was a massive crime against humanity. The apology was rather offered by a maverick president, Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was later expelled by the KMT. Restitution was paid by the wrong party -- Taiwanese taxpayers -- who had nothing to do with committing such horrendous crimes.

While the Democratic Progressive Party administration has had to remove officials and apologize because of there being too much rain and because of problems with infrastructure that have been neglected for decades, the KMT's murderers have never even recognized the crimes of 228, nor the White Terror that followed.

The CCP's reversal of verdict on the Tiananmen Massacre is no more important than a KMT reversal on 228. For Ma, however, there would be nothing better than the KMT giving a small favor such as a "verdict reversal" to entrench KMT authoritarianism all over again, and never have to transfer power to another party.

So, thanks but no thanks. Until the CCP transfers its power to a democratic system, no talk on unification is needed or will be allowed by Ma's real boss -- the Taiwanese. Until Ma apologizes for the KMT's horrendous crimes during 228 and the White Terror and does so sincerely, and until he recognizes the right of the Taiwanese to determine their own future, he is unfit to lead Taiwan.

Chen Ming-chung

Chicago, Illinois

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