Wed, Aug 30, 2006 - Page 8 News List

No one is forced to live among Taiwanese

By Cao Changqing 曹長青

Last week, Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒), a political commentator with a pro-independence stance and who moved to Taiwan from China with his parents as a child, was physically attacked on a political talkshow that was broadcast live across the nation, then shown again many times over in the days that followed the incident.

The attacker was another Mainlander: the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lin Cheng-chieh (林正杰).

This shocking and outrageous event, broadcast repeatedly on TV over the past few days, clearly points to two fundamental factors behind conflict in Taiwan.

The problem facing Taiwan is not a problem of ethnicity, but rather of identity. And the behavior of those who do not identify with Taiwan is outrageously arrogant.

Chin, a Mainlander, sees Taiwan as his country and he has expressed his love for the nation by writing prolifically and attending numerous debates.

Lin, on the other hand, does business in Shanghai, and according to a report by the China Press, a New York-based, pro-Beijing Chinese-language newspaper, loves China so much that he has "visited almost every province in the mother country."

Clearly, Lin does not call Taiwan home.

And while no one is going to force Lin to identify with Taiwan, no one is stopping him from moving to a country he does identify with, either.

Yet he is so arrogant about his beliefs that he not only assaulted someone on live TV over a difference of opinion, but also threatened to repeat the attack if Chin did not change his ways.

It is understandable that many people who live in Taiwan identify strongly with China either because they spent their youth there or because of the manner in which they have been educated.

If they are unable to love Taiwan as much as other Mainlanders such as Chin, Taiwan's representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉), the Taiwan Solidarity Union's Taipei mayoral candidate Clara Chou (周玉簆) or political commentator Huang Kuang-chin (黃光芹), then this is their choice.

However, it is likely that any normal person who chooses to live in a country with which they do not identify will be unhappy.

Taiwan has been a refuge for many Chinese who have fallen foul of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), helping them to avoid being killed or imprisoned for 20 years -- like Lin's own father.

As a result, although it is not where they were born, many Mainlanders have come to love Taiwan.

Lin and others of his ilk who refuse to identify with Taiwan but still choose to live here are irrational.

The fact that a person like this has the gumption to assault another who expresses an opinion different to his own is unacceptable.

This self-important and overbearing attitude is the result of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) "master" mentality, the pan-blue camp's slim legislative majority and its ability to use the judiciary to its advantage.

It is also a result of the pan-blue camp having a powerful cheer squad in the form of sympathetic media outlets and, of course, the CCP.

Despite the current political turmoil, those who love Taiwan will never resort to the use of violence.

In a democracy, those who take a civilized approach will always be the winners.

Cao Changqing is a freelance journalist based in the US.

Translated by Daniel Cheng

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