Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's Mailbag

An encore letter from a reader who thinks that Taiwan would be shafted by China no matter how much kowtowing and “one China” pap we subscribe to. Remember Tiananmen? Remember Guangdong!

So much for loyalty

Dear Johnny,

On the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) being viewed by China as a Taiwan party (Johnny Neihu's Mailbag, Dec. 23, page 8): absolutely right. Now consider this.

Taiwan has a Communist Party loyal to Beijing and observes its holidays, etc (I met at least one member in China, where he visits constantly. Did a nice bit of calligraphy and then paused long and hard considering how to date it).

Suppose that this loyal-to-China party through a miracle swept elections in Taiwan, gaining super-majorities everywhere and putting their leader in as president.

At the inauguration, the president proclaims Taiwan's acceptance of a new status as Taiwan Province of the People's Republic of China.

Beijing's dream come true, no?

What would Beijing do? Of course, no one knows. But I think the most persuasive answer is this.

They would send their own people to Taiwan to "advise" the new government and "supervise" the police and military. They would carefully examine the membership of the local Communist Party, purge local leadership and install their own people (as they did in Guangdong in the early 1950s).

Even voluntary acceptance by locals and a sincere attempt to do what Beijing wanted would not be good enough. Chinese politics are based ultimately on personal connections. No one in Taiwan -- no matter how "Chinese" they imagine themselves to be -- will be trusted.

Something about this situation strikes me as surprising, paradoxical and deeply sad.

Arthur Waldron

Johnny replies: By Guangdong I assume you include Hainan, whose top communist heroes were murdered by Beijing. Yeah, that's a fun piece of "one country, buggered system" history that no Beijing cadre would like to discuss.

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