Fri, Mar 30, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letter: On the road to decolonization

By Huang Jei-hsuan

Hurdles abound on the road to Taiwan's decolonization.

For starters, Taiwan's domestic purveyors of Chinese colonialism have to be politically humbled. Only by thoroughly dispiriting these people to the extent that they abandon all hope of unifying Taiwan with China can they be forced to resign themselves to the notion that their future -- as well as that of their off-spring -- lies in either Taiwan or China, but not both.

In this way, transitional justice -- the key to Taiwan's decolonization -- could be implemented properly.

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his party have done all they can to impede the progress of transitional justice, claiming that it will cause ethnic strife.

The real source of the party's fear of transitional justice is that it would in fact alleviate the collective angst of Taiwan's "Mainlander" minority -- thereby accelerating the dissolution of a KMT voting bloc.

This KMT-perpetuated "Mainlander" siege mentality, a perverted phobia against decolonization, and the party's stolen assets constitute the two pillars that shore up the KMT -- a party that ultimately advocates selling out Taiwan at some point.

The fact that a political party like this is allowed to survive -- thrive even -- suggests that Taiwanese society is in feeble health.

Decolonization's success depends on the disruption of this outrage to democracy.

Beijing's designs on Taiwan aside, Tokyo and Washington should support Taiwan's decolonization in the interest of lasting peace in the region -- which is in keeping with their national security interests.

The relevance of Taiwan's decolonization to Tokyo is evident from recent remarks made by Shoichi Nakagawa, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who said: "If something goes awry in Taiwan in the next 15 years, then within 20 years Japan might become just another one of China's provinces. If Taiwan comes under China's complete rule, Japan could be next."

What's left unsaid is that, in the process, a war involving China, Japan, Taiwan and the US would inevitably have taken place. Millions would have suffered.

US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack's recent remarks against Taiwan's renaming of state-run enterprises notwithstanding, history -- and the US' own colonial past -- could have justified Washington's support for Taiwan's decolonization efforts.

A case in point is what happened in Taiwan around the time of Japan's surrender at the end of World War II or, more precisely, the US' role in what transpired before and after the 228 Incident.

The then Supreme Allied Command, being fully appraised of Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) dismal human-rights record, agreed to Chiang's occupation of Taiwan -- a region hostile to Chiang's army.

The US military reportedly provided aegis to boats bearing Taiwan-bound Chinese occupation forces -- including those arriving in Taiwan eight days after the 228 Incident with specific orders to commence slaughtering of unarmed Taiwanese civilians.

What's astonishing is how indifferent the US government was to the fate of Taiwanese cowering under incessant gunfire during the weeks the KMT army carried out its "island-wide cleansing" to systematically rid Taiwan of political leadership and stamp out potential dissidents.

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