Thu, Jun 14, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: The forgotten victim of communism

On Tuesday, a 3m “Goddess of Democracy” statue was erected in Washington by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in memory of the more than 100 million people who have died at the hands of the world’s various communist governments.

Taiwan, through the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, donated US$1 million to the monument. In fact, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation chairman Lee Edwards said that Taiwan was among the most generous donors.

But as Taiwan’s representative to Washington Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) correctly pointed out, the worth of the monument is its significance, not its cost.

To this day, Taiwan remains a victim of communism — or more specifically, a victim of the Chinese Communist Party. In addition to the military threat that China poses with its more than 900 missiles aimed at Taiwan, the nation is a frequent victim of Beijing’s saber-rattling and incessant attempts to prevent Taiwan’s participation in the international community.

Edwards said the Washington monument — dedicated on the 20th anniversary of then US president Ronald Reagan’s famous Berlin speech, during which he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”— was created not only to remember the millions who have died, but also to educate people about the worldwide impact of communism.

From our perspective, it is hoped that the erection of the statue will in some small way help to open the eyes of the numerous members of the international community who appear to harbor illusions about communist China. For, in their eagerness to gain a share of China’s massive market, foreign governments are often far too willing to curry favor with Beijing at the expense of democratic Taipei.

Continual compromise and kowtowing to China by the free nations of the world are not going to make Beijing’s bullies open up their society and embrace democracy.

This strategy has proven to be a complete and utter failure. Surely the most obvious way of encouraging the spread of democracy would be to support those democratic countries which stand up to the threat of communism?

At a conference held earlier this month in Prague, Czech Republic, on the subject of “Democracy and Security,” US President George W. Bush held up Taiwan as an example for the world to follow. He went on to make an indirect reference to the Martial Law era of the then Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government, contrasting it with the democracy Taiwan presently enjoys.

Indeed, Taiwan’s successful democratization stands as both its crowning achievement and its best means of protection against the threat posed by communist China.

And so, regardless of their political affiliation, Taiwan’s future leaders must put democracy first — because it is the most important of the many things that separate this country from China, where one quarter of the world’s population is enslaved by a communist dictatorship.

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