Wed, Sep 05, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters

Truth will set Taiwan free

On Aug. 30, Dennis Wilder, special assistant to US President George W. Bush and the top Asia specialist on the US National Security Council, said that "Taiwan, or the Republic of China, is not at this point a state in the international community. The position of the United States government is that the Republic of China (ROC), is an issue undecided, and it has been left undecided, as you know, for many, many years."

Wilder used the terms "Taiwan" and "the Republic of China" interchangeably.

Apparently, what he meant to say was that Taiwan "is an issue undecided."

He said this because of the simple fact that the ROC, which was once a state, has ceased to exist internationally while Taiwan has never existed as an internationally recognized state.

He also said that UN membership required "statehood," reinforcing Washington's concern that the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) UN bid using the name "Taiwan" is "a step towards the declaration of independence" as US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte warned earlier.

Through the words of these two officials, Washington has finally clarified Taiwan's status and driven the final nails into the ROC coffin.

Washington might have pushed all political parties in Taiwan into a corner where they can prosper only by advocating de jure independence or by joining the Taiwan independence movement. If Taiwan is not a state, the first priority of any self-respecting political party would be nation building. The "status quo" is no longer a viable option for Taiwan now that it is equated to statelessness.

The immediate casualty is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) ultimate goal of "unifying" the ROC with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Given the fact that the ROC doesn't exist, Ma and the company can at most advocate the "annexation" of Taiwan by China, a cyanide pill for the KMT. An even bigger victim is the raison d'etre of the KMT in Taiwan.

It has now been made clear now that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and the KMT, after occupying Taiwan at the invitation of the US military at the end of World War II, became just an armed political group without a nation in 1971 when Chiang's representative abandoned the ROC seat in the UN. Washington formalized this when it severed diplomatic ties with Chiang's ROC and established diplomatic relations with the PRC in 1979. In short, the ROC ceases to exist from that point on in the eyes of all major countries in the world.

Consequently, the legitimacy of the KMT's occupation of Taiwan, once on shaky grounds since it first set foot on Taiwan's soil in 1945, disappeared completely in 1979. Washington's latest clarification might have finally awakened Taiwanese -- especially those who still vote with the pan-blue camp in spite of the reality that Taiwan was ruled illegitimately from 1979 by a renegade armed gang from China: the KMT.

Compared to the KMT clinging to a shattered legitimacy in Taiwan, the DPP doctrines came out relatively unscathed. Washington and the DPP concur on the fate of the ROC and the need to deepen democracy in Taiwan. The only part of Taiwan's status they don't see eye to eye on seems to be whether or not Taiwan is an independent state.

Both President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) made that assertion because Taiwan, if viewed internally, has de facto independence and they believe that Taiwan only needs to be "normalized."

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