Sun, Jan 13, 2008 - Page 8 News List

LETTER: Voting for Taiwan's demise

When I was told I should prepare for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) winning the presidential election in March, I acknowledged that it was a possibility. I pointed out that once the KMT takes hold of Taiwan, it would use the nation as a lever, trading sovereignty for some opportunity to get into China.

After all, for the past 50 years, Taiwan has been nothing more to the KMT than a piggy bank and parking space, as the party's dream has always been to return to China.

For the other half of Taiwan, there is no going "back." There is only here. The problem is "here" never seems to be enough. Many Taiwanese long to be part of something bigger, something powerful. This accounts in some way for the strange fascination and appreciation that some have for developments at the hands of the Japanese colonialists -- if they could overlook the death, destruction and cultural genocide the Japanese wrought.

By the same token, some Taiwanese appreciate the KMT dictatorship for the contributions the party had made to the economy and industrial development. However, they do not welcome the prejudice, the racism and the derogatory attitude toward people considered "too Taiwanese" that persists to this day.

So what are we faced with? Two months from the election, and we still don't know what KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will do, not "for" but "to" Taiwan. Will he surrender to China? Possibly. Will he fight China? Never. Will he dissect Taiwan, allowing it to be raped slowly by China, in exchange for the KMT scions returning to China as kings and kingmakers, as wealthy owners and directors, setting up a new network of loyal KMT legions?

All of this will be done at the expense of Taiwan. After all, Taiwan is merely a bargaining chip, something to be thrown in as part of some deal -- a deal that may already have been made. For the KMT, Taiwan is not something of value, not a place to stay in, but only a place worth leaving. And with Ma comes the opportunity to finally find a place in the sun in China once again.

Yes, cross-strait tensions will lessen, but only because a Ma administration will have moved toward surrendering Taiwan's sovereignty.

Perhaps the KMT will agree to outlaw the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Perhaps the KMT will use its majority to adopt China's "Anti-Secession" Law in Taiwan and use it to suppress any talk of independence.

Perhaps once again talk of independence will become a crime and DPP members may become targets of arrest.

Taiwan will once again become a one-party town. And it will no longer be Taiwan. It will become Chinese Taipei, an island built around a city.

With the lowering of all barriers to investment in China, Taiwan will lose all of its industry to China and become the Honolulu of China, a mere tourist island, where international fame comes from its betelnut beauties.

For many people, that may be the only job left, after all the high-tech jobs have fled to China.

I don't know if all of these will happen or not. But if Taiwanese were to elect the KMT, giving it a legislative majority and the presidency, they will be voting for their own demise.

Lee Long-hwa

New York

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