Taiwan’s trial of the century
Nineteenth century France had its Dreyfus trial. The 20th century saw Nelson Mandela unjustly persecuted in South Africa during the “apartheid” era and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg tried and executed for espionage against the US.
All of these “trials” exposed the evils of the societies in which they were held. In the end, it was the French, South African and US societies that were found guilty and put to shame.
I am convinced that Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) trial will prove to be similar; it may well end up being Taiwan’s trial of the 21st century.
Chen’s trial is a severe and portentous test — a test that Taiwan almost without a doubt will fail.
Chen is not really the one on trial. The one actually on trial is Taiwanese society in general.
More specifically, it is the hypocritical, cowardly and duplicitous caudillo administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that is on trial.
Also on trial are the “attack dog” prosecutors and judges who are colluding with Ma in this pig circus, sham of a trial. In Chen’s case, the judicial system has been hijacked and turned into a parody of itself — an obscene travesty.
Also sharing the blame are the hack media that are merely the spokespeople and lackeys of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
The whole thing is nothing but a fraud. Chen isn’t being put on trial for money-laundering or any other “financial irregularities.” He’s on trial and being persecuted for upholding the dignity and sovereignty of Taiwan.
He’s on trial for possessing the integrity and moral courage to resist selling out to China. And for whistle-blowing.
I’m sure that exposing a daughter of the former premier for plagiarism could not have won him many friends in the KMT ranks.
And yet, by sowing the wind, one will reap the tempest. This sham trial of Chen will most certainly come back to haunt Taiwan.
East Hartford, Connecticut
Trade is never neutral
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is too naive to be president if he seriously believes that any economic agreement with China will be politically neutral, or that a referendum is not necessary if a trade agreement has no “political items” (“Ma rejects idea of ECFA referendum,” May 30, page 1).
Free-trade agreements are never politically neutral. They always express clear political goals (for example closer relations, unity, security or greater prosperity).
They have clear political consequences for sovereignty because they bring economies closer together, limiting the actions of a government. Hence “Euroskepticism” in some EU countries and dissatisfaction with the North American Free Trade Agreement by some North Americans.
Moreover, referendums can theoretically be held on any issue the government chooses — not just political issues. Given China’s views toward Taiwan, and that any free-trade agreement has the potential to radically alter the “status quo” between China and Taiwan, a referendum is not only justified: It is overwhelmingly necessary.
Gueishan, Taoyuan County
Beijing hasn’t changed
This year marks two anniversaries that are testimony to the brutality and ruthlessness of China’s despotic one-party state: the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the persecution of Falun Gong.
Twenty years ago on June 4, the world watched in horror as troops with tanks and machine guns stormed Tiananmen Square and crushed unarmed students who had gathered to demand democratic reform. Hundreds, possibly thousands, were killed.