Perhaps it is because President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) team of officials tell too many lies that former Academia Historica president Lin Man-houng (林滿紅) felt it necessary to explain, during a question-and-answer session at the legislature, the difference between lies that are beautiful and ones that are not. She evidently thought this would help her keep her job. In the end, her own lies caught up with her when it was proven that she had signed an official document about an issue that she originally said she knew nothing about. Once she was found out, she had little choice but to step down.
Being able to tell “beautiful” lies and making oaths in a “high-class” manner are key to the Ma administration’s rule. Of course, the most skilled in the art of telling beautiful lies is none other than Ma himself.
Ma has told a heap of lies. I am sure everyone has heard the following ones:
‧ “I love Taiwan and would be Taiwanese even if I were burnt to ashes.”
This campaign statement moved Taiwan’s well-meaning electorate, who duly voted Ma into power. However, Ma has his own special understanding of what “loving Taiwan” means. He keeps on jumping into bed with China and God only knows how many secret talks are going on between his government and Beijing. Ma’s actions in this regard speak louder than his words.
‧ “There is only one China and that is the Republic of China.”
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) were chased out of China by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and were forced into exile all around the world, with the vast majority of KMT members ending up in Taiwan and claiming that the KMT was the sole legitimate government of China. Former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai (周恩來), who made Lin’s poll of the top 100 most influential figures in the Republic of China’s (ROC) history, tore this lie apart years ago when he said that former KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) was hated by the people in China and that he had no right to talk about there being only one China because the legal status of the small island that he later took control of was never settled.
‧ “The Treaty of Taipei affirmed the transfer of Taiwan’s sovereignty from Japan to the ROC.”
Lin did well with these comments, landing her position as president of Academia Historica on the strength of them. However, this idea paints former foreign minister George Yeh (葉公超) and former ambassador to the US Wellington Koo (顧維鈞), who were responsible for negotiating the treaty, in a bad light, making them look like idiots. After all they did for the “ROC,” they are now being accused of being weak negotiators by disingenuous legislators.
‧ “Taiwan is where Ma grew up. Why would anybody betray the place where they grew up?”
If this were true, there would never have been any talk about people being traitors to the nation, traitors to the Han Chinese (漢奸) and traitors to Taiwan (台奸). Now the KMT would have its members running around China selling out Taiwan left, right and center, surrendering in the hope of appeasement.
According to the Treaty of San Francisco, the sovereignty of Taiwan does not belong to China and regardless of whether they were born in Taiwan, anyone who accepts the “one China” principle, which means that China has sovereignty over Taiwan, is guilty of selling Taiwan out.
A lie is a lie and lies are ugly and have nothing to do with beauty. Lies do not become the truth just because they are phrased beautifully.