Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - Page 8 News List

The ROC is in its death throes, but not Taiwan

By Lee Min-yung 李敏勇

Taiwan and China have very different views of Taiwan as a “nation.” As history has unfolded, there has been a move from focusing on “China” toward focusing on “Taiwan.” After Taiwan’s democratization, this change was necessary, both as a result of a stronger sense of self for the nation and as a means of helping Taiwanese deal with the way in which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is holding Taiwan hostage with the remnants of an empty and foreign Republic of China (ROC).

Taiwanese gave the KMT the chance to return to power in 2008, because they believe in the democratic principles underlying the change of government and also because, in campaign mode, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) used slogans such as “I love Taiwan” and promised to focus on the nation’s economic development. Fighting for votes, he said that if he failed to do a good job, he would be willing to face the test that democratic elections represent.

However, once Ma regained power for the KMT, he was clearly no longer interested in any such tests. Behind his smile, Ma has colluded with China in an evil attempt to sell Taiwan down the river. Ma has done a complete U-turn from his time as a member of the Anti-Communist and Patriotic League to his blind following of Beijing’s every order. Now, his government is using the make-believe “1992 consensus” to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Together with his “three-noes” policy of “no unification, no independence and no use of force,” — a negative, pretentious type of slogan — it is hard to imagine what sort of future Taiwan has as a nation.

January’s presidential election will be a test for the Ma regime and a challenge for the nation. Since the ROC represents the remnant of a country for the KMT, its power and the government can also be no more than mere remnants of the past. It is indeed a miracle that the ROC has managed to survive in Taiwan until today. However, the election will be an important battle in determining whether Taiwan can move toward becoming a new nation.

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has proposed a “Taiwan consensus” as part of her presidential campaign platform, saying that if she is elected president, she will use open and transparent democratic procedures to forge a domestic consensus and build a consensus including all of Taiwan’s political parties. This consensus would then be used to interact, negotiate and communicate with Beijing in response to China’s rise and the challenges facing Taiwan.

A political stance such as this, based on democratic mechanisms, offers a stark contrast to the anti-democratic “China consensus” of Ma and the KMT.

Ma’s make-believe “1992 consensus” means a “China consensus” that will force Taiwan into unrealistic cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP.) Likewise, the fabricated view that there is “one China, with each side having its own interpretation” highlights how Ma and the KMT are a “foreign power” operating in Taiwan. Given that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) does not recognize the ROC as a nation, a “China consensus” is tantamount to a sunset clause for Taiwan as we know it that will turn Taiwan into ghost money to be burned at the burial of the ROC.

Should we work together to set up a new nation using democratic principles under a “Taiwan consensus?” Or should we accept the “China consensus” scheme invented by the KMT and the CCP and abandon the ROC for the PRC?

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