President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government recently used several billion New Taiwan dollars worth of taxpayers’ hard-earned money to celebrate what it calls the 100th anniversary of the “Republic of China” (ROC).
However, based on what I have seen and experienced over more than six decades, the essence of and truth about the “ROC” can be demonstrated through the following three points:
First, the ROC is a foreign entity.
After World War II, dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), who lost the Chinese Civil War against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), brought millions of soldiers and civilians from China with him to Taiwan and set up his “ROC shop” here.
After experiencing the 228 Incident of 1947, people in Taiwan were afraid and did not dare stop them, but gave them a “cold welcome” as some overseas encyclopedias have described the way Taiwanese reacted to the arrival of Chiang and his troops.
Despite Taiwan’s democratization, Ma, after restoring the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to power, has forced the “one China” principle of the so-called “1992 consensus” that was purportedly secretly formulated between the KMT and China onto Taiwan.
This is clear evidence that the “foreign” nature of the ROC has never changed.
Second, the “ROC” belongs to the KMT.
More than 60 years after losing the Chinese Civil War and coming to Taiwan, the national flag still has the Chinese Nationalist Party’s emblem on it and what is supposed to be the “national anthem” still has lines about “the foundation of our party.”
The “ROC” is clearly still part of the Chinese KMT’s party-state system rather than a state that belongs to everyone, across party lines.
What’s more, after Taiwan’s democratization, the KMT still has huge amounts of ill-gotten party assets that came from their direct access to the national treasury.
This has enabled the party to corrupt the hearts and minds of the public by continuing to control the media, and through its local vote captains, vote buying.
Third, the ROC has disappeared from the international community: UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 of Oct. 25, 1971, expelled Chiang’s representatives from the UN and gave China’s seat to the People’s Republic of China.
After Ma became president, he implemented his “diplomatic truce,” which also included giving up on the idea of UN membership for Taiwan, thus continuing to eliminate the presence of the ROC in the international arena.
It is no wonder then that when China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) came to Taiwan — there was a lot of effort made to hide the ROC flag, that symbol of the party-state — Chen addressed Ma as “you” instead of using the title “president.”
On that occasion, despite being on Taiwanese soil, Ma showed a total lack of courage by refusing to even talk about the existence of the ROC.
As the KMT celebrates the 100th anniversary of “its” party-state, we Taiwanese have to wake up and realize that joining hands to rectify the name of our country, drawing up a new Constitution and taking part in a citizens’ movement aimed at gaining Taiwan’s acceptance into the UN are the only ways in which Taiwan can become a nation defined by common goals and thereby ensure its survival.
William J.K. Lo is president of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance.
Translated by Drew Cameron
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