After re-reading A 1998 article my late husband wrote (“Taiwan should make a clean cut from Republic of China (ROC)”), I deeply appreciate his idea. This is exactly what Taiwanese need right now and it is the right path to take. My late husband was a lifetime career civil servant and understood the political systems of Japan, the US and the ROC. It touched a nerve for him when he saw corruption and bribery within any system, or people acting without moral principles simply to please higher officials. As a result, innocent people can be locked up and only obedient people (even if they are incompetent) can become chiefs, directors, ministers — people with power.
Today, it is not because President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is incompetent that he is doing things wrong, it is because systems in the ROC are limited; policies are disorganized and unable to meet public needs. We should not criticize Ma and demand that he do this or that, we should have broken away from this ROC system which has ensured the nation has already disappeared off the world map.
I am republishing this paraphrased excerpt from my late husband’s article in the hope it will awaken Taiwanese and prompt them into introspection and reflection. All Taiwanese — Aboriginal, native and Mainlander — should work together to establish our own state, it is only by doing this that we can live a dignified, happy life.
Taiwan already possesses the basic requirements needed to be a nation and has positioned itself to show the world its strength and contribution as a country. However, Taiwan has still failed to get the recognition of the international community. Why is that? Is it because the People’s Republic of China (PRC) bullies and suppresses Taiwan from the other side of the Taiwan Strait? Due to the realities of international politics, most countries worldwide do not dare recognize this nation.
In 1945 Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) regime — acting on instructions from the US-led, Japan-based Supreme Command for the Allied Powers, which helped shape post-World War II East Asia — forcibly occupied Taiwan without consideration for international law. This caused confusion and dispute between Taiwan and the ROC. Without knowing that the ROC has already disappeared as a political entity, most people — including many Taiwanese — are laboring under the illusion that the ROC is Taiwan and that Taiwan is the ROC. Despite this, Taiwan’s current government still hangs on tight to the ROC name.
Taiwan does not have a relationship with China and there are no historical origins. Both have neither a love nor a hate relationship. Taiwan is Taiwan and China is China. The relationship between them is nil. The relationship between Taiwan and China was established because Taiwan’s government has been using the term ROC.
The only way to make Taiwan independent and to ensure its security is to draw a line between Taiwan and the concept of the ROC — Taiwan is Taiwan and China is China and there is no problem of overlapping sovereignty. Later, the name “Taiwan” needs to be used to join the UN and to develop a new constitution and system that is in line with the Taiwan’s current realities.
It is only by doing so that Taiwan can obtain international recognition and truly become a sovereign state. Of course, one needs first to get consensus among Taiwanese and to convince the majority of countries worldwide. No small task, but, in any case, we have no choice. The only way to succeed is to cooperate with each other and to strengthen our efforts by persistently shouting out our message.
Shigeru Oda, who served as a judge in the International Court of Justice, has repeatedly stressed that Taiwan is not part of China. According to international law, the PRC cannot attack Taiwan. Let’s stop hammering Ma and instead let’s hope that our fellow Taiwanese will quickly wake up.
Also, we want to see our president, whose hand was raised by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), proclaim loudly that he is a “New Taiwanese.” Also, let’s hope he can release former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) as soon as possible, make a clean cut from the ROC concept and Taiwan, and build a great country with fellow Taiwanese.
Let’s hope that we can all make a combined effort to create a country that responds to public opinion with a good system of government that benefits the people. It is only by doing this that we can enjoy a happy, joyful life.
Yang Liu Hsiu-hua is chairperson of the International Cultural Foundation.
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