How should the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) go about dealing with China, its people and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)? What stance should the DPP take, especially at times when China has issues with human rights?
It is precisely because of the special relationship between Taiwan and China that cross-strait peace is necessary for the nation to maintain constitutional democracy, sovereignty and independence and continue to develop them in a sustainable way. However, cross-strait peace depends on mutual trust and cooperation between Taiwanese and Chinese. To achieve this, it is very important from national security perspective to ensure more Chinese nationals and ethnic Chinese around the world appreciate the value of Taiwan as a political entity, learn from its successful transition to democracy and share in the historical and spiritual legacy that underpins the nation’s pro-localization political opposition movement.
It is also important to make them understand the value of Taiwan’s constitutional democracy and social justice and to grasp the ideals of the Taiwanese independence movement. It is necessary to create a willingness among these groups to speak up for Taiwan as a way of maintaining their belief in the possibility of genuine liberation for Chinese.
The DPP’s values, ideals and reason for existence have been severely warped by the latest round of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-CCP cooperation. This has resulted in a two-pronged Chinese chauvinist attack by the KMT and the CCP against Taiwanese, restricting their space for strategic maneuver. It also means that national awareness is under constant threat from the concept of a Greater China economy and Chinese militarism. All these factors have resulted in severe gaps in Taiwan’s national security network.
The most fundamental and effective way to rebuild relations between the people on either sides of the Taiwan Strait is to use Taiwan’s historical experience from the White Terror era and the oppression of the KMT’s one-party state to show that we understand and empathize with the development of human rights and political reform in China. In Taiwan, this is something that only the DPP understands and is therefore morally obliged to do.
The way to do this is to congratulate China on the rise of the Chinese civilization and to make well intended suggestions and concrete demands regarding human rights and political reform on all levels and in all forms of official or cross-party dialogue.
From the perspective of morality and justice, the DPP must also support and encourage China’s non-governmental human rights movement and help it secure international exposure so it can gain the sympathy and support of the international community. Such an approach would also win Taiwan international respect.
The DPP cannot afford to be shortsighted and believe that the ends justify the means, as the KMT does.
The KMT’s only concern is to obtain whatever limited economic benefits it can from cooperating with the CCP and use the threat of China to stay in power. It has chosen to ignore China’s human rights situation and treats the issue of Taiwanese independence with disdain, while showing itself willing to become a political satellite of Beijing.
The KMT has all but given up on taking part in the further evolution of China and has effectively thrown away an historical opportunity to foster long-term stability for Taiwan and conditions that would benefit to cross-strait peace, coexistence and prosperity.