Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

KMT on verge of greatness

Taiwan’s Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) stands on the verge of greatness. The torch of a new era of Chinese civilization and culture has passed into its hands. The world hopes that, this time, the KMT does not disappoint.

Chinese civilization and culture developed over millennia, presided over and supervised by various emperors under the “Mandate of Heaven.”

In 1949, the Heavenly Mandate was passed to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The new rulers, backed by the CCP’s own army (the People’s Liberation Army), police (the People’s Police) and law courts (the People’s Law Courts), permit no dissent in thoughts nor opinions, like the emperors of old.

However, in Taiwan, the ancient Chinese civilization of imperial tradition and mindset is being moulded and transformed into technological-age egalitarian liberal democracy. The president and the legislature are chosen by popular vote. There is freedom of expression. The armed forces serve Taiwan. The law courts are independent. This democratic transformation is Taiwan’s contribution to Chinese civilization.

China claims that Taiwan “belongs” to the People’s Republic of China, regarding Taiwan as being no different than a piece of real-estate, ownership of which is subject to negotiations and agreements among emperors and rulers and may be passed on to successors and descendants.

Taiwanese were never consulted nor was any popular vote ever taken.

Taiwanese are in no way bound by such instruments. Taiwan “belongs” to Taiwanese and no one else.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was voted into office in Taiwan, by Taiwanese. His mandate and legitimacy comes from the people of Taiwan, and not from being the successor of the KMT of the (defunct) Republic of China.

The reality is that the KMT of the Republic of China and indeed the Republic of China itself is no more, the KMT of a free and democratic Taiwan is the future. The “mother country” of the Taiwanese is Taiwan — in the same way that the UK is not the “mother country” of the US, China is not the “mother country” of Taiwan.

The KMT’s dream of playing a role in eventually “reunifying” Taiwan with its “mother country” across the Strait threatens the long-term survival of Taiwan as a free and democratic state.

Many in the world believe that Taiwanese under the KMT favor eventual “reunification” with China. The support that Taiwan receives from the international community is therefore less than what should be due to a democratic, self-governing country under duress and threats from an undemocratic, single-party communist state.

Domestically, the KMT’s insistence that Taiwan is the Republic of China is without doubt the most divisive issue in Taiwan.

This disunity may yet be a chief cause of the KMT losing to Communist China (again) in future dealings and conflicts.

A free and democratic Taiwan is more worthy of preservation than the past glories of the Republic of China.

It is now up to President Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT to do whatever is necessary to safeguard the freedom and democracy of Taiwan that is necessary for the advancement of Chinese civilization.

Chet Longbow

Dunedin, New Zealand

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