This attitude of attaching more importance to outsiders than the lowly domestic populace is a fine example of the way that Confucian political culture makes the common people entirely the object of governance.
Hot on the heels of Jiang’s Cabinet meeting, Ma made a speech in which he talked about how “service” is one of Taiwan’s strong points.
He did not stop to reflect on all the broken pledges and failed economic measures that have marked his time in office, still less give any respect to the public’s political opinions or improve the channels for civic groups to take part in decisionmaking.
The president and premier — the wise ruler and his virtuous minister — obstinate and conceited as they are, may well be on the way to throwing Taiwan’s domestic market and social wellbeing into widespread confusion and panic.
The performance of Ma and Jiang’s government in relation to the service trade agreement proves that the Confucian democracy they espouse is really a slogan that involves loyalty to Beijing’s cultural unification strategy, along with suppression of democracy in Taiwan.
If Taiwanese allow them to gradually implement this undemocratic concept, Taiwan will be headed toward integration into China’s centralized system.
This is the road to ruin.
Chu Ping-tzu is an associate professor of Chinese literature at National Tsing Hua University.
Translated by Julian Clegg