Yet another defrauder has recently used the opening lines of the 14th-century Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms: “The empire long-divided must unite; long-united must divide, thus it has ever been” to demonstrate the inevitability of Taiwan reuniting with the “Chinese motherland.”
The Hualien County Government’s former civil affairs department director Chou Chieh-min (周傑民), who was forced to resign after making the comments, also said that Chinese history is full of countless examples of similar unification and division, and that since the Taiwan Strait has been divided for so long, it is naturally predestined to be reunited.
Toward the end of last month, former premier and former chief of the general staff of the Republic of China’s (ROC) military Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村), while speaking on the subject of democracy, said that Taiwan is not an independent, sovereign nation and that unification with China would eventually happen, demonstrating that he is clueless about both democracy and the ROC.
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a literary work, and antediluvian at that, and it includes nothing about the concepts of the modern nation, democracy or human rights.
In the venerated novel, place and time, bandit brutality, diplomacy and philosophy in war strategy, the process of assuming hegemony and the countless splits and unifications, which are portrayed are literary recreations of fact.
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) also thought feudally and used Zhuge Liang’s (諸葛亮) famous phrase from as far back as the Three Kingdoms period, “Gentlemen cannot coexist with thugs,” to explain his undemocratic use of military might during the 1920s’ Northern Expedition to “suppress the bandits” and unify China.
In fact, the only reunifications occurring after World War II were those between West and East Germany and North and South Vietnam.
Everything else has consisted of crumbling empires like the collapse of the Soviet Union or new nations such as Mongolia seeking sovereignty.
Only an outmoded former general would be so oblivious to the public’s right to make their own decisions to say that Taiwan is not a sovereign nation, yet add that no one would dare claim that it is not a sovereign nation.
By saying this, he is ridiculing himself for the world to see.
There are two definitions to consider when asking whether Taiwan or the ROC is a sovereign nation.
First, ask yourself whether you believe it is a sovereign nation.
Second, ask whether other nations recognize it to be so. If this old military leader, a remnant of an alien regime, advocates that Taiwan is not a sovereign nation, then of course the international community will refuse to recognize it as a sovereign nation.
As for “no one daring to say” that the ROC is not a sovereign nation, this only proves that Hau has his head stuck in the sand.
At present there are only 23 nations that recognize the ROC government as the official representative of Taiwan, while everyone else follows the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in not recognizing the ROC’s sovereignty.
Could it be that the old general has actually forgotten that it was the PRC that kicked him out of China and made him a refugee in Taiwan?
When these old generals get involved in running governments and politics, they are only endangering democracy.
James Wang is a media commentator.