Wed, Mar 05, 2014 - Page 8 News List

228 accents Ma’s chilling outlook

By Jerome Keating

When the harsh reality of all this sinks in among Taiwanese, they may well start to understand that the ROC Constitution represents more a preserved memory of Taiwanese exploitation and that it is an albatross regarding any hopes of Taiwan ever entering the UN. It also explains the reasons behind what recently happened in Greater Tainan, where a statue of Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), considered the founder of the ROC, but not of Taiwan, was surprisingly toppled and the phrase “ROC Out” was painted on its back.

When closely examined, Sun’s stillborn revolution of 1911 was a revolution of Han freedom from the rule of the Manchurian Qing Dynasty, a freedom and independence that Tibetans and Mongolians also sought and which Mongolia finally obtained in the 1990s.

Sun’s revolution had nothing to do with Taiwan, which had been given to Japan in 1895. Sun’s revolution eventually ended with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — not the KMT — taking control of China. This left the ROC, with its Constitution, “wandering in the wilderness.”

Sun may have been a great man and his ideals of a government of the people, by the people and for the people are admirable and worth pursuing. However, those principles are not what the KMT brought to Taiwan when they unleashed the White Terror era. Taiwan’s democracy was won through the protests, deaths and demands of Taiwanese who suffered long in that process, just as they struggled for representative government under Japanese colonialism.

Thus the only reason that there are pictures and statues of Sun in Taiwan is the same reason that there were pictures and statues of Chiang Kai-shek here: These images were brought by the “exiled” KMT.

Whether Sun would have agreed with the KMT’s imposition of 40 years of White Terror, martial law and a one-party state would make an interesting topic both for speculation and debate.

Regardless of that, Taiwanese should now realize that they not only need to uncover the truth of 228, but they also need to rename or create a new Constitution.

Jerome Keating is a commentator in Taipei.

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