Death penalty backfires
Taiwan executed six people [on Friday], not — as Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) blatantly said untruthfully — out of due process, but out of political whim. Sadly, many Taiwanese think this is a good thing and that justice has been served. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) should apologize to his parents for wasting their money. He attended some of the world’s best universities and proudly brags to have learned nothing from it. Morality is universal, not “white.”
I am still trying to comprehend the irrelevant blather spouted by Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and doubt I ever will. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also claims to be against capital punishment, but hides behind flaccid statements that Taiwan is not ready.
There is a predominant thought in Taiwan that Taiwanese are somehow special, that cultural differences hold Taiwanese to a different morality. The same tripe was being spouted about democracy in the nation 30 years ago and has been proven untrue. People erroneously believe that capital punishment is a deterrent, despite the total lack of evidence to back those claims. If comments from the alleged murderer of the schoolgirl and those of the MRT murder suspect are true and that they committed the crimes as “suicide by cop” attempts, then capital punishment actually causes crime.
Interpreting the ‘status quo’
During her visit to Washington, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) became the first Taiwanese presidential candidate to have officially entered the US Department of State and the White House on business rather than sightseeing.
Both meetings were behind closed doors, but Tsai delivered a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday last week, covering social security, defense, US relations and international participation, cross-strait issues and new Asian values. She identified her vision as a leader of Taiwan to the US, to Asia and the world.
During the question-and-answer session following her speech, former US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Kurt Campbell asked: “Do you believe in the current environment that the US, Taiwan and China have roughly the same definition of what comprises the status quo?”
Tsai said: “I’m sure that China, the US and Taiwan have different interpretations of that term, but I’m pretty sure that despite our differences in the interpretation of that term, we should all agree that maintaining a peaceful and stable relationship across the Taiwan Strait serves the interests of everybody, and whatever the interpretation of that term, this should be a part of that interpretation.”
Reviewing her presentation and answers, Tsai has demonstrated her knowledge and understanding of the “status quo” and she made clear that the difference between Taiwan and China means Taiwan does not belong to China and that it fully complies with the US’ one China policy, the Three Communiques dealing with the China issue and the Taiwan Relations Act governing the US-Taiwan relationship.
US Department of State officials said in a post-meeting press conference the US is committed to supporting Taiwan’s security, economy and freedom from threat based on the Taiwan Relations Act and will help Taiwan attain dignity and respect in the international community.
Hopefully, the term “status quo” is clear to all Taiwanese as it defines the existing state of affairs. The “status quo” was first mentioned in the US’ Taiwan policy based upon the three communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act and it has now been adopted by Tsai. She was criticized by both former DNP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) and former presidential office secretary-general Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟), who both interpret the “status quo” as maintaining a standstill.
Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai (崔天凱) said Tsai should first pass the test of 1.3 billion Chinese and ask the opinion of “compatriots” on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. What a joke. Would Beijing accept Tsai’s visit in her capacity as Taiwanese presidential candidate? Why would a Taiwanese presidential candidate need the approval of 1.3 billion Chinese before visiting the US? Tsai said her candidacy is subject to the approval of 23 million Taiwanese.
Taiwan is not part of the Republic of China or China. Taiwanese should elect a Taiwanese president, not a Chinese one. Are you ready?
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