President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has always bragged about establishing more peaceful and stable cross-strait relations, but his constant concessions to China seem to be pushing Taiwan to suicide, as Beijing has never ceased to demonstrate its territorial ambitions.
Earlier this year, Beijing’s unilateral announcement that it planned to establish a new flight route along the median of the Taiwan Strait — which has long served as the de facto boundary between Taiwan and China — was met with indignation by Taiwanese, as many considered it a provocative move.
Recently, China again asked for the “streamlining” of cross-strait flight routes linking the issue to Chinese tourists making transit stops in Taiwan.
Aside from these actions that show its territorial ambitions for Taiwan, officials in Beijing continuously talk about their goals, even making threats when Taiwanese politicians mention sovereignty.
Earlier this month, China’s ambassador to the US said that Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should not have attended a “job interview” in the US, but instead she should be quizzed by all 1.3 billion Chinese if she wants to become the leader of Taiwan.
China’s recent actions have even alarmed some officials in the government, despite its pro-China policies.
On Friday at a ceremony to promote several high-ranking military officers, Minister of National Defense Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) warned of the threat posed by China’s increasing military and espionage activities. However, at the same event, Ma only talked about the need to improve discipline in the armed forces, as if the threat posed by China were irrelevant.
On the same day, when meeting with female lawmakers from other Asian nations, Ma said that cross-strait economic exchanges with China should be encouraged so that the two sides could work together to boost their economies, adding that this is the only way to prevent a war between Taiwan and China.
Nobody wants to see their nation at war, but that does not mean that war should be prevented through surrender. Of course, capitulation would stop a war before it even started, but the people of the defeated nation might face more suffering than would have been caused by war.
The actions of Ma’s administration might remind some of the story of Faust, who traded his soul to the devil in order to gain unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures, condemning himself to eternal damnation. This is pretty much what Ma’s administration has been doing: Ma made a deal with the devil — Beijing in this case — for short-term peace, stability and prosperity, and has been willing to make all sorts of compromises in return.
However, in the end, when Taiwan is completely dependent on China economically and politically, Beijing will not hesitate to take what it wants, possibly damning all Taiwanese.
Faust was saved from eternal damnation by God’s grace. The people of Taiwan will have to make their own grace to save themselves from inevitable suffering.
Fortunately, Taiwan is a democracy, and the people have a chance to save themselves.