Fri, Sep 01, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Living the Taiwanese, rather than PRC, dream

By Lee Min-yung 李敏勇

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) Chinese dream is a dream to dominate the world.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC), which overthrew the Republic of China (ROC) regime in 1949, became the lawful representative of China to the UN in 1971, replacing the exiled ROC government.

This can be seen as the crucial battle that shifted the position between the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) China and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) China.

If Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) had been able to face up to realities at the time, there would have been a chance that the ROC in Taiwan could have left China behind and moved closer to Taiwan.

This might have meant that the party-state would have disintegrated, but it might have given way to the earlier birth of a new state, Taiwan.

The remnant of the fabricated China that exists in Taiwan faces a double-layered problem as it is dealing with the international community using the consciousness and identity of another: On the one hand, there is the fact that it is the PRC that is China, and on the other, Taiwan is not China when it comes to the issues of liberalization and democratic development.

To this day, the KMT continues to be confused trying to choose between “one China, different interpretations” and “one China, same interpretation,” failing to see that Xi’s Chinese dream is a dream of “unification” — a hegemonic mentality which aims to annex the ROC, which Beijing thinks of as “Chinese Taipei.”

It is time that Taiwan has its own Taiwanese dream.

Xi’s Chinese dream is the projection of the nationalist psyche of an Eastern despotic country that was oppressed and dominated by foreign states, but is now standing up to that past humiliation to become a powerful force that intimidates the powers that once ruled it.

Although dreams like those of Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) — dreams of freedom and democracy — have also appeared in China, those dreams are persecuted and killed off by that totalitarian, dictatorial Chinese dream, much as Liu himself was.

The Chinese dream to dominate the world is reminiscent of imperial China, which claimed that “everything under heaven is the emperor’s land.”

That China, before it was oppressed by Western powers, was strong and powerful, believed that it was the center of everything under heaven and demonstrated a similar aggressive and invasive behavior.

Although China was ruled by invading foreigners during the Yuan and Qing dynasties, the hegemonic reflex has always existed in the Chinese nation — once it becomes powerful, it forgets past humiliation and reveals its own authoritarian character.

Xi has a Chinese dream, but Taiwan also has a Taiwanese dream.

The Taiwanese dream is the dream of the Aborigines and the early migrants who arrived during the Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as those who came together with the exiles of the KMT’s China and managed to leave their colonial ideology behind and were reborn here. It is the dream of those who have, thanks to our free and democratic system, been able to build a progressive nation, which is small yet beautiful.

For the sake of this Taiwanese dream, people who live in Taiwan should cherish the democracy that they have developed here in their own nation.

They should let the world know that Taiwan is different from China, that Taiwan is not China.

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