Thu, Sep 14, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Unification supporter’s stance needs examining

By Yao Chung-yuan 姚中原

On the eve of Armed Forces Day on Sunday last week, retired general Hsu Li-nung (許歷農) — a person who enjoys a generous lifetime pension from the government — said in a statement that he is no longer going to oppose the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and that he is going to push for unification across the Taiwan Strait.

This was a controversial statement that has set off debate throughout society.

However, not only did Hsu not think twice about the statement he made, he also wrote an open letter to defend his position.

The CCP continues to remain the greatest military threat to national security.

As a former director of the Ministry of National Defense’s Political Warfare Bureau, it is beyond dispute that Hsu has a clear understanding of the importance of propaganda and psychological warfare.

However, it is highly inappropriate that a retired general like Hsu ignores the interests of the nation and instead repeatedly makes remarks that deal a heavy blow to the armed forces’ morale, while statements in favor of cross-strait unification boosts the enemy’s courage.

Such actions are inappropriate and completely incompatible with the status of a retired general.

For well over a decade, the Mainland Affairs Council has conducted many opinion polls on the unification-independence issue.

These polls have been conducted regardless of whether it was the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) or the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that was in office.

The results of these polls have all showed that only a bit more than 10 percent of the respondents supported unification, while about 80 percent supported maintaining the “status quo.”

In other words, Hsu’s position is completely out of line with mainstream public opinion.

In addition, there is the possibility that his statements could be used by the Chinese authorities as a propaganda tool as it promotes its united front strategy.

In the past few years, China has focused its efforts on promoting peaceful development and reconciliation across the Taiwan Strait, but it has nevertheless never given up the option to annex Taiwan by military force, nor has it made any attempts to slow down its political united front strategy.

That Hsu does not reveal the CCP’s ambitions to annex Taiwan and instead continues to make repeated pro-China remarks with the sole intention of pushing for unification stands in direct contradiction to the lifelong mission of a career soldier who has pledged his loyalty to his country.

He is therefore no longer deserving of the honors and rewards the government has given him.

The ministry should revoke all the medals of honor that Hsu has been awarded, as well as launching an investigation into his remarks to ensure that a strict and unbiased understanding of all the facts is made public.

Yao Chung-yuan is a former deputy director of the Ministry of National Defense’s Strategic Planning Division.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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