The plot thickens regarding the controversial “Sing! China: Shanghai-Taipei Music Festival.”
The event, which took place on Sept. 24 at National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei, was abruptly curtailed following a protest by students.
More evidence has come to light which clearly shows that China is taking advantage of Taiwan’s open and democratic model of government to wreak havoc and achieve its ultimate goal of annexing the nation.
Beijing used the festival to take its united front strategy onto the campus of the nation’s foremost seat of learning.
Despite the event’s posters labeling NTU as “Taipei City Taiwan University,” the Taipei City Government continued to cooperate with the event’s organizers. Furthermore, prior to the event, legislators had put pressure on NTU to hire out its athletics field for the event.
Shanghai Municipal Taiwan Affairs Office Director Li Wenhui (李文輝) was even in attendance, like a provincial governor, there to supervise his hired pro-unification thugs.
On Sunday, China’s national day, pro-unification parties marched on the streets of Taipei waving the national flag of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), while in Changhua County pro-China activists staged an event to wish “happy birthday to the motherland.”
Despite the outward appearance of there being an active pro-unification force in Taiwan, in reality no meaningful pro-unification political force exists. Following Taiwan’s transition to a democracy, there has been no desire among the public to “unite with China.”
This wild ambition was put forward by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) under Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) leadership with political slogans such as “Retake the mainland,” “Annihilate the communist bandits and save our compatriots” and “Unite China under the Three Principles of the People.”
The Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP) even claims that the Republic of China has the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the PRC to thank for its existence. They are no longer the pro-unification camp, but the “unified camp.” They have sold their souls to Beijing.
The CUPP advocates Taiwan’s annexation by a non-democratic nation to become a part of a dictatorship that violates the values universally held in Taiwan and that is something to which no one in Taiwan pays any attention. That these people still turn their backs on public opinion to this extent is an odd political phenomenon.
Despite that “the unified camp” commands very little public support, their outlandish words and deeds provide a clear demonstration of how China seeks to deal with Taiwan. Their actions are brazen and they are completely without scruples. More significant, though, is how Beijing is manipulating democratic Taiwan’s false sense of security and the shortcomings of its legal system to its advantage.
The concert was a prime example.
In addition to members of the CUPP allegedly beating up students leaving the concert, reports of gang members hidden within their number engaging in political violence has attracted considerable attention.
It is a matter of public record that during the past year, gangsters have engaged in violence in the name of political parties on numerous occasions — at public meetings debating the resumption of Japanese food imports from areas contaminated by the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, at meetings discussing pension reform proposals, during Hong Kong democracy campaigner Joshua Wong’s (黃之鋒) visit to Taiwan in January and at public meetings held at Liberty Square in Taipei.
Gangsters use political parties as a cover to disrupt public order, attack those who hold dissenting political views and throw public meetings into chaos — they have become a common feature at all sorts of protests. The aim is to provoke a public backlash.
The groups use the protections and rights afforded by Taiwan’s democratic system to brazenly wave China’s national flag.
There have been reports that Beijing is channeling funds to pro-unification groups and individuals. This warrants a full investigation by the security services.
Beijing should not be allowed to get away with these kinds of underhand antics lest it enlists the services of gangsters to cause ever greater social and political upheaval.
Beijing has also become deeply involved in Taiwanese media. In the war for the hearts and minds of Taiwanese, China is manipulating the media as a route into Taiwan, an entry point into households across the nation and therefore the mind of every Taiwanese.
Freedom House, in its annual Freedom of the Press report, often warns against specific media organizations.
Arch Puddington, a distinguished fellow for democracy studies at Freedom House, last month told Taiwanese visitors that “a portion of Taiwan’s media is already under the thumb of China or pro-China individuals.”
During the digital age, Taiwan also faces a new and grave threat to its democracy from fake news emanating from China in addition to cyberattacks.
Taiwan’s democracy is in danger.
A lack of awareness of the danger the nation faces and legal loopholes are two main causes of the threat.
The peace and stability of democratic Taiwan and its neighboring nations is under threat from a rapacious China.
The facts of the situation are extremely simple: the protesting NTU students hit the nail on the head when they chanted: “China is the enemy.”
The students have exposed the truth — and the absurdity of the situation — with a single chant, while Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and other politicians are asleep at the wheel, trotting out crass slogans such as “we are all one family.”
These politicians are the victims of their own lies.
Since many lawmakers take this attitude, is it any wonder that Taiwan’s legal system has become detached from reality?
China is stepping up its infiltration of Taiwan, fusing political groups with gangsters to sow the seeds of social chaos and usurp the government, while using its spies to acquire military secrets.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) and others last week called on the government to review the treason laws which do not define China as an enemy nation, or even a foreign nation, but as the “Mainland area,” and are therefore useless in protecting against these sorts of attacks.
Beijing is not messing around, yet Taiwan is wholly unprepared to combat the iron resolve of its enemy.
Taiwan lacks both the resolve and the tools to defend itself. Given this woeful state of affairs, is it any wonder that China is stepping up its efforts to annex Taiwan?
Beijing manipulates Taiwan’s democratic system to achieve its aim of unification. It has been doing so for many years — it is just that in recent years it has upped the ante.
After former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) lost two presidential elections, China switched tactics and pursed a strategy of joining forces with its old foe, the KMT, to gain control of Taiwan in addition to buying off Taiwanese corporations. This allowed China to get a foot in the door of Taiwan’s democracy.
The NTU students’ protest highlighted the serious issue of how China is using gangsters to stir things up. The DPP must pay attention and deal with the issue with a stern hand, and amend the law where it falls short. It must do it promptly and effectively.
Nor can the KMT stand by and watch or intentionally try to interfere. After all, it is with the help of the KMT that the door has been opened so that China has been able to manipulate the nation’s democratic system.
If the KMT takes action, perhaps the students’ blood will not have been spilled in vain and perhaps the KMT will still have a political future.
Translated by Edward Jones
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