Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Pulling sheep’s wool off the wolf

By Wu Hui-lin 吳惠林

On Sept. 24, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) staged a talent contest called the “Sing! China: Shanghai-Taipei Music Festival” on the campus of National Taiwan University. It ended in chaos amid protests and led to members of pro-China groups beating up protesting students. The incident alerted Taiwanese to the fact that Beijing has covertly infiltrated the nation and is using any opportunity to sow seeds of chaos in society.

China’s “united front” strategy and infiltration of Taiwanese society has been going on for a long time. Over the years, Taiwanese have unconsciously allowed themselves to be taken in by Beijing’s brand of communism, to the extent that they could be said to have already become assimilated into the PRC.

In the era of former presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), Taiwanese were fed a diet of anti-communist propaganda from cradle to grave, forced to imbibe the two Chiangs’ anti-communist dogma. However, aside from those who fought in the Chinese Civil War, most Taiwanese had no conception of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) methods.

The two former presidents’ authoritarian rule over the nation inevitably led to a backlash against dogmatism. Despite the verity of their message, many Taiwanese questioned it, or had no interest in understanding it. This is why Taiwanese — especially those whose ancestors predate Chiang Kai-shek’s arrival in Taiwan — possess either an incomplete understanding of the CCP or remain completely ignorant of it.

Over the past 20 years, a chorus of voices in Taiwan have once again begun to talk of the CCP in approving tones and to give credit to the party for China’s economic development and its rise as a global power.

It is common knowledge that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the leadership of former US president Ronald Regan and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher during the 1980s — who together spearheaded the resistance to international communism by implementing a system of global free trade — brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union and encouraged former communist states in eastern Europe to embrace democracy and freedom. Even the PRC in 1978, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), pursued a policy of relaxing controls to allow profit accumulation and focused on developing its economy.

“Socialism with Chinese characteristics” replaced the doctrine of communism, allowing China to tap into global capital. China leveraged its land, natural resources and the world’s largest population and threw everything it had toward growing its economy.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s economic growth hit a bottleneck. The nation experienced widespread labor shortages and wage inflation combined with burgeoning labor, environmental and social movements, which were accompanied by stock market and housing market bubbles caused by excessive idle capital and Taiwanese hooked on money games.

The deteriorating situation resulted in Taiwanese manufacturers shifting to offshore production in China, which was further incentivized by financial concessions from Beijing. Taiwanese businesses followed the money, despite the dangers, following the adage “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and reasoning that it would be better to fail while trying in China than to suffer “death by a thousand cuts” in Taiwan.

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