Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Finding a path forward for Taiwan

On March 27, the Ministry of National Defense held a ceremony at the Martyrs’ Shrine in Taipei to add the names of five officers who gave their lives in service to the nation.

One of the names added was that of major general Chao Chung-jung (趙仲容), who refused to surrender to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forces and died a martyr, executed in 1951 aged 46.

Despite the significant changes that have taken place in Taiwanese politics, the ultimate sacrifice made by Chao is still worth reflecting on today.

Chao fought in the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War. During the latter, Chao suspected that general Fu Zuoyi (傅作義), then commander of the Republic of China (ROC) Army’s anti-communist group in northern China, was planning to defect to the communists.

Chao remained loyal to the ROC right to the very end and refused to betray the government to which he had sworn allegiance.

Given the tumultuous nature of the era, the fact that Chao stuck by his principles is remarkable and a demonstration of the highest values of military honor and service to the nation.

Chao’s only surviving daughter, Chao An-na (趙安娜), emigrated from China to the US in 1997, but through the assistance of former minister of national defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬), she was finally able to have her father’s name added to the Martyrs’ Shrine.

Alongside the nation’s other fallen heroes, he will now be remembered for generations to come.

Chao An-na extended her gratitude to the Presidential Office, defense ministry, the Legislative Yuan and Feng for their help, and said that the fact that this was achieved under a Democratic Progressive Party administration — and not a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government — made it feel as if history has played a trick on us all.

Today, it feels as if Taiwan — and the ROC — is on the cusp of another important generational shift. It is sad that Chao is not here today and so is unable to speak up for the nation that he gave his life to protect. Instead, there are those who loudly clamor that the “ROC must be defended,” but through their actions show that they are really only interested in burying the ROC.

This is especially true of Taiwan’s retired “turncoat” generals, whose only concern for the ROC seems to be that it continues to pay their fat pensions. The remainder of their energies are spent shuttling back and forth across the Taiwan Strait to sell out their compatriots by pushing for unification with China.

The continued survival of the ROC appears to be of little concern to these traitors.

There is the notorious remark made by retired air force general Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲), who told a gathering of retired military officers in China that the ROC Army and the People’s Liberation Army are “Chinese armies.” Then there is the case of retired general Hsu Li-nung (許歷農), who last year announced that he no longer opposes the CCP and will push for unification across the Strait.

These two, and other generals like them, have ungratefully bitten the hand that feeds them and possess nothing of Chao’s outstanding qualities. It seems there is nothing left of the old ROC military’s so-called “Whampoa spirit.”

Despite Chou’s daughter having left China two decades ago, she wanted her father to be included in the ROC’s Martyrs’ Shrine. Those of all political persuasions — blue, green, pro-independence or pro-unification — should feel moved by her identification with and emotional bond to the ROC.

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