Sat, Jan 12, 2019 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Countering Xi-led China’s ideals

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.” As in the past, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Jan. 2 delivered a speech. In the otherwise hackneyed speech, Xi for the first time proposed “Xi’s five points” in a bid to explore a “Taiwanese version of the one country, two systems framework” to achieve unification through peaceful means.

Xi also stressed the “one country, two systems” policy and modified the definition of the so-called “1992 consensus” to “the spirit of seeking common ground and shelving differences” by which “both sides of the Strait belong to one China and will work jointly to seek national unification.”

In a clear-cut response to Xi’s proposal of “one country, two systems,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who the previous day had proposed “four musts” as a prerequisite for cross-strait exchanges, said that Taiwan would never accept Beijing’s version of the “1992 consensus,” because it in effect translates to “one China” and “one country, two systems.” Opposing authoritarian dictatorship with democracy and freedom highlights the divergence between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, and shows that there are few similarities.

By borrowing terms from modern Internet slang, Xi’s speech was no more than a worthless post with political propaganda, filled with lies incongruent with historical fact and abounding in fanatical Chinese nationalist sentiment. As grandiloquent as it could be, the single-minded goal was to summon Taiwan to surrender, recreate the ancient Qin and Han dynasties, and bring about the great rejuvenation of the so-called Zhonghua minzu (中華民族, “Chinese ethnic group”).

In other words, the speech attempted to equate the incorporation of Taiwan into China’s territory with the mission of Chinese nationalism and use this to fabricate a justification for the annexation of Taiwan.

However, China’s territorial claim on Taiwan does not have any foundation in history. It is simply an extension of the expansionist reflex innate to the communist empire.

This reasoning is planted on a foundation of nationalism and historic imaginings that runs completely parallel and in no way intersects with democratic Taiwan, whose raison d’etre is to promote public well-being, and systemic design and operations; a state that is dependent on public opinion, and that can guarantee the public’s rights, interests and welfare.

This also explains why the Chinese leader wore such a solemn face and spoke in an impassioned tone as he read to the “compatriots in Taiwan” word-by-word, as if he were a religious leader delivering an oracle.

In the eyes of Taiwanese, he looked rather like a judge at a court of inquisition in medieval Europe, proclaiming that democratic Taiwan was a heretic and ordering it to convert to orthodoxy. Gone was the sentiment that “blood from the motherland is thicker than water,” while sympathy for Taiwanese “compatriots” was replaced by an austere atmosphere implying that surrender is required for survival and resistance would mean death.

China is trying to use its “one country, two systems” framework to cover up the differences in system, culture and values between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, but denies Taiwanese the autonomy to determine their own fate. This not only runs counter to the fundamental principles that constitute a modern nation, but also the spirit of democracy, which requires that public approve of its leaders.

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