Wed, May 01, 2019 - Page 8 News List

Letting go of the old, now-dead ROC

By HoonTing 雲程

Preparations by the Democratic Progressive Party and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for their presidential primaries have been full of surprises, the latest being Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou’s (郭台銘) April 17 announcement that he would stand in the KMT’s primary.

However, Gou’s announcement was well deliberated and planned. He started a series of moves on April 15 when he attended an event hosted by International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) and the American Institute in Taiwan to mark the 40th anniversary of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act.

There, he made controversial remarks such as “the US sold outdated weapons to Taiwan,” “the US is unreliable” and “national defense depends on peace.”

The next day, he attended a seminar titled “2019 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue — in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act: Further Strengthening Taiwan-US Ties,” where he got into an argument with a female VIP and threatened to report the incident to the White House.

Right after that, he made it known that he might run in the KMT’s primary.

Gou on April 17 went to the KMT’s headquarters to receive an certificate for his long-term contributions to the party. There and then, he announced that he would take part in the primary.

Wearing a baseball hat decorated with the national flag, which he has seldom done, Gou suggested that the Republic of China (ROC) would perish if the KMT could not win back the presidency in next year’s election.

In making this prediction, Gou spoke in the future tense.

It was former Environmental Protection Administration minister Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) who originally spread the idea that “the ROC will soon perish” when he was a candidate in the first election for Taipei mayor in 1994.

Like Gou, Jaw spoke of the ROC’s death in the future tense, meaning that the ROC was not yet dead, but Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) stated way back in 1950 that the ROC had perished at the end of 1949 when “the mainland” fell to the communists, adding that the KMT had become stateless people in exile.

Unlike Jaw, Chiang spoke in the past tense, meaning that the ROC was already dead in 1950.

The ROC perished in 1949: Not on Oct. 1, the day that the People’s Republic of China was established, nor on Dec. 9, when Chiang fled into exile in Taiwan, but in April, when Nanjing, the ROC capital, was conquered by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

On April 15, 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) proposed the final amended version of the Agreement on Internal Peace, which was more of a surrender document, for the ROC government to sign.

Under its terms, the ROC government would have to repeal the Constitution and draw up a new one, accept punishment as war criminals and agree not to resist.

On April 20, the Executive Yuan refused to sign the agreement. It then started to dissolve the central government and disperse its offices across multiple cities.

On April 21, the PLA crossed the Yangtze River and marched on Nanjing. On the morning of April 24, then-CCP chairman Mao Zedong (毛澤東) declared that “the Nationalist Government perished yesterday” — so the ROC’s doomsday was April 23, 1949.

April 15 was the starting point of the ROC’s death, so what did Gou intend to suggest by choosing that very date to reveal his presidential intentions?

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