Controversial former bureaucrat Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英) is in the news again after keeping quiet for a period, and now claims that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sent him to monitor the upcoming elections in “Taiwan Province.”
Kuo made a lasting impression on the public through online comments in which he called Taiwan a “ghostly island.” He talked about “Taiwanese rednecks,” and referred to himself as a “high-class Mainlander.”
These irksome comments led many Taiwanese to ask: If Kuo does not identify with Taiwan, why does he not move back to his motherland?
Some who came to Taiwan from China identify with Taiwan and have become Taiwanese, and some of them even support Taiwanese independence.
However, there are plenty of others, like Kuo, who do not identify with Taiwan, but see themselves as its colonial rulers. Kuo dares to come out and say it, but others are not so bold. Their colonial mentality can be seen from their attitude toward the CCP.
Back in the days of former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), these people called the CCP “communist bandits.”
Later on, Chiang Kai-shek’s son and successor Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) responded to China’s proposal for “three links” across the Taiwan Strait with a counterpolicy of “three noes”: no contact, no negotiations and no compromise with the Chinese communists.
These Chinese originally supported Chiang Ching-kuo’s call to “oppose communism and safeguard Taiwan,” but following Taiwan’s democratization, they suddenly changed from an anti-communist attitude to a communist-friendly one.
They did so because they cannot accept how democracy lets everyone play an equal part in politics, which spells the end of colonial rule.
As far as they are concerned, however evil the “communist bandits” might be, they are still compatriots, while Taiwanese are outsiders.
When supporters of Taiwanese independence called for statues of Chiang Kai-shek to be removed, these Chinese forces turned out to protect his legacy.
In a logical world, the Chinese would hate him. The 1936 Xian Incident took place because Chiang Kai-shek sent troops to fight other Chinese instead of resisting the Japanese. His regime was so corrupt that it eventually lost the whole of China.
In Chinese history, Chiang Kai-shek should be listed as a king who lost his country, but Chinese in Taiwan call him a national savior. After coming to Taiwan, his regime repressed far more Chinese political prisoners than Taiwanese, relative to their respective populations in Taiwan.
You would expect those Chinese to revile Chiang Kai-shek, but in fact they still stand by his legacy, because he successfully colonized Taiwan and remains as a symbol of colonial rule.
When Chinese emigrate to various parts of the world, they eventually integrate with the local people, but too many of the Chinese who came to Taiwan do not identify with it. They have always harbored the attitude of colonial rule over Taiwan, and the Taiwanese themselves are partly to blame, as they are too accustomed to being ruled by outsiders.
Since Taiwan’s democratization, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has avoided nominating a Taiwanese presidential candidate, but Taiwanese accept this without complaint, despite being the majority population. How can Taiwan blame China for that?
Taiwan-centric people often denounce Chinese forces for seeing Taiwan as a part of China, but they never have. They see it as a colony.
Chen Mao-hsiung, a retired National Sun Yat-sen University professor, is chairman of the Society for the Promotion of Taiwanese Security.
Translated by Julian Clegg
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