Beware sting in KMT’s tail
As a new Gregorian year approaches, many people around the world will be hoping and praying for peace and goodwill on Earth. In East Asia, the trend toward a stable and sustainable peace has been dealt a number of blows, as both China and the US have sought to respectively affirm and defend their hegemonic power and influence. The recent changes in leadership in North Korea, China, South Korea and Japan do not indicate a lessening of tensions or rivalries any time soon.
Despite the much-touted “warmest-ever cross-strait relations,” China has not eased up on threatening rhetoric aimed at cowing Taiwanese into self-annexation. This might puzzle foreign analysts who could be forgiven for thinking that Taiwan and China were on a path to peaceful relations. Their mistake, an easy one to make, is in conflating Taiwan with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Thus, when they buy at face value the propaganda of “developing and stable cross-strait relations,” they fail to understand that those relations are largely Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-to-KMT.
What is interesting about President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) touting of a peace agreement with China is that the hostility that would supposedly be ameliorated by the signing of such an agreement is one-way only. Taiwanese have no conflict with Chinese or China. Taiwanese make no claim on China’s territory nor seek to usurp their national identity. Taiwan has no desire to attack, colonize or go to war with any other nation on Earth. A peace agreement then is only necessary because the KMT continues to insist that Taiwan is the “real China” and that the territory of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) belongs to the Republic of China (ROC). It is the KMT who have dragged Taiwan into their own civil war with the CCP and who are now working with the CCP to deprive Taiwanese of the choice over their future status as a nation.
In April 2009, then-national policy adviser to President Ma, Stephen Chen (陳錫蕃) stated that “only Taiwan has unilaterally terminated its civil war with China. They still think the civil war is not over. That is why the peace agreement is necessary.” Chen’s comment illustrates how Ma and the KMT conflate Taiwan with “The Party,” but this only exposes their colonial mindset — Taiwanese are not a people, they are to be regarded as little more than peons of the Republic of China and as such they are required to participate, willingly or otherwise, in the corrupt and self destructive Chinese politics of saving face and exacting revenge.
Furthermore, one wonders how a peace agreement could bring an end to the Chinese Civil War, since the primary goal of the People’s Republic of China in that war remains the dissolution of the Republic of China in its entirety. Why else would Ma have taken such care to avoid showing the ROC flag in front of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) if it were not for the fact that he knew the PRC official found the flag offensive?
Finally, since China would never sign an agreement between “Taiwan” and “China,” or the ROC and PRC, surely the only names that could be used would be either the KMT and the CCP, or the Mainland Affairs Council and the Taiwan Affairs Office, thereby immediately absenting the voices and participation of Taiwanese in such an agreement.
Taiwanese then need to beware of the KMT and its offer of peace. Like the fable of the scorpion and the frog, it would be yet another historical tragedy for Taiwanese to carry the KMT across the strait only for the party to sting its host halfway across and, on asking why, to be met with a cold eye and the answer: “It’s my nature.”