Wu’s myopic outlook
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) fawns over China because he has President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “Chinamentia” disease, a kind of myopia that compels a person to see power and dictatorship as shiny bright treasures, and blots out the evil in tyranny and oppression. It is a kind of national blindness.
Wu cannot be forgiven for his failure to understand what it means to be a nation, and for his racist view that all Taiwanese are “Chinese.” This immature understanding of the Constitution, the democratic Taiwan and the rights bestowed on Republic of China citizens shows the KMT’s weakness when it comes to governing of the people, by the people and for the people.
Wu told Chinese President and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should “promote nationalistic recognition because we cannot choose our ancestors.”
Wu said he is Taiwanese Hakka by blood, but also Chinese by race, which was meant to prove that Taiwan must be part of “one China” based on “race.”
There are almost 50 million Chinese-___ (fill in the blank), all citizens of other countries and many of whom would find Wu’s approach rather alarming. Just because they are of Chinese heritage does not make them citizens of the People’s Republic of China, nor does it make their nations China’s territories.
There are hundreds of millions of immigrants around the world who are second, third and fourth-generation “insert-a-nation.” In the US, they are Americans. In Taiwan, they are Taiwanese. It is a process of assimilation. Wu and Ma have not assimilated into Taiwan’s society, nor, apparently do they wish to.
Wu insults every indigenous Taiwanese; every person who emigrated to Taiwan from another place to make Taiwan his or her home; many millions of Chinese-Taiwanese born in Taiwan who acknowledge their Chinese ancestry, but consider themselves Taiwanese; and so many who were born in China and over the past five decades have accepted their new home and nationality in Taiwan.
I suspect these concepts are totally foreign to Wu and Ma. Every time this administration talks of “one China,” it is hurling insults at Taiwanese. It is an honor to be Taiwanese, so why is it that Ma and Wu seem so uncomfortable in their Taiwanese skins?
Is Hsu daydreaming?
Former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) has suggested that Taiwan should accept a “one China” principle modeled on the EU’s structure. Hsu says the EU in many ways acts as one country, with a structure that does not interfere with the sovereignty of member nations.
The second article of the Treaty on European Union mentions the values on which the EU was formed: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. It also says member states should be societies “in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”
The EU is meant to be a union of stable democracies under the rule of law. Thinking that Taiwan could create a similar union with the Chinese Communist Party regime is either an act of ignorance, daydreaming or simply intentional parroting of Beijing’s thoughts.
Yes, Beijing would agree to a bold “one China” principle and on paper it may look like the EU model. However, in reality, any such move should remind us of another historical “cooperation” — the Warsaw Pact — the union of slaves states under Soviet hegemony.
The US and liberty
Two toddlers play in an open yard, running on its green grass like young hares excited by spring. I was 20, composing photographic literature for a college class. I stood still in front of a low fence, separating their haven and the pavement, and pressed the shoot button on my Nikon F-60-d. A young mom who was sitting, until now unnoticed on the side of a porch, jumped to her feet and huddled her hares toward their house. She loudly protested: “Don’t. You can’t do that on my lawn. What are you doing?” Panic.
“I can shoot photos on a public street,” was my smartass reply. “I’m studying right there,” I pointed toward my campus three blocks away and the mom settled down quickly in the face of the non-threat.
“After the attack, we don’t know what will come next; need to be careful,” she said.
This has become typical across the US. Deep inside, we fear losing a core American value, which might never return: Freedom. It is the only legacy that matters from our Constitution. Our Founding Fathers drafted this simple idea so that we would not bow to any authority or tyranny.
We have been surrendering freedoms to the government, expecting it to take care of us in the name of fighting something. It used to be terrorism, then it was online piracy, then they tapped our e-mails.
We have become a frightened loser, always fearing new consequences. We overreact to defend ourselves. We allow our representatives to draft the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Edward Snowden and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks provide us with a chance to think again, a blessing in disguise. We did some wrongs. We let our elected officials repeatedly embarrass our constitutional framework. We not only knocked on the door of tyranny, but begged for it. We had time to panic. Now we must arm ourselves with liberty, as free individuals.