Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) spoke of the legitimacy of his rule, omitting the possibility of a world with two governments of China — his and that of the Chinese Communist Party — by announcing that “gentlemen and thieves cannot coexist,” and he participated in the international community to push out the communists’ “bogus regime.”
The homegrown governments of former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) wanted to extricate themselves from this idea and so emphasized Taiwan’s status as a sovereign nation, trying to wrest back the powers it was due.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) speaks of participation in the international community, but bases this approach on the idea that Taiwan is “a part of China.”
The reason Lee and Chen wanted to attend APEC leaders’ meetings was to secure the right to participate in the organization equally with leaders from other countries. The purpose was not so that they could meet the US or Chinese presidents.
The reason that Ma wants to attend one of these international meetings is that he wants the chance to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
There is no other national leader in the world who would so shamelessly fawn on the leader of another nation, just so they would be granted an audience with them. It makes Ma look like a commoner seeking an audience with the ruler in the big city.
Ma’s lack of dignity is dragging Taiwan down, degrading its image, and has set the nation’s moral compass spinning.
The corrupt system of crony capitalism that we have in this country, obfuscated by Chinese politics, has drawn in Taiwanese politicians preoccupied with self-promotion and personal profit, businesspeople pursuing huge profits through bribes and special privilege and an old-guard Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) media apparatus that does not understand the value of freedom.
While senior Chinese officials try to mitigate risk, sending huge sums of money overseas, Taiwanese capital is blindly invested in China. While Chinese are desperate for political and economic reform, Taiwanese — who see China as the answer to everything — are happy for their country to sink with China.
The “people of vision” within the opposition talk not of the national interest, but pander instead to China’s demands, so that they can improve their party’s image.
During the Martial Law era, when the press was subject to severe restrictions, those who wanted a free press felt nothing but abhorrence for the government’s interference in the media and the way it ordered news outlets to report only the official line. These shackles were removed with the arrival of democracy in Taiwan.
However, with Ma’s spineless China policy, the heads of formerly resolute anti-communist media organizations, such as the Central News Agency and state television, have been summoned to Beijing to listen to propaganda from officials intent on securing China’s annexation of Taiwan. They have been instructed to push the line that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are part of one family, to realize the “great renaissance of the Chinese nation.”
Ma is allowing a hostile, totalitarian nation in through the back door, to influence the Taiwanese public through their bellies and their brains and to help the Chinese communists annex Taiwan.
No wonder Chen Chung-hsiao (陳忠孝), the uncle of former Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office head prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌), accused Ma of treason.
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Paul Cooper