The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has successfully leveraged the cross-strait service trade agreement to waste Taiwan’s national resources. It has also inflicted a great deal of physical and psychological harm on Taiwanese. Throughout the entire process of negotiating and signing the agreement, the CCP has not lost a single thing, while Taiwan has been severely hurt in many ways.
This is the inevitable outcome of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) proactive stance over interactions with China.
In the eras of former president Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) resistance to Russia and his anti-communist drive and his son Chiang Ching-kuo’s (蔣經國) — who had a strategy of “no negotiation, no contact and no compromise” with China — Taiwanese lived through a White Terror era under the one-party dictatorship of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
However, none of that was as frightening as the “Red Terror” that now exists under Ma’s dictatorial leadership. People may think that Taiwan democratized a while ago, but, during his second term in office, Ma has sped up and increased the scope of his moves to promote unification with China.
As a result, Taiwanese feel that their way of life is about to change, that their abilities to make a living and even just get by are being destroyed and that the nation is about to become a part of communist China. This is the reason Taiwanese are so terrified now.
China does not even have to shoot a single bullet to take over Taiwan. However, it does need the cooperation of the pro- unification forces in Taiwan.
There are two pro-unification factions. The leftist faction views things through the lens of politics, while the rightist faction looks from a historical and cultural perspective. However, these factions have recently converged.
This convergence is no more apparent than in the actions of the members of the high-school curriculum adjustment task force. The main factor that has brought the left and right together in such an unimaginable way is “Chinese nationalism.”
The pro-unification faction believe that ethnicity is something higher than democracy and that bloodline is more important than freedom.
This is a common view that the CCP, the KMT and the pro-unification faction share. It is also something that they use to respond to and suppress civic movements both in Taiwan and in China.
Ma is using the service trade agreement to make Taiwan’s economy merge with and eventually be absorbed by China’s, just as he is using the high-school curriculum adjustment task force to force Taiwanese into thinking that they are “Chinese” in an attempt to gain control over both the public’s bodies and minds.
It is correct for the “Sunflower student movement” to base its actions around a civic movement because this makes a direct contribution to the protection of Taiwan’s freedom and democracy. However, the students cannot afford to overlook the fact that the specter of Chinese nationalism is the true enemy as Taiwanese and Chinese seek their own democracy and freedom.
Chang Bing-yang is a professor at the National Taipei University of Education.
Translated by Drew Cameron