Tue, Oct 13, 2015 - Page 12 News List

Fighting for right to be anti-party

Wuer Kaixi preached democracy to the communists in Tiananmen Square and he’s still a believer

By Jules Quartly

“It’s the oversimplification of a complicated question, but ultimately, yes, it’s evil. It’s not the party members, so much as the establishment itself. I would disagree that the world has fundamentally changed since 1949. There is still the communist world and the democratic world across the Taiwan Strait. We can do much better without them,” he says.

He adds that all the CCP has done over the past 30 years is to lessen control to improve economic development. “But, in fact, in this regard, the less Communist party the better.”

In Taiwan, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is Wuer Kaixi’s monster in the headlights, which is at least one of the reasons why he is contesting a legislative seat for Taichung, with a purported agreement to support the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate if he fails to make gains.

“The KMT is a monster because it shouldn’t have to win elections with ‘black gold.’ At a very local level of the regime the voting structure is corrupted and this has been going on for 67 years. They offer stability in exchange for votes. That kind of structure is sickening and this is the reason why Taiwan’s political polarization is distorted,” he says.

I wonder if Wuer Kaixi means the KMT should be dissolved or expelled to China.

“We are in a democracy so there are limited options. It’s not about eliminating other parties, the only way and the right way is to take away party assets,” he says.

He says democracy is also important to prevent the DPP becoming a monster; characterizes former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) as having water on the brain because he wants to be Chinese; and adds, for good measure, “[former president] Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) thinks he’s Japanese.”

Taiwan identity is a tricky question for Wuer Kaixi. He is after all Chinese, or rather Uighur. And Taiwanese. But not American, though certainly a man of the world. He claims it is a “false question, and people who raise the term have fixed-mind doctrine.”

“It may mean something in an election. Maybe I’m the only one who my opponent can legitimately claim is Chinese rather than Taiwanese,” he cheerfully admits.

He continues by saying Taiwan is a young country and cites its history over the past 60 years or so.

“Reconciliation, understanding and growth, and collective memory” should be the determinants of national identity,” he says.

This belatedly brings us to the big issue for Wuer Kaixi at this moment in time, which is his modest proposal. In “It’s Time for Taiwan to Take the Initiative” he argues that Taiwan’s diplomatic space has been steadily eroded by China since the 1970s. In response, Taiwan should belatedly recognize the PRC, thereby breaking the “one China” deadlock.

“How can China refuse to recognize recognition?” he says with a rhetorical flourish, adding the US would have a “crucial” supporting role.

Though he believes Taiwan’s people have lost their voice and the “so-called independence movement” is really a protest against the KMT, Wuer Kaixi claims most Taiwanese do want independence, particularly the younger generation.

“Taiwan is a democracy so we have the right to hold a referendum on a constitution and territory. Ultimately it all comes down to the will of the people.”

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