If a small of group of people could force the former dictatorial regime to dissolve the Taiwan Garrison Command and lift martial law, the 23 million people now living in Taiwan should be able to stop President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) from selling out Taiwan, independence supporters said yesterday at a forum in Taipei.
Speaking at the forum, which looked at the effects of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, former Examination Yuan president Yao Wen-chia (姚嘉文) urged Taiwanese to stand united to prevent the Ma administration from handing over Taiwan’s sovereignty to Beijing.
“We must be confident that we can stop Ma from turning Taiwan over to Communist China. Back then, there were only a few of us, but we still managed to force the government to dissolve the Taiwan Garrison Command and lift martial law,” he said.
Yao, also a student of Taiwanese history, said the treaty, in which China ceded control of Taiwan to Japan in April 1895, officially marked the beginning of Taiwan’s complete and perpetual severance from China.
Although Japan gave up its jurisdiction over Taiwan in the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952, Tokyo has never recognized Taiwan as part of China, so Taiwan is clearly not a Chinese province, he said.
Former vice-president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), publisher of the new pro-independence newspaper Formosa Post, said history has shown that Taiwan goes through a major transformation every 30 years and urged all Taiwanese to take the country’s fate in their own hands.
“Throughout history, the Taiwanese people have never been an active participant in their own destiny. We must change that. At the moment, the world is going through a major change, and Taiwan will undoubtedly be affected,” she said.
Lu said that since the Ma government entered office in May last year, the relationship between Taiwan and China has become closer than ever.
However, Lu said, the growing intimacy between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party would put Taiwan’s future in further jeopardy.