Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said in Washington on Thursday that “step by step and day by day” Taiwan was being changed into Chinese Taipei.
There was a danger, she said, that Taiwan would lose its democracy and become a province of China.
She said that under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pro-China policies, the country could be cooked like a frog in gradually heating water until it is eventually “Hong Kong-ized” and eaten up by Beijing.
In a speech entitled “Prospects for Taiwan’s Future: All Options Open,” Lu told a conference at the National Press Club that while foreign observers were delighted by what they perceived as a decrease in tensions across the Taiwan Strait and an increase in stability, Taiwan had made compromises that were too deep and too large.
She said that agreements with China had excited some, but that others saw them as a trap arranged under China’s united front policy.
Lu did not meet with politicians or think tanks during the Washington visit but held talks with a number of leading US newspapers.
She said that she was now concentrating on her role as founder and publisher of the weekly Formosa Post and that while she remained a member of the DPP, she had no plans to run for political office.
Lu said she was confused by the many accusations against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and that she only hoped he would receive a fair and open trial.
She recalled that she had been a victim of the old political system and did not want to see the courts abused again.
A short biography handed out by her aides read: “In a 1979 rally commemorating International Human Rights Day, she gave a 20-minute speech urging the then-Chinese Nationalist government to embrace democracy and improve human rights. Her speech landed her a 12-year sentence in jail. She was released in 1985 because of intense international pressure.”
Before DPP leaders go to China, she said, there needed to be four vital rules in place: There should be no preconditions set by Beijing; all aspects of the visit should be transparent; there should be no secret deals and those going should have no self interests involved.
Lastly, Lu urged all Americans to pay close attention to what was happening in Taiwan “before it is too late” and before pro-China policies “undermine the stability and strength” of the country.