A Chinese dissident yesterday urged Taiwan to insist on its values of democracy and human rights in its dealings with Beijing and be a partner in the international community’s effort of containing China, instead of taking China’s side.
Expressing concerns over Taiwan’s tilting toward China, former Chinese democracy activist Wilson Chen (陳破空), now a US-based writer, told a symposium that Taiwan “cannot become a gap in the global China-containment strategy.”
As outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) brought up the issues of a peace treaty and a military confidence-building mechanism in his farewell speech at the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 18th National Party Congress last week, Chen said Beijing would likely keep pushing for political negotiations with Taiwan after the new leadership takes over.
If Taiwan did enter into negotiations with China, its best bargaining chip would be democracy and human rights, Chen said.
Citing Japan as an example, Chen said Tokyo had misjudged the political situation and misused its culture, which values humility. However, its deference toward Beijing did not bear fruit and improve Japan’s ties with China.
Taiwan should instead pattern itself after the Western powers, such as the UK, the US and France, by engaging China while bringing up democracy and human rights issues at every opportunity, he said.
“At the end of the day, China would not cut off its exchanges with Taiwan or attack Taiwan with missiles in retaliation. Taiwan should be brave enough to be a voice that hopefully will someday bring about changes in China,” Chen said.
In an analysis of the future political situation in China, the writer said that the recently concluded national party congress marked a major victory for the CCP’s conservative wing, so there would be neither political reform in China nor dramatic changes in Beijing’s Taiwan policy in the near future.