Exiled Chinese democracy activist Wilson Chen (陳破空) yesterday warned Taiwan about China’s imperialist ambitions, saying China will become a serious menace if it does not democratize.
“A country that does not respect human rights, is irrational and does not follow the rule of law when dealing with its own people would act the same way in the international community,” Chen told a news conference to launch his new book on political development within China and its role in the international political arena. “The Chinese Communist Party regime is unlikely to give up militant policies, and therefore unless China becomes a democracy, the 1.3 billion Chinese will have to pay for the regime’s imperialist ambitions.”
He went on to say, looking at most hot spots in East Asia: “Whether it’s disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea or the Diaoyutais (釣魚台), or tensions in the Korean Peninsula, you can see China’s influence working.”
Chen said that, with the way China exploits its own domestic resources, it would not be surprising for it to soon seek resources abroad.
Particularly making a call to the Taiwanese, Chen said that Taiwan is an important part of the chain of defense against Chinese ambitions and Taiwan should never back off from the alliance.
While warning on China’s military threats, however, Chen said that Taiwan — or other countries — should not be too worried if China invades, since the country’s military capacity has been greatly exaggerated.
“It is probably hard for an outsider to understand how corrupt the Chinese military is. For example, a man from the countryside must pay at least 30,000 yuan (US$4,918) to become a serviceman, a man from the city must pay at least 50,000 yuan and for a woman from the countryside at least 100,000 yuan must be paid,” Chen said.
He said it is not because people are eager to serve the country, but rather because becoming a soldier is the most stable job for someone unable to get into one of the top universities, or pass the civil service exam to become a government employee.
“And once you’re in the game, you have to continue to pay if you want promotions,” he added.
Chen said that an official report showed that at least 40 percent of military personnel in China are “unsuitable for military actions” due to being overweight or because of other physical conditions.
Former vice minister of foreign affairs Michael Kao (高英茂), who also attended the press conference, echoed Chen’s warnings.
“Cross-strait relations may seem relaxed now, but there’s no reason for us to relax,” Kao said. “Before World War II broke out, then-British prime minister Neville Chamberlain also believed that Adolf Hitler would not invade other European countries because of the Munich Agreement in 1938. Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) also didn’t believe that Japan would invade Manchuria when he was first warned of Japan’s ambitions.”