Student leader Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) on Monday reiterated his support for Taiwan’s independence on April 7, the day democracy pioneer Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) killed himself 25 years ago, and said the support from President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration for “one country, two regions” was a “manifest lie.”
Deng set himself on fire on April 7, 1989, as police tried to enter his barricaded office to arrest him. He had insisted he had the right to declare support for Taiwan’s independence, a proclamation that was against the law at the time.
Chen, one of the leaders of the Sunflower movement, wrote on Facebook on Monday that he does not understand how the “state-to-state relations” model can be “a problem” and Taiwan’s independence “a conspiracy.”
“For me, it is more than natural for Taiwan, a sovereign state (although its de jure independence faces challenges), to demand more autonomy,” Chen wrote. “It is a manifest lie, with which the Ma administration continues to deceive itself and others, to assert our sovereignty over mainland China and refer to the two countries in terms of ‘two regions of one country.’”
“We are not ‘engaging in social movements just to promote Taiwan’s independence.’ In fact, this is a pseudo-proposition,” he wrote. “Fighting for our country’s autonomy and striving for the consolidation of its democracy are two sides of the same coin. Most of the time, they are at the very core the same thing.”
“My name is Chen Wei-ting. I support Taiwan’s independence,” he wrote, echoing what Deng said publicly more than 25 years ago during the White Terror era, when such a declaration was punishable by death.
Chen said he would not be deterred from proclaiming his political stance and support for Deng in the face of possible “smears” from the pro-unification media and the government, “otherwise I would be ashamed of myself.”
Lin Fei-fang (林飛帆), another student leader, also honored Deng while talking to the crowd outside the Legislative Yuan on Monday morning.
“It is our turn to deal with what is left,” he said in a statement that paid respect to what Deng told his wife, and maybe other Taiwanese, before he killed himself: “It is your turn now to deal with what is left” (接下來就是你們的事了).