The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could pressure Taiwan more aggressively and seek to terminate the country’s de facto independence at a faster pace after its transfer of power at the 18th National Congress scheduled next month, Chinese dissident writer Yuan Hongbing (袁紅冰) said yesterday in Taipei.
“After those Chinese officials who served among the radical Red Guards formed by former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) during the Cultural Revolution in 1966 rise to political power at the national congress, they may carry through Mao’s political volition and adopt a more aggressive approach toward Taiwan,” Yuan said at a symposium, titled “A Peek into the Future Democratic Development via China’s Current State” hosted by the Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association.
“Taiwan’s status as a de facto independent state could come to an end more rapidly after both sides of the Taiwan Strait begin exchanges in March next year,” Yuan said.
Citing statistics by Chinese sociology professor Sun Liping (孫立平), Yuan said there were as many as 180,000 social disturbances triggered by the CCP’s policy of “maintaining stability” in China in last year alone.
“Renmin University of China professor Zhang Ming (張鳴) also presaged a major crisis that is likely to emerge next year in China, a brewing problem that has only been held down by CPC political oppression which could turn into fully fledged social unrest in 2015,” Yuan said.
Saying the critical period could either pose a menace or offer a window of opportunity to Taiwan, Yuan urged the country to be better prepared economically and politically in order to avoid caving in to China’s ideology.
“Taiwan’s fall from its place as one of the high-growth economies among the four Asian Tigers to a nation lacking vitality is the painful result of its [economic] integration with China,” he said.
Turning to the escalating issue of self-immolation in Tibet, where 59 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze in the past one-and-a-half years in demonstrations against the Chinese government, Yuan said that every one of the self-immolators were a page in a heroic epic.
In terms of human civilization, Yuan said the fact the Tibetans were willing to kill themselves in their quest for freedom is a vivid reflection of just how much mental anguish the Tibetans have been forced to endure.
Hong Kong activist James Lung (龍緯汶), who also doubles as chairman of the Southern Democratic Alliance, a Hong Kong-based political organization, said the trend of Tibetan’s self-immolation had often puzzled many Hong Kongers.
“A Hong Konger has never committed suicide as a form of protest and many Hong Kongers are clueless as to why Tibetans choose self-immolation. This may be explained by the fact that the CCP has always claimed to have worked to liberate Tibetan serfs, to build the Qinghai-Tibet highway and to have improved Tibet’s local economy since it established its rule over the land-locked region,” Lung said.
Lung said that following Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to China, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been granting permanent settlement on a daily basis to about 150 Chinese, where over one seventh of the population are China-born.
“If the pace continues, locally born Hong Kongers could become a ‘minority group’ in the special administrative region 50 years from now, as has been seen in Tibet, where the Chinese government also pulled the same trick and turned Tibetans into a minority ethnic group by allowing large-scale Chinese settlement in the area,” Lung said.
Accusing the Chinese government of gradually devouring Hong Kong’s Cantonese culture and its core values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law by opening up the region to Chinese tourists, Lung said things have changed a lot in the semi--autonomous territory.
“In today’s Hong Kong, simplified Chinese characters have started showing up on road signs and restaurants, bankers are assisting clients in opening up renminbi accounts, there are even government officials proposing teachers lecture students in Mandarin,” Lung said.
“Taiwanese must learn from yesterday’s Tibet, today’s Hong Kong and think about their country’s future. They must keep a vigilant eye,” Lung added.