Unification remarks rile Hualien parents, netizens

By You Tai-lang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 - Page 4

Parents and netizens were quick to criticize the head of the Hualien County Government’s civil affairs department after he told a group of draftees yesterday that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would one day be unified.

“It is inevitable that both sides of the Strait would be unified. Whether you like it or not, history shows the truth of the phrase, ‘long divided, must unite; long united, must divide.’ I am telling you, it is inevitable that both sides of the Strait would become united,” said Chou Chieh-min (周傑民), who previously served as a division chief at the Air Force General Headquarters and a director at the Armed Forces Reserve Command.

If Chou believed what he said, there was no need for their children to serve their mandatory military service, some parents said.

“[If what Chou says is true] we should just scrap the military; the money saved by doing so may even exempt us from taxes,” a netizen identified as Coolkoala said.

Another, going by the ID flysonics, said he did not understand why the country is still paying money to keep alive a retired military officer who had no honor.

Other netizens also said that without a clear objective to fight for, it was a waste of time to compel citizens to serve in the military.

Chou later defended himself, saying his words had been twisted out of proportion.

“I would not stand for reunification of both sides of the Strait,” Chou said, adding that he only wanted to remind young men that Taiwan was militarily weak and they needed to be on their guard.

If young people were not vigilant, it was inevitable that the two sides of the Strait would be united, he said.