Yesterday was the 54th National Day of the PRC. So far, media reports have shown no prominent Taiwanese businesspeople showing up at the celebrations, but there is no knowing whether they attended the events but kept a low profile or whether Chinese officialdom barred the media from reporting on the activities of any Taiwanese delegations.
In previous years pan-blue politicians and businesspeople went to China for the Oct. 1 festivities in droves, as if they were attending a temple fair for Matsu (
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) last week banned its politicians from attending Beijing's celebrations because it feared providing more ammunition for President Chen Shui-bian (
Given the joint KMT-People First Party (PFP) presidential ticket and the spiritual alliance between those parties and the remnants of the New Party, all pan-blue politicians will naturally cooperate with the KMT's election strategy. Apparently no pan-blue politician will show up at a high-profile event on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.
This travel restriction stands in sharp contrast to the behavior of pan-blue politicians when there isn't an upcoming election -- then they are joining tour groups to China and visiting Chinese officials at the drop of a hat.
Political commentators have often noted that in the three years since the KMT lost power, many of the politicians who in the past had attended the Republic of China's (ROC) National Day celebrations in Taipei showed up in Beijing for the PRC's National Day celebrations instead. Ironically, it is Chen and the DPP that have held on to the empty shell of the ROC. Since 2000, come Double Ten Day, KMT Chairman Lien Chan (
What's was even more ludicrous was that Ma prohibited the organizers of an international women's soccer tournament from flying the ROC flag during the games on grounds that the International Olympic Committee would not approve. Outraged pan-green camp supporters delighted in bringing small ROC flags in the games and waving them.
Now comes election time and the pan-blue camp are once again talking loudly about the ROC, while criticizing former president Lee Teng-hui (
Nevertheless, the KMT's travel ban indicates the party is well aware of China's unpopularity among the people of Taiwan -- if not outright loathing for the Beijing government. The KMT has been cozying up to Beijing for several years in the hope of using China's influence to shackle the DPP government and increase its own influence. Its willingness to cavort and conspire with Beijing shows how little it cares about Taiwan. All it cares about is regaining power and enriching its members.
In the closing weeks of 2000, an army of Singaporean government officials descended on Washington to make good on a handshake between then-US President Bill Clinton and Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (吳作棟). They had agreed to strike an FTA after a round of golf in Brunei that past November. Running a small city-state, Singapore’s leaders and their diplomats live with their ear to the ground, attuned to the slightest geopolitical movements. They were motivated then by a big-picture strategic concern — keeping the US embedded in their region. An FTA they thought would help do that. It worked. Clinton’s successor,
On Oct. 7, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi sent letters to the Indian media asking them to refrain from calling Taiwan a country while reporting on its 109th National Day, which fell on Saturday last week. This move backfired and, on the contrary, contributed to the immense popularity of Taiwan among Indians, leading to an outpouring of congratulations for it on Twitter. Asked about the letter, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said: “There is a free media that reports on issues as it sees fit.” Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Tajinder Singh Bagga put up several banners outside the
On Oct. 6, the UN Committee on Human Rights released a statement on the concentration camps in China’s Xinjiang region in which at least 1 million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are incarcerated. On the same day, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) was telling delegates at a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) meeting that “happiness among the people in Xinjiang is on the rise.” It was a stark reminder of the CCP’s longstanding practice of trampling on human rights and deceiving the world. In October last year, the Taiwan East Turkestan Association and the Taiwan Friends of Tibet held an event titled
In a Facebook post on Wednesday last week, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) wrote: “The KMT must fall for Taiwan to improve.’ Allow me to ask the question again: Is this really true?” It matters not how many times Hsu asks the question, my answer will always be the same: “Yes, the KMT must be toppled for Taiwan to improve.” In the lengthy Facebook post, titled “What were those born in the 1980s guilty of?” Hsu harked back to the idealistic aspirations of the 2014 Sunflower movement before heaping opprobrium on the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP)