Clinton invitation shameful
It is dumbfounding and shameful that the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy would be inviting somebody like former US president Bill Clinton to share "development of democracy and human rights in East Asia" ("Clinton, Gore to give speeches on visits to Taiwan," Sept. 27, page 1) considering Clinton's "Chinagate" scandal during his presidency as well as his administration's ties with questionable Chinese officials.
On Dec. 9, 1997, Chinese Defense Minister General Chi Haotian (遲浩田) visited the White House and the Pentagon with honors, being introduced by then secretary of defense William Perry as "my colleague." Chi was singled out by Time magazine in 1989 as the one who "bears major responsibility for the violence unleashed upon Beijing's citizenry by his troops" -- during what became known as the Tiananmen Massacre.
Even worse, on Feb. 6, 1996, Clinton granted several "officials" access to the White House, one of whom was a Chinese arms merchant, Wang Jun. Wang's meeting with Clinton was a favor to Charlie Trie, a major fund-raiser and businessman for the Democratic Party.
According to the Chinese-language publication World Journal, Wang was "deeply involved in arms sales to Iran, Iraq and other hostile states, as well as commercial ventures that enrich the People's Liberation Army (PLA)." This was a president who foolishly endorsed people with connections to China and its PLA, right in the White House.
The May 15, 1998 issue of the New York Times revealed that Clinton's re-election campaign was loaded with money from the PLA through Democratic fundraiser Johnny Chung. The contribution was US$110,000 -- not a small amount by any measure. China certainly wanted Clinton-Gore to be re-elected. And why not? All that money had bought favors from Clinton's White House at the expense of national security and even security of American allies such as Taiwan.
Thanks to the Clinton admin-istration, more US satellite and communications technologies were allowed to enter China, not to mention theft of nuclear secrets and other sensitive military information.
What is the foundation thinking? Just by inviting and paying a former US president and vice president to visit the country would help the organization's cause? Somebody should pay US$100,000 to Clinton to stay away from Taiwan, especially when discussing matters of democracy and human rights (he'll happily make a detour to Beijing -- he's certainly welcome there).
It is preposterous for People First Party (PFP) legislators to blame any problems in Taiwan on language usage [Hakkas unite against Hokkien, Sept. 27, page 2]. PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) is the one who suppressed native-language usage during his tenure as minister of information.
By suppressing native languages, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) not only prohibited the Taiwanese and Hakka people from learning their own languages, but also prohibited them from learning each other's language. This was done to keep them separated, and not to unite and challenge the KMT's illegitimate monopoly on power.
When I was in elementary school in Yunlin County in the 1960s, I tried to learn Hakka from one of my classmates. I was warned and stopped by my "mainlander" teacher.
The common enemy of the Taiwanese and Hakka people, regarding the sad state of their language, is the KMT and PFP, not each other. Instead of not using any native languages in future tests for civil servants, the language used in the tests should be in proportion to the population they serve. This is the best way to ensure different groups will try to understand each other and serve each other.
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