Anyone familiar with Chinese history or who has read the Romance of the Three Kingdoms knows that the greatest way to defeat an opponent is to divide it and conquer it.
Moving from the battlefield to politics, the same principle applies, and the best way to ensure defeat is to provide one’s opponent with the opportunity to create divisions and exploit weaknesses. When divisions exist and are so serious as to threaten the stability of a fighting force, an opponent need not fight to the fullest of its abilities to ensure victory; all it has to do is aim repeatedly for the chink in the armor until victory is achieved.
Saturday’s “anti-Ma, anti-China” demonstration will be an important test for the pan-green camp and its ability to present a united front in the face of a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government that has repeatedly undermined, by design and incompetence, the stability and viability of Taiwan as a sovereign state.
The rally will be a venue for Taiwanese who disagree with the approach of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to peacemaking with China, which has been carried out in haste and, in many aspects, without the consent of the people. In this respect, the demonstration should set colors aside and embrace pan-blue supporters who voted for Ma, but who disagree with his pro-China policies.
But all this could come to nothing if the demonstrating camp allows itself to be fractured and fails to coalesce into a unified political force.
At the source of the division that threatens the stability of the pan-green camp is former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), whose alleged money-laundering has prompted pan-green supporters to distance themselves from him. Many, in fact, have opposed Chen’s participation in Saturday’s event.
Given the seriousness of the situation that faces the nation, it is no time for disunity in the pan-green camp, let alone for assumptions of guilt before a court verdict has been rendered. Whatever Chen may or may not have done with the “state affairs funds” and other money from state coffers, the fact remains that his is an unwavering voice for Taiwan’s right to exist as an independent country and that his administration made tremendous accomplishments in developing Taiwanese consciousness. For this alone, Chen should be allowed to participate.
Still — and he has already said he would do so — Chen must avoid the temptation to seize the spotlight (admittedly not an easy feat in his case) and, if he shows up, will have to do so as an ordinary citizen.
A low-key Chen on Saturday, added to respect by all for his right to participate, would do pan-green unity tremendous good and inoculate the opposition against KMT and Chinese Communist Party attempts to force open a wedge and break it once and for all.
The task at hand is formidable and if Taiwanese are to succeed, they must put small differences, egos and grudges aside and push in the same direction. Any deviation will only make it easier for the Ma administration to ignore the criticism directed at it and to press on with policies that put the survival of the nation on the sacrificial altar.
Taiwan cannot afford to go the way of the defeated in the Three Kingdoms.
As the incursions by China into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone intensify, the international community’s anxiety has risen over the question of whether the US military would become directly involved in the case of an attack on Taiwan. Washington’s long-held policy of “strategic ambiguity” does little to ease the trepidation. The rationale universally espoused on “strategic ambiguity” is that an announced commitment from Washington to directly defend Taiwan would encourage Taiwanese independence and consequently bring forth a Chinese military attack and a possible nuclear confrontation between two superpowers. However, this line of argument could soon lose steam if the subject is viewed from
Having deceived the world about its nuclear capabilities while preparing for an arms race, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now using its increasing nuclear forces for virtual nuclear coercion. This new threat will continue until the United States, Japan, and Taiwan can restore the CCP’s sense of fear. This dynamic is a familiar one for Taiwan. As the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) capabilities have grown, its inhibitions about conducting larger and more frequent coercive military demonstrations have shrunk. The PLA now more openly practices for the destruction of Taiwan’s democracy and the murder of its citizens. In the nuclear realm,
The Tokyo Olympics will perhaps be remembered as one of the oddest Games in the event’s long and checkered history. Held amid a global pandemic, spectators are banned from most venues, leaving athletes to play out their feats of sporting brilliance in eerie silence. Meanwhile, furious Tokyo residents wave placards outside some venues, calling for the Games’ cancelation. Adding to the incongruity of it all, the entire Russian team is absent, banned due to a doping scandal. That the Tokyo Olympics went ahead at all has been extremely contentious in Japan. Critics fear a mass outbreak of the highly contagious Delta
Just a few days after an outbreak of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in May announced that a domestically produced vaccine against the virus would become available late this month. At the time, even though the government had placed orders for the Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, just 700,000 of the doses had arrived, and many Taiwanese were reluctant to get inoculated, in no small part due to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) disinformation campaign about the AstraZeneca vaccine’s alleged shortcomings. Before the outbreak, the government had been successful in keeping the number of infections to a minimum,