Banana farmers have suffered great losses because of recent imbalances in supply and demand. President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration failed to prevent the surplus from occurring and to adequately resolve the problem once it became apparent. Ma merely asked farmers why they had not told him sooner about the surplus, while the Council of Agriculture was left with no choice but to export the surplus to China.
Witnessing the government’s helplessness, Shandong Province Governor Jiang Daming (姜大明), who was on a visit to Taiwan, took advantage of the situation to announce that Shandong would purchase 5,000 tonnes of bananas. China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Deputy Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中), who visited Taiwan last month, said he hoped to set up a procurement center in Taiwan and a sales center in China to simplify the intermediary process and guarantee farmers’ profits.
At first glance it might seem that China is concerned for Taiwanese banana farmers — and actually doing a better job than Taipei to help them. Ma and the government might be grateful to China for buying surplus bananas, but in the eyes of Taiwanese, Taipei looks ineffective and weak because the only way it can address the problem is to ask Beijing for help.
However, is China really concerned for the well being of Taiwanese banana farmers?
Of course not. Beijing’s motives are actually quite simple — its united front strategy.
After Chinese officials announced they would buy Taiwanese bananas, some in China questioned why their government would buy Taiwanese bananas instead of bananas from Hainan Province, where prices have also dropped because of a glut. However, the Chinese leaders are in control of their own people, so they do not need to resolve the banana surplus in Hainan in a hurry.
On the other hand, they are eager to annex Taiwan and they clearly have ulterior motives behind their apparent kindness. What China really wants to buy is the Taiwanese banana farmers’ hearts, not their bananas.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), who wants to get Taiwan to accept the “one China” framework and thus complete the historical achievement of eventual unification of China during his term in office, once said: “The sale of Taiwanese agricultural products in China is closely connected to the benefits of all Taiwanese farmers, and it must be dealt with pragmatically.”
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) is directly targeting farmers in central and southern Taiwan because these areas make up the base of support for Taiwanese identity. By strengthening its economic united front tactics, China is attempting to undermine the solid foundation of Taiwanese autonomy. Despite China’s obvious ambitions, Ma and the government continue to leave the door wide open to Beijing’s malicious intentions.
This is why China’s united front tactics have been able to gradually infiltrate Taiwan; entering every household and the hearts of many Taiwanese during the past three years. Today, Chinese officials have visited rural Taiwanese villages in the mountains and by the sea.
However, Ma says that despite criticism that the start of direct cross-strait flights and the decision to allow Chinese tourists to enter the country would be Trojan horses, there have been no problems during the past three years. Ma is clearly blind to reality. This would explain why he cannot see how Beijing’s united front tactics are taking place in every corner of the nation. It is also the reason why he cannot see the crisis effecting Taiwanese identity and the risk that China’s work toward unification could destroy Taiwanese identy as a result of his own denigration of the nation’s sovereignty.
If the People’s Liberalization Army someday occupies Taiwan, it is safe to conclude that Ma would still claim that his policies were not at fault.
As the elections approach, Ma is once again playing his “one person, two identities” game: One day claiming that he is a descendant of the Yellow Emperor, while the next saying he is Taiwanese.
On the one hand, he is currying favor with China, and on the other, he is deceiving the Taiwanese public.
Ma’s actions since claiming to be Taiwanese during the 2008 presidential election campaign — selling out Taiwan and striving toward unification — make his reiteration of these same claims ring hollow. Taiwanese have come to see clearly that Ma’s claims to be Taiwanese are insincere and that his true allegiance lies with his other claim, that he is a descendant of the Yellow Emperor.
This is precisely the same approach that he has applied to his cross-strait policies — he is just as sincere about the part where he says there will be no Taiwanese independence as he is about the part where he says there will be no unification. China has abused Taiwan for three years, but Ma remains indifferent and might even be feeling good about it. Given his Chinese identity, Ma must not feel that he has been abused and it looks like he is actually the Trojan horse that snuck China into Taiwan.
While Chinese forces have been infiltrating Taiwan, Ma’s role as Trojan horse has been to cover up Beijing’s united front tactics. However, Ma is not only covering for Beijing, he is also giving away his nation’s sovereignty, industries, capital, technologies, talent and jobs.
As Ma hollows out the country, he is bringing in China to fill the vacuum. The direct cross-strait flights, the Economic Cooperative Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the arrival of Chinese tourists and students, are all measures that have gradually turned Taiwan into a Chinese paradise. China will gradually take over and gain complete control of Taiwan.
As long as Ma continues to lead Taiwan, he and his government will continue to lean toward China. The impact of this possibility on Taiwanese independence and autonomy is truly frightening.
TRANSLATED BY EDDY CHANG
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