Retired army major general Yu Pei-chen (于北辰), a former head the Taoyuan chapter of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) veterans branch, on Wednesday last week said that chapter head Tsang You-hsia (臧幼俠) — who dismissed Yu from his position — “would rather see cross-strait unification than yield to the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] government.”
The statement ignited public debate, as it was the first time that a retired officer loyal to the nation — and the KMT — said out loud what has long been rumored among the public: Some KMT members would rather work with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) than compete politically against the DPP in our democracy.
If what Yu said about Tsang is true, it might come as a shock to those who do not support the KMT.
Although our views on national identity — the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan — might differ, we all live here and have the same determination to protect our freedoms and democratic way of life.
If we discuss amending the Constitution or writing a new one, there is no thought of allowing the People’s Republic of China to interfere in the process.
The bottom line for political competition within the confines of Taiwan’s democratic society should be that we all protect this hard-won right to make a free choice.
Taiwan is free, and Taiwanese can freely choose between unification, maintaining the “status quo” or independence.
If one day, there really is unification, then Yu and the others in the “ROC faction” should demand that it be based on freedom, democracy and equality, rather than siding with the enemy.
In the past, the KMT fought the CCP, but it is now perceived as befriending it.
If it wants to win over public opinion and hold on to its voter base, the KMT and Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) must shoulder their responsibility and consider how to reform a party increasingly viewed as pro-China and anti-democracy.
It is time that they stopped indulging Tsang and those of his ilk before they push the KMT into the dustbin of history.
Chen Kuan-fu is a graduate law student at National Taipei University.
Translated by Perry Svensson
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