Patience running thin
In an interview with the China Review News Agency, retired vice admiral and former navy commander-in-chief Yeh Shih-wen (葉仕文) said that Taiwan’s purchase of US Harpoon Block II missiles would pose a threat to Chinese aircraft carriers’ entry into the Pacific Ocean, and that such a purchase is a sign of great hostility to China.
He also said that Beijing has always exercised self-restraint, and that it would take over Taiwan without breaking a sweat when its patience runs out.
Is this something a retired military leader should say? This sounds exactly like something an active or retired Chinese military leader would say. If this had happened during the authoritarian rule under former presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) or Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), he would have faced an execution squad.
His remarks have been met by a wave of criticism online, with people saying that it is unfair for taxpayers to pay his pension. It is like the Taiwanese saying: “If you raise a mouse, it will chew a big hole in your sack of grain.”
If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) does not condemn Yeh and revoke his membership, the party would have no chance of winning another election, because all KMT members would be seen as jackals of the same tribe.
Today, many hardworking people only earn a monthly salary of NT$30,000 to NT$50,000. Retired generals who no longer have to work receive a monthly pension that often exceeds NT$100,000. Is this fair?
Exactly whose patience is likely to run out?
In the past few months, Chinese aircraft have been provoking Taiwan by invading Taiwanese airspace almost on a daily basis. Instead of condemning China, he actually condemns Taiwan for rejecting Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policy. How could a retired military leader be so ungrateful?
The legislature should amend the law to cancel or reduce the pensions for such retired generals lest public anger continue to grow.
New Taipei City
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