Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) yesterday slammed a retired army general for claiming that Taiwan’s military has no chance in a war against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), while Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said the military is fully capable of defending the nation should China launch an attack.
Speaking at a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Chen castigated retired general Chen Ting-chung (陳廷寵), as he and activist groups urged the Ministry of National Defense to withhold the pensions of retired officers who have “turned their allegiance” to Beijing and are collaborating with China’s propaganda to undermine the military’s resolve.
In a speech on Tuesday last week to mark the 70th year anniversary of the Republic of China Military Academy, Chen Ting-chung said: “Taiwan’s military combat capabilities are close to none, and it has no chance in a war against the PLA.”
Photo provided by Chen Po-wei’s Legislative Yuan office
“I am Chinese, which is a symbol of pride ... but our Chinese race has a lot of scums who are willing to become running dogs of the US and Japan,” he said.
He also described Taiwanese political leaders as “ignorant” and “unintelligent” people who have distorted and misrepresented history, leading the descendants of the “Chinese Yellow Emperor” to their current impoverished state of despair.
Furious lawmakers have urged the Ministry of Education to cancel the annual NT$60 million (US$2.07 million) subsidy given to Chen’s Huadong Taiwan Businessman’s School in China’s Kunshan City, as the money was designed to boost students’ identification with Taiwan.
Chen Po-wei asked Deputy Minister of National Defense Chen Hsiao-ming (陳曉明) whether he is related to the general.
Chen Hsiao-ming said the general is his uncle, but added: “I have my own stance. I stand together with my military colleagues, and we are loyal to this country and will defend our homeland.”
Yen said the nation’s troops are at the peak of combat capability and can defend it against a hostile invasion.
Chen Po-wei said that he has received a lot of negative feedback from the public about the “defeatist talk” by the general, as well as by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
“People are saying they can see that many sectors in Taiwan are being infiltrated and undermined by China’s ‘united front’ tactics,” he said. “They are worried about serious infiltrations in Taiwan’s media outlets, online sites and social media, local temples and community organizations, and retired military groups.”
“These people told me that they are very alarmed by the deteriorating social situation in Hong Kong and China, and that the Chinese military is undertaking aggressive and hostile maneuvers against us,” he said.
“I thought they would be afraid, but instead many people said they will stand up for their families, and are willing to fight to defend Taiwan’s freedom and democracy,” he added.
Chen Ting-chung’s remarks “have a damaging effect on our military and undermines Taiwan’s sovereignty. Therefore I call on government agencies to find ways to withhold his pension, because men like him are promoting capitulation to China,” he said.
“Former president Ma has espoused similar defeatist talk by saying the if China launches an invasion, it would be Taiwan’s last war [signifying defeat],” the legislator said.
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