Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused leaders of the main opposition parties of tainting Taiwan’s international image and undermining Taiwan-US ties by airing erroneous messages to the world about events in Afghanistan.
Comparisons of the Afghan government’s military defeat to China’s planned annexation of Taiwan have mainly come from top officials in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as candidates campaign for the party’s chairperson election next month, said DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳), director of the DPP caucus.
“For the sake of scoring political points for their candidate in the party’s chairperson race, KMT officials are willing to sacrifice Taiwan’s national interests by trying to draw parallels between Taiwan and Afghanistan,” Liu told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Screen grab by Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times
After Taliban fighters entered Kabul on Sunday, taking control of the Afghan capital, former KMT and New Party legislator Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) wrote on social media: “Events in Afghanistan could likely happen in Taiwan,” and “It’s foolish for the DPP government to tell Taiwanese that the US will come to save us [from China].”
The US sacrificed the Afghan government by negotiating for peace and withdrawing its troops, said Jaw, who is chairman of Broadcasting Corp of China.
“The US is not a dependable ally,” he wrote. “Taiwan must choose between peace and war, if it does not want to become another Afghanistan.”
“It is wrong to get so close to the US,” Jaw added. “People do not know the grave danger that will befall Taiwan soon.”
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) told reporters: “We are quite familiar with scenes of the US withdrawing its troops... In the 1970s, the US shifted to play the China card to contain the Soviet Union, so the US military left Taiwan. It led to much anger here, with feelings of uncertainty and apprehension regarding Taiwan’s future.”
On Tuesday, former KMT chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), who is making a second run for the position, posted: “Of course I don’t want Taiwan to become an Afghanistan, and Taiwan must depend on itself, and not rely on any other country.”
Responding to comments that the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan resembles the KMT’s retreat to Taiwan in 1949, Chu wrote: “If the KMT did not do so in 1949, then we would not have the Taiwan of today.”
Separately on Tuesday, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) wrote that history has repeated itself with the US’ frantic evacuation from Kabul just as it fled from the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon in April 1975.
“After 20 years, the US just wipes its ass and walks away,” Wang wrote. “It left chaos and the Afghan people in a very dire situation... This is not the first time that the US has abandoned an ally.”
Wang accused the US of only paying lip service to “liberty, freedom and human rights.”
Yesterday, DPP legislative caucus secretary-general Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said: “These KMT comments have been quoted around the international community, even giving the world the erroneous impression that these are mainstream views in Taiwan.”
Lo said that the KMT “failed to explain that the Taiwan of today is very different from the one-party authoritarian regime of the past.”
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