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Home Editorials of Interest Jerome F. Keating's writings Peng Ming-min's New Book, Does Taiwan Need to Escape from Ma?

Peng Ming-min's New Book, Does Taiwan Need to Escape from Ma?

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Peng Ming-min is a man who has not only talked the talk, but more importantly walked the walk for Taiwan. A life long advocate of Taiwan's right for self-determination, he recently came out with a new book, "A Perfect Escape." The book recounts how in early 1970 Peng, still under house arrest for publishing the "Declaration of Formosan Self-Salvation" (1964), managed to escape from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) autocratic state control. This was at the height of the KMT's White Terror period and provides much more detail than there was in the brief mention of the escape in Peng's "A Taste of Freedom."

Some twenty plus years after the escape and self-imposed exile would pass. Only after Martial Law had lifted, was Peng able to return to Taiwan to run for President against Lee Teng-hui in the nation's first democratically allowed presidential elections (1996).

Peng used the launching of this new book to also lambaste Taiwan's current president, Ma Ying-jeou, a man who has never walked the walk for Taiwan. It can be questioned as to whether Ma has ever even sincerely talked the talk for Taiwan.

The double significance of this occasion was also not lost on Taiwan watchers who keep their ear to the ground and do not just listen to the Government Information Office's (GIO) party line. As one who knows Taiwan inside and out from the Japanese period up through 2-28, the White Terror, and the final achievement of democracy, Peng is the perfect man to assess the erosion of democracy under Ma. He pointed out the reality of how Taiwan has lost more in the first year of Ma's presidency than it had gained in the eight years under Chen Shui-bian. His words should not be taken lightly.

Source: Jerome F. Keating's writings



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Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

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