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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times The legitimacy of ROC rule

The legitimacy of ROC rule

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The recent protest against the detention of former president Chen Shui-bian has brought up an issue relating to the fundamental question of the legitimacy of the Republic of China (ROC) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rule in Taiwan.

Before 1987, Taiwan was under Martial Law for 38 years, otherwise known as the White Terror, which was inflicted on the population by an authoritarian regime that legitimized its rule of Taiwan on the Cairo Declaration and on the suppression of protests and revolts by Taiwanese against corruption and discrimination against Taiwanese.

Less well known is the fact that, until the 1990s, personnel working in the ROC court system and other government bureaucracies were appointed based on provincial proportionality to ensure that a minority of Chinese immigrants would perpetually occupy key positions. All this was based on a Constitution not ratified by Taiwanese.

If “rule by consent” is the core value of democracy, then the inhumane, discriminatory and unjust persecution we see today of Chen, his family and countless other Taiwanese as well as the KMT’s de facto one party rule of Taiwan should make us call into question whether democracy exists in Taiwan or whether ROC rule over Taiwan is legitimate.

Whatever crime Chen is accused of, it is not a violent crime.

Rather, Chen is a peaceful man who during his tenure as president of Taiwan did everything possible to accommodate the dethroned KMT rulers, to the point of being accused of treating Chinese in Taiwan better than their own Taiwanese compatriots.

However, that did not prevent Chen’s persecution by the corrupt court system in order to intimidate future Taiwanese from challenging KMT supremacy over Taiwan.

The injustice and inhumane rule of the ROC does not stop there.

The entire system of resource distribution is unjust, from the disproportionate sum allocated to Taipei City where most Chinese immigrants reside, to an educational system favoring the descendants of Chinese immigrants and unfair prosecution of Taiwanese political and economic crimes compared with those committed by Chinese compatriots.

Chen’s case stands out as the most arrogant and daring of all, carried out by a shameless KMT party machine.

If these violations of Chen’s human rights continue, it will no doubt prove once again the illegitimacy of ROC and KMT rule in Taiwan.



Source: Taipei Times - Letters 2009/06/30

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