During the Roman Empire, the Romans came up with a Latin word: “Pax.” On-line dictionary defines this vocabulary as:
1. (Ecclesiastical in bible) Kiss of peace.
2. (with initial capital letter) A period in history marked by the absence of major wars, usually imposed by a pre-dominant nation.
Wikipedia has a thorough explanation of this word. Quite a powerful word. “Pax,” in Latin, simply means “peace.” Indeed, mankind’s history is marked by several (or shall we say quite envious) Pax eras: with Pax Romana, Pax Britannica, and Pax Americana as the better known ones. The dominant nations of the aforementioned three periods are Roman Empire, British Empire, and the United States respectively; with 19th and 20th centuries dominated by the later two English speaking “empires.”
What about “Pax Sinica?” Those who uphold the so-called “Greater China Ideology” love it. Such scholars and politicians’ favorite argument is to bring up the past glories of former Chinese dynasties such as Han and Tang. Unfortunately, these individuals are also in abundant supply at present day Taiwan. With the Ma administration and predominantly KMT legislature, the glories of Pax Sinica can never be trumpeted with greater loudness.
The truth is, there is no “Pax” Sinica this time around. Paxism, to paraphrase the above definition, is effectively an imperialism that ensures world wide peace and stability. Such an imperial structure must be based on democracy and respect for human rights. Humans are blessed with self-will. Such self-will subconsciously endowed people with the ability, and therefore the rights, to choose a better form of government. A Pax empire must expand by persuasion. It is the will of the colonial populace that counts. Empires built with military coercion will not last. Not to mention that military violence only breeds more resentment among the conquered, thereby planting the seeds for an empire’s eventual downfall.
The Roman Empire was preceded by the Roman Republic, which was essentially a democracy. The Republic’s governing body is composed of the Senate and the Legislative Assemblies, whose members essentially are all democratically elected by the people. The expansion of Roman Empire, according to historians, is as much by military force as by the popular acceptance of the Republic’s Constitutional principles. Ditto for the 19th century British Empire and the 20th century United States. During their respective heydays, the British Empire was known as a benevolent empire and the United States is known as the “land of the free.”
Theories and histories notwithstanding, the saddest part of the “fake” Paxism, or authoritarian imperialism wolf in sheep’s skin, is actually the conquered people and the annexed states. China currently is neither a democracy nor a globally accepted benevolent regime. An accurate description of PRC is an authoritarian state known for its cruelty. Pax Sinica, circa 21st century, simply does not exist. By being supplicant to China, the Ma administration and KMT is giving up the Republic of Taiwan’s sovereignty and political identity to an evil empire at best; and at worst, condemning the Taiwanese people to cataclysmic chaos that is far more severe than the Chinese Cultural Revolution decades ago. This worst case scenario can readily happen if Taiwan is too close to, or becomes part of, PRC. A large authoritarian empire is essentially unstable. Once members of its leadership with absolute power die off, thereby creating a power vacuum, the ensuing political power struggles, and possibly civil wars, can be unbelievably bloody…
I hope Ma knows what he is doing. I hope KMT know what they are doing.