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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Taiwan should form front with HK

Taiwan should form front with HK

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On Wednesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a statement saying that issues “concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be decided by all Chinese, including [our] compatriots in Taiwan.”

The day before, China’s State Council released a “white paper” detailing its total authority over Hong Kong and reiterating that any autonomy enjoyed by the territory is subject to the Chinese central government’s authorization.

This blatant disregard for universal human rights, and lack of respect for the democratic values and autonomy of people in Taiwan and Hong Kong further reveal the fascist face of China.

The council — China’s Cabinet — and the office have clearly never heard what Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) once said about brushing up on Chinese history and the rise and fall of past dynasties to understand the situation the country is in today. If they do not know about Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) struggle for an independent Hunan Province, how could they have anything to say about self-determination?

In the years that he worked at the Beijing University Library, Mao studied Hunanese independence. In 1920, as the Republic of China was celebrating Double Ten National Day, Mao proposed the idea of founding a “Republic of Hunan” in an opinion piece.

The article advocated that China’s provinces and administrative regions be split into 27 independent nation-states. He also contended that the “true China” could only be created once these 27 states were running smoothly, making Mao the pioneer of anti-unification movements in China.

This is all very clear. In the end, the independence drive came to naught when the Soviet Union started nurturing the CCP’s rise to power, which gained further momentum during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), fraught with venality and corruption, also fell out of favor with the people, which left the Chinese mainland open for grabs and allowed the CCP to successfully establish its own authoritarian regime.

History is replete with examples of the world’s great motherlands eventually disintegrating, included when the US declared independence from Great Britain, Australia and Canada’s split from Great Britain, and that between Austria and Germany. Even the Soviet Union eventually disintegrated into several nation-states. Given this, does talking about anti-independence movement not seem a bit antiquated now?

Furthermore, China is an authoritarian, one-party state where people do not have the freedom to choose their leaders and lack the right to exercise free will in deciding at any level who should run the government. To say that the nation’s future will be jointly decided by the people of Taiwan and China is the biggest joke ever.

Taiwan is a democratic nation, not an authoritarian one-party state. Taiwanese choose their president and representatives at every level of government, and the central government has changed hands twice. Taiwanese are indubitably in charge of their nation and no single political party can decide its future — this can in no way be compared to Mao’s “Republic of Hunan.”

Moreover, China’s “Anti-Secession” Law was written by a single political party that was trying to concoct a pretext for further colonization after the Republic of China government took over Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.

Its being an independent, autonomous democracy means that Taiwan has nothing to do with China, be it the China of the Manchu Qing Dynasty or post-World War II China. Beijing can in no way justify rampant fascist suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwan, neither legally speaking nor based on public sentiment.

The fates of Taiwan and Hong Kong are intertwined, so if Taiwanese sit idly by and refuse to lend Hong Kongers a helping hand, their nation will be next in line. For that same reason, Taiwanese must also speak up for any liberal or democratic-minded Chinese, or else risk remaining enslaved forever.

If the nature of the CCP and of its dictatorial system never change, there would be no human rights, freedom and democracy to speak of, and we would all become victims of the authoritarian jackals.

Lu I-ming is the former publisher and president of the Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News.

Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat

Source: Taipei Times - 2014/06/16

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Residents of Mailiao Township (麥寮) in Yunlin County yesterday staged another protest by blocking three major roads leading to a petrochemical complex owned by the Formosa Plastics Group, but dispersed after drawing complaints from motorists about traffic disruption.

Dissatisfied with the county government’s role in compensation talks, the protesters shouted: “Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-feng [蘇治芬], step down,” and complained of “under-the-table operations.”