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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Scotland model one China could learn from

Scotland model one China could learn from

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Just as there is only one UK in the world, there is only one China in the world, but the two countries are very different in terms of systems, organization and respect for basic human rights.

The upcoming referendum on Scotland’s independence has highlighted how valuable it is that people in a democracy have the right to make their own free choices and to decide whether or not they are willing to unite with someone else.

Scotland has long been a part of Great Britain, but there is now a push to separate it from the UK and once again become an independent country, and last year, the government passed the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill to set the rules for the referendum.

The two sides are now making every effort to gain support in the hope of winning the referendum scheduled for Sept. 18.

The UK government should be praised for its confidence in allowing the Scottish people to decide, without worrying that they might leave the nest for good. Scotland is also upholding the lofty principle of allowing local residents to decide: Anyone born in Scotland but who lives elsewhere is not allowed to vote, while anyone born outside of Scotland but now residing there is allowed to vote.

Since the Scottish people are free to choose independence in this civilized manner, the losing side cannot complain and such a union or separation is likely to be long-lasting and harmonious.

China has proclaimed that it is on the rise and it is establishing its Confucius Institutes across the world.

In the 1970s, Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) criticized both former Chinese vice premier Lin Biao (林彪) and Confucius, causing former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) to launch a “cultural renaissance” campaign in Taiwan.

At the moment, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is trying to monopolize Confucius on China’s behalf, and Beijing even demanded that the European Association for Chinese Studies (EACS) tear out the pages related to the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange in its brochure at the EACS’ 20th conference in Portugal last month.

It is said that Confucius attached great importance to a “benevolent rule” that upholds righteousness and morality, but from Mao to Xi, China’s promotion of “one China” and its Confucius Institutes reflects a “hegemonic rule.” They are simply trying pass off their tricks as virtue.

The fact is that “one China” is not really a voluntary union formed by different peoples. Instead, it is formed by force and oppression.

Internally, the Chinese government is oppressing Tibet, Xinjiang and even Hong Kong to prevent them from declaring independence.

Externally, it claims that the future of Taiwan should be decided by the 1.3 billion Chinese people, who have nothing to do with Taiwan.

“One China” refers to the People’s Republic of China, but it does not care about its people and is not a republic. If we portray the UK and China as two birdcages, then the door of the first birdcage is open and birds can come and go freely, while the door of the second birdcage is closed and all the birds are locked up inside.

Surprisingly, Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) praised the policy of “one China, with each side having its own interpretation” in May, claiming that the policy could please China and put Taiwan at ease by putting disputes aside.

His remarks are scarier than Ghost Month.

James Wang is a media commentator.

Translated by Eddy Chang

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2014/08/18

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