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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Lin Yu-fang is disloyal to Taiwan

Lin Yu-fang is disloyal to Taiwan

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With the exception of Taiwan, there is no democracy in the world where soldiers would be punished for stressing that they identify with their own country.

Nor is there any other democracy in the world where a parliamentarian would be unhappy because a soldier stresses that they identify with their own country and request a question-and-answer session as a result.

A few days ago, Lieutenant Tsai Yueh-sheng (蔡躍陞) was given two reprimands for expressing his support for Taiwanese independence in a post on Facebook.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) was unable to tolerate Tsai’s statement and even went so far as to request an interpellation session with the Ministry of National Defense.

No one who is used to the KMT’s colonialist education would find this very strange, but just imagine how ridiculous it would be if the US army did not allow its soldiers to support US independence and if members of the US Congress would hold question-and-answer sessions to criticize US soldiers for promoting US independence.

That just makes it clear how preposterous it is to punish a soldier and hold an interpellation session just because a Taiwanese soldier supports Taiwanese independence.

Taiwanese independence means that Taiwan should be a sovereign and independent democratic state, and not a province of the autocratic People’s Republic of China (PRC). In other words, the one that should be the most unwilling and most opposed to seeing Taiwanese independence should be the authorities in Beijing.

How can it be that instead it is local Hakka son Lin Yu-fang and Taiwan’s army, both of whom are paid by the blood, sweat and tears of Taiwanese taxpayers? Why are they so full of animosity and hatred toward their own people?

Using a tired old cliche, Lin, of course, said: “We do not identify with the People’s Republic of China, we identify with the Republic of China (ROC).”

Really? Then why did Lin not protest loudly when a group of senior retired ROC officers traveled to China, where they wined and dined with the People’s Liberation Army, and made statements such as “both the KMT army and the communist army are Chinese armies?”

And why did he not speak up when retired general and former director of the Department of General Political Warfare Hsu Li-nung (許歷農), who has pledged to “eliminate the communist bandits, take revenge and restore the nation,” traveled to Beijing, where he praised the PRC and said that it was outshining both the Han and the Tang dynasties?

After former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) sustained one of his two presidential election losses, he traveled to Beijing to deliver his surrender.

Once in Beijing, he delivered a lecture at Beijing University in which he derided Taiwanese independence and said loudly: “We must identify with this country,” earning cheers and applause of everyone in the auditorium.

Where was Lin then?

And why does he not say anything when the ROC flag is removed every time a low-level PRC official visits Taiwan?

The ROC, which fled to Taiwan in defeat in 1949, was not defeated by Taiwan, it was defeated by the PRC. If the ROC could take root in the local soil, it would be compatible with Taiwan.

The fact is that the Taiwanese independence discourse does not make a clean cut with the ROC, and it is beginning to interpret the ROC from a local standpoint.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) talked about the ROC on Taiwan, and views like the idea that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, and its name is the Republic of China are beginning to be heard from the Democratic Progressive Party. Although this is controversial, there are pragmatic attempts at reducing opposition.

Let us look at another example.

At a morning gathering at an elementary school somewhere in Pingtung County during “Patriotic Week,” a teacher told all gathered students: “We love our country, what is the name of our country?” and all the students answered with one voice: “TAIWAN.”

Somewhat taken aback at first, the teacher then answered: “That’s right, we are Taiwan, and we are also called the Republic of China.”

Students in practice identify with Taiwan, while the ROC remains a virtual construct. However, the two should be able to slowly merge, and this is the direction in which pro-localization is moving.

This is unacceptable to Lin, who — disloyal to Taiwan and paying his allegiance to someone else — cannot even measure up to a class of elementary-school students.

Lee Hsiao-feng is a professor at National Taipei University’s Graduate School of Taiwanese Culture.

Translated by Perry Svensson

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2014/11/04

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