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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Two nations can produce cross-strait friendship

Two nations can produce cross-strait friendship

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The China problem is a leftover from World War II, with the issues arising as the Republic of China (ROC) government occupied the nation after having accepted the surrender of the Japanese forces in Taiwan on behalf of the Allied forces.

In 1949, the ROC was overturned and replaced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The People’s Republic of China (PRC) wanted to deal with what it saw as the remnants of China that remained outside of the PRC’s borders and the capture of the ROC has been its goal for well over half a century. It is this aim that is the basis of instability.

This issue is not only creating difficulties for Taiwan, it is also creating difficulties for the PRC, which is the representative of China.

This is causing problems for Taiwan’s democratic development and its road toward nationhood, and it is making it impossible for the PRC to become truly independent.

As a result, Taiwan and China have been unable to establish normal relations.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has used this “Chinese knot” to hijack Taiwan, but the CCP, with its “liberation theory,” has also been unable to untie the knot.

Taiwan, which was ceded by the Qing Empire to Japan, which ruled Taiwan for 50 years, has been separated from China for more than 120 years and even though the KMT has seen the land as a basis for the party’s revival after defeat in the Chinese Civil War, more than half a century of KMT rule has only resulted in the public becoming resentful of China.

The PRC wants to take over the ROC to complete the construction of a “new China,” which has made Taiwan a constant target for annexation. Although cross-strait economic relations have been close since China’s reform and opening up, Beijing’s ambitions to invade Taiwan have not diminished.

A look at history shows that there has been talk about helping liberate the Taiwanese from the KMT and the ROC, but a comparison with today’s situation highlights the malicious intent of great powers.

Taiwan has already cast off KMT rule and is now moving toward becoming a small, independent nation that has no claims on China.

Although many Taiwanese have ancestors from China, their descendants born and raised in Taiwan are not strictly Han Chinese, they have also developed their own history, independently of China.

Mutual respect and parallel development has been the norm in the modern world.

Military confrontation and meaningless waste of resources should come to an end in the name of peace and friendship.

This is also necessary if China is to become a respected power.

Following the election of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in 1996, there have been two popularly elected presidents who both served two terms each: former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who was elected in 2000 and then re-elected in 2004, and Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who won the presidential election in 2008 and then again in 2012.

Ma’s eight years — during which he restored the KMT government to power — are about to come to an end and president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to take over on May 20.

Taiwanese have already made their view of the “status quo” known, discarding the KMT’s party-state ideology and pro-China stance.

The establishment of two nations, one on each side of the Taiwan Strait, will put an end to historical enmity and provide a historical opportunity for a new friendship.

Lee Min-yung is a poet.

Translated by Perry Svensson

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2016/03/31

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