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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Shedding skins show true colors of diehards

Shedding skins show true colors of diehards

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The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), under which Taiwan was a one-party state for near half a century, is finally in decline — after being routed in the elections it has now been asked to return its ill-gotten party assets, and its cadres who lost power are busy competing for the their piece of the pie.

Old members are revealing the true color of their “bones.” While some are now saying they have “blue [KMT] skin with Taiwanese bones,” an old KMT member who has spent his whole life devoted to fighting the Chinese communists has recently revealed his red (communist) bones, saying that he is no longer anti-communist and vowing to “promote unification” from this point on.

This person, retired army general Hsu Li-nung (許歷農), the spiritual leader of the New Party, is just shy of being a centenarian. The future is not exactly his preserve.

Of course, he is perfectly entitled to choose where he belongs and to seek lack of freedom, but if he wants to drag the younger generation down with him in his quest for unification with China, he is going too far.

The reason Taiwanese and former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his clan were so vocal about their opposition to communism was that this was the only thing preventing Taiwan from becoming communist.

If the Chinese wished to allow their own country to be communist, that is their business, and they should take responsibility for that. Taiwanese have chosen democracy. Both sides of the Taiwan Strait should accept each other’s decision and try to coexist peacefully.

The people who once used fear and intimidation to bully Taiwanese by shouting about the need to defeat communism used to refer to the Chinese communists as “bandits.”

Now that the rug has been pulled from under their feet, they can no longer rely on the anti-communist struggle to legitimize themselves.

With the infusion of capitalist principles in the Chinese economy — what former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) called “socialism with Chinese characteristics” — they can no longer claim to be that different from the Chinese “communists,” who they themselves admit are not really so communist anymore.

Not so communist perhaps, but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to deepen its oppressive authoritarian hold over China.

Old people may pretend to be forgetful. The KMT party-state framed its goal of “retaking mainland China through military action” as a fight against the “communist bandits,” and used this as an excuse to implement martial law and dictatorship.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his supporters attempted to restore the party-state, but he did not explicitly promote unification. Now Ma’s “red bones” and selfish motives have been revealed.

Former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) was criticized by KMT fundamentalists for having “blue skin and green bones.”

Once nearly expelled from the KMT, he has started spouting nonsense since Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) became chairman, denying that he has “blue skin and green bones,” and saying he has “blue skin and Taiwanese bones” instead.

Whatever, somewhere in all of this he is revealing at least some degree of duplicity.

When Taiwan was under the party-state dictatorship, it was excusable for some people to try to cover their Taiwanese bones with blue skin in order to survive.

However, after Taiwan’s democratization, they should have shed those newly redundant blue skins. Honesty and authenticity would have been preferable.

James Wang is a media commentator.

Translated by Lin Lee-Kai

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2017/09/13

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