Ma’s, Tsai’s Double-Ten speeches: one ROC, two Interpretations

The following is a translaton of the last six paragraphs from a Liberty Times (自由時報) article of October 10 (local time). Links within blockquotes added during translation.

[…] Ma Ying-jeou and Hu Jintao both claimed the legitimate right to themselves yesterday to speak for Sun Yat-sen. In his commemorative speech, Hu Jintao linked the Xinhai Revolution’s legitimacy to the CCP, saying that the Chinese communists were the strongest supporters of what Sun Yat-sen had started, his closest cooperators, his most faithful successors, who continuously implemented and developed the great aspirations pioneered by Mr. Sun Yat-sen and the Xinhai Revolution.

Ma Ying-jeou also addressed the Xinhai Revolution and Sun Yat-sen yesterday, in a three-dimensional way, emphasizing that after the government had moved to Taiwan, it had made Sun Yat-sen’s ideals work there, after it hadn’t been able to achieve them in China (强调政府迁台后,在中国无法实现的孙中山理想,在台湾都实现了).  He also said that “we are gladly and also very proudly reporting to everyone that the system of freedom, democracy and fair distribution of wealth (均富) is worthy (對得起) of our country father Sun Yat-sen and his revolution, our people’s revolution, their sacrifices, their dedication, the efforts of many million people.

Addressing the CCP’s own celebration of “100 years of founding the state”, or “100 years of Xinhai Revolution”, Tsai Ingwen yesterday made a speech titled “tolerance will unite us, democracy will make Taiwan last forever”. She pointed out that when the Republic of China was established in 1912, Taiwan wasn’t part of its territory, and that the ROC, having lost all its territory in 1949, found shelter on Taiwan. When the historical narrative and the territory were cut apart, the link with the peoples’ feelings was also lost, and touched peoples’ hearts only with difficulty (當歷史論述和土地割裂, 失去與人民情感的聯結,就難以觸動人心).

This doesn’t negate the Republic of China’s significance for Taiwan, but I would like to remind the KMT that Taiwan has its own history, Tsai said. Several thousands of years ago, the aboriginees (原住民族) lived here, and four-hundred years ago, immigrants cultivated the land, political power took turns, that is what has been passed on from generation to generation of Taiwanese people, and what has left its mark in the blood and their memories. This belongs in the history of the people.

Tsai Ing-wen pointed out that even though the ROC government’s arrival on Taiwan had come with a very long period of authoritarian rule, after the termination of the mobilization for the supression of communist rebellion period, comprehensive parliamentary elections, direct presidential elections, the vast majority of Taiwanese today could acknowledge that “Taiwan simply is the Republic of China”, as the two have merged, for a new life in Taiwan. She emphasized that the next president’s task wasn’t to take the country back to 1912, but to lead it into a democratic future.

Tsai Ing-wen made her speech at the Kaohsiung World Games stadium. “The KMT under Ma and the DPP under Tsai both agree that the ROC exists, but they each maintain different interpretations as to what that entails”, the Taipei Times subtitled last night, and added that Tsai’s acknowledgment of the ROC prompted some soul-searching in the green camp:

“The DPP can say what it wants and we’ll say what we want, as long as we get enough votes to win the election,”

the Taipei Times quoted the Taiwanese Society of International Law (TSIL) secretary-general Lee Ming-chun (李明峻) –

“We are absolutely against the ROC, but it doesn’t matter that Tsai says that Taiwan is the ROC. We believe in her and we can change that after we win the election.”

____________

Related

» “The staunchest supporters”, Global Times, Oct 10, 2011
» A Lucky Year, MKL cmt, October 9, 2011
» Jiang Zemin attends ceremony, October 9, 2011
» Sun Granddaughter: Chinese distortions, CNA, Oct 2, 2011
» Hong Kong’s (2008) delegation, October 9, 2008

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