Posts tagged ‘KMT’

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The KMT’s last Chance: Waste Separation in Shanghai

Main Link: Anyone may criticize the KMT, but not former “honorary member” Terry Gou (王丰:谁都有资格批评国民党,但前“荣誉党员”郭台铭没有)

Wang Feng (王丰), born 1956 in Taichung, Taiwan, to a mother from Jiangsu and a father from Hubei, is president of the China Times Group. He is also an occasional interviewee of Guanchazhe, an online news and commentary portal based in Shanghai. The China Times has been owned by Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), a China-leaning businessman, since 2008. While Taiwan’s pan-green political camp detests the paper and doubts its integrity, in turn, Wang Feng, defending the paper in July this year against accusations that it had been taking “phone calls” from China’s “Taiwan Affairs Office” (TAO), criticized the accusers, saying that freedom, democracy and human rights were Taiwan’s hard-won values, and that a pluralistic and democratic society was the only thing Taiwan had over China.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) criticized the China Times Media Group for filing a lawsuit against the Financial Times’ correspondent Kathrin Hille (who had apparently reported about the alleged link to the “TAO” first), calling the legal action abusive. There doesn’t seem to be any news online about if and how the group’s legal proceedings have continued since.

That wasn’t an issue in Wang Feng’s most recent interview with Guanchazhe (published on Saturday) either. It centers around Foxconn founder Terry Gou‘s (郭台銘) withdrawal from the KMT, which had made him an honorary member only in April.

Based on opinion polling, Gou lost the KMT primaries to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in July this year.

Han Kuo-yu is now the KMT’s nominee, and therefore the KMT’s official challenger of incumbent president Tsai Ing-wen (DPP),  in Taiwan’s presidential elections, scheduled for January 11, 2020. However, his chances to emerge as Taiwan’s next president have faltered, not least since the beginning of large-scale demonstrations in Hong Kong, against a (now apparently scrapped) extradition law draft by the special administrative zone’s government. The Hong Kong events seem to have raised the Taiwanese public’s awareness of what the “one-country-two-system” approach, advocated by China’s party and state leader Xi Jinping as a “model” for Taiwan, would mean in practice, and an apparent unpreparedness by Han Kuo-yu to criticize Beijing has added to his problems on the campaign trail.

Criticizing Beijing, of course, is nothing Wang Feng would do either, nor would it be something Guanchazhe could publish anyway. If the KMT (rather than Taiwan in general) has any advantage over China in Wang’s book, it wouldn’t be “pluralistic and democratic Society” (as stated in his announcement to sue the Financial Times and the Taiwanese media who had referred to the FT’s Coverage), but the KMT’s potential skills in managing waste separation in, say, Shanghai (比如国民党的环保能力非常强,现在上海在搞垃圾分类,国民党可以派人来当顾问,帮大陆做得更方便、更干净). In such fields, the KMT should enter a competition with the Chinese Communist Party, Wang said, not so much in terms of votes (obviously), but in helping Taiwanese compatriots to leave a favorable Impression on mainland compatriots” (争取人心,不是去争取选票,而是要争取大陆同胞对台湾同胞的好感), and in making peoples’ lives easier.

The “big picture” Wang drafts for the KMT in the interview might be summed up as think global, act in China, suggesting that solving China’s (environmental) problems would contribute to solving the world’s problems. His interview can also be seen as part of Guanchazhe’s efforts to prepare the Chinese public (or the share of it that cares) for a (no longer unlikely) re-election of Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan’s president.

Terry Wang, apparently a very sensitive man when his own professional integrity, or that of his paper, is called into question, doesn’t mince his words about Terry Gou. As a man who had portrayed himself as a principled man who believed in Mazu and Guan Gong, Gou hadn’t done himself a favor by withdrawing  from the KMT, “neither in terms of business nor politically” (换言之,他现今的脱党举动会在他未来不管是企业还是从政的道路上,布下一个非常不好的变数,而所谓的变数就是让人对他的诚信产生根本的否定), Wang says. He also cites Gou’s management style at Foxconn as an example as to how void his recent criticism of the KMT actually were. After all, if Gou – contrary to the KMT old guards – was indeed a modernizer, he could have democratized Foxconn (郭台铭不“迂腐陈旧”,难道鸿海敢搞企业民主、开明治理吗).

As for the state of the KMT’s unity, Wang suggests a numerical game to predict how the Party would fare:

There is a precondition for the KMT being united, and it is that their candidate must be in a safe zone of winning the elections, or moving close to losing. In such situations, there is a likelihood for unity. If Han Kuo-yu’s support rate isn’t more than 30 percent, but 20 percent or lower, the KMT may split.

国民党的团结必须有一个大前提,就是候选人是在胜选的安全区域,或接近落选的危险边缘,这样他们才有团结的可能性。如果韩国瑜今天不是30%多的支持度,而是20%多或更低,那么国民党就会是分裂的。我刚还在想,国民党的这些人跟战国七雄很相似,他们心中永远有个战国心态,就是“老子弱的时候,就臣服于强者;老子强的时候,又蠢蠢欲动想分裂”。

According to Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) German service on September 12, Gou may register as an independent candidate until September 17. He is widely expected to run for president as an independent now. That, however, could force him to state his positions, much more explicitly than up to now, reckons Frozen Garlic, a blogger who has focused on the topic of Taiwan’s elections for more than nine years. Even though Gou had mostly served platitudes during a visit to Chiayi city council earlier this month (and before withdrawing his KMT honorary Membership),

[e]very time Gou speaks, he gives Tsai [DPP] and Han [KMT] an opening to question him and force him to defend his positions and the implications of those positions.

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Related

“We uphold our principles,” Jan 2, 2019

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Updates/Related

Gou bows out, RTI, Sept 17, 2019

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Saturday, May 4, 2019

One Movement, Two Takes

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Beijing, April 30

Main Link: May-Fourth 100th Anniversary solemnly held at Great Hall of the People, Xi Jinping gives important Speech (纪念五四运动100周年大会在京隆重举行 习近平发表重要讲话)

Xinhua Beijing April 30 — A meeting to mark the 100th anniversary of the May-Fourth movement was solemnly held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, State Chairman, and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping gave an important speech at the meeting, emphasizing that for the past 100 years, the May-Fourth movement has been a continuous struggle of one youthful Chinese generation after another, marching forward under triumphant songs, creating 100 years of a youthful China, and a youthful nation, by their youthful selves. The main theme of the new era’s Chinese generation’s movement, its youthful movement’s direction, its youthful mission, is to uphold the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, to be together with the people, to achieve the goal of the struggle for the “Two Centenaries” and the dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

新华社北京4月30日电 纪念五四运动100周年大会30日上午在北京人民大会堂隆重举行。中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平在会上发表重要讲话强调,五四运动以来的100年,是中国青年一代又一代接续奋斗、凯歌前行的100年,是中国青年用青春之我创造青春之中国、青春之民族的100年。新时代中国青年运动的主题,新时代中国青年运动的方向,新时代中国青年的使命,就是坚持中国共产党领导,同人民一道,为实现“两个一百年”奋斗目标、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而奋斗。

Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan attended the meeting.

李克强、栗战书、汪洋、王沪宁、赵乐际、韩正、王岐山出席大会。

In the Great Hall of the People’s great hall, the atmosphere was solemn and enthusiastic. Above the podium, red banners were hanging with the inscription “commemorating the May-Fourth Movement’s 100th anniversary”, and behind at the center, there was a red banner saying “1919 – 2019”, and ten red flags in rows at both sides. In a distance, from the second floor, there was the slogan “Closely united around the Party’s Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, make full use of the great May-Fourth spirit, uphold the correct direction of the new era’s Chinese youth movement, and do your utmost to achieve the dream of the Chinese nation’s great rejuvenation, the magnificient and youthful chapter!”

人民大会堂大礼堂气氛庄严热烈。主席台上方悬挂着“纪念五四运动100周年大会”会标,后幕正中是“1919-2019”的红色字标,10面红旗分列两侧。大礼堂二楼眺台悬挂标语:“紧密团结在以习近平同志为核心的党中央周围,发扬伟大五四精神,坚持新时代中国青年运动正确方向,奋力谱写实现中华民族伟大复兴中国梦的壮丽青春篇章!”

Before the beginning of the meeting, everyone loudly sang “I and my China”, “Without the Communist Party, There would be No New China”, “Glorious! Communist Youth League of China”, “Ode to the Motherland”, and other songs, everyone brimming with surging youthful passion.

大会开始前,全场高唱《我和我的祖国》、《没有共产党就没有新中国》、《光荣啊,中国共青团》、《歌唱祖国》等歌曲,会场洋溢着澎湃的青春热情。

[…]

Taipei, May 3

Main Link: 100 years of May-Fourth / Chen Ming-tong: Mainland doesn#t see Mr De and Mr Sai, Taiwan guided by May Fourth 五四百年/陳明通:大陸不見德賽先生 台灣引航五四

On this year’s 100th anniversary of the May-Fourth  Movement, [Taiwan’s] Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chen Ming-tong has pointed out that strangulation of thought and freedom of speech control of young “listening to the party, going with the party”, an imbalance and twists between political reform and economic development, turning their backs to the May-Fourth spirit, all of mainland China ransacked and did away with the figures of “Mr Sai and Mr De”. Only with the practice of democracy on both sides of the Taiwan Strait could there be communication among equals, peaceful coexistence and a resolution of differences.

今年五四運動一百周年,陸委會主委陳明通指出,中共箝制思想言論自由、控制青年「聽黨話、跟黨走」,政治改革與經濟發展的失衡偏斜,背離五四精神,整個中國大陸遍尋不著「德先生與賽先生」身影。唯有兩岸都採行民主體制,才能對等溝通、和平共處、化解分歧。

In an address to a roundtable session for a”May Fourth 100th Anniversary: Mainland China’s Democracy Development Review” he said that “all-embracing freedom of thought”, as advocated as a school management guideline by then Beida University president had advocated “all-embracing freedom of thought” as a university management guideline by then Beida University president Cai Yuanpei, while these days, the Chinese Communist Party determined the May Fourth Movement as a history of the Communist Party’s struggle. Diverse and independent campuses, the spirit of freedom and openness, freedom of thought and speech had been strangled by the Communist Party, controlling the wave of  the young people “listening to the party, going with the party”.

陳明通3日出席「五四運動一百周年:中國大陸民主發展的反思」圓桌論壇時致詞指出,當年北大校長蔡元培倡導「思想自由、兼容並包」的辦學方針,如今中共將五四界定為共黨奮鬥史,中國大陸校園多元自主、自由開放的精神,已被中共箝制思想言論自由、控制青年「聽黨話、跟黨走」的反民主自由思潮。

[…]

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Related

One ROC, two Interpretations, Oct 10, 2011

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Updates / Related

A critical moment, SCMP, May 4, 2019

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

“Deep-green,” but not the DPP’s candidate: Taipei’s Mayor wins another term

Taiwan’s municipal elections ended in a mostly blue (KMT) night, with the DPP apparently winning only in six cities or counties, and losing their stronghold in Kaohsiung to the KMT.

And the DPP people may still consider themselves lucky. After all, they had done their best to hand Taipei over to a KMT government, too, by nominating a DPP candidate instead of supporting independent candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) as they had done four years earlier. Taipei’s election result has been extremely narrow. According to Wikipedia (as accessed today), Ke got 580,820 votes, compared with 577,566 for Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), his KMT competitor, and only 244,641 for the DPP contender.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) points out that Ting lost to Ko with a difference of only 3,254 votes, i. e. less than 3 per mill, and that in accordance with the law, a sequester of the ballots and a check of the vote-counts accuracy can be requested from a court. (根據台北市選舉委員會的資料,尋求連任的市長柯文哲獲得58萬820票,當選台北市長。丁守中輸柯文哲3254票,差距小於有效票數的千分之3,依法可向法院聲請查封及驗票。)*)

CNA:

After a deadlock of ten hours, Ke Wen-je won with 580,820 votes (41.05%) over Ding Shouzhong’s 577,566 votes (40.82%), with only 3,254 votes separating the two, which made this result the closest ever since the 1994 Taipei mayoral elections.

歷經逾10小時僵持,柯文哲以58萬0820票、41.05%得票率,擊敗丁守中的57萬7566票、40.82%,2人差距僅3254票,為1994年台北市長選舉以來,勝負雙方差距最小一次。

Ke Wen-je arrived at Four-four South Village at 2:35 in the morning, accompanied by Hsieh Ho-hsien‘s song “Taiwan’s Future.”

柯文哲在凌晨2時35分抵達四四南村,在歌手謝和弦「台灣的未來」歌聲下慢慢走到舞台,沿途獲得支持者熱烈歡迎與歡呼,而他的妻子陳佩琪、柯爸柯承發、柯媽何瑞英也在台上陪伴。

Not just Taipei’s, apparently. If the DPP would endorse him (on a national level) is a different question. Ko is still an independent, and – according to a Taiwan-based blog – about as gaffe-prone as Pasuya Yao. But either way, Pasuya Yao, not Ko, was the DPP’s candidate for the Taipei mayoral elections.

Ko’s relationship with the DPP has been somewhat uneasy recently, although “being deep-green is” his background.

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Note

*) According to Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) English service, Ting Shou-chung, the KMT candidate, is contesting the election results.

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Related

Tsai steps down as DPP chair, RTI, Nov 24, 2018

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Obituary: Chu Ke-liang, 1946 – 2017

A comedian’s life doesn’t have to be fun – Taiwan’s entertainer Hsieh Hsin-ta (謝新達), better known as Chu Ke-liang (豬哥亮), had seen tough times before successfully returning to the stage in his later years. According to a Taipei Times article in 2009, he had ruined his finances in the 1990s, incurring debts by gambling heavily. Hiding from his creditors, and a family feud, defined that decade.

This video is from the Chu Ke-liang’s Karaoke Show (or Cabaret Show) which was popular in the 1980s. The maître du show appears towards the end of the 6th minute.

The View from Taiwan quotes from a “Facebook” post:

On one end he was the affirmation of the KMT colonialist stereotype of Taiwanese as vulgar, low class, silly, impish and absurd. He was the validation of Waisheng class supremacy, not unlike the way African Americans have been depicted as caricatures to reinforce White supremacy in classic American film–the minstrel. Zhu Ge-liang was the caricature of Taiwaneseness to satisfy the desires of a Waisheng elite.

On the other end, Zhu was loved by Taiwanese audiences for creating Taiwanese space in media at a time when the Waisheng aesthetic was still (and is still) the predominant image. He was, in a way, a rejection of that Waisheng aesthetic.

[…]

Chu was born in Kaohsiung in 1946. He died after a long battle against cancer, aged 70. Reportedly, he may eventually be buried in Keelung.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tsai Ing-wen’s 2-28 Speech on Tuesday

A China Television (CTV) video on Youtube, a transcript (in Chinese) by Central News Agency (CNA), and an account of the speech in English on CNA’s Focus Taiwan.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February 28: one Incident, different Interpretations

Links within blockquotes added during translation — JR


1. Chinese State Council “Taiwan Affairs Office”, Febr 22

State Council Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan told a regular press conference on February 22 that the February 28 incident which occured seventy years ago was the Taiwanese compatriots’ resistance against dictatorship, a righteous movement to obtain basic rights, and part of the Chinese peoples’ struggle for liberation. Ever since a long time ago, this incident has been intentionally used by “Taiwan independence” splittist forces on the island who distorted historic facts, incited contradictions in their province of citizenship [Update, Febr 26: or between citizens with different provinces of origin], to tear apart the Taiwanese community, to create antagonism withinn society. Their despicable intention to carry out separatist “Taiwan independence” activities was absolutely despicable.

国务院台办发言人安峰山2月22日在例行新闻发布会上应询表示,发生在70年前的“2.28”事件是台湾同胞反抗专制统治、争取基本权利的正义行动,是中国人民解放斗争的一部分。长期以来,这一事件被岛内的“台独”分裂势力别有用心地利用,他们歪曲历史事实,挑拨省籍矛盾,撕裂台湾族群,制造社会对立,为进行“台独”分裂活动张目,其用心是十分卑劣的。


2. Chinanet, Febr 8, 2017 (Excerpts)

The Taiwan Affairs Office holds a regular press conference on the 8th of February (Wednesday) at 10 in the morning, at the Taiwan Affairs Office press conference room (6-1, Guang’anmen South Road, Guang’an Building). There will be a live broadcast online, please follow it closely.

国务院台湾事务办公室定于2月8日(周三)上午10:00在国台办新闻发布厅(广安门南街6-1号广安大厦中门四层)举办例行新闻发布会。中国网现场直播,敬请关注!

[photographic records / 图片实录]

Transcript / 文字实录

[…]

Xinhua reporter: Two questions. First question, this year is the seventieth anniversary of the 2-2-8 incident, may I ask if there will be related mainland activities? Second question, the “Taiwan Solidarity Uion” is currently announcing that they plan to invite “Xinjiang independence” element Rebiya Kadeer to visit Taiwan and hope to effect a meeting between her and Tsai Ing-wen. I would like to ask how the spokesman has [spokesman being addressed in the third person] comments on this?

新华社记者:
两个问题。第一,今年是“2·28”事件七十周年,请问大陆方面会否举行相关的纪念活动?第二,“台联党”日前宣布,计划于3月份邀请“疆独”分子热比亚访台,并希望促成她与蔡英文会面,想请问发言人对此有何评论?
2017-02-08 10:45:21

An Fengshan: Concerning your first question, it is understood that the relevant mainland departments are going to hold a number of commemorative activities at the scheduled time. Concerning your second question, as is well known, Rebiya Kadeer is a ethnic group splittist element, a leading figure of the “East Turkestan” separatist force. We are firmly opposed to an arrival of Rebiya Kadeer at Taiwanese activities in any form.  “Taiwanese independence” forces inviting such a person to visit Taiwan, intending to manufacture disturbances, is bound to harm cross-strait relations.

安峰山:
您的第一个问题。据了解,大陆有关部门届时会举办系列纪念活动。
第二个问题,众所周知,热比亚是一个民族分裂分子,是“东突”分裂势力的头面人物。我们坚决反对热比亚以任何形式到台湾活动。“台独”势力邀请这样一个人物到台湾访问,意图制造事端,势必会损害两岸关系。
2017-02-08 10:45:38

[…]

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Related

Massacring the Truth, Taipei Times, Febr 25, 2017
Rebiya Kadeer cancels Taiwan visit, UAA, Febr 14, 2017
Jiang attends Xinhai Commemoration, Oct 9, 2011

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

China’s rising Aggression against Taiwan – is there anything we can do to counter it?

Nigeria told Taiwan earlier this month to move its de-facto embassy from the capital Abuja to Lagos, the country’s biggest city and its capital until 1976, and seat of the federal government until 1991. According to the Chinese foreign ministry,

Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama told journalists after reaffirming the One-China Policy at a joint press conference with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, that Taiwan will now have to function in Lagos with a skeletal staff.

One could condemn the decision of the Nigerian government, who have reportedly been promised $40 bn Chinese investment in the country’s infrastructure, and the Taiwanese foreign ministry did just that.

But there will always be governments who are too weak to be principled – and most governments worldwide, and especially those of “developed” and powerful countries, have long played along with Beijing’s “one-China policy”. Big or small countries’ decisions are based on “national interest” (whichever way national interest may be defined).

Still, what Nigeria is doing to Taiwan shows a new quality in harming the island nation. A Reuters report on January 12 didn’t try to “prove” Beijing’s driving force behind the Nigerian decision, but quotes a Taiwanese perception that would suggest this, writing that Taiwan sees the “request” to move its representative office from the capital as more pressure by China to isolate it.

Reuters also wrote that

[w]hile economic ties between the mainland and Taiwan have grown considerably in recent years, their relations have worsened since Tsai Ing-wen, who heads a pro-independence party, was elected president of the island last year.
Beijing has been stepping up pressure on her to concede to its “one China” principle.

In fact, this isn’t just a move to make Taiwan “lose face”, or to re-emphasize the – in Beijing’s view – inofficial nature of Taiwanese statehood and sovereignty. This is an attempt on Taiwan’s lifelines, even if only a small one – for now. If Taiwan has to reduce staff at one of its embassies, simply because Beijing wants the host country to bully Taiwan, this affects Taiwanese trade. And this means that Beijing is making fun of a World Trade Organization member’s legitimate interests.

Looking at it under less formal aspects, this move via Nigeria is also an aggression against Taiwan’s democracy.

The Tsai administration’s position during the past eight months hadn’t even been “provocative”. All they can be blamed for is that they didn’t bow before Beijing’s hatpole, an alleged “1992 consensus” between the Chinese Communist Party and the Taiwanese National Party (KMT). In her inaugural speech in May, President Tsai Ing-wen still acknowledged the fact that there had been KMT-CCP talks that year, and the role the talks had had in building better cross-strait relations. But  she pointed out that among the foundations of interactions and negotiations across the Strait, there was the democratic principle and prevalent will of the people of Taiwan.

It seems that this position – legitimate and reasonable – was too much for Beijing. This should be food for thought for everyone in the world who wants the will of the people to prevail.

J. Michael Cole, a blogger from Taiwan, wrote in September last year that China’s leadership

behaves very much like a 12-year-old: pouting and bullying when it doesn’t get what it wants. To be perfectly honest, it’s rather embarrassing and hardly warrants the space and scare quotes it gets in the world’s media. […]

Why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has kept at it for so long is because we, the international community, have allowed it to do so. From the hallowed halls of academia to the media, government agencies to the public sphere, we have allowed fear to regulate how we interact with China, with ourselves, and with the rest of the world.

His conclusion: we – and I assume that by “we”, he refers to all freedom-loving people who cherish democracy – need collectively stiffer spines, ; the times when we let the authoritarian-child determine what’s in our best interest should come to an end, not just in the political sphere but in other areas, including the embattled field of free expression, where the 12-year-old has been making a mockery of our proud traditions in journalism and academia.

I wasn’t sure if I agreed when I read this, months ago. Yes, it is true that China’s dollars are corrupting. But aren’t all dollars corrupting, if you are corrupt? Who forces us to take them? I’m wondering if South Africa in the 1980s would have faced sanctions if their white government and elites had had to offer then what Beijing has to offer now. And in that regard, I believe we should see clearly that Western countries frequently put their positions on sale easily, when they are offered the right price.

That was  a main factor in America’s motivation, in the 1970s, to acknowledge Beijing’s “one-China policy”. That’s why the EU is nearly spineless when it comes to interaction with Beijing. And that’s why Taiwan’s own elites are frequently eager to do business with China, even if this limits the island republic’s political scope further.

All the same, China’s measures against democracy are uniquely aggressive in some ways. Above all, they are completely shameless. If they serve their country, Chinese people may advocate them without the least disguise – because it serves China. When an American politician – Donald Trump – does a similar thing by ostensibly “putting America first”, he faces a bewildered global public who can’t believe their own ears. And yes, censorship and records where only the victor writes the history books and declares the defeated parties villains is part of hallowed Chinese tradition. There were Chinese people who were openly critical of that tradition during the 1980s or the 1990s. As far as I can see, there aren’t too many of them any more. (I’m not sure there are any left.)

Chinese “public opinion” may debate measures to optimize business, or CCP rule. But there are no competing visions in China. There is no public opinion. There is only guidance toward totalitarianism.

Can governments play a role in controlling China’s aggression against democracy? Not in the short or medium term, anyway. Any such movement has to start from the grassroots. And it won’t be a terribly big one, let alone a “collective” one, as Cole appears to hope.

But every right move is a new beginning, and a contribution to a better world. We can’t boycott China, and if we could, it might amount to a tragedy.

But we can make new, small, decisions every day: is this really the right time to arrange a students exchange with China? Why not with Taiwan? Is an impending deal with China really in one’s best interest? Could an alternative partner make better sense in the long run, even if the opportunity cost looks somewhat higher right now?

The CCP’s propaganda, during the past ten or twenty years, has been that you have no choice but to do business with China under its rule, no matter if you like the dictatorship and its increasing global reach, or not. The purpose of this propaganda has been to demobilize any sense of resistance, of decency, or of hope.

We need to take a fresh look at China.

As things stand, this doesn’t only mean a fresh look at the CCP, but at China as a country, too. During the past ten years, the CCP has managed to rally many Chinese people behind itself, and to discourage dissenters, apparently a minority anyway, from voicing dissent.

A new personal and – if it comes to that – collective fresh look at China requires a sense of proportion, not big statements or claims. It doesn’t require feelings of hatred or antagonism against China, either. We should remain interested in China, and continue to appreciate what is right with it.

What is called for is not a answer that would always be true, but a question, that we should ask ourselves at any moment when a choice appears to be coming up.

As an ordinary individual, don’t ask how you can “profit” from China’s “rise” (which has, in fact, been a long and steady collapse into possibly stable, but certainly immoral hopelessness).

Ask yourself what you can do for Taiwan.

Happy new year!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

KMT’s Communication: one Party, two Interpretations

It’s nothing unusual that Beijing bemoans a lack of pro-China “patriotism” among members or supporters of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan, but on Wednesday (Oct 26), on a regular press conference, a “Taiwan Affairs Office” (TAO) spokesman commented on a debate within the oppositional Kuomintang (KMT), a party with a Chinese history, according to Taiwanese news agency CNA. Former president Ma Ying-jeou, in office from 2008 to May this year, had worked to promote both closer economic ties to China, and some kind of political understanding. The “1992 consensus” always featured prominently in Ma’s China talk, but not so in president Tsai Ing-wen‘s. Now, the question within the KMT appears tobe  if one China, two interpretations (the traditional KMT view of the “consensus”), or one China, one interpretation should be a position to aspire to.

The TAO spokesman, apparently commenting on controversy within the KMT, also reiterated the “1992 consensus”. He mentioned neither two, nor one interpretation, probably because Beijing has never done that anyway.

Previously, the TAO had commented on the issue a fortnight ago. Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Taiwan’s vice president from 2012 to 2016 (serving during president Ma Ying-jeou’s second term in office), had criticized current KMT chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu‘s (洪秀柱) cross-straits policies. In reaction to Wu’s criticism, KMT cultural and communications commission director Chow Chi-wai (周志偉) had quoted Hung Hsiu-chu as saying that the established KMT formular, “one China, two interpretations”; had not been cancelled, and that the KMT’s central committee would work to continuously strengthen communication further.

The English-language China Times pointed out in a report on October 16 that Hung had advocated moving towards a “one China, one interpretation” status during her presidential campaign in 2015. Hung, in a meeting with KMT legislators, had affirmed that to advocate the “different interpretation” version in a scheduled meeting with Chinese party and state chairman Xi Jinping was her “responsibility”.

However, she also said that the lawmakers probably did not understand the meaning of the “1992 Consensus” and how it had been reached.

Hung’s communication style could be described as erratic. Even people who might want to trust her, may not be in a position to do so when it comes to national security issues.

Apart from that, anything like “one China, one interpretation” is a reliable killer of any hope the KMT may have to win national elections.

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