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Apr 11, 2009

Becoming a vassal of Beijing

Becoming a vassal of Beijing
by Lin Chuo-shui (林濁水), former DPP legislator, published first in the Liberty Times
Translated by your truly

Since the 1970's, Taiwan has had difficulty establishing and keeping foreign relations. With the help of the United States and other countries, Taiwan adopted a policy of internationalization and slowly made its way back into international society, joining APEC since 1991 and entering the WTO in 2002. Although participating in these organizations forced Taiwan to make some concessions on her designation, Taiwan did not accept "One China" as a condition for its participation, and Taiwan made full membership the goal.

However, the Hu [Jintao] - Lian [Chan] press communique of 2005 affirms that "Under the principle of One China, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can negotiate Taiwan's participation in international organizations." Ever since Ma Ying-jeou won the presidential election, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have come to a consensus that cross strait consultations should be held when it comes to Taiwan's participation in international activities.

Since the Ma administration has come to power, they have announced a number of policies, including acceptance of the '92 consensus & one China, two interpretations; KMT-CCP negotiations for Taiwan's international space; a détente in competition for foreign allies; an emphasis that America need not get involved in cross-strait relations; giving up the pursuit of mutual recognition [between Taiwan and China]; and stating that "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are not in a country-to-country relationship, but are two regions of the same country." In the thinking of the Ma administration, Taiwan's status is now:

  1. higher than Hong Kong's, since Taiwan already administers control over its
    own territory and can choose its own leaders and representatives.
  2. lower than Belarus or Ukraine under Soviet rule, as Taiwan is not a member
    of the United Nations.
  3. lower than the Korean state on the periphery of China during the dynastic
    era, as Korea was allowed to send ambassadors to all countries.
  4. giving up not only its legal sovereignty, but its actual

To summarize, the Ma government's sees Taiwan's status as a bit improved over "one country two systems," and a bit better than being a vassal state. But it gives up our independent sovereign status as a nation in favor of making us a vassal-state-in-training . But in fact, even this lowly status was refuted in "Hu's six points," and China has emphasized it will never accept Taiwan's independence, and certainly not partial independence (which basically defines the status of a vassal-state-in-training).

Faced with this kind of pressure, presentation of a unified front to the world by all [Taiwanese] parties ought to be a fundamental policy principle. But in the past few years, the parties have used international and cross-strait relations as a pretext to engage in internal fighting. The KMT-CCP forums are a product of that environment; KMT officials running off to China, drinking and laughing with those who seek to swallow Taiwan. The two groups work as one, crushing their common political enemy in Taiwan. This is a wonder of mankind's political history. [With the KMT's adoption of] such a bizarre "If I'm going down, I'm taking you with me" policy, national sovereignty is quickly disappearing and domestic opposition will only increase. To submit to becoming a vassal state of Bejing has already become the current administration's basic policy; and that is currently the single largest danger to Taiwan's sovereignty.

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