"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The KMT is on a slippery slope

The "unification" party is falling apart

KMT chairman and Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou set the latest slide-fest in motion in an interview appearing in the Dec. 26, 2005 - Jan 2, 2006 issue of Newsweek in which he declared (a little more loudly than usual) that "eventual...unification" with China was his party's goal -- despite the fact that a vast majority of the people in Taiwan wish otherwise.

No ambiguity. No "maybe." No "it depends on the will of the people of Taiwan." Just that authoritarianism-with-a-smile that the media loves to fawn over.

During the interview, Mr. "Don't Paint Me Red" donned his red apologist-for-China's-bellicosity hat, saying, "[I]f Taiwan makes a provocative move, [China] would be left with no choice but to use force."

No explanation. No definitions of what he considers "provocative." No examples of what would "justify" China's use of force. Just Ma's self-evident "red hat."

Theme and variations on Newton's third law of motion
On January 29, President Chen Shui-bian gave a speech in which he suggested that it was time to consider abolishing the National Unification Council (NUC) and National Unification Guidelines (NUG). (Chen has said that this was in response to Ma's stance on unification, but coming a month after the Newsweek interview, it certainly wasn't a kneejerk reaction like those you will see the KMT pulling farther below.)

As I described in my last post, the KMT reacted to Chen's speech with shock and awe. It was as if President Chen had said he was going to take their favorite candy away from them.

Add one little "o," and what do you get?
Chairman Ma immediately accused President Chen of breaking promises made in his inauguration speeches of both 2000 and 2004 when Chen said that he wouldn't get rid of either the NUC or the NUG. Not surprisingly, the Chinese media echoed the sentiments of the pan-blues word-for-word (going so far as to quote Ma Ying-jeou, James Soong, and two or three of Taiwan's pro-blue newspapers), calling Chen a "trouble maker," but avoiding the heart-stopping word "president" whenever referring to him.

What both the KMT and the Chinese media left out was the very crux of Chen's promises -- the fact that they were based on China relinquishing its "intention to use military force against Taiwan." This is a condition which, judging by China's "anti-secession" law alone, has clearly not been fulfilled, despite all the "panda-panda" propaganda.

Somebody get Ma a doctor
Several news sources reported that while speaking at England's Cambridge University last week, Ma Ying-jeou said that "talks would never take place while Taiwan faced a deadly threat from China." [My wife insists that according to the news video she saw which showed Ma answering a Cambridge student's question, the claims made by these reports were inaccurate.] In fact, Lien Chan -- the sitting KMT chairman at the time -- went to China for just that purpose in the immediate wake of the legislation of the "anti-secession" law.

Some quick spin-doctoring was required by the KMT. Ma claimed that the media "misinterpreted" him and that talks with China should continue despite the military threats.

KMT duckspeak
Just this Tuesday, the KMT placed a half-page ad in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (a pro-independence newspaper) which implied that the "status quo" equals "peace" and said outright that the "status quo should be maintained."

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The propaganda piece, titled "Taiwan's Pragmatic Path," accused Chen Shui-bian of "twisting" their "policies and stance." Approved by Chairman Ma, it simultaneously blamed Chen for all the troubles the KMT themselves have brought upon Taiwan.

It then goes on to repeat the KMT's fiction about the "ethnic divisiveness" they say is caused by Taiwan consciousness.

This sounds a whole lot like American conservatives talking about the "liberal media." Every time they get the other side to shut up a little bit, the perceived "center" moves closer to their position. The unificationists would just love for all independence supporters and those who identify themselves as Taiwanese to shut up completely so they would, in effect, cease to exist.

What war?
While Taiwan may not be currently involved in a military conflict with China, the threats are as clear as day, and their tactics aren't limited to the military front alone.

The "one-China policy" amounts to economic terrorism against Taiwan, the pro-China media in Taiwan is a 24-hour-a-day brainwashing machine, and the education system has indoctrinated the Taiwanese with more garbage about how "great and glorious" the KMT's "motherland" (China) is than it has taught them about the real history of their own country. And in the face of SARS and bird flu, China wages a war of psychological terror on Taiwan by blocking its participation in the World Health Organization, leaving everyone in Taiwan in real danger.

The segment of the propaganda piece which created even more trouble for the KMT says that "the future holds many possibilities, including unification, independence, or the status quo." Of course, the "independence" part of that is a transparent attempt by the KMT to deceive the Liberty Times' readers. After all, why put an ad in a pro-independence newspaper? If there are any doubts about their sincerity, just go back and look at what Ma said about unification being his party's "eventual" goal in the Newsweek interview.

Same day, different drivel
The ad in the Liberty Times must have been written faster than this post because it immediately required even more spin. "What we meant," spun the spinners (I'm paraphrasing here), "was that the people can choose independence, but that's not what we want." Of course it's not! Ma had just told us that he wanted the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to make that choice.

That sounds just like the kind of "vote" Ma would like: pitting the 1.3 billion+ people of China voting against Taiwan's 23 million.

That's certainly not democracy.

De facto, de jure, declare which you want more!
The People's Republic of China (PRC) has never controlled Taiwan, so Taiwan doesn't need to declare independence from them. If Taiwan needs to "declare" independence, it needs to do so from the KMT, who occupied Taiwan at the end of World War II and who were supposed to be its caretakers, but who instead Killed Many Taiwanese, stole the land from the people to fill their own coffers, imposed their culture and language on them, lost most of Taiwan's international allies, and who have done nothing but act like bullies and crybabies (oftentimes simultaneously) ever since losing the presidency in 2000.

By voting the KMT out of power in the legislature, in mayoral offices, in city councils, and in the 2008 presidential election, the people of Taiwan can simply "declare independence" from the KMT and clear their path to self-determination and de jure independence. The KMT would be more than welcome to go back to their mommyland and be crushed by the CCP for the Nth time.

* In a February 8, 2006 editorial, the Taiwan News reminds us of Ma Ying-jeou's "distaste for the direct democracy institution of referendum" and how the "enshrinement of the goal of unification [was made] by the KMT's National Unification Guidelines in 1991 and its use as the foundation for the 'compromise' with Beijing was precisely an act to 'determine the future of Taiwan' made by the then one-party KMT government, which then had no electoral mandate from the 23 million people of Taiwan."
* In a February 6, 2006 editorial, the Taiwan News also gives its own definition of a "pragmatic status quo."
* The February 15, 2006 edition of the Taipei Times tells us about how the DPP made a smart move by giving a background briefing to British reporters in order to delineate the differences between their position and that of the KMT. Quoting MAC Chairman Joseph Wu, the article says, "The DPP upholds Taiwan's sovereignty as an independent nation, while the KMT remains ambiguous in this regard, and both former KMT chairman Lien Chan and Ma have accepted Beijing's 'one China' principle in public."

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