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

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yeh Chu-lan answers the question

Cut to the chase
In yet another idiotic interpellation, Lee son-of-a-former-premier Ching-hua (李慶華) repeated another version of the same stupid question that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) zealots have been asking their DPP opponents for ages. This time, Presidential Office Secretary-General Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) gave him a direct answer. Tuesday's Taipei Times has the details:
KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) asked what National Day the Presidential Office will be celebrating tomorrow after the office refused to put up placards saying "Celebration of the Republic of China's National Day" as it has in the past.

Yeh said the office will celebrate the National Day of the Republic of China, but added that the republic includes only the land inhabited by the 23 million Taiwanese -- and not Outer Mongolia and China as claimed by the former KMT regime.
Why can't others (cough, Ma Ying-jeou [馬英九], cough) be as direct? Yes, the ROC (the current PRC + Tibet + Outer Mongolia) doesn't exist anymore, but some people nevertheless like to celebrate the birthdays of those who left us long ago. And yes, October 10 is the "birthday" of the ROC, but that was a foreign country whose territory had never included Taiwan. (More on that below.)

I'm not 100% pleased with Yeh's answer, but at least she didn't hem and haw and duck and dodge.

Anyway, be prepared for lots of foolishness that will most likely occur during Wednesday mornings activities and will most likely include Lee Ching-hua and the faux "non-partisan" Shih Ming-teh (施明德). (See James Soong [宋楚瑜] in the center of the Taiwan Matters! header for another example of foolishness.)

Abbie... something
An article by author Lee Hsiao-feng (李筱峰) on the editorial page of Tuesday's Taipei Times helps readers try to make sense of this confusing mess:
The ROC that originally did not include Taiwan collapsed in late 1949 as the result of the communist revolution. Its exile government escaped to Taiwan, a place which didn't even participate in the founding of the country but was now commandeered as ROC territory. It's not very strange that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) said in a meeting in his Yangming Villa on March 13, 1950, that: "Late last year, the Republic of China perished as a result of the degeneration of the Mainland, and today we are the people of a perished nation."

The situation that arises when a country that no longer exists brings its national title, flag, constitution and system to use in a place that wasn't even part of the founding of that state is abnormal, regardless of whether we ar talking about Taiwan or the Republic of China. This is also the reason the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been discussing its "normal country" resolution.

Commenting on the resolution, however, KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that, "I don't think there's anything abnormal about the Republic of China."

But there aren't too many perished states around that have brought their national title, flag, constitution and system to a place that wasn't even part of the state's founding. So if you say there's nothing abnormal about that, then you are probably the one that is a bit abnormal.
That's already a good portion of the original, but I highly recommend reading the whole article.

* Fellow blogger Michael Turton quotes an overlapping section of the Lee Hsiao-feng article above in a post on The View from Taiwan about the contorted logic in a South China Morning Post article.
* Read the original Mandarin version of Lee Hsiao-feng's article.
* Tuesday's China Post quotes Yeh slightly differently in an article that gives a completely opposite version of what is planned for tomorrow by the redshirts. It also contains something which seems to be simultaneously a lie and a stunning admission:
[P]articipants in the celebration in the Presidential Plaza tomorrow should not carry large backpacks, clubs, knives, megaphones, balloons, zoom lens cameras, umbrellas, or placards, flyers and banners unrelated to the Double Ten celebration.

These items are banned because they were used by the 'Red shirts' who [...] laid siege to the Presidential Plaza on last year's National Day [...]
* Tuesday's Liberty Times has the Mandarin version of what Yeh said, but with a different focus.
* An essay by pro-democracy writer Jerome F. Keating, PhD on how the US' appeasement of China has led to the current situation here was reprinted in Monday's Taipei Times. Go read it.

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Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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