Wed, Sep 12, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Annexation must be rejected at the polls

By James Wang 王景弘

The Formosa Alliance, a political organization whose Chinese title translates as “Happy Island Alliance,” is planning to stage a protest against Chinese bullying and propose a referendum against annexation, as well as organize a protest against the Referendum Act (公民投票法) — which was passed through the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s direction — on the grounds that it prevents Taiwanese from deciding the nation’s future.

Such ill-timed protests that aim in every direction without differentiating between friend and foe and bring up bogus issues is a cause for anger, not happiness.

Protests against invasion and annexation are based on justice and are aimed against foreign interference. Only an infinitesimally small minority would oppose such protests.

Organizing such a demonstration serves the purpose of educating the public and boosting morale, although it would not lead to any concrete results — arrogant and overbearing behavior by external forces is not something that can be blocked through a referendum.

If Taiwanese want to reject annexation, the most effective way would be to reject political parties that advocate annexation at the ballot box and ensure that Taiwan is run by Taiwan-centered parties that have the nation’s best interests at heart and promote its sovereignty.

If Taiwan is run by people in the mold of Shi Lang (施琅) — a Ming Dynasty admiral who surrendered to the Qing Dynasty and in 1683 and led Qing forces across the Taiwan Strait to take possession of Taiwan — there would be a clear and present danger of Taiwan being sold down the river. In that case, it would only be natural to hold a referendum to oppose annexation.

The DPP’s “Resolution on Taiwan’s Future” says that Taiwan is a sovereign nation and any change to independence must be decided by all Taiwanese in a referendum.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) government rejects falling into the Chinese annexation trap and does not intend to change the independence “status quo.”

When a new political organization promotes a bogus referendum while opposing China’s attempts at annexation as well as the DPP — which is opposed to an annexation — it is absurd and confusing that the group is not criticized for being fellow travelers of China.

China’s ambition to annex Taiwan and Taiwan’s opposition to it imply military and non-military solutions. China wants to use coercive military force in open war or military intimidation to force Taiwan’s surrender, while Taiwan needs to strengthen its defenses to stop China.

Through non-military means such as intimidation, incentives, deceit, bribes and infiltration, China exploits people’s weaknesses in a bid to interfere with Taiwanese elections.

Nothing can be done to prevent this. Taiwanese must therefore be vigilant, choose to defeat China’s fellow travelers and retain the right to decide the nation’s future in a referendum.

Taiwanese must oppose China’s bullying and threat of annexation by defeating China’s fellow travelers at the ballot box.

James Wang is a media commentator.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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