In a speech on Oct. 23, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) expressed the hope that the celebration of Retrocession Day would allow people to discuss and review the relationship between the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan, adding that the continued existence of the ROC is the only way to curb Taiwanese independence.
It is pretty obvious that all the talk about discussing and reviewing the relationship is just a smokescreen, and that the KMT’s main focus is to curb Taiwanese independence and safeguard the ROC.
This is made even clearer by the fact that ever since KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou’s (林為洲) proposal that the word “Chinese” be removed from the party’s name met with strong internal opposition, Chiang has been at pains to distance himself from it.
A Taiwan Thinktank survey released on Sept. 24 regarding the push for normalization of the nation’s status showed that when asked about their national identity and to choose between Taiwanese or Chinese, up to 86 percent identified as Taiwanese.
Another survey released last month showed that if China were to invade Taiwan, 77.6 percent of respondents said they would be willing to fight for Taiwan.
Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi (董思齊) said that three transitions of power have shaped people’s national identity, and a public consensus has gradually formed behind the Taiwanese identity.
KMT politicians are also well aware of the process leading to the formation of this Taiwanese identity, but they stubbornly cling onto the Chinese mindset that “one would rather lose one’s property to an outsider than one’s own servant.”
Their practice of shortening the “Republic of China” to “China” has created a natural connection to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) view that Taiwan is part of China.
Of course the ROC’s dependence on Taiwan has created division and opposition between the two.
Unfortunately, the KMT’s insistence on the ROC’s existence has led to a political farce and constant conflict between the pan-blue and pan-green camps. The problem has divided our nation, land and people, while distorting our education system and character, making it difficult for teachers to explain to the next generation what our nation is and where it is located.
Since the nation has been separated from the land and its people, this abnormal ideology has made it very difficult to shape our own culture and that is why spiritually, many Taiwanese either display a “colonial mentality” or a “refugee culture.” This is the real tragedy of Taiwanese.
How will the KMT define Taiwan?
Chiang recently asked some young people: “What do we think? What will we do? What future direction do we want for our nation and society?”
The way he set it up, it sounded as if he were going to make a significant declaration, but the answer he gave was simply this: “We want Taiwanese independence supporters to go to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and ROC supporters to come to us.”
It was dumbfounding.
The KMT has been lying ever since its came to Taiwan. Following former KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) lie about the so-called “1992 consensus” and “one China, with each side having its own interpretation,” Chiang has now proposed the KMT’s future direction for Taiwan.
What is he playing at? Is he really going to try to eliminate Taiwanese independence and continue to deceive Taiwanese?
Chen Ching-kuen is an assistant professor.
Translated by Eddy Chang
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