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Tactically, Lee Teng-hui miscalculated his resignation date (not before the "presidential" election), but surely Lee is the biggest winner and Beijing the biggest loser. Upon hearing his resignation from the KMT chairmanship, one "Congress" member from Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) highly praised Lee as "Father of Taiwan," "Father of Taiwan’s Democracy." Indeed, Lee dominated the whole process separating Taiwan further away from China and peacefully handing over the ROC "state" power to the DPP since he assumed control of the KMT in 1988.
In principle, there is no bad for Taiwan to become independent, even though we do not see any stronger reason for Taiwan than the oppressed Okinawa or Hawaii. One paramount founder of the CCP, Li Dazhao, heartily welcomed Outer Mongolia separated from the war lords-dominated China to form the world second "socialist" country. The CCP’s early documents all supported the freedom of other minority peoples within the Qing Dynasty to organize their own nation-states and Mao Zedong declared himself the Chairman ("President" in today’s language) of "Chinese Soviet Republic" early in 1931. Interestingly, Mao Zedong changed his public line on Taiwan during a period of just a few years in the late 1930s (*1). Regarding the Taiwan issue, however, the points here are the process and the consequence: First, Taiwan should return back the Mainland the heritage robbed by the KMT regime and Taiwan cannot be forcibly split off China by foreign powers; Second, a new independent Taiwan should not become one part of a military alliance against the Mainland. Regretfully, until today, there is no voice from Taiwan’s "democratic" as well as "progressive" forces regarding Taiwan’s debt owing to the Mainland. Furthermore, under current political situations, there is no doubt that the new "democratic" Taiwan will take a more hostile policy toward ordinary people from the Mainland (*2); meanwhile, as always, it will take a much warmer attitude toward Beijing’s ruling class, with Mr. Wang Daohan as the representative.
China’s democratization has been, is and will continue to be the most important factor for Taiwan’s "security." It is also the base for East Asian’s peace. Ironically, however, Taiwan’s independent forces have become the biggest factor to promote China’s nationalism toward a dangerous direction against Taiwan (*3) and encourage Beijing’s authorities to crackdown any kind of domestic social resistance. In one word, the Taiwan splitting forces have become the biggest obstacle of China’s democratization. According to a CCP "Confidential Red" document, even a spiritual practice organization was outlawed mainly because of the consideration of the Taiwan independence issue: "Domestically, we grasped the opportunity and outlawed ‘Falun Gong,’ rooting out the biggest tightly organized counterrevolutionary religious group with a platform and plans since the founding of our country and eliminating unstable factors in domestic politics. This measure has not only safeguarded the predominant position of materialism in the field of ideology, but also provided practical support for our armed forces to prepare for the war…. In fact, the determination with which our Party and State did away with ‘Falun Gong’ reflected the overall evaluation of all the above factors. To outlaw ‘Falun Gong’ was a preemptive measure aimed at the ultimate resolution of Taiwan issue, not only eliminating domestic trouble, but paving the way for the reunification as well" (*4).
It is not a complicated dialectical issue that among so many factors pushing Taiwan’s splitting from China, Mr. Deng Xiaoping, and his fortunate successor, Mr. Jiang Zeming, are the key contributors. When the PLA tanks showed up at Tiananmen Square on June 4th 1989 to crack down PRC’s own civilians, they played the leading role to deteriorate Taiwan’s on-going democratic process to the independent direction, which eventually will invite the PLA tanks rushing into Taipei’s Zhongzheng Square (if they could). Not surprisingly, Jiang Zeming selected Tang Jiaxuan, the PRC Envoy to Japan during the June 4th Incident period who persecuted Chinese students in Japan with the cooperation from the Tokyo regime, as his Foreign Minister (*5). As shown from the contrasting treatment of the Tiananmen Incident and the WTO deal, cruel toward its own people (if who dare express their own opinions) though, Beijing’s ruling class is very happy to share their power/interest with foreign capitalists. One cannot help wondering: what is the core reason for Beijing to publish the White Book on Taiwan to warn Taipei "not to drag on indefinitely" and for Zhu Rongji to harshly threaten that "to elect Chen Shu-bian is to elect war"?
Surely, Beijing is still talking about the "historical mission of the Chinese Revolution." Certainly, we agree that the PRC legitimacy of sovereign integration over Taiwan comes from the revolution. However, Beijing’s ruling class has thrown away the revolution’s core values of democracy and socialism, they only needs the revolutionary legacy for their purpose of staying at power. As long as they can stay at power, they will not fight for the mission of the Chinese Revolution.
The new legitimacy under the so-called "Deng Xiaoping Theory" is the "hard theory of development." So the impact on economic development becomes a real concern. "Taking into account of possible intervention by the U.S. and based on the development strategy of our country, it is better to fight now than future -- the earlier, the better…. even if we successfully carry out interception and control the sky, our military and civil facilities will still incur some damages. The damages will be more extensive if the war cannot be ended within a short period of time and the U.S. launch the second and third strategic strikes, which will take a toll on the economic development of our country. If the above scenario cannot be avoided, an early war will delay the success of our reform whereas a later war will jeopardize the full achievement of the reform." (*6) However, can the corrupted CCP and PLA win a modern war against the only superpower in the world with a superficial democracy? Here Beijing’s ruling class has to heavily rely on some hypercritical assumptions: "[B]ecause of historical and geographical reasons, Japan does not have the right to comment" (*7). "Our principle is ‘willing to sustain major losses of our armed forces to defend even just one square inch of land.’ If the US forces lose thousands or hundreds of men under our powerful strikes, the anti-war sentiment within the their country will force the US government to take the same path as they did in Vietnam" (*8).
Washington does not care whether it will be a war or peace, it only cares for the biggest profit. Beijing knows this point well, so Beijing’s insisting on that "On this issue we will not take orders from anyone, nor do we allow anyone to point their fingers at us" is to tell Washington and Taipei: "Hey! China is too big to sell. You need to offer more favorite deals," not to Chinese people but to Beijing’s ruling class. We are sure that a further wholesale of China is waiting for them (*9). This cannot avoid the unavoidable war, but only postpone and accumulate the coming conflict among these ruling classes in Taipei, Beijing and Washington. Under current conditions, as taught from Lenin: "Imperialism cannot avoid wars. Imperialism simply means wars." Taiwan has no security, East Asia has no peace.
One cannot help remembering Peter Kropotkin’s teaching: a historical reaction in one place always brings about reactions in other places. To prevent the coming war initiated by regimes of Taipei, Beijing, Washington (and, not explicitly, Tokyo), there are three urgent tasks for our Asian people to complete. 1): China’s democratization, 2): Taiwan’s alternative democracy rather than independence, and 3): Japan’s peaceful neutrality (*10). Among them, organizing the Chinese people under the banner of Democracy and Socialism becomes the immediate request for all peace-loving people.
*1. I thank Hawaii University’s Vincent K Pollard to teach me this change from the English version of _Red Star over China_ (I do not remember read so in its Chinese version though). When Mao Zedong was interviewed by Edgar Snow in Yan’an during 1936 (published a year later as _Red Star Over China_ (London: Victor Gollancz, 1937), his unelaborated answer to Snow's question on the point indicated openness to independence for Taiwan: ".....and if the Koreans wish to break away from the claims of Japanese imperialism, we will extend the more enthusiastic help their struggle for independence. The same thing applies for Formosa [Taiwan]" (p. 102). By 1941, Mao's public view backed off that remarkable statement. And three decades later, Edgar Snow scrambled to explain away the statement quoted above (Cf. _Red Star Over China_, 1st rev. and enlarged ed. [New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1968), p. 421, n. 2 ["Chapter 3: on War with Japan"]). Apparently, Mao changed the CCP’s Taiwan view because Mao later foresaw the possibility of Taiwan’s return to China.
*2. For example, when Yi Jin, a nameless democratic activist fled from the Mainland to Taiwan, his legs were beaten broken by Taiwan’s Police. On the other hand, Taiwan bought some famous figures to control (and split) Chinese Democratic activity. Recently, the so-called "Overseas Chinese Democratic Movement" sponsored by Taiwan has been mobilized to "defend Taiwan."
*3. It is sad to watch here in the U.S. that Taiwan’s independent forces utilize various kind of methods to appeal to American public support while refusing to have a talk with Chinese people in the U.S. During Taiwan’s last "Presidential" election in 1996, once I attended their lecture in Madison campus. The lecturer was not a student nor a scholar at the University but came to the U.S. for public support. When he understood that I am from the Mainland, the lecturer changed his fluent Mandarin to Minnan dialect and began to teach me about "Taiwan democracy." I even could not tell him that I have been deprived of my PRC citizenship. Such psudo-racists consider themselves a superior race than the "poor Chinese."
*4. Document of Office of the CCP Central Military Commission, OCMC Serial No. 1999-65, August 10, 1999. This is much valuable than any published PRC documents on Taiwan.
*5. Interestingly, to show that he also can understand English, Tang brought many Made-in-Washington English words into today’s PRC foreign policy documents.
*6. Document of Office of the CCP Central Military Commission, OCMC Serial No. 1999-65, August 10, 1999.
*7. Document of Office of the CCP Central Military Commission, OCMC Serial No. 1999-65, August 10, 1999. By this logic, Germany "does not have the right to comment" on the former Yugoslavia, UK "does not have the right to comment" on Iraq/Kuwait either. This is the dominant view of PLA on Japan’s international military role. However, the PLA does not know that since and due to the June 4th Incident, the Japanese politics has transformed a structural reactionary change. Three years ago, I talked with a PLA colonel who teaches on Japan’s military at China’s Defense University. I was a little surprised that he knows no Japanese at all.
*8. Document of Office of the CCP Central Military Commission, OCMC Serial No. 1999-65, August 10, 1999.
*9. The recent People’s Representative Conference in Beijing just created many acts to "protect Taiwan’s investment." This is also an indication that how Mainland and Taiwan’s ruling class interests are intertwined for mutual benefit, even though basically Taiwan’s investments do not fit for China’s industrial development.
*10. It is true that if Japan cannot be mobilized to a war, the U.S. cannot win and will not initiate/participate a war around Taiwan. This is the significance of Okinawa’s current anti-military bases struggles.
Jing Zhao, Representative
Comments from Vincent K Pollard: email@example.com
Thanks for the latest _Comparative Policy Review Newsletter_.
1. A central claim is that the democratization of the PRC would make a huge difference in any future reunification with Taiwan. I agree.
With regard to the statement that "In principle, there is no bad for Taiwan to become independent," I'm not completely clear what is intended here. Some clarification on a crucial detail regarding Taiwan's current status and future would help: Continue insisting indefinitely that the "status quo" is just fine? "Become" independent? "Declare" independence? Or, to push in a different direction, indicate that de facto "independence" is not forever?
Obviously, not the last alternative. In any case, the manner in which Taiwan's government and NGO leaders articulate this can give them more (or less) maneuvering room.
2. Interestingly, Mao Zedong changed his public line on Taiwan during a period of just a few years. W
When Mao Zedong was interviewed by Edgar Snow in Yenan during 1936 (published a year later as _Red Star Over China_ (London: Victor Gollancz, 1937), his unelaborated answer to Snow's question on the point indicated openness to independence for Taiwan: ".....and if the Koreans wish to break away from the claims of Japanese imperialism, we will extend themour enthusiastic help intheir struggle for independence. The same thing applies for Formosa [Taiwan]" (p. 102). _Red Star over China_ was translated into Chinese.
By 1941, Mao's public view backed off that remarkable statement. And three decades later, footnoter Edgar Snow scrambled to explain away the statement quoted above (Cf. _Red Star Over China_, 1st rev. and enlarged ed. [New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1968), p. 421, n. 2 ["Chapter 3: on War with Japan"]).
3. On a separate point, I continue to get the impression that the PLA does _not_ want the US to withdraw from Japan/Okinawa. This is the PRC leadership's military-strategic dilemma: Risk giving the LDP and others in Japan the incentive to increase the defense budget.....or contemplate a longterm US military presence just north of Taiwan. A few years ago, the director of a CSIS affiliate publicly summarized statements made to him by unnamed high PLA officers to the effect that they did not want the US to withdraw from Japan.
Best wishes to all.
Vincent K Pollard