Backtalk: Is Taiwan Independence an Option?

A professor of history at an American university in the New England area wrote in to say:

“Quislings? I have to confess that I don’t follow your argument. How is someone who wants self-determination for Taiwan akin to Quisling, who cooperated with German occupiers? Isn’t the chief reason that Taiwan doesn’t have independence simply that the PRC has threatened to incinerate the island in case it declared independence? And why must a nation have one state? Germans, for example, have Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – and, as you mentioned, Chinese have more than one state as well.”

My reply:

I didn’t expound on the “Quisling” aspect of my argument because I already made this point many times before in earlier articles. I assumed readers were familiar with previous articles in which I explained in considerable detail who the Taiwan independence movement “elders” are, and why they and their disciples have earned the epithet “Quislings.”

Quislings are individuals who help an enemy nation rule their own homeland. The original Quisling, Vidkun Quisling, a Norwegian, helped Nazi Germany rule Norway.

Taiwanese independence movement “elders” are Chinese counterparts to Norway’s Vidkun Quisling. Chinese Quislings on Taiwan helped fascist Japanese rule Taiwan during the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, during Japan’s subsequent 50-year colonial occupation of Taiwan between 1895 and 1945, and during the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937–1945. Chinese Quislings are currently attempting to help right-wing elements in Japan regain control of Taiwan a second time.

Who are these Taiwan independence “elders?” They are people such as Ku Kuan-min and “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui.

Ku Kuan-min’s father Ku Hsien-rong opened the city gates of Taipei for the Japanese Imperial Army occupation force in 1895 and showed them the way into the city. He was, not to put too fine a point on it, a collaborator. The Japanese colonial government rewarded the Ku family by granting family members exclusive franchises that eventually made them billionaires. One of the activities the Ku family engaged in was selling Chinese women into sexual slavery. They recruited destitute young women on Taiwan under false pretenses, telling them they would be serving as cooks or maids to Japanese personnel in the Pacific Theater. When they arrived they found themselves pressed into sexual slavery, to be gang raped by Japanese soldiers up to 60 times a day. Refusal meant torture, mutilation, and execution.

Quislings? Yes, I would say they qualified as Quislings. Wouldn’t you?

Your analogy with Austria and Switzerland might be more or less applicable to Singapore, but not to Taiwan. Ethnic Chinese Singaporeans emigrated to a foreign country, Malaya, later Malaysia. They were later expelled from Malaysia against their will, to become the Republic of Singapore. Chinese have never claimed that Singapore is part of China. It isn’t.

Taiwan is different. Taiwan is an integral part of China that was stolen from China at gunpoint. Justice was restored when Taiwan was retroceded to China following Japan’s defeat in WWII. Ever since then it has remained an integral part of China.

China became temporarily divided in 1949 due to the Cold War, but that division is a purely internal division. China is currently divided in a manner similar to the way North and South Korea is divided, and the way East and West Germany used to be divided before German reunification.

See: East and West Germany, East and West China.

Taiwan independence Quislings have no leg to stand on in this civil war between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party. Taiwan independence Quislings are parasitic, opportunistic elements who are attempting to exploit the unfortunate Cold War capitalist vs. communist division to establish a puppet regime, nominally independent but in fact a joint US/Japanese forward outpost against China. Why should Chinese tolerate such a development? Would any other nation?

One article that may help explain the mindset of Taiwan independence Quislings is: Taiwan Independence and the Stockholm Syndrome.

Regarding Switzerland, the simple fact is the relationship between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan is nothing like the relationship between Germany and ethnic German regions of Switzerland. Switzerland parted company with the Holy Roman Empire back in 1315, long before Germany even came into existence.

Taiwan, by contrast, is an integral part of China that was extorted from her by force quite recently by historical standards, and retroceded to her even more recently, well within the living memory of millions of Chinese today. Taiwan’s relationship to mainland China is nothing like Switzerland’s relationship to Germany.

China’s claim to Taiwan is based not on blood ties, but on universally agreed upon rights to National Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity. Unless other nations of the world are willing to forsake such claims themselves, China cannot be expected to do so unilaterally.

The professor went on to add:

“Don’t you think that Communism is an issue here? Surely rule by the CCP isn’t a good prescription.”

My reply:

The fact is Beijing has no desire whatsoever to use military force against Taiwan. They have no desire to “deprive Chinese on Taiwan of their freedom.” The whole Taiwan independence issue is one giant Excedrine headache for them. They have their hands full solving serious economic problems on the mainland. The last thing they need is to be distracted by trouble on Taiwan.

Even the Taipei Times, a Taiwan independence mouthpiece, is aware of the array of daunting problems the mainland Chinese authorities face.

See: Editorial Cartoon.

All Beijing wants is for the island of Taiwan to remain under a loose umbrella of “One China.” This “One China” doesn’t even have to be the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Beijing can live with the 1992 Consensus, in which both sides agreed that “There is only one indivisible China. This China includes both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. Beijing will refer to this China as the People’s Republic of China. Taipei will refer to this China as the Republic of China. As long as Taipei doesn’t move toward independence, Beijing will not take any military action.”

All Beijing wants is for Taiwan not to become a foreign country. All they want is Taiwan not to become a nominally “independent” nation that is in fact a military forward base for Japanese and US imperialists and a critical link in a strategic ring of containment along China’s eastern seaboard. Beijing is willing to tolerate de facto independence as long as a future German-style peaceful reunification can be reasonably assured.

Beijing does not want to have to occupy Taiwan. They don’t need the hassle of being responsible for it. Especially now that Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian have run the Taiwan economy into the ground. If Beijing were forced to assume responsibility for Taiwan’s future now, they would inherit this mess and be unfairly blamed if they couldn’t pull Taiwan out of its economic doldrums any time soon.

But if Taiwan independence zealots force their hand, they will act.

As far as “Communism” on mainland China is concerned, the shoe is ironically on the other foot. Based on objective, quantitative measures such the relative size of the public sector and the amount of government taxation, mainland China is actually freer economically than the US. In fact, many socialists are deeply disappointed with the CCP for abandoning socialism.

The professor seemed to think I was “soft on Communism.”

Hardly. Like Chalmers Johnson, Joe Sobran, and the late Jude Wanniski, I was a Cold Warrior to the right of Richard Nixon. Like Chalmers Johnson, Joe Sobran, and the late Jude Wanniski, I stopped being a Cold Warrior when the Cold War ended.

The Cold War is over. We won. They lost. The Communists are now playing our game, the game known as free market competition. It’s a rough game, but at least it’s peaceful.

Communism? Communism is dead. The only places where Communism is still practiced are Cuba and North Korea. It’s time we stopped fighting the Cold War and starting enjoying the Peace Dividend.

By god, we sure as hell earned it.

March 9, 2006

Bevin Chu [send him mail] is an American architect of Chinese descent registered to practice in Texas. Currently living and working in Taiwan, Chu is the son of a retired high-ranking diplomat with the ROC (Taiwan) government. His column, “The Strait Scoop” is published on his website, The China Desk.

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