History will declare ‘Mr’ Ma a criminal

By Paul Lin 林保華

Friday, May 15, 2009, Page 8

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which occurred in Beijing on June 4, 1989. The massacre has impeded the Chinese democracy movement for two decades, and activists who have continued the struggle have made little headway. Despite this, the movement for democracy must not be abandoned.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe were related to the June 4 massacre as people saw the true colors of communism and consigned it to the dustbin of history. This is why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has blocked information on the massacre and fabricated lies to deceive the public. Although these lies did not work on the participants of the democracy movement, the fenqing (憤青), or angry youth, have been taken in.

Regrettably, the third wave of democratization saw the return of Hong Kong to China, boosting the morale of the CCP. The residents of Hong Kong did not desire the right of self-determination, and the British strictly followed the treaty to return the New Territories to China. The British would have been unable to prevent the CCP from using military force against Hong Kong, while Hong Kong Island and Kowloon had become inseparable from the New Territories and could not declare independence.

However, the British tried their best to obtain rights for the people of Hong Kong. Former British governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten fought for Hong Kong until the last moment and later was derided by the CCP as a “criminal for all time.”

When Taiwan’s democracy took off in the 1990s, China also called former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) “a criminal for all time” and threatened Taiwan with the use of force. Lee’s successor Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) managed to secure Taiwan’s sovereignty by proposing the concept of “one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait.”

But now Taiwan is following in the steps of Hong Kong because President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is allowing the CCP to dismantle Taiwan’s democracy.

Ma may be able to boost the stock market with China’s help, but he is not able to cover up the massive gap between the rich and poor. Likewise, he may be able to cooperate with the CCP to create the chimera of transient prosperity in Taiwan by opening up the country to Chinese tourists, but he cannot solve the fundamental problems of Taiwan’s economic transformation.

Increasing economic reliance on China will only turn Taiwan into a Chinese dependency rather than spur economic transformation and help Taiwan maintain its advantages. This will cause long-term, fundamental damage to Taiwan.

Ma made an even bigger mistake by smothering Taiwan’s democracy and freedom. He is offering Taiwan as a “tonic” to China, which is not only a slight to Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy but offensive to Chinese striving for liberal democracy. In addition, it will cause great harm to global democracy and jeopardize the national security of democracies. Even if he succeeds in his conspiracy, history will declare Ma as another “criminal for all time.”

May 17 is a day when we should take to the streets for our children and grandchildren. Taiwan and the whole world should protest against unification with the CCP and condemn Ma for selling out Taiwan’s freedom and democracy. The Democratic Progressive Party should declare that it does not recognize any agreements the Ma administration has signed with China that may potentially compromise Taiwan’s sovereignty. If the government ignores public opinion, Taiwanese have the ability to paralyze this traitorous regime at the critical moment.

Paul Lin is a political commentator.

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