It is time for the next generation to stand up
By Paul Lin 林保華

The disqualification of taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) from the Asian Games, just as campaigning for the special municipality elections was heating up, has opened the eyes of the younger generation in Taiwan.

This was not an isolated incident: at the Tokyo International Film Festival, a Chinese official abused Taiwanese in order to curry favor with the powers that be in Beijing.

Asian Taekwondo Union vice president Zhao Lei (趙磊) might have abused Taiwan for his personal advantage, but such behavior is condoned by Beijing under the banner of nationalism.

Just look at China Central Television’s report accusing Yang of cheating. For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), politics is everything, and everything is politically motivated, from the Ping-Pong diplomacy of the 1970s to the more recent crackdown on the Falun Gong.

The fact that Taiwanese reporters who witnessed Yang’s disqualification walked out in protest speaks volumes. Earlier this month, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) met with Taiwan’s APEC envoy, former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), and suggested that Taiwan and China should keep open communication channels. This meant that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was unable to hold a press conference on the issue until 52 hours later, letting China, the host of the Asian Games, off the hook. Meanwhile, in Taiwan, attention has been diverted by an unexpected wave of anti-South Korean sentiment.

It’s going to be difficult for Yang to get justice. Remember the suspicious defeat of the Taiwanese baseball team during the Olympic Games in Beijing? Baseball and taekwondo are both international rallying points for Taiwanese and, as such, have been perfect targets for China.

Yang’s grievances and tears are our own and the authoritarian regime that has trampled on Taiwan for long is to blame. In the face of Beijing’s oppression — and the Ma government’s cooperation with that regime — Yang’s case has finally stirred strong protest among Taiwanese.

With China’s obsession with annexing Taiwan serving as a constant backdrop, no official with any dignity, regardless of political affiliation, will be able to tolerate the CCP’s shenanigans indefinitely.

For example, Chen Chih-kuan (陳志寬), director of the Government Information Office’s Department of Motion Pictures, strongly protested against Chinese bullying in Tokyo. National Security Bureau Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) has also repeatedly reminded us to be aware of China’s political “united front” tactics and economic annexation. Only a small group of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) elite are cooperating with the CCP because of their shared nationality.

Yang’s generation is the new generation. Why should Taiwanese be oppressed by China? Yang showed her objection by protesting her innocence, while calling on the public to remain rational amid the anti-South Korean sentiments. The youth who echo her can also steel themselves through such experience.

The government is holding back the younger generation, who have lost their jobs thanks to its pro-China, pro-big business policies. The government is allowing Chinese students and workers to compete with Taiwanese for jobs and has even attempted to censor content on the Professional Technology Temple (PTT) online bulletin board.

The future of Taiwan is the future of the younger generation. They must vote for candidates who identify themselves with Taiwan, not China. Only by showing their strength we bring down Ma’s tyrannical rule.

Paul Lin is a senior political commentator.


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