Eviction of pro-Beijing influence
Taipei Times  2014.8.7
By Paul Lin 林保華
The recent news regarding the closure of the two-year-old Hong Kong news Web site House News shocked many, as it had been getting 300,000 visits per day.
Whether in Taiwan, Hong Kong or even the rest of the world, people are faced with China’s use of its huge financial power to influence the media and distort universal values.
Online news sites are a strong weapon in resisting dictatorships. Therefore, China is also trying to go one step further by controlling the Internet around the world and when it is unable to use its financial power to reach its goals, it resorts to terror tactics without batting an eyelid. This is an important fact that former House News founder Tony Tsoi (蔡東豪) mentioned recently.
China has too many terror tactics up its sleeve to count. One example can be seen in how Hong Kong-based Chinese-language Ming Pao’s former chief editor Kevin Lau (劉進圖) was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack on the streets of Hong Kong early this year. Although the attackers, who fled to mainland China, were found quickly, the truth about the attack still has not been revealed. This is worth closer thought.
Recently, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has conducted two major smear campaigns against Hong Kong’s pan-democracy camp. The first was an attempt to defame the convener of the Alliance for True Democracy, Hong Kong City University political science professor Joseph Cheng (鄭宇碩) — a person who has the ability to mediate differences within the pan-democratic coalition — in an attempt to destroy the alliance.
This is a return to the Cultural Revolution.
The other smear campaign involved a hacker getting into the computer of Next Media Group chairman Jimmy Lai’s (黎智英) assistant and then releasing a conversation between Lai and former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-te (施明德) in which Lai asked Shih to support Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement.
While the movement had nothing to do with Taiwan, the CCP used Shih’s identity as former DPP chairman to attack Hong Kong’s pan-democracy camp and link them with Taiwanese independence.
A list of contributions Lai made to members of Hong Kong’s pan-democratic camp was also accessed and leaked, after which pro-Beijing protesters demanded that Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption launch an investigation into Lai’s contributions. Also, the list of names released was mostly bogus, yet another longstanding CCP rumor mongering tactic.
Now that even those opposed to Chinese nationalism in Hong Kong have been linked to Taiwanese independence, surely this is a clear message to DPP members who want to freeze the party’s Taiwan independence clause and members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) who used to chant anti-communist slogans saying that the CCP would not forget who they are and what they have done.
Of course, nothing would happen to them as long as they are willing to pose as eunuchs and lose every shred of dignity they have left, otherwise the CCP will settle all old scores and come down on them like a ton of bricks.
However, the strong backlash from the closing of House News cannot be ignored, just as China’s rule over Hong Kong has given birth to ideas of Hong Kong independence and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) surrender to the CCP has strengthened calls for Taiwanese independence. An opinion piece in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily about the closing of House News asked the very pertinent question: Would those who support House News ever be able to go back to what they did before it existed?
The same question can be asked in relation to Taiwan. Will those who participated in the student-led Sunflower movement, especially younger people, continue to believe Ma’s lies?
House News’ slogan was “My City, My View, My Home Court,” and Taiwan’s should be “My Taiwan, My View, My Home Court.”
As the situation in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate rapidly, Taiwanese must be bold and resolute. They cannot allow the small, Mainlander ruling elite, who have only ever really been “passers through” in Taiwan anyway, to sell out the nation.
Taiwan belongs to Taiwanese and that includes independence supporters, the pro-Taiwan faction within the KMT, members of the new civil society movement and everyone who opposes unification.
In particular, people who lack any sense of politics must be warned about CCP officials using sweet talk to hoodwink them.
Influential, pro-China Taiwanese who the CCP has established in Taiwan must be removed. Beijing’s spies and informers must be clearly recognized and radical slogans must be used to get Taiwanese to enter the fight against those who place their interests above the nation’s.
Without a strong sense of home, Taiwan as it is known will cease to exist.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Drew Cameron


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