KMT must put Taiwan over China to survive
By Paul Lin 林保華

During the nine-in-one elections last year, a popular election slogan — “Unless the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] falls, Taiwan will never do well” — proved to be effective. Given recent developments, I propose changing the slogan a little to: “Unless the China Party falls, Taiwan will never do well.”

There are two reasons why the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) should change its name to the China Party. First, next year’s presidential and legislative elections are national elections that involve Taiwanese sovereignty. We must cast aside parties that think of themselves as Chinese political parties and advocate unification with China, such as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the New Party and others.

Second, there is a Taiwan-centered faction within the KMT that is setting up the “Taiwan Nationalist Party Alliance.” That is, they are abandoning the word “Chinese.” If they are sincere and not just doing this because of the election, but indeed acknowledge that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country that is not part of “one China,” then we are of one family. Although elections are a competition, we should all protect Taiwanese sovereignty and build a future for Taiwan together, regardless of whether we win or lose an election.

And third, the president we elect must protect Taiwan’s independent status, rather than advocate “one China, same interpretation,” and that president must acknowledge China’s militaristic president. That president can only be Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

We must choose legislators that recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country, and not as some future part of China. We should therefore examine each candidates’ record: If they had in the past been intimidated by the authoritarian President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) into toeing the party line, then in this election they should express their views clearly and distance themselves from China.

Despite her bright election prospects, Tsai is coolly assessing the damage caused by eight years of Ma’s rule: A great accumulation of economic, political, military and diplomatic problems remains to be solved. Just over a month ago, Tsai proposed the formation of a large government coalition that would focus all its forces on saving the country. Taiwan’s political independence requires economic independence as its foundation, and that in turn requires a pro-Taiwanese faction, including a great alliance of Taiwanese businesspeople in China.

In the past, the battle seemed to be between the pan-blue and pan-green camps, but in fact it was a battle between pro-Taiwan and pro-China parties. The pan-blue Taiwan-centered faction sometimes blew hot and cold toward the KMT, so that there was still a little room for negotiation in the Legislative Yuan. Some of these pro-Taiwanese pan-blue legislators even expressed their respect for the minority opposition, so that Taiwan was not completely hauled over to China by Ma.

The public can see clearly that there are three main KMT legislators who are Ma’s enforcers, working hard to implement the president’s investment in the one China route. In order of their complicity, they are Alex Fai (費鴻泰), Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) and Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), who are running for re-election. Their removal is the most important goal of the Democratic Progressive Party, the third force and the Taiwan-centered pan-blue faction, who need to work together for the nation’s well-being. If those three legislators could be eliminated, the word “Chinese” could be removed from the KMT’s name. With the word “Taiwan” in its place, the KMT would have a chance at a new life.

Paul Lin is a senior political commentator.

Translated by Clare Lear


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