Oppose the CCP, but do not mention China itself
By Paul Lin 林保華
Taipei Times 2022.12.29
Former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) once used the slogan: “We shall defeat communism; we shall build the nation.” As time passed, a new slogan — “oppose communism, safeguard Taiwan” — emerged, lowering the bar of countering communism. By taking out nation-building, the only goal left was to “oppose communism” by protecting Taiwan, a value the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) does not dare to mention and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seems uncertain about. What was the reason for the change?
“Oppose China, safeguard Taiwan” might prove more popular with the public. Changing “communism” to “China” would make more sense, as communism has become a dirty word around the globe, a synonym for autocracy, barbarism and brutality. This is why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has tried to separate the idea that the CCP equals China.
When China formalized a deal to take over Hong Kong, then- Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) told Hong Kongers that they can hate the CCP, but they have to love the country. The catch is that the CCP has been trying to morph the party and the nation into one.
If people can point the finger at the CCP, it would be easier to unite other nations and perhaps enlighten some Chinese. I admire the “Blank Paper Movement” demonstrators’ courage and valor, even though their numbers are not great enough to bring about a revolution. Although they could appeal for the CCP to step down, they could not oppose China as a nation.
In Taiwan, the slogan “oppose communism” can serve to unite the nation, because some people still consider the “Republic of China” as “China.” As for whether to use “oppose communism” or “counter communism,” there is much room for debate.
However, the core idea running through these proposals is that Taiwan would not be “unified” with a China that has the CCP running its government.
In the wake of the DPP’s defeats in the nine-in-one elections, some people have laid the blame on the DPP’s erroneous policy of using “oppose communism, safeguard Taiwan” as a slogan, giving former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) the opportunity to counter the DPP with “vote for the DPP and youths go to war,” a comment that has resonated with the public.
Explaining a party’s agenda is essential in any election campaign, but the KMT resorted to smear campaigns, focusing on issues such as plagiarism and disease prevention policy.
Enoch Wu (吳怡農), the DPP’s candidate in a legislative by-election in Taipei, proposed extending compulsory military service, which the government on Wednesday announced it would do starting from 2024.
Returning from the US to fulfill his military duty, he had been promoting civil defense relentlessly to bolster national security by combining military and civilian armed forces. As a result, he is more than qualified to promote the slogan “oppose communism, safeguard Taiwan.”
The DPP should applaud his credentials and throw its weight behind him.
If the CCP invades Taiwan, both countries would become a battlefield. Not only would young people have to go to war, all Taiwanese would.
If Taiwan falls into the hands of the CCP, it would become an execution ground, United Microelectronics Corp founder Robert Tsao (曹興誠) said.
Considering the possibility of being slaughtered or sent to Xinjiang to serve in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and in view of China’s “zero COVID-19” policy that has disregarded human rights and welfare, the DPP could perhaps use “oppose communism, counter annexation” as a banner to unite Taiwanese.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Rita Wang