I've decided to restart anew. After a long move to activism and a shift towards advocacy, a new chapter in my life has started. It's been a year or so since I've mostly settled in Taiwan (although I still travel a lot). My new blog will be at Taiwanist.com, see you there.
| By MARTIN WILLISON | 7:23 AM |
struggled with myself regarding whether to respond to the Sept. 15
editorial entitled "Taiwan’s gambit." One side of my brain says, "Let
it be, hardly anyone read it;" while the other side says, "But it’s so
incomplete and one-sided, how can it be left to stand?" Eventually, the
side of my brain that can’t shut up won out.
The editorial addresses the politically motivated scheme of
President Chen Shiu-bian to hold a referendum on Taiwan’s admission to
the United Nations. Chen’s party, the DPP, holds a minority in Taiwan’s
parliament and hopes to change that. The DPP is separatist, unlike the
three main opposition parties in parliament. Elections are due next
Canadians know a thing or two about separatism and political
strategies associated with it, so it seems fair to expect that
editorial writers at The Chronicle Herald should be able to provide
some wise commentary.
Instead, the editorial makes no reference to the fact that of the
four main parties in Taiwan, only the DPP is separatist. Only passing
reference is made to the fact that the coming elections are likely to
be a severe test of the ability of the DPP to hang on to power. The
strongest opposition party, the KMT, has traditionally held power in
Taiwan. It is not in decline and is not in favour of separation.
What has been the Parti Quebecois’ favourite election strategy? Roll
the drums of a referendum! Does The Chronicle Herald naively say,
"Quebec is right," as it did for the current ploy of Taiwan’s governing
party? No! But when the same election strategy is rolled out in Taiwan,
The Chronicle Herald takes the bait, hook, line and sinker.
Let’s now consider mainland China, which has a different government
and system of government from Taiwan. The Herald editorialists call
China’s government "autocratic" and note that it is adamantly opposed
to Taiwan’s separation. Fair enough, but regardless of the autocracy,
what do the people of mainland China think about Taiwan’s possible
separation? Living in China, I can assure you that whether communist,
anti-communist or politically apathetic, I’ve met no one on the
mainland who wants Taiwan to separate. Taiwan has traditionally been
one of China’s provinces, and that’s how it is still regarded.
The government of the People’s Republic of China wants "one China,
two systems." By this they mean one government system in the province
of Taiwan and another on the mainland. This is the situation currently
prevailing in Hong Kong and Macao. Some of the government’s critics in
mainland China also want two – two parties. Where in China can an
opposition government be found that knows how to run a country? Not on
The opposition of the United States to Taiwan’s separation is
unlikely to be mostly about trade and being nice to the People’s
Republic of China, as the editorial implies. It’s more likely to be
about the future evolution of governance in China as a whole. Taiwan as
a separate nation is not going to help the evolution of alternative
democracy within China. This view seems to be widely shared, since very
few member countries of the United Nations support the addition of
Taiwan as a member.
The editorial finished with a rather ludicrous comparison with
Hungary and its invasion by Russia in the 1950s. A strong nation
invaded another nation when the people of that nation decided to change
their political course. For goodness sakes, this is a false comparison!
Taiwan has changed its political course several times, and has not been
invaded by its powerful mother. Invasion is not going to happen.
Eventually, there will be a political compromise acceptable to both
sides, and China will merge as one again. The issue is when and what
form the compromise will take, not whether this will happen by force.
When the drums of separation roll in Quebec, Nova Scotians are
naturally concerned about the effects that separation of Quebec would
have on the Acadian people, most of whom do not want to see a separate
Quebec. Is it too much to ask that the editorial board at The Chronicle
Herald give a thought to what the people of mainland China think
regarding the province of Taiwan, and about political machinations in
the multi-party democracy of Taiwan?
Martin Willison is a Dalhousie University professor who is studying in China during a sabbatical leave.Main Problems with Willison's arguments:
1) Taiwan is not a part of China. Otherwise China would not be demanding "reunification".
Willison makes a weak comparison, Quebec regards itself as a part of
China, and is ruled by Canada. China's government has never ruled any
part of Taiwan.
There are historical ties with Taiwan but even these are flimsy, India
and Pakistan, heck even Nova Scotia and France have more ties than
Taiwan does with China.
There are 2 main parties in Taiwan, not 4. The are the KMT and DPP.
Then the other "major minor" parties are the People's First Party
(PFP), the New Party (NP), and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU). How
Willison counts 4 is beyond me. Willison fails to mention that the PFP and the NP are offshoots of the KMT. He also neglects to mention that the KMT was once the ruling party of China and is still sore-losers about the whole thing.
Willison would have made a compelling argument if any of his assertions
were mildly true. Any history or political enthusiast mildly familiar
with the situation between Taiwan and China would immediately find
fault with Willison's article. There is probably an explanation
somewhere because Willison is a biology professor, entirely out of his
league when it comes to the complex political issues surrounding Taiwan
Willison biggest argument is his allegation that
there are historical and political similarities between Quebec wants
for independence and Taiwan, which is already independent. His example
is flimsy because Quebec is unquestionably a part of Canada. Quebec is
ruled and pays taxes to the Canadian government and is protected by
Meanwhile Taiwan has been independent from China
for over 50 years. Taiwan is one of the world's more populous
democracies, with an independent military, independent economy, and
independent government. China does not even own a single building in
Even under a historical context, before these 50 years
was an additional 50 years of Japanese rule, another 200 years of
partial Qing Dynasty rule, and periods of rule by Koxinga, the
Portuguese, and the Dutch.
What is so difficult to explain is
the logical error on why there is even an "independent party"? The KMT,
which lost the civil war against China's ruling party, the CCP, still
insisted that it ruled all of China, including Taiwan where it fled to.
All dissenting opinion was brutally crushed with murders and
kidnapping. What the Taiwan Independence crowd want is independence
from KMT's claim that Taiwan is a province of a KMT government as much
as they want independence from China's interfering. Unfortunately the
CCP in China has used this language block to their advantage in
Willison's claims would hold more water
had the people of Taiwan not suffered greatly under the massacres of
the Qing Dynasty rule, or the KMT's own bloody massacres themselves;
most notably the 228 massacre, one of Asia's "forgotten holocausts".
Willison's claims, its now generally recognized that Taiwan is de-facto
independent, but saying so is a political inconvenience even though
Taiwan now has more de-facto embassies than it ever did while it was
still in the United Nations prior.
Even Canada has one of these
defacto embassies. Its called the Taipei Economic and Cultural
Representative Office (TECRO), and there is even one in Ottawa. If one
were to visit Taiwan, one get their visa at TECRO, and not at the
Chinese consulate a dozen blocks over.
Moving on, Willison
claims that Taiwan has historically been a province of China and still
is. This is very odd because even China's government wants, in its own
words, "Taiwan reunification with the mainland". Its obvious that
Taiwan is not a province of China when China's government insists that
Taiwan has yet to unify.
A better example for all this would
be if the French government demanded the return of Nova Scotia after
more than 50 years of separation. Its pretty obvious the Nova Scotian s
would not give up their Canadian citizenships for such a thing. When
asked if the Taiwanese want unification with China, a large majority
say no. Polls say that 77% of Taiwanese insist that they are Taiwanese
and not Chinese which is a lot of say considering the large population
that fled to China after the KMT lost their civil war.
also appeals to the Nova Scotian s by asking if they would want Quebec
to be free and says that no one in China wants Taiwan independent. I
wonder if Willison ever asked if anyone in China thinks Tibet should be
free, or if parts of Vietnam and India should stay independent from
China? After all, China has the world's most major land disputes. The
answer will be obvious considering the Chinese government's political
stance is taught in schools since the first grade. Since China uses the
Aryan-esque, "Chinese Nationalism" as the historical pretext for
national unity amongst the so many diverse peoples within China, any
land even partially ruled by the prior dynasties are considered parts
of China. This includes all lands partially ruled by the Manchurian
Qing Dynasty, considered illegitimate by China's own official
education. Today China claims all of Taiwan even though the Qing
Dynasty ruled a small portion of Northern Taiwan.
weak grasp of Taiwan politics shows when he insists the DPP bid for the
United Nations is entirely for political reasons then trumpets the KMT
as the solution. Ironically enough, even the KMT submitted its own
highly televised bid for the United Nations. I'm not sure how much
credibility Willison has if he would miss something so obvious. In
other-words, to Willison, a UN gambit is a political ploy by the DPP
but if the KMT does it too, its not a political ploy?
Willison really backing his words with expertise and wisdom or is he
simply regurgitating propaganda from the very government of where he
China recently demanded that the Canadian
ambassador release a statement that, "Taiwan is a part of China".
Thankfully the Canadian response was wise; they said that since Canada
has no rights on Taiwan, they have no authority to make any claims
about Taiwan's ownership. Thankfully it seems most Canadians are not as
easily fooled by China's ploys.
|There is the Cthonic concert today at the HighLine: the band supports Taiwan's entry into the UN.|
My various signs have made the Liberty Times, and AP again. I will take a photo of the Liberty Times paper so you could check it out.
The AP photo is online here:
(Michael Turton came up with the "Let Taiwan be Taiwan in the UN!" and that sign alone has already made quite a few papers state-side. Its good and I love how it has double meanings.
For more Taiwan news please visit
The View from Taiwan: http://michaelturton.blogspot.com
If you want to make a difference for Taiwan, lobbying, protesting, rallying, spy on us Pan-Greens, or just hang out, let me know:
AIM: ShrimpCrackerz, MSN: ShrimpCrackerz, Yahoo: ShrimpCrackerz... etc etc.
I've been busy lately with Taiwan related events, so much so that I haven't had much time to develop this website. I encourage you to participate in your local community, regional organization, or national Taiwanese group. We are a people whom have been abused, tortured, and regarded as brutish apes in history (yes even in Chinese texts as recent as the 20th century).
Today is 228 (I'm in NYC but this site is set as Taiwan time), and I'm sure everyone remembers the 228 Massacres that happened in Taiwan which was a brutal display of terror by the KuoMinTang Nationalist Party. But democide is nothing new. Lets take a look at the approximate number of killed in the last century:
Million Civilians Killed - People's Republic of China - Chinese
60 Million Civilians Killed - USSR
20 Million Civilians Killed - Nazi Germany
10 Million Civilians Killed - Republic of China's - KuoMinTang Nationalist Party
5 Million Civilians Killed - Imperialist Japan
I'll spare you the rest of the list. But out of these, guess which ones were very fascist or communist and or dictatorial? Plus many of these nations were highly nationalist. China is highly nationalist today hence the rampant hate mongering that exists today. I welcome you to take a look at many of their angry posts on this site and its, well, self explanatory what an uneducated brainwashed mass of people can do.
As Taiwanese, we should stay vigilant and continue our fight for Democracy.
I encourage you to visit these sites everyday:
DPP wins Kaosiung and loses Taipei.
All in all the Pan-Blues lose more seats in government for the 10th year in a row.
Taiwan Election Index
Taiwan Election Index:
KMT margin of victory, Taipei, 1998: 5%
KMT margin of victory, Taipei, 2002: 28%
KMT margin of victory, Taipei, 2006: 13%
Percentage vote for DPP in Taipei, 1994: 43
Percentage vote for DPP in Taipei, 1998: 45
Percentage vote for DPP in Taipei, 2002: 37
Percentage vote for DPP in Taipei, 2006: 40
Number of votes KMT Taipei Mayor candidate Ma Ying-jeou received in 2002 election: 873,102
Number of votes KMT Taipei Mayor candidate Hau Lung-bin received in Saturday's election: 692,085
Number of votes KMT Taipei Mayor candidate Hau Lung-bin received in Saturday's election: 692,085
Number of votes DPP Taipei Mayor candidate Frank Hsieh received in Saturday's election:525,869
Number of votes for "independent" mayoral candidate James Soong, Chairman of the PFP: 53,281
Number of City Council seats lost by Soong' s PFP: 6
Number of votes for independent Taipei mayoral candidate Li Ao, who recently gassed the legislature: 7,795
Number of patients escaped from mental institutions in and around Taipei last week: 7,794*
Number of votes for DPP Kaohsiung Mayor candidate Chen Chu: 379,417
Margin of victory of DPP Kaohsiung mayor candidate Chen Chu in Saturday's election:1,114
Number of votes for DPP-allied TSU Kaohsiung mayor candidate Lo Chih-ming in Saturday's election: 6,599
Number of seats gained by DPP on Taipei City Council: 1
Number of seats gained by DPP-allied TSU on Taipei City Council: 2
Number of seats gained by KMT on Taipei City Council: 4
Number of seats lost by KMT-allied PFP on Taipei City Council: 6
Number of seats lost by KMT-allied New Party on Taipei City Council:1
Number of seats gained, DPP and allies: 3
Number of seats gained, KMT and allies: -3
Number of seats gained by DPP on Kaohsiung City Council: 1
Number of seats gained by KMT on Kaohsiung City Council: 5
Other Interesting Articles:
Tim Maddog takes a look at the biased media inside and outside of Taiwan. Many are sensational and subtly designed to influence the perception of the reader.
ESWN collects polls in Taiwan and sorts them. Note that most of his polls are from Pan Blue stations and newspapers, which almost always predict a huge win for the KMT. The reason they do this is because historically in democracies, people tend not to vote for those they perceive won't win anyway. Interestingly enough, Pan Green leaning newspaper, Liberty Times is most accurate and as usual the Pan Blue polls are way off.
Ma accuses the Pan Greens of election tricks even though he personally sponsored the Anti-President-Chen campaign similar to the Anti-Mayor-Chen campaign a few years back. He calls them unethical despite the double standards.
I'm unable to post all the time now that I'm fully involved with various projects and organizations. However I point you to these excellent sites:
And remember, smart people read between the lines and utilize independent thinking. Idiots blindly spout whatever comes out of their parents, peers, and party.