The Beginning of the End, Part II
The Hsu Wen-long Effect
April 7, 2005
The Hsu Wen-long Effect
On March 25, 2005, billionaire industrialist Hsu Wen-long dropped a bombshell. The Taiwan independence movement’s most generous benefactor publicly renounced Taiwan independence. In an open letter entitled “Reflections upon Retirement,” Hsu not only renounced Taiwan independence, he expressed unqualified approval of Beijing’s “Anti-Secession Law.” That was something James Soong, Wang Ching-ping, and Ma Ying-jeou didn’t have the guts to do, although they should have.
Hsu’s bombshell left the Taiwan independence leadership in shocked disarray. The local media promptly dubbed the phenomenon the “Hsu Wen-long Effect” and speculated about a potential “Domino Effect.” After all, if even a heavyweight champion of the Taiwan independence movement like Hsu Wen-long had already thrown in the towel, how long could the middleweights and lightweights be expected to hold out?
The Short Road to One China
Anyone who dismissed the Hsu Wen-long Effect as imaginary would soon be proved wrong. Less than a week after Hsu’s open letter, Stan Shih, founder of Taiwan’s largest computer manufacturer, Acer, submitted his resignation as Senior Advisor to the President. The second domino had just fallen.
Actually, defections from the Taiwan independence movement began years ago, as early as 1999.
Among the first to leave were former DPP party chairmen Shih Ming-teh and Hsu Hsing-liang, along with DDP Public Relations Chief Sisy Chen. In 1999 the Hoklo fascists in control of the DPP labeled the trio “race traitors” for reconciling with the predominantly “mainlander” New Party.
They were followed by a younger generation of disillusioned idealists such as DPP National Assemblywoman Cheng Li-wen, who is now Deputy Director of Public Relations for the KMT (You read that right.), and Li Yung-ping, who is now a legislator for the PFP.
The departure of these liberal and progressive forces within the Taiwan independence movement was cavalierly dismissed as good riddance to bad rubbish.
But now that a dyed in the wool Hoklo chauvinist such as Hsu Wen-long, a major benefactor to their cause has turned his back on them, Taiwan independence holdouts are desperately wringing their hands wondering why.
Taking the Red Pill
In fact the answer is staring them in the face. The reason the Best and the Brightest among them have deserted one after another, is they have awoken to the fact that Taiwan independence is not a “beautiful dream,” but a pathetic delusion.
Like Neo in the mind-bending SF masterpiece, “The Matrix” (1999, written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski), they have taken the “red pill.” They know what the Matrix is. They can’t go back.
As Trinity put it, “You’ve been down there, Neo. You already know that road. You know exactly where it ends. And I know that’s not where you want to be.”
As Morpheus put it, “You’re here because you know something… you feel it… there’s something wrong… it’s there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me.”
The only reason the remaining holdouts can’t see it, is they refuse to see it.
The Devil Made Him Do It!
Since Hsu’s public defection from their ranks, they have been making excuses for him, insisting that “Hsu was coerced, and didn’t really mean what he said.”
Chen regime mouthpiece Chou Jung-tai maintained that “Beijing has been pressuring Taiwanese businesspeople operating in China [i.e., mainland China] to take a pro-China position, and it is likely that Beijing forces them to say things that go against their hearts” and that most Taiwanese won’t believe such declarations because they know they are insincere.
Vice President Annette Lu insisted that China [i.e., mainland China] prepared the text then forced Hsu to put his name on the statement.
DPP legislator Wang Hsing-nan railed that “Hsu could well be living under the threat of having his entire family wiped out, otherwise Hsu would never have made such a declaration.”
In fact, a source who is seldom wrong reports that Hsu experienced a genuine change of heart. The well-connected political analyst Chang Yu-hua reports that a close confidant of Hsu told Hsu:
Taiwan is not going to be politically independent. You know it and I know it. And if by some miracle Taiwan were to become independent, the credit would go to the politicians, not to business leaders such as yourself. Your legacy is going to be the Chi Mei Corporation. Chi Mei is a great Taiwan company. Working hand in hand with fellow Chinese on the mainland, Chi Mei has every chance of becoming a great global company. If you sacrifice Chi Mei for a pipe dream that even the Taiwan independence leadership is not serious about achieving, you could destroy everything you worked for. Is that really what you want?
What Hsu did next is a matter of record.
Furthermore, as far as “coercion” is concerned, what exactly do Taiwan independence Quislings mean by “coerce?”
According to their own reasoning, “Taiwanese are not Chinese.” According to their own reasoning, the Chinese mainland is a “foreign country,” even an “enemy nation” with “500/600/700 (pick one) missiles pointed at Taiwan.” According to their own reasoning, Pan Green “Tai Shang” (Taiwan businessmen) who contribute to the Taiwan independence cause are shrewdly but righteously subsidizing Taiwan’s secession from “China” with profits extracted from “China.”
Therefore, again according to their own reasoning, how exactly are Pan Green Tai Shang such as Hsu Wen-long being “coerced?” Wouldn’t it be more honest and accurate to say that Pan Green Tai Shang freely chose to invest there for less than honorable motives? Given the political orientation of Pan Green Tai Shang, isn’t playing the victim card just a little bit disingenuous?
Please note of course that I am referring exclusively to Pan Green Tai Shang who actively abet Taiwan secession, not to either Pan Blue or non-partisan Tai Shang, who are innocent of any treasonous activities.
The Long Road to One China
In a 2001 op ed piece entitled “Taiwan Independence, R.I.P.,” I wrote that Chen’s dilemma can be stated quite simply.
If on the one hand, 23 million living, breathing human beings on Taiwan are to survive, let alone prosper, A-Bian must boldly sweep aside his predecessor’s artifical barriers standing in the way of economic, social, and yes, political reintegration with the Chinese mainland.
If on the other hand, the constipated, small-minded, petty insular ideology of Taiwan independence is to survive, A-Bian must not only keep Lee Teng-hui’s barriers in place, he must erect even higher ones, committing economic suicide. Taiwan will then devolve into an impoverished island backwater unable to afford the cost of political independence.
A-Bian has arrived at a fork in the road. Both roads lead to One China. Take one and arrive before dusk, warm, dry and refreshed. Take the other and arrive at the same destination after midnight, cold, wet and exhausted. The route is optional; the destination is not.
In retrospect we see that A-Bian chose the wrong road, the long road, the roundabout road to One China. Now, four years later, A-Bian has arrived at the destination after midnight, cold, wet and exhausted.
What he does next will be interesting to see.