East and West Germany, East and West China

East and West Germany, East and West China
Bevin Chu
June 20, 2005

Executive Summary: German reunification or “Deutsche Wiedervereinigung” took place on October 3, 1990, when the German Democratic Republic, better known as East Germany, was merged into the Federal Republic of Germany, better known as West Germany. The reunification of East and West Germany was a shining moment in history. Millions the world over, even non-Germans who had no emotional investment in Germany’s political reintegration, sensed the rightness of the event and rejoiced. Human beings artificially segregated by the defunct Cold War had been reunited. The reunification of East China, better known as the Republic of China, and West China, better known as the People’s Republic of China, involving one-fifth of the world’s population, will be an even more memorable event in history. Why then do many people perceive Chinese reunification as something less than desirable? Part of the answer lies in the perception that there is no “West China,” there is only “China,” and there is no “East China,” there is only “Taiwan.”

CN vs. TW

Above all it is essential to refer to things by their correct names. If things are not referred to by their correct names, then our language will not reflect reality. If our language does not reflect reality, then our actions will not reflect reality, and will be exercises in futility.
— Confucius, The Analects, Chapter 13, Verse 3

A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts… the process is reversible… If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration… the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.
— George Orwell, Politics and the English Language, 1946

On the internet “China” is abbreviated CN, and “Taiwan” is abbreviated TW. These are the famous, or perhaps infamous ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes, created by the International Standards Organization. They are the best known part of ISO, and were subsequently used as country codes for Internet domain names.

Unfortunately, this manner of referring to the two Chinese political regimes vying for the title of legitimate ruler of all China is dangerously misleading. It implies that the PRC or People’s Republic of China comprises only the continental portion of China, and that the ROC or Republic of China comprises only the offshore Chinese island of Taiwan. Even worse, it implies that something named “Taiwan,” which does not even contain the word “China,” has nothing to do with China. Worst of all, it implies that Chinese people living on Taiwan are “Taiwanese, not Chinese,” and that only those Chinese people living on the Chinese mainland are “Chinese.” As Orwell noted, the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

North vs. South, East vs. West

Far less misleading are the terms applied to North and South Korea, the former North and South Vietnam, and the former East and West Germany. These unofficial names adopted by the general public imply correctly that both sides are parts of the same nation, even though they might be living under rival political regimes, and both populations are the same people.

ISO’s use of “TW” and “CN” in internet abbreviations is not the result of any “vast, right-wing conspiracy,” but merely the result of semantic imprecision by an organization insufficiently sensitive to subtle political distinctions concerning a foreign nation.

The ubiquitous use of “Taiwan vs. China” instead of “Taiwan vs. mainland China” in the US major media on the other hand, is anything but innocent. It is too often the calculated result of Taiwan independence spin control.

Whether the terms being tossed around are TW and CN, or Taiwan and China, it is all harmless enough as long as abetting Taiwan independence is not the ulterior motive. Unfortunately abetting Taiwan independence often is the ulterior motive, at which time the “CN vs. TW” formulation becomes a source of infinite mischief.


Taiwan is part of China


Tasmania is part of Australia, as The Australian is keeping the nation informed

Let me be perfectly clear. The counterpart to “Taiwan” is not “China,” but “mainland China” or “the Chinese mainland.” To refer to “Taiwan vs. China” is akin to referring to “Tasmania vs. Australia.” Since Tasmania is part of Australia, how can one possibly speak of “Tasmania vs. Australia?” Similarly, since Taiwan is part of China, how can one possibly speak of “Taiwan vs. China?” Consider how an online travel guide with no political axe to grind puts it:

“Island Airlines Tasmania flies to Flinders Island. King Island Airlines and TasAir fly to King Island. Both islands are directly accessible from the Australian mainland, as well as from Tasmania.”

Notice the wording? The travel guide correctly says “from the Australian mainland, as well as from Tasmania.” It doesn’t say “from Australia, as well as from Tasmania.”

Was that so difficult?

Why not East China vs. West China?

Following Japan’s defeat by Allied forces in WWII, predominantly the US and China, Korea was partitioned along the 38th Parallel Demilitarized Zone or DMZ. The Democratic Republic of Korea (DRK) to the north became known as North Korea, while the Republic of Korea (ROK) to the south became known as South Korea.

Following France’s defeat by the Vietminh at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam was partitioned along the 17th Parallel Demilitarized Zone or DMZ. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN) to the north became known as North Vietnam, while the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) to the south became known as South Vietnam.

Following Germany’s defeat by Allied forces in WWII, predominantly the Soviet Union, Germany was partitioned along a 1381 km long “Zonengrenze” (Zone Border), “Innerdeutsche Grenze” (Inner-German Border), or “Deutsch-Deutsche Grenze” (German-German Border). The German Democratic Republic (GDR) to the east became known as East Germany, while the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to the west became known as West Germany.

Following Japan’s defeat in 1945, Taiwan was retroceded to China. Following the KMT’s defeat by the CCP in the Chinese Civil War, China was partitioned more or less down the middle of the 130 km wide Taiwan Strait. I say “more or less” because the reality is a little more complicated than that. The Republic of China (ROC) to the east became known as “Nationalist China” or “Free China,” while the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the west became known as “Communist China” or “Red China.”

These Cold War era terms for East and West China were ironically far more descriptive and far less misleading than the post Cold War terms: “Taiwan” and “China.”

Why didn’t the Republic of China to the east become known as East China, and the People’s Republic of China to the west become known as West China? For several reasons.

Disparity in Size

North and South Vietnam were roughly the same size, in both land area and in population. North and South Korea are roughly the same size, in both land area and in population. East and West Germany were roughly the same size, in both land area and in population.

East and West China, by contrast, are nowhere near the same size, in either land area or population.

The largest single land mass under the effective jurisdiction of East China is the relatively tiny Chinese island of Taiwan. The largest single land mass under the effective jurisdiction of West China is the vast expanse of the Chinese mainland.

West China is almost 300 times the size of East China in land area. West China is almost 60 times the size of East China in population.

This extreme disparity in both land area and population between East China and West China has contributed to the false and dangerous perception that mainland China is “China,” whereas Taiwan is merely “Taiwan.”

Separation by a Body of Water

North and South Vietnam were geographically contiguous. They were separated only by an invisible line on the map, the 17th Parallel. North and South Korea are geographically contiguous. They are separated only by an invisible line on the map, the 38th Parallel. East and West Germany were geographically contiguous. They were separated only by an invisible line on the map, the “Zonengrenze” or “Zone Border.” Barbed wire fences and concrete walls were later erected along the 38th Parallel DMZ and the Zonengrenze, making them visible to the eye, but fundamentally these lines had no natural physical correlates.

East and West China, by contrast, are separated by a natural geographical barrier, the 130 km wide Taiwan Strait. The Taiwan Strait was known by Ming dynasty emigrants from southern Fujian as the “Hei Shui Gou” or “Black Water Ditch.” In the popular imagination it constituted an intimidating natural barrier.

Taiwan independence advocates exploit Taiwan’s geographical separation from the mainland to the hilt. They insinuate that because Taiwan is geographically separated from the mainland, therefore it is politically separate from the mainland. The fact that the largest land mass under the effective jurisdiction of East China is an island, and has a name, “Taiwan,” has allowed Taiwan independence Quislings to latch onto this geographical term and misrepresent it as the name of a political entity. Taiwan independence Quislings don’t make this case explicitly. They know it won’t stand up to logical scrutiny. Nevertheless they rely heavily on the physical separation to reinforce the subjective impression of political separation.

Physical separation by a body of water hardly constitutes a justification for political independence, certainly not in and of itself.

If merely being separated from the motherland by water constituted a justification for political independence, then the United States would have to forfeit its claims to Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Midway Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Wake Island.

Hawaii is separated from the continental US by roughly 5,000 km of ocean. Is that any reason for demanding Hawaiian independence? Hardly. Hawaiian independence has far stronger justifications rooted in history.

Guam is so far to the west of the continental United States it is closer to mainland China. Should Guam be transferred to China on the basis of geographical proximity? On the basis that more ocean separates Guam from the continental United States than separates Guam from mainland China?

If merely being separated by water constituted a justification for political independence, then Japan would have to be partitioned into at least four nations, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyu-shu; and as many as 3,000 nations.

If merely being separated by water constituted a justification for political independence, then the Philippines would have to be politically partitioned into at least three separate nations, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and as many as 7,000 nations.

If merely being separated by water constituted a justification for political independence, then Indonesia would have to be politically partitioned into at least five separate nations, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, New Guinea, and Sulawesi, and as many as 18,000 nations!

If merely being separated by water constituted a justification for political independence, then Australia would have to forfeit its claim to Tasmania.

Obviously physical separation by water is no justification for political independence. East China, i.e., Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu are every bit as much a part of China as if they were geographically contiguous with the Chinese mainland.

United Nations Security Council Membership

On October 25, 1971, the United Nations General Assembly passed its fateful Resolution 2758, withdrawing recognition of the Republic of China as the legitimate government of China, and recognizing the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate government of China.

Whether one agrees with the wisdom of this decision on the part of the member nations of the UN General Assembly, the fact is Resolution 2758 absolutely, positively did not create a sovereign and independent “nation of Taiwan.” Resolution 2758 did not create “One China and One Taiwan.” Resolution 2758 did not create “Two Chinas.”

Resolution 2758 asserted that the Republic of China was legally defunct and that everything that once belonged to the Republic of China in Taipei, was now the legal inheritance of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing. Resolution 2758, in other words, recognized that Taiwan was now part of the the People’s Republic of China rather than the Republic of China.

What the world had now was not “One China and One Taiwan.” What the world had now was not “Two Chinas.” What the world had now was One China, just like before. Taiwan was part of that One China, just like before. The only difference was that, at least in the eyes of the member nations of the UN, that One China was under new management, the CCP in Beijing, and had a new company name, the PRC.

Alas, replacing the ROC with the PRC had an unanticipated and highly undesirable side-effect. Stripping the ROC of its mantle as the legitimate government of China unintentionally helped reify “Taiwan” as a proper noun, as the name of a political entity.

West China, having replaced East China as the legitimate government of China in the UN, now became “China.” East China, having been replaced by West China as the legitimate government of China in the UN, now became “Taiwan.” In the eyes of the UN, West China was now China’s central government. In the eyes of the UN, East China was now a discredited pretender. Or, if not a pretender, merely a local political authority.

Taiwan independence spin controllers however promptly spun East China’s catastrophic replacement as the legitimate government of China by West China as an affirmation of the rightness of Taiwan independence. They spun “Taiwan” not as a province of either West China or East China, but as an independent political entity. They’ve been doing it ever since.

Sovereignty vs. Jurisdiction

sov·er·eign·ty
a nation or state’s supreme power within its borders

ju·ris·dic·tion
Etymology: Latin jurisdictio, from juris, genitive of jus law + dictio act of saying, from dicere to say
the territorial range of authority or control

This brings us to a crucial point. Anyone who wishes to hold forth on Taiwan’s legal status must understand and respect certain crucial legal distinctions. One of these is the distinction between “sovereignty” and “jurisdiction.”

Sovereignty, in this context, refers to the territory that a nation or state insists are within its borders. Jurisdiction, in this context, refers to the territory over which a nation or state exercises control. Put simplistically, sovereignty means ownership, jurisdiction means control.

Taiwan independence Quislings have a predilection for mocking Chinese reunificationists who insist on this all too real legal distinction. Their motive for doing so is hardly a secret. They wish to conflate sovereignty with jurisdiction in order to reduce the Republic of China to “Taiwan.” They wish to assert, against all constitutional law and international law conventions, that “sovereignty = jurisdiction.” In fact of course, as constitutional law and international law experts know perfectly well, sovereignty does not equal jurisdiction.

The Taiwan independence Quislings’ colonial masters for example — Japan’s right wing political elite — would never concede for one second that “sovereignty = jurisdiction.” If they did, Japan would immediately have to forfeit what Japan calls the “Northern Territories,” and what Russia calls the “Southern Kuril Islands.”

These islands are currently in the hands of Russia. Russia has jurisdiction over them. If “sovereignty = jurisdiction,” as Taiwan independence Quislings allege, then Russia also has sovereignty over them. In other words, the islands belong to Russia. I seriously doubt that Japanese right wingers would agree that “sovereignty = jurisdiction.” Whether Russia or Japan has sovereignty over these islands is one issue. Whether Russia or Japan has jurisdiction over these islands is another issue altogether. Whether the islands belong to Russia or Japan is something that Moscow and Tokyo will have to settle between themselves.

Another example is Tiaoyutai, or Diaoyutai in Hanyu Pinying. This island is currently in the clutches of Japan, which refers to it as “Senkaku.” Tiaoyutai is part of Touchen Township. Touchen Township is part of Yilan County. Yilan County is party of the Province of Taiwan. The Province of Taiwan is part of China. The official website of the Republic of China Post Office lists the postal code for the island as “290, 釣魚台列嶼, Diaoyutai Archipelago.” Whether the China that Tiaoyutai belongs to is going to be known as the ROC, the PRC, or just plain “China,” remains in question. What is not in question is Tiaoyutai’s sovereignty. Tiaoyutai belongs to China.

For ironclad evidence that Tiaoyutai belongs to China, see:
Tiaoyutai is Chinese Territory!

ROC Sovereignty includes the Chinese Mainland, PRC Sovereignty includes Taiwan

Too many laymen don’t realize that what they refer to as “China” isn’t the entirety of China, but merely what the Constitution of the Republic of China refers to as “the mainland area of the Republic of China.”

Too many laymen don’t realize that what they refer to as “Taiwan” isn’t Taiwan at all, but what the Constitution of the Republic of China refers to as “the free area of the Republic of China.”

The “free area of the Republic of China” has shrunk to a tiny fraction of what it once was. No one denies this sad fact. Nevertheless, contrary to popular opinion, the Republic of China’s effective jurisdiction is not confined to the Chinese island of Taiwan.

In fact, the island of Taiwan is merely part of the jurisdiction of Nationalist China, Free China, or East China. The jurisdiction of East China includes not only Taiwan, but the Penghu Archipelago, Kinmen, Matsu, and numerous islets in the South China Sea.

The Republic of China’s jurisdiction includes the Penghu Archipelago. The Penghu Archipelago is not part of the province of Taiwan. Penghu is an entirely separate administrative region.

The Republic of China’s jurisdiction includes the islands of Kinmen and Matsu. Kinmen and Matsu are not part of the province of Taiwan. Kinmen and Matsu are offshore islets belonging to the province of Fujian. The rest of Fujian is under the jurisdiction of Beijing.

The Republic of China’s jurisdiction includes the Nansha Islands, referred to by some as “The Spratlys.” The Nansha Islands are not part of the province of Taiwan. The Nanasha Islands are part of the Province of Hainan Island.

Therefore even though the Republic of China’s jurisdiction has been drastically diminished, it can hardly be equated with the island of Taiwan. The Republic of China’s jurisdiction includes land masses from at least three Chinese provinces. Taiwan is merely one of them. The others are Fujian and Hainan Island.

The Republic of China, for the umpteenth time, is not “Taiwan.” The People’s Republic of China, for the umpteenth time, is not “China.”

Just as the former West Germany’s sovereignty included territory under the jurisdiction of East Germany, so the Republic of China’s sovereignty includes territory under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China. Conversely, just as the former East Germany’s sovereignty included territory under the jurisdiction of West Germany, so the People’s Republic of China’s sovereignty includes territory under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China.

The world is not about to suddenly begin referring to the ROC as East China and the PRC as West China. But given the confusion sowed by the widespread use of the terminology, “China” vs. “Taiwan,” one of the most constructive developments that could take place in cross-straits discourse, short of reunification, would be a return to the far more descriptive, far less misleading pre-1971 terminology, “Communist China” vs. “Nationalist China.”

Chen Shui-bian, Are You Listening?

The Nobel Peace Prize 2000 Presentation Speech by Gunnar Berge, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Oslo, December 10, 2000.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2000 to Kim Dae-jung. He receives the prize for his lifelong work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular… Kim Dae-jung has had the will to break with fifty years of ingrained hostility, and to reach out a cooperative hand across what has probably been the world’s most heavily guarded frontier. His has been the kind of personal and political courage which, regrettably, is all too often missing in other conflict-ridden regions… [Chen Shui-bian, are you listening?] Gunnar Roaldkvam, a writer from Stavanger, puts this so simply and so aptly in his poem “The last drop”:

Once upon a time there were two drops of water;
one was the first, the other the last.
The first drop was the bravest.
I could quite fancy being the last drop,
the one that makes everything run over,
so that we get our freedom back.
But who wants to be the first drop?

Kim Dae-jung has been the prime mover behind the ongoing process of detente and reconciliation… his role can best be compared with Willy Brandt’s, whose Ostpolitik was of such fundamental importance in the normalisation between the two German states, and won him the Peace Prize… The dialogue between Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jung II at the Pyongyang summit last June led to more than loose declarations and airy rhetoric. [Chen Shui-bian, are you listening?] The pictures of family members meeting after five decades of separation made a deep impression all over the world… In most of the world, the cold war ice age is over. The world may see the sunshine policy thawing the last remnants of the cold war on the Korean peninsula. It may take time. But the process has begun, and no one has contributed more than today’s Laureate, Kim Dae-jung. In the poet’s words, “The first drop was the bravest.”

No Guts, No Glory

When Chen Shui-bian was inaugurated in 2000, he told reporters that in his office he kept a photograph of Kim Dae-jung meeting with Kim Jong-il. The purpose of the photograph was to remind himself of his solemn duty to make peace across the Taiwan Straits.

Chen Shui-bian covets the Nobel Peace Prize. Chen knows what he must do to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. He knows he must do for East and West China what Willy Brandt did for East and West Germany, and what Kim Dae-jung did for North and South Korea. He must reject stubborn warmongering and embrace peaceful reunification.

Chen Shui-bian must be willing to be the first drop.

Unfortunately for Chen Shui-bian, that’s the last thing he wants to do.

The DPP is on the Wrong Track

The DPP is on the Wrong Track
Bevin Chu
June 6, 2005

On May 22, 2005, the Taipei Times, the quasi-official mouthpiece of the Taiwan independence movement, English Language Edition, posted an op ed piece entitled “The DPP is on the right track.” According to the Taipei Times, the DPP won the National Assembly election because of its committment to the nativized path, not because of Chen Shui-bian’s “New Centrist Path” or Frank Hsieh’s “Co-existence through Reconciliation.”

As Trong Chai, aka “Cai Gongtou” (Referendum Cai) put it:

The middle path was not the reason behind President Chen’s election win in 2000. The win was due to the fact that the race had three contenders who were close in terms of support. Those who voted for President Chen were all supporters of the nativized path. The National Assembly election win happened because people were upset about China fever. Taiwan consciousness was the main reason for the election wins of President Chen and the DPP and [we] must remain committed to it.

This of course is undiluted nonsense. For the real story behind the National Assembly Election results, see:
The National Assembly Election

The Taipei Times is wrong. The DPP is on the wrong track, both morally and practically.

Morally, the DPP is on a track toward a repugnant form of petty tribalism known as “Fulao shawenzhuyi” (Hoklo Chauvinism). DDP leaders do not refer to Hoklo Chauvinism as Hoklo Chauvinism of course. They refer to it as “localization, nativization, taking the nativist path, adopting a nativist or Taiwanese consciousness.” But as noted Taiwanese author and political reformer Huang Chi-hsien observed in her landmark book, “Taiwan at the Crossroads: The Rise of Taiwanese Fascism,” Hoklo Chauvinism is the Taiwanese counterpart to Nazi Germany’s Aryan Consciousness.

Practically, the DPP is on a track toward an economically suicidal form of isolationism known as “Sakoku” in Japanese or “Suoguo Zhengce” in Chinese. Sakoku or Suoguo Zhengce means Locked Nation Policy. Sakoku was the official policy of the Tokugawa Shogunate, imposed from the top down on the Japanese economy, and doomed Japan to two centuries of economic stagnation. DPP leaders of course do not refer to their policy as a Locked Nation Policy. They refer to it by Chen Shui-bian’s euphemism “Jiji Kaifang, Yuxiao Guanli” (Aggressive Opening, Effective Management). Chen’s “Aggressive Opening, Effective Management” was supposed to replace Lee Teng-hui’s own Locked Nation Policy, euphemistically known as “Avoid Haste, Be Patient.” It didn’t. Aggressive Opening, Effective Management offered no opening, only management. Aggressive Opening, Effective Management merely replaced one Locked Nation Policy with another Locked Nation Policy. As a current joke has it, twelve years of Avoid Haste, Be Patient plus five years of Aggressive Opening, Effective Management have changed Asia’s Four Dragons into “Three Dragons and One Worm.”

What is the right track?

The right track, morally and practically, is the New Centrist Path Chen Shui-bian promised to implement during his inaugural speech in 2000, but which he reneged upon.

The right track is the track of Co-existence through Reconciliation floated by DPP moderate Frank Hsieh but rejected by his fundamentalist comrades. Hsieh argued that if the DPP wanted to expand its political support base, it could not advance any further down the nativized path and had to become more rational, moderate, pragmatic, and stable in its policy implementation. To win over middle class voters, the DPP needed to offer substantive plans and a long term vision for national development.

The right track is the track of “Dialog, Reconciliation, and Cooperation” with the Chinese mainland advanced by KMT Chairman Lien Chan during his historic summit with CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao.

The problem on Taiwan today isn’t knowing what the right track is.

Nearly every political leader on Taiwan, Pan Blue and Pan Green alike, has known what the right track is for years.

The problem was that until recently no Pan Blue leader had the guts to publicly acknowledge what the right track was and take it — no Pan Blue leader with a sufficiently high political profile, anyway. Pan Blue political leaders were terrified of Taiwan independence Political Correctness, and behaved accordingly.

Four years ago, in 2001, a contingent of New Party leaders made their own “Journey of Peace” to the Chinese mainland. Alas their path-breaking trip received scant media attention and was soon forgotten.

Four years later, fortunately, KMT Chairman Lien Chan found the courage not only to affirm what the right track was, but to act upon his knowledge. For this Lien will go down in history as a key figure in China’s reunification, and deservedly so.

Pan Green leaders, on the other hand, aren’t on the right track, for two reasons.

The first reason Pan Green leaders aren’t on the right track is that although they know Taiwan independence is an impossible pipe dream, their own supporters won’t allow them to change course.

Pan Green leaders have worked overtime for the past two decades creating Viktor Frankenstein monsters — their own hardline fundamentalist supporters. These hardline fundamentalist supporters have swallowed every lie the Pan Green leadership fed them — hook, line, and sinker. Lies such as “Taiwan was never part of China.” Lies such as “Taiwanese are not Chinese.” Lies such as “If only we have the guts to declare independence, America and Japan will come to our rescue.” Having been thoroughly indoctrinated with such lies, these hardline fundamentalist supporters can’t be deprogrammed overnight. As a result, Pan Green leaders are stuck with them, and are doing the only thing they can — stalling for time.

The second reason Pan Green leaders aren’t on the right track is that although their long-cherished dream of a sovereign and independent Republic of Taiwan has turned to dust, they can’t bring themselves to face the truth.

“China Fever,” or more accurately, “Mainland Fever,” is hardly a passing fad akin to a craving for Macau style egg tarts. Mainland Fever is the opening act to the unfolding drama of China’s formal reunification. The behavior of DPP Central Standing Committee members in the face of this unmistakable strategic development proves the addage: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

Ah Q is the protagonist in “The True Story of Ah Q” by modern Chinese author Lu Xun. The character has since become a synonym for individuals who rationalize real world defeats as moral or spiritual victories. Taiwan independence leaders have long ridiculed Pan Blue reverence for constitutionalism and the Rule of Law as a manifestation of the Ah Q syndrome, especially the Constitutional One China (Xianfa Yizhong) provision of the Republic of China Constitution, which stipulates that “the territory of the Republic of China includes the Chinese mainland.”

Paradoxically, the truth is just the opposite. What could be more Ah Q than the DPP’s 1999 “Resolution on Taiwan’s Future?”

Pan Blue insistence that the Chinese mainland is an integral part of the Republic of China is infinitely more realistic than Pan Green insistence that “Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, it’s current name is the Republic of China.”

Chen Shui-bian freely admitted as much in February 2005, when he declared that continued insistence on “authoring a new constitution and changing the name of the country is both self-deception and deception of others… Lee Teng-hui couldn’t do it during his 12 years in office, and I can’t do it in mine… If it can’t be done, it can’t be done.”

The Taipei Times editorial went on to claim that:

The DPP just achieved a major success in this past National Assembly election, ranking number one in both the percentage of votes garnered and the number of seats. It would be normal for the party to bask in its victory. But instead, it has immediately launched a round of discussions and self-examination… The DPP is a political party that is very capable of engaging in self-scrutiny and criticism… Such a capacity for self-scrutiny and criticism is one reason behind the DPP’s success and its election victories. People often equate the nativized path with radicalism and extremism… Actually, the nativized path refers to identification issues. It runs counter to pro-China and greater China tendencies… Taiwan consciousness and the nativized path are the core values ensuring the nation’s survival, and represent the mainstream popular will of the country… The party therefore has an obligation to stay true to this path. The fact that the majority of DPP members agreed to stick to this path suggests that the party has found its way home after being lost for a while. This is something that the people of Taiwan are happy to see.

Have you ever read such flagrantly self-deceiving, self-serving, self-congratulatory spin-control?

What could be more Ah Q than the editors of the Taipei Times imagining that if only they could “explain” what the DPP’s nativization was all about, everything would be hunky-dory? People know that the nativized path refers to identification issues. People know that the nativized path runs counter to pro-China and greater China tendencies. They don’t need the editors of the Taipei Times to “explain” that to them.

People equate the nativized path with radicalism and extremism, because the nativized path is radical and extreme. People know the DPP’s Taiwan consciousness and nativized path will not ensure the nation’s survival.

The DPP is on the wrong track. The fact that the majority of DPP members persist in sticking to this path to nowhere suggests that the party has lost its way home, again. This is hardly something the people of Taiwan are happy to see.