The Beginning of the End, Part VIII
Live by Betrayal, Die by Betrayal
February 4, 2006
Today, as the Cold War has ended, it is time for the two sides to cast aside the hostility left from the old era. We do not need to wait further because there is a new opportunity now for the two sides to create an era of reconciliation together. The people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same ancestral, cultural, and historical background … the leaders on both sides possess enough wisdom and creativity to jointly deal with the question of a future “one China.” I fully understand that, as the popularly elected 10th-term president of the Republic of China, I must abide by the Constitution … Therefore … I pledge that during my term in office, I will not declare independence, I will not change the national title, I will not push forth the inclusion of the so-called “state-to-state” description in the Constitution, and I will not promote a referendum to change the status quo in regard to the question of independence or unification. Furthermore, there is no question of abolishing the Guidelines for National Unification and the National Unification Council.
— Chen Shui-bian, May 20, 2000 Inauguration Speech
It is my belief that both sides must demonstrate a dedicated commitment to national development, and through consultation, establish a dynamic “peace and stability framework” for interactions; that we must work together to guarantee there will be no unilateral change to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait; and, additionally, we must further promote cultural, economic and trade exchanges–including the three links–for only in so doing can we ensure the welfare of our peoples while fulfilling the expectations of the international community. As the President of the Republic of China, I have been mandated by the people … to safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, to seek consensus and garner the collective support of all the people, and to carefully manage future relations across the Strait. Today I would like to reaffirm the promises and principles set forth in my inaugural speech in 2000. Those commitments have been honored–they have not changed over the past four years, nor will they change in the next four years.
— Chen Shui-bian, May 20, 2004 Inauguration Speech
There are people urging that the National Unification Council and its guidelines be abolished. I think now is the appropriate time, we must seriously consider it, take a good look at it … This kind of council and its representatives seek a unified China, and under the guidelines, even accepts the One China Principle. These are all problems … What Chinese unification are we after? In addition to considering whether to abrogate the National Unification Council and National Unification Guidelines, I’d like to see the nation [sic] join the United Nations with the name of Taiwan. In addition, I’d like to see the draft of a new constitution completed by the end of the year so it can be put to a popular vote next year.
— Chen Shui-bian, January 29, 2006 Luncheon Address at Matou Junior High School, Tainan County
In a previous article I asked rhetorically, “How can one tell when Chen Shui-bian is lying?”
I answered rhetorically, “His lips are moving.”
As you can see, Chen Shui-bian’s January 26, 2006 Tainan address betrays his May 20, 2000 Five Noes Pledge, as well as his May 20, 2004 reaffirmation of his Five Noes Pledge.
One could end this op ed piece here, except that proving that Chen Shui-bian is a chronic and habitual liar whose solemn oaths mean nothing is hardly worth the effort. Hardly anybody on Taiwan, Pan Blue or Pan Green, believes anything Chen says any more.
Scientific polls reveal public approval for the Chen Shui-bian administration at 10%. Among the business community approval is even lower — 5%. So low it’s approaching the margin of error for scientific polls, which is normally 3%.
During Chen Shui-bian’s first term, Pan Green voters winked at Chen’s perfidy, his deliberate breach of faith, his calculated violation of trust, his treachery. They listened to the Five Noes Pledge in Chen’s inauguration speech and chuckled at each other. “A-Bian is pulling a fast one on the Pan Blues. He’ll tell them one thing, then do another thing. He’s lying to them for our sake.”
During the 2004 Presidential Election, Pan Green voters again winked at Chen’s deceit. They pretended to believe that the 319 Shooting Incident was a genuine assassination attempt, executed by the KMT and PFP with covert CCP assistance. They pretended to believe that Chen Shui-bian was “re-elected by a razor-thin margin of 20,000 odd sympathy votes,” rather than resoundingly defeated by approximately one million votes.
They told themselves that as long as “their man” A-Bian was lying to the Pan Blues, their hated enemy, shameless deceit was fine with them.
Pan Green voters were pathetically naive, even more naive than those Pan Blue voters who assumed the 2004 Presidential Election would be “free and fair.” Pan Green voters, no less than Pan Blue voters, should have realized that within democracy’s “free and fair” electoral process, “nothing matters more than winning, not even what you believe in.” Pan Green voters should have realized that if unprincipled opportunists such as Chen Shui-bian would stoop to deceiving trusting Republic of China citizens for “a higher cause,” they could stoop to deceiving Taiwan independence True Believers for an even higher cause, themselves.
Now, six years later, two years into Chen’s illegal, illegitimate “second term,” Pan Green voters who abetted Chen’s subversion of the Rule of Law are getting their comeuppance.
As a February 1, 2006 Reuters article entitled “Chen China-baiting aims to boost Taiwan popularity” reports:
Chen Shui-bian’s warning he may scrap a key policy body on Chinese reunification seems aimed at stirring anti-Beijing feeling to boost his low ratings and stay relevant ahead of [the] 2008 elections. The latest comments came as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), crushed in December local polls, looks towards the 2008 presidential race and as Chen, barred from seeking a third term, battles criticism that he is now politically irrelevant. “He is trying to use this to show he’s not a lame duck, he still has the influence to decide who will be the next candidate in 2008,” said Philip Yang, professor of political science at National Taiwan University. “The logic behind this series of pro-independence comments is to try to position himself back amongst DPP supporters as a pro-independence leader,” Yang said.
Others agree that Chen’s motives lie in positioning himself ahead of the election and in thoughts of his legacy. While he is unlikely to pursue formal independence, they say, his provocation of [mainland] China could backfire on his beleaguered party. “Of course ideally he would like to seek so-called ‘creeping independence’. but everybody understands that is not possible as the U.S. would give him pressure and [mainland] China would strongly react,” said George Tsai, international relations fellow at Cheng Chi University. Tsai said that if a prospective DPP presidential candidate, such as newly appointed premier Su Tseng-chang, was to have a chance, he must seek to win over “middle-of-the-road” voters, who generally have far more moderate views on Taiwan independence. “Maybe this is good for (Chen), but not good for the party, not good for Taiwan’s immediate or mid-term future. Nobody is going to get any benefit except Chen himself,” Tsai said.
Yang and Tsai are correct.
For nearly two decades, loyal citizens of the Republic of China have watched in frustration as Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian obfuscated the crucial distinction between the Republic of China and an ersatz “Nation of Taiwan,” between a republic and a democracy, between the Rule of Law and the Rule of the Mob. ROC citizens’ political naivete concerning these critical distinctions has cost the Chinese people on Taiwan their lives, liberty, and happiness.
Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, as I have reiterated, are Taiwan independence Quislings. If Taiwan independence were possible, Lee and Chen would have jumped at the chance to declare Taiwan independence, to fulfill their followers’ dreams of a “Republic of Taiwan,” and last but hardly least, turn themselves into “national heroes” for good measure.
But Taiwan independence is not possible. As Chen himself conceded in a moment of rare honesty, “The situation does not permit us to change the name of the country at the moment, or even during the rest of my term… Lee Teng-hui couldn’t do it during his 12 year term, and I can’t do it in mine. Taiwan independence is self-delusion. Taiwan independence is a myth.”
As a result, Chen Shui-bian, like his predecessor Lee Teng-hui, has channeled his energies into siphoning the nation’s wealth into his numbered bank account in Zurich, a task that is far more doable, not to mention far more personally rewarding.
Taiwan independence hardliners bemoan the fact that unprincipled, opportunistic Taiwan independence leaders have, one after the other, strung them along and betrayed their cause. Taiwan independence hardliners bemoan the fact that leaders such as Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian will be the death of the Taiwan independence movement.
Taiwan independence hardliners’ frustration may be genuine, but is it justified?
The Taiwan independence movement has found itself repeatedly betrayed by treacherous opportunists because the Taiwan independence movement itself is rooted in betrayal. Taiwan “independence” is about opportunistic Chinese Quislings without a sense of honor betraying the Chinese nation for their private ambition. To expect a movement rooted in betrayal to attract leaders of integrity whose loyalty is not for sale is a psychological and ethical non-compute.
When the epitaph for Taiwan independence is written, it’s going to read:
Taiwan Independence, RIP
It Lived by Betrayal. It Died by Betrayal