Washington Times Op-Ed -- "Beijing's Aggression" by Joseph Wu

Joseph Wu, the Minister of Mainland AffairsCouncil of Taiwan has an op-ed piece appeared in the Washington Times on March 24, 2006. In the article he gave a quick summary of the current situation of Taiwan, domestically and internationally, in a nut shell. (Emphasis mine.)

陸委會主委吳昭燮(Joseph Wu) 2006 年 3 月 24 日在 華盛頓時報(Washington Times)的投書。

Beijing's aggression(北京的侵略)

By Jaushieh Joseph Wu
March 24, 2006

During his visit to Japan in November 2005, President George W. Bush said that by embracing freedom at all levels, Taiwan has delivered prosperity to its people and created a free and democratic society. For Taiwanese who lived through the four decades of authoritarianism and martial law under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Mr. Bush's words were no less an official recognition of what Taiwan has fought hard to achieve over the past few decades.
美國布希總統在 2005 年 11 月拜訪日本的行程中提到,全面擁抱自由的台灣,除了為她的人民帶來繁榮的生活,也創造了一個自由民主的社會。對於歷經國民黨四十年威權主義與戒嚴體制生活的台灣人民,布希總統的評論正是對台灣過去數十年艱苦奮鬥成果的正式肯定。

We, the Taiwanese people, understand and appreciate that the U.S. government has contributed significantly to our democratization. As Taiwan has now democratized, some in Washington have shifted their attention to other authoritarian battlegrounds. We've recently seen some of these defenders of liberty challenge giant American enterprises that are helping the Chinese regime. The Taiwanese people applauded this act, just as we cheered Mr. Bush's speech in Japan.

While some writers and other advocates of freedom continue to struggle on inside China, Taiwan is quietly helping by working hard to poke small holes in the "Great Firewall" with the hope that very soon information can freely flow to the Chinese people. Taiwan's own experience tells us that as long as there is outside support, freedom fighters will continue their battle from within against that seemingly invincible enemy, state control. The Taiwanese people stand firm together with members of Congress and these Chinese champions of liberty both in word and in deed.
當某些作家和提倡自由的人士持續在中國內部抗爭,台灣同時也悄悄的努力幫忙在 『巨大防火牆』上敲出小洞,期待能夠很快的讓資訊自由的傳播到中國人民手中。台灣的經驗告訴我們,只要一直有著外在力量的支持,自由鬥士們就得以繼續在內部對抗看起來戰無不勝的敵人 -- 政府箝制(state control)。台灣人民以言論和行動堅定支持(美國)國會以及這些中國的自由英雄。

Ironically, Taiwan, just like any other young democracy, still bears some trappings of the authoritarian dictatorship of the past. The national anthem of Taiwan is that of the KMT, and the emblem of the national flag is the KMT emblem. In addition, corporations such as China Airlines, China Ship Building, China Petroleum, and China Steel are actually Taiwan's state-owned corporations, not China's.
諷刺的是,台灣,如同任何其他新生的民主社會,仍然受到過去獨裁專政的一些牽制。台灣的國歌,是國民黨的黨歌;台灣的國旗上有著是國民黨的黨徽。此外,像是中華航空(China Airlines)、中船(China Ship Building)、中油(China Petroleum),以及中鋼(China Steel)等公司,事實上是台灣的國營公司,而不是中國的。

For any other newly democratized country, the issues mentioned above could be easily remedied. Unfortunately for Taiwan, these issues persist because China consistently threatens Taiwan with force when these issues are publicly discussed. But just like in any other democracy, these issues will not be ignored and will be open to public deliberation. Taiwan's government understands the sensitivity of these issues and has handled them with prudence, despite public opinion strongly being in favor of the continuation of political reform. Taiwan is deeply committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region.

In Taiwan today, there is a clear sense of insecurity despite pride in her democratic achievements. China is becoming increasingly more influential internationally and cleverly uses its power to marginalize and suffocate Taiwan. Taiwan cries out for help from time to time, but the results have been extremely disappointing. While Taiwan desires a free trade agreement with the U.S. to counter China's attempt to marginalize Taiwan economically, it has not materialized. While Taiwan worries about China's aggression, its defense budget continues to stall in the legislature. While the world is vulnerable to the spread of avian flu, the World Health Organization still excludes Taiwan.
在今日的台灣,儘管我們驕傲於民主的成就,我們有著很清楚的不安全感。中國的國際影響力日益強大,並同時巧妙的運用他的力量排斥與窒息台灣。台灣經常急切的需要幫助,然而結果卻是極端令人失望的。當台灣渴望與美國簽訂自由貿易協定以對抗中國在經濟上邊緣話台灣的同時,這個願望並未實現。當台灣憂心中國侵略的同時,國防預算繼續在立法院遭到阻擋。當全球籠罩於禽流感陰影之下,WHO 仍然將台灣排除在外。

Almost a year ago, China passed the Anti-Secession Law, which claimed Taiwan to be a part of China and legalized the use of non-peaceful means against Taiwan to enforce that claim. On the advice of the U.S. government, Taiwan offered a muted response to prevent conflict from erupting in the Taiwan Strait. But China's military threat increases, its attempts to suffocate Taiwan internationally grow stronger, and Taiwan becomes increasingly divided and internally weakened in facing China. Regrettably, none of what Taiwan needs to feel secure has been forthcoming.

China again threatened Taiwan when President Chen Shui-bian recently suggested ceasing the function of the National Unification Council (NUC) and its guidelines both remnants of the past regime. The NUC and its guidelines specify that the only course open to a democratic Taiwan is unification with authoritarian China, which goes against a fundamental and guiding democratic principle that the people have the right to determine their own destiny. Ceasing the NUC and the NUG is fully in line with democratic principles.

The Taiwanese government understands the United States' very legitimate concern over whether President Chen's actions constitute a unilateral change of the status quo. he status quo in the Taiwan Strait is that the two sides, China and Taiwan, are fully separate entities, neither having jurisdiction over the other, best exemplified by the democratization of Taiwan, which occurred without regard to what the state of affairs was across the strait. Taiwan fully supports U.S. policy because it is against Taiwan's interests to change what is indeed reality.
台灣人政府了解美國對陳總統的舉動是否構成片面改變現狀的關切。現狀,是海峽的兩岸,中國和台灣,各為完全獨立的實體,沒有一方對另一方具有管轄權 -- 在與任何來自對岸事務無關情形下達成的台灣民主化,就是最好的證明 。台灣完全支持美國的政策,因為改變目前的確實現狀,違反台灣的利益。

President Bush's comments late last year were an encouragement to Taiwan. Taiwan is now refining its democracy, the better to be a beacon for democracy activists in China to follow, and in this endeavor Taiwan deserves U.S. support.

Jaushieh Joseph Wu is the Minister of Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan.

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