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Why the KMT denies Taiwan people's power

Why the KMT denies Taiwan people's power

The rightist ruling Chinese Nationalist Party displayed its undemocratic and intolerant mentality in the first shots of the campaign for the November election for five municipality mayoral posts has already been given by a flap over Taiwan's special mayoral posts in five special municipalities encompassing 13 million people.
In response to statements in an academic seminar on the character of the "Repubic of China" as an "exile regime" made Wednesday by opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen acknowledged the historical reality that the authoritarian KMT regime was externally imposed on Taiwan after its expulsion from the China mainland by the Chinese Communist Party's People's Liberation Army.
In line with the DPP's position that national identity should be based on citizen consciousness, Tsai urged the Taiwan - centric community to cherish Taiwan's multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual character and appreciate and cherish the experience, feelings and identity of mainlander citizens in Taiwan and warned that failing to do so could lead to mutual antagonism.
Tsai's statements show her intent to reinvigorate the concept of "Taiwan consciousness" from a formalistic declaration of the moral imperative for Taiwan's independence into a concept that is predicated on realization of the diversity, well-being, social justice and the democratic rights of Taiwan's 23 million people.
Tsai's discussion matches the actual historical reality as perceived by the Taiwan people during the past six decades.
After all, until Taiwan's democratic "quiet revolution," the ROC was indeed an exile regime in which "an authoritarian character and a China character was melded and which imposed a backward looking and monist "great China identity" on Taiwan's language, culture, society and politics.
In the wake of our democratization and the complete election of our government by our 23 million with the March 1996 presidential elections, Taiwan became a "democratic independent state" based on the exercise of people's sovereignty but which retained the ROC as its national name out of respect for the pluralistic concepts of identity among our citizenry.
In the wake of this process, a mainstream consensus has been formed on our status quo which sees Taiwan as an independent democratic state, that perceives the relationship between the ROC and Taiwan as equivalent and which mandates that only the 23 million people of Taiwan can determine our destiny.
Statements by KMT and presidential spokesmen to the effect that Tsai's remarks "denigrated" the country and questions about "what kind of country did she serve as vice premier" actually exposed the rigidity of its monist and profoundly undemocratic elevation of the name of the ROC over the reality of a democratic Taiwan.
It is obvious that Tsai, and other DPP government officials, were serving the government of Taiwan which was elected by all of the citizens of Taiwan whose constitutional name remains the ROC and did their best to govern for the sake of the well-being and security of our 23 million citizens.
There is nothing degrading about fulfilling such a democratic mandate.
The question that our citizens should be asking is in whose interests is the current KMT government governing Taiwan.
President Ma Ying-jeou and his KMT government were elected by Taiwan's 23 million citizens in accord with constitution approved in the 1990s that realized the principle of "sovereignty rests with the people" and instituted a clear social contract for the fully elected Taiwan government to be responsible and accountable to our 23 million and no one else.
But since taking office, the Ma government has since openly "denigrated" the people's sovereignty of the Taiwan people by publically claiming that Taiwan "is not a state" but only a "region" together with the "Mainland Region" and even "belongs to the ROC" instead of belonging to the Taiwan people.
Moreover, Ma has undermined the foundation of this consensus in the common citizenship in the political community of Taiwan, regardless of its formal name, that is shared and limited to our 23 million people.
Ma's repeated statements that "the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the Chinese race nation" or are "all the descendants of the Yen and Yellow Emperors" and his open denigration of Taiwan culture as "a kind of Chinese culture with Taiwan features" represents something even more insidious.
Basically, Ma and the KMT aim to instead shifts the ownership of Taiwan's sovereignty from the 23 million Taiwan people to a reified and historically non-existent "great ROC" and grounds that ownership in great Chinese racial nationalism instead of Taiwan citizenship and thus opens the ideological door for "eventual unification" with the People's Republic of China.
The KMT's vocal defence of top-down monist "great China identity" intends both to uphold the legitimacy of its actions during the past 60 years and to shift attention away from the threat posed by her spirit of openness, affirmation of diversity and focus on the people's well-being manifested by the DPP chairwoman and the substantive issues that she and four other DPP candidates will raise in their campaign.


Updated : 2021-07-29 06:42 GMT+08:00