The South China Morning Post, April 2, 2005, p. A15.
"O.K. -- Then Let's Have One China"
"We should be particularly careful of Taiwan authorities trying to use so-called constitutional or legal means through referendum or constitutional re-engineering to back up their secessionist attempt with so-called legality," reads the draft text of China's new anti-secession law. In other words, China doesn't think the elected officials of Taiwan should use their positions to carry out the will of the people.
What a telling statement, coming from a government that filters out any information it doesn't want its people to know and does everything else it can to control their thoughts. The passage hints at what the world can expect from China in years to come. To an increasing extent even those outside China's historic borders -- in America, Europe, Taiwan and elsewhere -- must also begin to let the way they think, even about democracy and legality, be defined by unelected leaders of China who operate largely outside the law. Except for Taiwan, which has a vibrant and contentious democracy, a prospering free enterprise economy and a president of exceptional probity and authenticity, the governments of the world are cravenly kowtowing to China so as not to risk their chance at the Chinese market. Even the few tiny island nations of the Caribbean and banana republics of Central America that in the past have recognized Taiwan are now turning instead to China and its "One China" dictate. It would seem One China has won the day. The alternative for Taiwan is to be invaded. Let's not here dissect the fiction of the One China idea, show it up to be the lie that it obviously is. Rather let us entertain the notion and see if Taiwan can find a way to live with it, if this is what must be.
The only way I can see that this can be done is if we reframe the tenet in a way that's truthful to the situation between the two nations today. If the people of Taiwan are to be coerced by the world into letting China define the terms of their thinking, then let's at least not deprive the situation entirely of logic. Clearly, if there is to be one China, it should be ruled by the democratic government in Taipei, not the totalitarian one in Beijing. If there is to be one system it should be the advanced one based on law, constitutionality and sound business, banking and copyright practice -- the one currently prospering in Taipei, not the archaic lawless hodgepodge of thugs and warlords reigning and conniving behind the scenes in Beijing, whose main interest is in making themselves rich, no matter the cost to the working classes, the farmers, or the nation as a whole. Of course those guys want to extend their playing field -- "More stuff for us to steal."
O.K. -- maybe we can unite Taiwan with the mainland, if the world insists on letting China force this scenario. But reason has it -- this new entity, the "One China," should be governed from Taipei, not Beijing. So let them lay down their arms then on the mainland, dismantle the missiles, and dismiss their dictator and corrupt party functionaries. The Taiwanese can move in, organize things in a fair way, give the farmers back their land, and the workers their jobs, set up schools for the poor as well as the rich, the girls as well as the boys, democratize locally and nationally, schedule real and fair elections, and let the many peoples of the many Chinas, including Tibet, and other forcibly-assimilated nations, for the first time in their history, have the right of self-determination. One China like this, yes, we can go for that -- a One China that is democratic and has legality, constitutionality, legitimacy, equal opportunity for the poor as well as the rich -- and freedom for all.
This probably would be no problem for us here in Taiwan.