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Opponents of the rally are against democracy
Paul Lin
4/21/2004

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The 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally was a great success.

Around 2 million people of all ages joined hands even in remote areas on Saturday to form a 500km-long human chain from Hoping Island near Keelung to Changlung in Pingtung County. In high spirits and in a peaceful atmosphere, people said "yes" to Taiwan and "no" to China.

Only by speaking out against China's missiles and protecting peace in the Taiwan Strait can the country stand up and maintain prosperity. This massive public mobilization has rocked the whole nation, China and the entire world. Its profound significance will gradually surface.

The main theme of the rally was to safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty and self-awareness and say "no" to China. This was another kind of democratic referendum, making the voice of the Taiwanese people heard by China and the whole world.

Beijing certainly is very scared and therefore on the eve of the rally it manipulated the Hong Kong media to again hype the National Security Bureau's secret account scandal, attempting to smear the rally's most important figure, former president Lee Teng-hui. But the huge turnout
proved that China's attempt had failed.

Deplorably, some pan-blue politicians cannot change their old habit of bowing and scraping to China. Clearly, the rally was aimed at displaying the Taiwanese people's solidarity to China and the entire world.

These politicians did not join and even distorted it.

The rally clearly showed Beijing the determination of the people of Taiwan to protect the nation, but these pan-blue people branded it an activity to create ethnic division.

Even though they were intimidating people in order to prevent them from attending the rally, they nevertheless held a "Heart-to-Heart Rally," which included a blood donation drive to symbolize ethnic reconciliation, marked by the slogan, "I am in your blood and you are in my blood."

But they have never criticized the Chinese government, which has suppressed Taiwan, undermined its internal solidarity by using the independence-unification issue and threatened it with missiles.

Does the "you" in the above slogan refer to the bandit regime across the Strait? Why are they afraid to take Beijing to task?

The pan-blue camp has followed the pan-green's initiatives on both the referendum issue and constitutional reform.

But they only put forth fake proposals to deceive those who do not realize the truth, thereby messing up the election campaign and the nation's political situation.

This is most obvious with the government about to hold a referendum based on the Referendum Law, which was passed by the pan-blue-dominated legislature after being altered to become something completely different, because the pan-blue alliance did an about-face under strong pressure from China and withdrew the five referendum questions it had originally submitted. It is now pulling out all the stops to oppose the referendum and is even appealing to the public not to vote. Their disregard for and manipulation of the people's basic right to hold a referendum is in fact poisonous residue left over from their authoritarian mindset and cannot be separated from their longstanding disregard for the people. It is also sinful to brown-nose an anti-democratic, autocratic regime.

The rally attended by 2 million people symbolizes the formation of a new Taiwanese "gemeinschaft of destiny."

People's love for peace and self-awareness constitute an important force to prevent China from launching attacks and destroying democracy.

Paul Lin is a commentator on politics based in New York.

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