Arts & Culture 
 Human Rights 
 U.S. Asian Policy 

Home > East Asia > 

Crafty CCP Lets KMT Do the Work
Paul Lin

Ahead of the first anniversary of China's passage of the "Anti-Secession" Law on March 14, the Cabinet designated the day as a national remembrance day -- "Anti-Aggression Day" -- to remind the people of Taiwan of China's aggressive ambitions.

Meanwhile, in China, where the National People's Congress (NPC) was convening, NPC member Chen Yunying suggested that March 14 be designated "Protecting the Interests of our Taiwanese Compatriots Day."

If China really did that, it would be the best thing that could happen, since protecting the interests of their Taiwanese compatriots is the exact opposite of committing aggression against Taiwan. Their Taiwanese compatriots are apparently still so poor that they are forced to eat banana peels to feed themselves, and that is why China needs to "protect" Taiwan by annexing it. Small wonder that Chen's husband had to swim from Kinmen to China to find food.

To commemorate this anniversary, some people in Taiwan claim that China is opposing Taiwanese independence rather than promoting unification. This claim ignores China's greedy and aggressive ambitions, and in fact helps make China look good. At the same time, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou repeatedly voices his admiration for Chinese President and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Secretary-General Hu Jintao -- both domestically and on the international stage -- to lower the Taiwanese public's psychological preparedness for aggression.

So is it true that China is not promoting unification?

First of all, the "united front" strategy was one of Mao Zedong's three magic tricks for guaranteeing victory. That is why the central leadership of the CCP set up a United Front Work Department.

I have heard nothing about them abolishing this department, nor have China's hired overseas organizations changed their activities from "opposing independence and promoting unification" to "preventing independence."

Nor have I heard any Chinese officials announce any strategic changes.

Second, China's defense expenditures will increase by 14.7 percent this year. This is the largest annual increase in recent years -- and that still doesn't include other, hidden spending.

Meanwhile, in addition to the annual rise in the number of missiles it has aimed at Taiwan, the People's Liberation Army has announced that it will begin developing aircraft carriers.

From the perspective of military strength, those who talk about preventing independence must be asked where they draw the line between preventing independence and promoting unification.

Third, toward the end of his stint as KMT chairman, Lien Chan proposed the concept of "joining hands with the CCP in order to suppress Taiwan's independence," and after succeeding Lien, Ma proposed the idea of "eventual unification." Lien's concept of suppressing Taiwanese independence can be used to either prevent independence or promote unification, but Ma's eventual unification clearly promotes unification.

Can it really be that cooperation between the KMT and the CCP has reached the level where the KMT relieves the CCP of its task to promote unification and takes it upon itself to perform this task instead?

This being the situation, we must ask whether certain KMT politicians have already taken up positions as CCP spokespersons and are working to explain CCP strategy.

There are indeed two advantages to having the KMT explain changes in CCP policy. One advantage is that it is deceptive, because no matter what the KMT's image is, it will be better than the CCP's. The second advantage is that the CCP escapes responsibility, so in future, the KMT alone will have to bear full responsibility for having deceived the Taiwanese people.

Becoming a Chinese pawn is Ma's own choice, since he is gambling with his own political future. But the people of Taiwan should think twice about the fact that he is putting up their democracy and freedom in his game with the CCP.

Paul Lin is a New York-based political commentator.

© Copyright 2002-2007 AFAR