Arts & Culture 
 Human Rights 
 U.S. Asian Policy 

Home > East Asia > 

Lien Chan's China Jaunt
Paul Lin

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan has once again been to Beijing to join hands with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to suppress Taiwan.

Because he no longer represents the KMT at large, China has surreptitiously changed the name of the event from the "KMT-CCP Economic and Trade Forum" to the "Cross-strait Economic and Trade Forum." In this case, Lien, of course, has even less right to represent all of Taiwan.
While chanting statistical figures at the forum, Lien also disseminated misinformation to confuse the public's perception of the cross-strait relationship.

First, Lien said: "Don't demonize or smear China." But China continues to be an inhumane one-party political dictatorship. Could it possibly be that China is a beacon of democracy, and not a state whose communist nature is treated with contempt by the world? Could it possibly be that it is an angel of peace with its ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan? The answer is no on both counts.

Second, Lien said: "We gather here today to set out with a pragmatic attitude, without any political ideology." But Jia Qinglin, chairman of China's People's Political Consultative Conference, chastised Taiwan's decision to mothball the National Unification Council (NUC) in a speech immediately following Lien's statements. Wasn't Jia's reaction politically and ideologically driven? After all, the demon had showed itself, nullifying Lien's description of China as an angel.

Third, while Lien praised China's rise as a "great trend," I thought that he, being a follower of KMT founder Sun Yat-sen, would cite Sun's saying that "democracy is a global trend." To my surprise, he said that dictatorial China's rise is an inescapable fact, and when Hu cited Sun during his meeting with Lien, he conveniently omitted the part about democracy being a global trend.

Fourth, another of Lien's great theories concerns regional economic cooperation. With China being the central spotlight in the Asian region, he asked where Taiwan can go, and raised the prospect that the country will become marginalized. But that begs the question of whether this is the fault of Taiwan itself. KMT Legislator Chu Feng-chi bravely made her views plain to Hu in Beijing and refuted Lien's distorted reasoning, showing us that Chu, unlike Lien, still has a conscience.

Fifth, Lien only cited Taiwan's trade deficit with China and emphasized Taiwan's dependency on China. But he failed to point out Taiwan's huge investments in China, nor did he highlight the great contributions of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople to China's economic development, or mention the political blackmail of Taiwanese businesspeople that has become routine in China today.

Sixth, Lien talked about the plan to develop Taiwan into an "Asia-Pacific regional operations center." In fact, this used to be one of Lien's unrealistic day dreams from back when he was premier. Just think, given that Hong Kong, located next to China, has gradually had its status as an Asia-Pacific regional operations center taken over by Shanghai and Shenzhen, how could the harbor of Kaohsiung with its limited hinterland compete with these cities to become a regional operations center?

The CCP never makes any concessions on political issues. The fact that "one China, with each side having its own interpretation" has come to naught further reveals China's ambition to ultimately annex Taiwan. Still, Lien had to hurry off to Beijing to give Hu a political make-up job prior to his visit to the U.S.

Paul Lin is a political commentator based in New York.

© Copyright 2002-2007 AFAR