While Taiwan’s recent election may have given mainlanders an inspiring taste of democracy, dissidents in and out of China fear that the election’s outcome is a setback for hopes for achieving democracy on the mainland.
On Jan. 14, Republic of China (Taiwan) President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang or Nationalist Party (KMT) won re-election with 51.6 percent of the vote, beating Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“Cross-strait relations in the coming four years will be more harmonious with more mutual trust and less chance for conflict,” Ma said in his victory speech. “I must provide Taiwan with a sustainable and stable environment.”
The key to reaching peace across the straits is to promote the democratization of mainland China.
Critics reacted to Ma’s speech by pointing out that bringing democracy to mainland China is the key to harmonious cross-strait relations.
“We would like to see cross-strait peace, but we all know that the CCP tyranny never keeps its word, so the key to reaching peace across the straits is to promote the democratization of mainland China,” said Hu Ping, editor-in-chief of the dissident magazine Beijing Spring, in an interview with New Tang Dynasty TV (NTD).
The dissident Beijing journalist Chen Ziming noted that if one side of the strait is democratic and the other side authoritarian, then mainland China will always be a threat to Taiwan.
“We have always hoped that Taiwan will become a base for democracy in China,” said the Beijing constitutional scholar Chen Yong-Miao to the Epoch Times. “Four years ago when Ma Ying-jeou took office, we rejoiced, and believed this goal was in sight. Many people even thought of immigrating to Taiwan.
“But then, several disappointing things happened: Ma cut funding for the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, repatriated illegally immigrated mainland dissidents, and allowed the CCP’s mouthpiece news organizations the People’s Daily and China Central Television into Taiwan,” said Chen.
Huang Qi, the founder of the China Tianwang Human Rights Service, is also concerned with the record of the KMT under Ma.
Huang told The Epoch Times that the KMT has sought to please the CCP, rather than uphold truth and justice, and it seems to have forgotten the numerous persecutions and the suffering people are enduring in China, including such vulnerable groups as political prisoners, human rights activists, and Falun Gong practitioners.
“Today, history chooses Ma Ying-jeou,” Huang said. “We sincerely hope that President Ma Ying-jeou and his team can regard the democratization of China as their responsibility, and intensify their concern for the human rights situation in China.”
A Chinese Democracy
Wang Dan, a mainland democracy activist and a visiting professor at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, told The Epoch Times on Jan. 15 that this presidential election has had a great impact on mainland China, leading many mainland Chinese to visit Taiwan in order to see the election personally, as well as keep track of the contest via the Internet.
Professor Xia Ming, a political scientist at the City College of New York, said that Taiwan’s election has torn apart the false concept implanted by the communist regime that democracy does not fit China’s situation.
Conversely, the election has had a major influence, Xia said, especially in China’s intellectual community, causing them to question and challenge the Communist Party’s rule.
The son of the former secretary to Zhao Ziyang (a reformist premier and head of the CCP in the 1980s), Bao Po, made a similar point on Jan. 15 in Taipei, saying that Taiwan’s democracy is a role model and proves that the Chinese community is suitable for democracy, while also pressuring the CCP to democratize.
Xu Tianming, a lawyer from Shenzhen, wrote to the authorities on his blog, “After Tsai Ing-wen lost the election she resigned from her position as chair of the Democratic Progressive Party. She also hoped that Ma Ying-jeou, in his next term, will listen to the public, use his conscience to govern the country, and treat each citizen fairly. This is what Tsai Ing-wen has recommended to Ma Ying-jeou; this is what we will all ask of the CCP leaders.”
Continued: A Bet on China’s Democracy
A Bet on China’s Democracy
Critics say that Ma has made a bad bet in relying on mainland China to provide Taiwan the “stable and sustainable environment” he seeks to provide Taiwan.
“The KMT has had a misconception that mainland China has developed stably under communist rule,” said Wang Dan in a seminar held in Taipei on Jan. 15.
According to Wang, China is at the beginning of a turbulent period in all respects, including the economic situation, the dissatisfaction of people at the bottom of the society, the power struggles among high-level officials, and so forth.
Uncertainty exists and unrest could take place any time, Wang said.
In the same seminar Su Xiaokang, a former China National Radio reporter and author of the television series “River Elegy” (1988) that helped galvanize the democracy movement, said the CCP’s China Model of economic development has caused serious environmental pollution, moral disintegration, and grave economic problems. According to Su, the general public also thinks that the China Model is facing collapse and that chaos in China is not far off.
John Lim, a special columnist for Phoenix Television said in a blog post titled “Ma is not the largest winner of the election,” “My first response while hearing the news was that Beijing Won!”
“Beijing has used the ‘economic card,’ and mobilized almost all Taiwan industrial and business leaders who have economic interests with Beijing to support the 1992 Consensus, including the richest Taiwanese, Cher Wang, who returned to Taiwan the night before the final day and openly supported Ma,” said Lim. “This is the fundamental reason why Ma won.”
The 1992 Consensus was an unofficial agreement between Taiwan and mainland China in which both parties agree there is only one China, with both parties asserting it is the only legitimate representative of China.
The Chinese regime has agreed only to negotiate with parties from Taiwan who accept the consensus. A Jan. 12, 2011, Xinhua article said the consensus stipulates there is only one China whose sole representative is the People’s Republic of China.
Lim said as a result of Beijing’s use of the economic card, the Taiwanese people fear that if they select a candidate not acceptable to Beijing, Taiwan’s economy will be negatively affected.
Wan Dan also noted that businessmen were supportive of the 1992 political consensus, which he said is the effect of the CCP’s influence on the election.“When the Taiwan election is tight, China on the one hand warned Taiwan not to seek independence, and at the same time, consecutively released good economic news, making a nonstop effort to win Taiwanese hearts,” said a Jan. 12 article titled “The power of China’s formless hand over Taiwan is increasing” in the Singapore Chinese-language newspaper Zao Bao.
Several media reported that some 200,000 Taiwanese who work in mainland China returned to Taiwan in time for the election.
A Taiwanese businessmen in Fujian, Wang Xichong, a victim of shady investments, said in an NTD report, “Taiwanese businessmen buying tickets to Taiwan can get a ‘buy one get one free’ deal. If it were not for the election, would you normally see something so advantageous?”
Read the original Chinese article.