Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

CNN recently had a QUICKVOTE on to the question: Do you agree with the Taiwanese Opposition leader Lien's visit to China?

The results indicated that 61% of respondents responded in favor and 39% responded against.

In brief, my interpretation of the results is that most of the people who responded, though perhaps generally well-informed on current events, are probably not well acquainted with the specifics of Taiwan's situation. It's really not easy to understand all of the repercussions Lien's visit might have for Taiwan, nor is it easy to understand the history of Taiwan, and the "relationships" between the political parties or between the "mainlanders" and localized Taiwanese. The conflict between these groups has been simmering since the beginning of the oppressive rule of the Chinese Nationalist party (KMT, current opposition party), which began not long after the KMT fled to Taiwan from China in the late 1940’s.

So, I think in a broad sense, many of the respondents glossed over the details thinking or assuming that Lien's trip could only be a good thing for Taiwan. In other words,"a journey of peace" or a chance to open the lines of communication and opportunities for negotiation- all of these things "seem" to be good for Taiwan on the surface. It "seems" to give Taiwan visibility. But most people don't understand what Lien's ulterior motives are, they don't understand the historical power struggle between the ROC (Republic of China- Taiwan's now official name) and PRC (People's Republic of China- mainland China), they don't understand how the PRC is systematically sabotaging and infiltrating Taiwan, they don't understand that Lien's visit is not legitimate (he does not represent the government of Taiwan), that it has heightened social tensions in Taiwan and that Lien can't speak for the majority of Taiwanese who don't want to unify with China. Recent polls in Taiwan have indicated that 93% of the people in Taiwan oppose China’s “anti-secession” law. Though people here are split 50-50 on the issue of independence for Taiwan, more than 50% do not want to unify with China.

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