Thursday, February 11, 2010

More on Chinese

This time from the view of Chinese 'dissidents,' aka exiled Chinese who are no longer welcome in China, and would likely be imprisoned or put to death if they returned.

Chinese dissident Yang Jianli (楊建利) yesterday urged Taiwan not to forget about democracy, freedom or its sovereignty when pursuing closer relations with China.

“I would like to call on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to use the language of democracy and freedom when developing closer ties with China. Taiwanese should pay more attention to their sovereignty so that it won’t be damaged when interacting with China,” Yang told a press conference coorganized by domestic civic groups to voice their support for democracy and human rights activists in China.

“Taiwanese should defend Taiwan’s sovereignty and make Taiwan’s democracy more mature so that it can become a role model for China to follow,” he said.
This reminds me of the expression, "You don't know what you've got, until you lose it." Although these Chinese dissidents may have never had the human rights and a democratic country to grow up and live in, they've experienced the world outside of China and understand that what countries like the U.S. and Taiwan have, is something that should not be taken for granted.

Why can these Chinese dissidents so easily recognize the growing problem under the Ma administration, and yet those in Taiwan can't wrap their heads around it. Hopefully not, but perhaps it really will need to take another setback in Taiwan's democracy and sovereignty in order for the Taiwanese people to wake up and realize that what they have needs to be protected and cherished.

While these Chinese dissidents have the right idea for supporting Taiwan's independent and democratic country, they still are short-sighted in thinking that Taiwan can serve as a "role model" for China to follow. If we have learned anything from the relationship between China and Hong Kong, it is that Hong Kong did not serve as a "role model" for China. Instead of influencing China, Hong Kong was influenced by China (for worse).

Taiwan needs to take note of what is happening in Hong Kong. Voter dissatisfaction with the unelected leaders is widespread(they are instead appointed by China, and/or large corporations that are largely influenced/controlled by the Communist Party). Calls for total democraticization of Hong Kong's political system is totally shut down. See this recent article in the NY Times for more on this.

In any case, the situation for Taiwan is not the same as the situation for Hong Kong. A "One Country, Two Systems" approach as it is in Hong Kong currently, would fail in Taiwan. Taiwanese would not stand for any sort of appointed positions to govern Taiwan, let alone allowing half of their lesgislature/congress to be appointed by the Chinese government (as it currently is in Hong Kong).

As a reminder, the movie Formosa Betrayed, is debuting Feb 26th in select cities (New York, LA, Boston, and a few other California cities), with it making its debut in the Seattle area quite a bit later, April 5th.

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