Taiwan identity under threat
January 5, 2007 8:37am CST
Mainlanders often fail to appreciate the fact that Taiwan's socio-political experience has taken on a drastically different path than that of the PRC. Socio-political experience, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, is what forms an identity. The reason why there are so many PRC hardliners on the Taiwan issue is exactly because of this socio-political experience they share have shaped them into who they are today. It's not about the CCP, KMT, or the DPP: they are simply political factions with self interests to serve. Being a Chinese doesn't mean you have to identify with the political goals and agenda of any of the three - and when you can come to terms with that fact and put it into perspective, you would be able to appreciate the fundamental difference between a Chinese in Taiwan and a mainland Chinese. The Taiwan identity has been expressed more outwardly since democratization of the island, whereby the people had the freedom to side with different parties over different political issues. And out of all these issues, the most imminent to all Chinese living in Taiwan is the China threat, which is solely initiated based on the claim that Taiwan is part of China. This threat has propelled the Taiwanese identity to new heights and has helped the DPP come into power. If raymond is solely concerned with the "legality" of the issue, then based on the fact that whoever is more powerful writes the law, there is really no need to argue. But if you were to exclude the element of COERCION in this debate, then all PRC claims of Taiwan easily fall apart. The very fact that the CCP has to use economic incentives, on top of military threat, just to win the Taiwanese people over, shows that the CCP knows Taiwanese people do not identify themselves with the PRC in the first place. Had cultural or historic ties been as strong as the CCP says it is, all these economic integration strategy and armed invastion threat would be totally unnecessary. I believe combining military threat with economic incentive leads to a zero-sum game. Think about it... you would need more economic incentive to compensate for a given amount of increased military threat. In retrospect, Taiwan has been colonized by the Dutch, ceded to Japan by China, and now threatened with 800 missiles by China again. It's been more than 2 centuries of struggle. And finally, today, the people have developed their own identity. The CCP doesn't recognize this because the CCP thinks it stands in the way of their reunification - and that's the fatal flaw - as the DPP cunningly capitalizes on it.