A recent event, which has shocked the island of Taiwan, cannot go unnoticed not only by all Taiwan people and oversea Chinese with emotional and political roots in Taiwan but also by Americans and the U.S. Administration. In particular, Susan Thornton, a career Foreign Service officer, who has just been nominated by President Trump as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific. In an acting position before confirmation she would have to deal with this shocking event immediately.
The island of Taiwan has been touted more so than Japan as a democratic society clearly nurtured, groomed and benefitted by the U.S. support over the past seven decades post WW II. The ideological principles of the U.S. and its foreign policies, consequentially its global prestige, have hinged on Taiwan’s success story of being a democratic and lawful government. Yet, the horrible event happened on Dec 19th, capturing four young and ranking party members of the New Party, a small political party in Taiwan promoting peaceful reunification with Mainland China, without due and proper judicial process using a broad national security law, has so much similarity to the Gestapo’s terror actions during WW II or KGB’s power in the Soviet Union. It is scary to the citizens of Taiwan and shocking to all Chinese overseas. How dare the current administration in Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to make an about-face political transformation violating citizens’ freedom, human rights and democratic governance, which the island has established in the past several decades?
Why is the December 19th episode so scary? Imaging that you are a young man, Mr. Hou Han-Tieng, aspired to join a political party serving as a youth group director in the New Party, a party of only a few thousand members in Taiwan promoting peaceful reunification with Mainland China, then in the morning, 6:30AM, you were yanked out of bed by a dozen black clothed people who demanded to search your rooms by producing two conflicting sermons (to appear on December 19th 8:30AM), one from the judicial unit requiring a signature of a court judge (but it had no such signature) and one from the investigation unit of the executive branch, both demanding the youth to be present for questioning as a “witness” at the same time but different locations. Naturally, the young man was shocked and confused why so many officers tricked his mother to open the door and swarmed into their apartment at 6:30AM before the time specified by the ‘sermons’ which he never received nor given a chance to respond in the first place. Then he was taken away with his frightened mother standing there helplessly. Later she appeared on a TV interview in tears.
The above scene was just one of four incidences happening in the morning on December 19th. Mr. Wang Bian-Zhong, Chief Press Officer, Mr. Lin Ming-Zheng, Vice Director of Public Relation and Communication and Mr. Chen Si-Dong, Press Secretary of the New Party were all given the same coarse treatment and taken away with no justification, even Mr. Wang’s father was taken away as well. Isn’t this a scary scene to citizens in Taiwan and shocking to all Chinese Americans? From the 1950’s to 1970’s, Taiwan, just recovered from Japanese rule, became the last retreat hold of the Republic of China (ROC governed by KMT party, Kuo Ming Tang) losing to the People’s Republic of China (PRC governed by CCP, Chinese Communist Party) in an internal struggle. Taiwan was ruled under martial law then against the influence of the Communists and die-hard Japanese. It was a period labeled as ‘white terror’, by the current administration controlled by the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party). Since that period, Taiwan has gone through more than three decades of political transformation moving towards a one-person-one-vote democratic governance in which KMT and DPP were the two major political parties competing for governance of Taiwan. In 2016, DPP defeated KMT in the Presidential election and began to emerge as a dominant party steering Taiwan toward independence despite of the majority favoring peaceful reunification and the official position of the U.S.
DPP’s about-face political move is marching Taiwan backwards to a scary ‘police state’. The new President, Tsai Yin-wen, first launched a witch hunt over KMT’s cumulated assets over a century. Then she subjected the former President, Ma Ying-Jiu, known as the incorruptible politician in Taiwan, to scores of law suits restricting his freedom to go abroad for speech engagement. Now the horrible incidences of harassing and intimidating the young people and the New Party members happened. One cannot help worrying that the DPP was disguising under the political slogan of ‘maintaining current status quo’ but actually driving Taiwan to be a ‘police state’ similar to the colonial rule during Japanese occupation when the Chinese on the island were ruled as second class citizens. The New Party although small sees the reunification as the ultimate best route for Taiwan to have long-term economic prosperity and peace and its ideology of peaceful reunification does make sense for all people in Taiwan considering Taiwan’s historical and cultural background tied with the Mainland and a huge opportunity to grow with a fast growing Chinese economy. Therefore, the above horrible incidences sanctioned and orchestrated by DPP is absolutely a dangerous action leading Taiwan people to revolt, Mainland China to rescue by force and the U.S. and especially her Chinese Americans to abandon support of Taiwan.
When the U.S. recognized the PRC replacing the ROC in 1979 as the official government of China, the U.S. Congress also passed a ‘Taiwan Relations Act’ under the principle that Taiwan should be peacefully reunited with Mainland China and its transformation towards a democratic governance should be encouraged by the U.S.; it is a noble gesture expressed standing on the high ground of democracy. The fact that the Cross-Strait relation has been peaceful for decades and moving gradually towards reunification (prior to the Tsai’s Administration), has largely been influenced by the Taiwan Relations Act when practiced honestly. Now, Tsai and DPP are not only departing from the spirit of peaceful reunification but also taking a despicable route towards dictatorship, throwing peaceful reunification out of the window. It forces China’s hand to reunite Taiwan on an accelerated time table possibly by force and ties the U.S. hands to support Taiwan for risking supporting a dictatorship and obtaining a reputation of hypocrisy in enacting the Taiwan Relations Act for her selfish military objective never for the interest of peace in Asia.
Immediately following the December incidence, the President of Promotion of China’s Peaceful Reunification (in the U.S.), Mr. Shih Xue-Yin, a Taiwan citizen, protested at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, condemning Taiwan government’s action against the New Party members who had just come to the U.S. attending a conference promoting peaceful reunification; Shih challenged the Taiwan authority to treat him as a criminal if the New Party Members were deemed guilty of criminal act. The President of U.S.-China Forum (a group of Chinese American scholars), Prof. Dr. Victor Chang, also joined Mr. Shih in a press conference expressing his surprise and anger that the Taiwan government dares to move about-face in democracy and to abuse the Justice system to suppress the peaceful reunification effort. Dr. Chang, a Chinese American, requested the Taiwan government to 1. Investigate the December 19th episode immediately and punish the ill-intended officials, 2. Provide clear evidence and open judicial proceedings to exonerate the New Party Members and 3. Offer answers to the public within two weeks. Dr. Wordman endorses the above demands and cannot emphasize enough that the December 19th Episode in Taiwan is a shameful, scary and dangerous act, one will lead to forceful reunification and disappointment in the U.S. since it will embarrass all Chinese and Americans, especially the U.S. government, if they support such a tyrant administration, the ruling DPP!