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The Case against Taiwan Independence
Not just the Numbers
October 30, 2000
Executive Summary: The case against Taiwan independence rests not just on the fact that an overwhelming majority of Chinese on Taiwan firmly oppose Taiwan independence. The case against Taiwan independence rests also on constitutional law and simple logic, considerations even more fundamental and compelling than just the numbers.
Taiwan Independence is Dead. Long live Taiwan Independence!
The Taiwan independence elite routinely asserts, with Alice in Wonderland logic, that "Taiwan is a sovereign and independent state, its current name is the Republic of China."
At other times they assert, with equal vehemence and perfectly straight faces, that "Taiwan has the solemn right to secede from China," and demand a United Nations supervised referendum/plebiscite as prelude to the founding of a sovereign and independent "Republic of Taiwan."
Never mind that their latter claim contradicts their former. Never mind that their latter claim amounts to an indirect admission their former claim is transparent self-deception. Never mind that if they genuinely believed they were already independent, they would not continue to demand independence. If the Taiwan independence elite had the scantest respect for the laws of man or logic they wouldn't be Taiwan independence zealots in the first place.
The Taiwan Independence Elite demands the Right to determine your Future
The Taiwan independence elite routinely insists that "The twenty-three million people who live on the island of Taiwan have a right to determine their own future."
When they make this claim on local Taiwan television, they usually affect an air of unassailable self-righteousness, with the unspoken implication they have surely seized the moral high ground.
In fact they have done nothing of the sort.
Taiwan independence advocates comprise a piddling 10% to 15% of Taiwan's population. Since Chen Shui-bian's inauguration, on air polls conducted by the major prime time TV talk shows reveal public sentiment against Taiwan independence running as high as 10 to 1, and never less than 7 to 1.
When the Taiwan independence elite claims "The twenty-three million people who live on the island of Taiwan have a right to determine their own future," what they really mean is "Two point three million Taiwan independence zealots who don't give a damn about real democracy have the right to determine the future of the twenty point seven million who disagree with them and vehemently oppose Taiwan independence."
When is an Opinion Poll not an Opinion Poll? When it's Taiwan Independence Propaganda
During WWII Japanophile Quisling Lee Teng-hui willingly, eagerly collaborated with Taiwan's brutal Japanese colonial occupiers, and wept when he learned Japanese Emperor and war criminal Hirohito had died.
During his 12 year long regime, Lee Teng-hui ordered the ROC's Ministry of Education to conduct frequent "polls," asking members of the ROC public "Do you consider yourself Taiwanese or Chinese?"
Lee's purpose in conducting these "polls" was not to collect data about citizens of the Republic of China for use by governmental policy makers.
Lee's purpose was to deliberately frame the Taiwanese/Chinese identity issue in the public imagination as an either/or choice. Lee's purpose was to systematically instill doubt in the minds of Chinese citizens on Taiwan about their Chinese identity. Lee's purpose was to precondition citizens of the Republic of China into thinking of themselves as citizens of a future defacto satellite of Japan to be known as "The Republic of Taiwan."
Fortunately, as recent, genuine polls reveal, he was less than completely successful in his efforts.
Ninety-One Percent of the Taiwan Public considers itself Chinese
On Thursday October 26, 2000, on "21:00, Quan Min Kai Jiang" or "21:00, Speaking Your Mind," a popular politically-oriented talk show, the question for the evening was:
"Who are we? Should the president's standard reply be: Taiwanese? Taiwan Huaren? Or Taiwan Chinese?"
For those unfamiliar with the current controversy raging on Taiwan, answering "Taiwanese" means the respondent considers him or herself "Taiwanese, neither culturally nor politically Chinese." Answering "Taiwan Huaren" means the respondent considers him or herself ethnically and culturally Chinese, but politically a foreign national, e.g., an ethnic Chinese Singaporean. Answering "Taiwan Chinese" means the respondent considers him or herself both Taiwanese and Chinese, e.g., both a Virginian and an American, with no conflict between the two.
Of the 8,543 viewers who called in, 657 or 8% said "Taiwanese," 106 or 1% said "Taiwan Huaren," and 7,780 or 91% said "Taiwan Chinese."
If you are, you've been exposed to too much Taiwan independence disinformation, disseminated by our "fair-minded," "objective," "unbiased" mainstream media.
Results such as these reveal that the Taiwan independence elite's contention that "Taiwanese are not Chinese," and "Taiwan is Taiwan, China is China," are bald faced lies. The Chinese people on Taiwan, to the consternation of their self-appointed nomenklatura, know damned well who they are.
They are Chinese. The name of their country is not "Taiwan," but China -- the Republic of China.
Ninety-Five Percent of the Taiwan Public opposes giving the DPP more Power
The week before, on Friday October 20, 2000, on the same program, the question for the evening was:
"The political scene is in chaos. Are you willing to help the DPP gain a legislative majority, allowing A-Bian [President Chen Shui-bian] to consolidate his power?"
Of the 16,710 viewers who called in, 806 or 5% said they were "willing," 15,817 or 95% said they were "unwilling," and 87 or 1% said they were "not sure."
Why did such an overwhelming majority of ROC citizens, 19 out of every 20, declare they were "unwilling?"
The answer is they are deeply concerned that with a DPP majority in the legislature backing him, A-Bian might be sufficiently emboldened to conveniently forget the solemn promises he made to them not to move toward Taiwan independence.
The Case against Taiwan Secession. Not just the Numbers
At this point defenders of Chinese national unity could simply declare victory, having proven decisively that Taiwan independence is contrary to the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens on Taiwan.
As favorable as the numbers are to Chinese reunification, the case against Taiwan independence does not rest solely on the indisputable fact that a democratic majority opposes Taiwan independence. The case against Taiwan "independence" or Taiwan secession also rests also on legal and logical foundations more fundamental and compelling than just numbers.
UN Referendum/Plebiscite? Fuggedaboudit!
In fact the UN supervised referendum/plebiscite on independence the Taiwan independence elite demands is not even an option. It is not an option because it is an international law proviso which applies only to colonies, or more accurately, "soon to be former colonies."
Taiwan does not qualify for a UN sponsored referendum/plebiscite because it is not a colony, but a province of China. Taiwan is an integral part of the Republic of China, a sovereign and independent nation founded in 1911 by Dr. Sun Yatsen, the "George Washington of China."
The Taiwan independence elite inadvertently conceded this fact when they attempted to hide its "Republic of Taiwan" wolf under "Republic of China" sheep's clothing, but instead painted themselves into a legal and logical corner.
That's the trouble with lying. No matter how clever you think you are, you can never keep your story straight.
The Taiwan independence nomenklatura, for all its affectations of reverence for "the democratic will of the 23 million people of Taiwan," secretly knows the score. They know if a permanent, legally binding, "let's be done with it once and for all" referendum/plebiscite were held on Taiwan today, they would be humiliated, and Taiwan would be reaffirmed as an integral, inalienable part of One Unified China.
Lucky for them no one is about to call their bluff.
For a thorough demolition job on the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's idiotic quest to become a member of the United Nations General Assembly as the "Republic of Taiwan,"
Can Taiwan join the United Nations? by Herb Ho
Chen Shui-bian should instead demand that Bejing share China's UN Security Council seat with Taipei as part of the price of a negotiated reunification settlement with the Chinese mainland. Who knows? He might even receive a Nobel Peace Prize for demonstrating "the vision thing."
Sawing off the Branch one is sitting on
As the Framers of our American Constitution astutely observed, the people retain in perpetuity the right of revolution. The right of revolution is the right to throw out everything that went before and start over from scratch. The right of revolution is a fundamental right derived from nature, with logical and moral priority over man's law.
So far, so good.
The problem arises when the Taiwan independence nomenklatura, out of either ignorance or duplicity, conflates the fundamental right of revolution with the derivative right of referendum/plebiscite.
Many of the DPP's obdurately pro independence legislators boast advanced law degrees from highly respected European or Ivy League American law schools. Yet few if any of these ostensible legal experts grasp the critical distinction between the right of referendum/plebiscite, and the right of revolution. They have been educated, as the famous quip goes, beyond their intelligence.
The right of referendum/plebiscite under the Constitution of the Republic of China pertains only to routine matters of public policy, such as whether or not to build the controversial "Nuclear Four" power plant, and then only within the legal framework of the Republic of China.
This right of referendum/plebiscite may not be invoked outside the constitutional framework of the very same Republic of China from which its authority derives.
The Taiwan independence nomenklatura is comprised in large part of DPP Members of the Legislature of the Republic of China, elected in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of China, deriving any and all legal authority they might exercise from the Constitution of the Republic of China.
For them to demand a referendum/plebiscite overthrowing the Republic of China and establishing a Republic of Taiwan, while invoking legal authority derived from provisions within the Constitution of the Republic of China, is a constitutional law non-starter.
To invoke the legal authority of a political system one is simultaneously repudiating and attempting to overthrow, is akin to sitting in a tree while sawing away at the branch one is sitting on. It is akin to standing on a scaffold and taking a sledgehammer to it, all the while denying that the scaffold is the very thing holding you up.
Taiwan Independence, Whim of an Elite
Mister Lee [Kuan Yew] goes to Taipei
Taiwan independence zealots are of course free to attempt to establish an "independent Taiwan nation" by exercising their right of revolution.
But they had better realize in advance that Chinese patriots have the equal right to prevent the disintegration of their nation, China, that "a revolution is not a dinner party" and sure as hell isn't a free lunch. And as recent polls make abundantly clear, Chinese patriots far outnumber Taiwan independence zealots, even if we count only China's Taiwan region and not the Chinese mainland.
Secession for Me but not for Thee
Secessionists typically assert that a self-defined subset of people inhabiting a self-defined geographical region on earth has the right to govern itself and need answer to no "higher" authority.
This proposition is either valid or it is not.
It can't be both. One can't have ones' secessionist cake and eat it too.
Yet this is exactly what almost all secessionists, including Taiwan secessionists, try to do.
Secessionists, with the exception of rigorously consistent, radical libertarian secessionists, almost never grand subsets of individuals within their own political entities the identical right of secession.
Once the prospect of political disintegration confronts them and threatens their "independent republics," tailor-made to suit them, they suddenly start singing a different tune, and cite the desperate overriding need for national unity, national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
What gives them the right to claim the "self-determination moral high ground," while simultaneously denying it to others who would secede from them?
If one purports to uphold "the right of secession" then one obligates oneself to really and truly uphold the right of secession, for anybody and everybody, everywhere and all the time. Otherwise one is merely tailoring the principle of "the right to secession" to legitimize nation-building on ones' own terms, not upholding a hallowed, universal principle.
Universal Secession versus Taiwan Secession
Taiwan secessionists rank among the most hypocritical. For example, the Taiwan independence elite objects to Beijing's unwillingness to renounce the use of force in its determination to nip Taiwan secession in the bud.
This is absolutely true.
What of it?
So are the Taiwan independence elite. They are equally unwilling to forswear the use of force. I have yet to encounter a single Taiwan independence advocate willing to renounce the use of force to prevent secession from their "independent Republic of Taiwan" should it ever become a reality.
Taiwan independence zealots have explicitly defined their "independent Republic of Taiwan" as "Tai, Peng, Kin, Ma," short for "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu." They have said nothing about acknowledging the equal right of anyone who detests their "Republic of Taiwan," including Aborigines, Hakkas and "mainlanders," the solemn right to secede from it. They have said nothing about forsaking in advance the use of force to prevent secession from their precious "Republic of Taiwan" which would lead to its political dissolution.
And they never will.
Quite the contrary. Taiwan independence zealots have threatened to deal harshly with "Tai jian" i.e., "traitors to Taiwan" at the appropriate time. To get a sense of what they might have in mind for those they consider "Tai jian," one need only recall the 2-28 Incident of 1947, when Taiwan independence fanatics, working hand in glove with diehard Japanese Fifth Columnists, went on a week long rampage, slaughtering thousands of unarmed "mainlanders," including women and children.
Universal Secession versus American Empire
As a conscientious libertarian I myself endorse the principle of a radical, consistent, universal right of secession, more or less along the lines proposed by seminal Austrian economist Murray Rothbard.
Unfortunately in our less than perfect world, implementation is invariably selective and calculated to benefit certain political players, and not others. To Balkanize and weaken certain political entities, and not others.
If the Benevolent Global Hegemonists in our own nation's capitol were to practice what they so sanctimoniously preach to China, and renounce the use of force against fellow Americans who yearn to be free and independent of our own oppressive federal Leviathan, hundreds of libertarian radicals would promptly declare tiny plots of land to which they hold legal title to be independent republics. They would conduct referenda/plebiscites in which they voted themselves heads of state, and immediately cease paying taxes to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America.
If our federal Leviathan were to refrain from using force against this homegrown secessionist vanguard, as our meddling Washington foreign policy elites demand Beijing do regarding Taiwan, these independent republics would stand.
Witnessing their successful precedent, countless once apathetic members of the Great Silent Majority would promptly follow suit, and America would soon consist of thousands, even millions of tiny independent, or at least autonomous, republics, none of them paying a dime in taxes to the swarms of worthless parasites in Washington.
We all know of course none of this is about to happen.
That is not the point. The point is why such a scenario is so unlikely.
The reason is our own federal Leviathan itself refuses to renounce the use of force against those would secede from our American Empire.
Knowing full well what the IRS and the police would do to him or her, the average American citizen quite understandably calculates that the price of genuine liberty is simply too high and every April 14th obediently, meekly writes out a check for his or her unconstitutional but ever escalating federal income taxes.
Universal Secession versus The Great Game
When our foreign policy elites prattle on about "the right to self-determination" they are not talking about genuine respect for exalted universal principles, but about Rudyard Kipling's "The Great Game." They are talking about "We get to divide and conquer you, but you don't get to do it to us."
As long as this realpolitik status quo prevails, any foreign political leader would have to be a complete idiot to abide by such high-minded principles when everybody else is either ignoring them or selectively exploiting them to their geopolitical advantage.
Until Taiwan independence zealots and their fellow travelers in Tokyo and Washington are prepared to loudly, visibly, publicly endorse and abide by a universal right to secession, not merely for Taiwan and Tibet, but for Okinawa, Alaska, Hawaii and Texas, for cities, counties, towns and villages within Taiwan, they would do well to shut their mouths, as they have no right whatsoever to speak of the "self-determination moral high ground."