The China Desk
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He Who Tells a Lie
March 20, 2005
Executive Summary: The great English poet Alexander Pope observed that "He who tells a lie is not sensible of how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one." On September 28, 1986, the newly-founded DPP told a lie. Over the next two decades it would be forced to invent considerably more than twenty lies to maintain its first and biggest lie.
The First Lie
1986: The DPP is founded. It solemnly promises to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of China.
The Truth: The DPP told its first and biggest lie. Most leaders of the DPP had no intention of upholding and defending the Republic of China Constitution. Instead they intended to "jie ke shang shi" or "borrow a shell to go on the market." After they achieved their political goals, they intended to renege on their oath of loyalty toward the Republic of China.
1988: On March 17, a mere two years after it swore an oath of allegiance to the Republic of China, the DPP adopts its watershed 417 Resolution, asserting that Taiwan is independent.
The Truth: Taiwan was not independent in 1988, and it is not independent in 2005. Taiwan was and is a province of the Republic of China.
1990: On October 17, the DPP adopts its l007 Resolution, stipulating that the name of the country is "Taiwan," and that its territory does not include either the Chinese mainland or Outer Mongolia.
The Truth: Lee Teng-hui's "Two States Theory" and Chen Shui-bian's "One Country each Side" claim to the contrary notwithstanding, Taiwan is not the name of a country, nation, or state. Human history has no record of any country, nation, or state named Taiwan. Taiwan is either (a) a geographical term, or (b) the name of an administrative region of the nation of China, specifically, a province.
When China correspondents blithely refer to the Republic of China as "Taiwan," it is akin to Hollywood scriptwriters erroneously referring to cartridges as "bullets." Just as a bullet is merely part of a cartridge, so Taiwan is merely part of the Republic of China. And as any firearms expert will tell you, just because everyone gets it wrong, doesn't make it right.
"... the History Channel, while being unusually good television, [does] not seem to be able to tell the difference between a bullet and a cartridge. It is possible that nobody in New York knows the difference between a bullet and a cartridge... "
-- Jeff Cooper, renowned American firearms expert
Even the International Organization for Standardization, an organization dedicated to ensuring accuracy and precision, unwittingly contributes to this confusion. When ISO refers to the Chinese island of Taiwan as as a "country," then abbreviates it "TW," right next to "China," abbreviated "CN," it leaves the general public with the false impression that "TW" is a country, nation, or state.
To paraphrase Cooper, the US major media does not seem to be able to tell the difference between Taiwan and the Republic of China. It is possible that nobody in New York, the alleged media capital of the world, knows the difference between Taiwan and the Republic of China.
1991: The DPP adopts its Taiwan Independence Party Constitution, establishing as the DPP's sacred mission the founding of a sovereign, independent, and self-governing "Republic of Taiwan."
The Truth: The DPP's Taiwan Independence Party Constitution flatly contradicted its own 417 Resolution adopted in 1988, and its 1007 Resolution adopted in 1990. After all, if the DPP's sacred mission was to found a sovereign, independent, and self-governing "Republic of Taiwan," then by the DPP's own logic, until and unless the DPP succeeded in doing so, Taiwan was still a province of China.
Furthermore, the Taiwan Independence Party Constitution created an insoluble dilemma for the DPP. It limited support for the DPP to a mere 15% to 20% of the population, to a hardcore of Taiwan independence fundamentalist True Believers. Saddled with such a party constitution, the DPP could never hope to rule the nation, not in any free and fair election requiring an absolute majority instead of a mere plurality.
As the dramatic result of the December 2004 Legislative Election showed, even after two decades of Taiwan independence brainwashing and a decade of Pan Blue voter erosion to emigration, a democratic majority of Chinese citizens on Taiwan still vehemently opposes Taiwan independence.
1999: The DPP adopts its Resolution on Taiwan's Future. The resolution pointedly avoids the phrase, "establishing a Republic of Taiwan," and substitutes the DPP's current, disingenuous formulation: "Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country. Its current name is the Republic of China. It is neither a province nor a special administrative region of China."
The Truth: Just as the DPP's Taiwan Independence Party Constitution flatly contradicted its 417 and 1007 Resolutions, so the Resolution on Taiwan's Future flatly contradicted its Taiwan Independence Party Constitution. The DPP performed a 180 degree about face with its Taiwan Independence Party Constitution, and another 180 degree about face with its Resolution on Taiwan's Future. As anyone who has ever been near a drill field knows, one about face followed by another about face means one is facing one's original direction. By 1999, the DPP had reversed itself twice and was facing the same direction it was 11 years ago in 1988!
The status quo in the Taiwan Straits is not Lee Teng-hui's "Two States" or Chen Shui-bian's "One Country each Side." The status quo is not "One China, One Taiwan," or even "Two Chinas." The status quo in the Taiwan Straits is "One Country, Two Systems," with the key proviso that the "One Country" is "China," rather than the "People's Republic of China."
The fact that the term "One Country, Two Systems" is disliked even by some Pan Blues does not alter the facts on the ground. Pan Blues who are allergic to "One Country, Two Systems" because it was formulated by Beijing rather than Taipei are free to substitute the terminology of the '92 Consensus, "One China, Two Versions." It amounts to the same thing.
The DPP of course, knows this. That's why try as it may, it can't bring itself to accept the status quo, and persists instead on unilaterally changing it. Don't take my word for it. Just look at DPP behavior, which speaks louder than any Pan Blue words. If the DPP genuinely believed that "Taiwan is already a sovereign and independent country," it would be delighted with and committed to maintaining the political status quo.
The fact that the DPP can't stomach the status quo, and keeps coming back to a new constitution in 2006, and a formal declaration of independence in 2008, means the DPP's endless lies ring hollow even to its own ears. The DPP knows that unless it can summon up the courage to actually fight a War for Taiwan Independence, or manipulate Uncle Sammy into fighting such a war on its behalf, Taiwan will forever remain a part of China.