Posted by: mulrickillion | November 13, 2011

Taiwan is still a state without a real nation

By Chen Yi-shen 陳儀深, Nov 8, 2011 —

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) recently placed a large campaign advertisement in the main Chinese-language newspapers, accusing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of monopolizing the word “peace,” which, as the ad said, belongs to everyone.

The ad took exception to DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) likening Taiwan to Tibet, saying that to do so treated Taiwan as a local government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Ma says the Republic of China on Taiwan is an independent sovereign state, while Tibet is just a local government of China.

However, according to Chinese author and Tibet expert Wang Lixiong (王力雄) Tibet achieved and maintained complete independence for nearly four decades — from 1912 to 1951 — which is something of which supporters of Tibetan independence should be proud.

As Wang says, no matter what kind of sovereignty China claimed to exercise over Tibet during that period, the reality was far different.

All the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) authorities were able to do at that time was to claim in international forums that Tibet belonged to China, which they did by insisting that sovereignty over Tibet be thus interpreted in all documents related to the issue.

However, the situation changed after the PRC was established. In early 1950, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) ordered the Second Field Army of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Southwest Bureau to send troops to Tibet. The Tibetan army made a crucial mistake by choosing to confront the PLA directly instead of taking advantage of the features of the Tibetan Plateau to wage guerrilla warfare.

Between 7,000 and 8,000 Tibetan troops were killed at the Battle of Chamdo in October 1950, and Tibetan commander Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme and other officers were captured along with more than 2,700 Tibetan soldiers. Tibet’s ability to resist basically collapsed following this defeat. Not long afterward, a delegation led by Jigme went to Beijing to negotiate Tibet’s future. The delegation agreed to China’s “peaceful liberation” of Tibet by signing the “17-Point Agreement” on May 23, 1951.

Tibet had no choice but to subordinate itself to the PRC government from 1951 onward. Nevertheless, Tibetans insisted on keeping their own culture and identity, especially after the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 and established a government-in-exile.

Tibet today could be described as a nation without a state — its prospects might be difficult, but its direction is clear.

Turning to Taiwan, although the country started to build an independent democratic political system under former president of Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), the rival pan-blue and pan-green political groups are vague and contradictory in their identities and the directions they propose.

Taiwan, then, could be said to be a state without a nation. Besides, Taiwan is always being described as a part of China in the international community. If Taiwanese leaders get bogged down by the “one China” principle and fool themselves into thinking both sides of the Taiwan Strait are really free to interpret this “one China” in their own ways, isn’t Taiwan’s situation even worse than that of Tibet?

The Ma-Wu campaign ad included an image of a white dove of peace with a zipper on its back that opens to reveal a black crow hidden inside. The zipper tag carries the flag of Tsai’s DPP, but in reality the image is more accurately a portrayal of Ma himself. . . .

Taiwan is still a state without a real nation – Taipei Times


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