Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why Taiwanese Leaders Should Skip the Victory Day Parade in Beijing

Former KMT chairman Lien Chan will attend the military parade in Beijing on Sept. 3, which sends a very bad signal to the young men and women in Taiwan who are giving thought to joining the military

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday announced that sluggish recruitment figures were once again forcing it to delay its plans to end military conscription next year, one of the major goals of the Ma Ying-jeou Administration. Convincing enough qualified young men and women to forsake the comforts of civilian life and enlist in the armed forces will always be a great challenge, one that has been made more formidable by recent controversies such as the July 2013 death of Army conscript Hong Chung-chiu and the 'Apache-gate' scandal earlier this year. At the very least, the Government should not make matters worse by sending contradictory signals about the nature of the threat facing Taiwan to potential recruits.

Sadly, such a signal is exactly what the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is about to broadcast after it allowed its honourary chairman, Lien Chan, to attend a series of events in Beijing commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, which will include a goose-stepping military parade on 3 September of such proportions as to bring to mind the very fascism that was defeated in the war. 

My article, published today in the Lowy Interpreter, continues here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

VOTE 2016: Why Beijing Should Worry About 小Soong’s ‘Rebirth’

Politically expedient or heartfelt, James Soong’s transformation is a reflection of a consolidating identity in Taiwan. And that’s bad news for Beijing 

What a difference a decade can make! On the night of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Lien Chan’s (連戰) defeat to incumbent president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan’s 2004 presidential election, Lien’s discombobulated running mate, James Soong (宋楚瑜), was caught on video vowing to an angry crowd that he would “head to the Presidential Office and ‘kill’ president Chen,” who had just been re-elected by a razor-thin margin. A year later, Mr. Soong visited China to deliver a “secret message” to then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). Occurring a little more than a month after Beijing had ratified the Anti-Secession Law, which contains language “authorizing” the use of force against Taiwan to prevent its formal independence, the visit did little to dispel Mr. Soong’s image as a politician who would not hesitate to “sell” Taiwan out to China. 

Fast-forward 11 years and 2016 presidential candidate Soong, a savvy politician who played an instrumental role in the oppression of Taiwanese during the nation’s dark past, has adopted a completely different political persona: He is now ostensibly pro Taiwan, speaks the language that the agency he headed under Martial Law, the now-defunct Government Information Office, had systematically repressed, waxes eloquent about transitional justice, and sounds very much like Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the current presidential candidate for the DPP who is well ahead in the polls. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

中國持續強化在美國反對台灣的宣傳戰

在台灣青年世代的自我認同日益鞏固,民主進步黨贏得2016年1月總統大選的可能性越來越高的同時,中國共產黨的宣傳部門也正在島國人民中間持續培植支持兩岸統一的情感。而這次,外國學者似乎也成了他們的工作對象,美國學者更是首當其衝。

弔詭的是,我們還是從設立在香港的媒體「中國評論通訊社」(CNR)的報導,得知北京最近這項行動的資訊的,這家媒體與中國人民解放軍總政治部聯絡部(PLA / GPD / LD,註1)推動北京對台海兩岸政治作戰(註2)的重要平台──中華文化發展促進會(CAPCC)有著密切關聯。自從2001年中華文化發展促進會成立以來,它和一群大致相近的組織、媒體、非政府機構及智庫已經舉辦過許多場論壇、會議及文化活動,以台灣政府官員、軍事人員、學生及一般大眾為對象,大力提倡台灣與中國「和平統一」。

雖然中國政治作戰的對象多半是台灣人,但它同時也運用自身的資源在國際社會上孤立台灣,將國際輿論轉向反對台灣獨立,以及自然而然地反對民進黨。但直到最近為止,中國對台灣的政治作戰看來多半還是隨著時勢需要專案進行的。

如今情況恐怕要改變了,最近「亞洲太平洋事務基金會(美國)」(Asia Pacific Affairs Foundation (USA))在美國的成立,或許正代表著中國對美國遊說工作正式建立機制的第一步。

據《人民日報》中文版報導,亞洲太平洋事務基金會是在今年2月籌建的私人非營利性學術機構(註3),總部設在加州洛杉磯。8月18日正式成立的這個基金會(註4),十分堂皇地宣稱它的宗旨是要支持和團結中美兩國、海峽兩岸、香港、澳門、日本、韓國及亞太其他國家的智庫組織。中評智庫基金會副執行長宋楷文表示,這個智庫是為了向美國政府官員「拓展意識」,透過與智庫、研究機構及學術機構互相交流並提供資助以「提高在學術領域的影響力」而設立的。宋楷文特別指出華盛頓的美利堅大學(American University, Washington D.C.)、加州理工學院,以及南加州大學(USC)都是可能的合作夥伴,儘管至今仍無從得知他們是否已經聯繫上這些學校。南加大的消息來源表示,他們對這些計畫一無所知。

同一篇報導也提到,南加大工程學院的退休教授張文基和美國華夏政略研究會研究員王中平將領導基金會的研究工作,王中平同時也是基金會籌建委員會的成員,張文基則長期參與統一戰線及「和平統一」工作。台灣大學土木系畢業的旅美工程師,現任美國華盛頓中國和平統一促進會(NACPU)副會長印鐵林,則是基金會的理事。

華盛頓中國和統會則附屬於中共中央統戰部及中國國務院對台事務辦公室(TAO)指導成立的「中國和平統一促進會」(CCPPNR)。和統會也全力捍衛中國對於東海釣魚台列嶼的主權宣示,而釣魚台同時也被日本和台灣宣稱為領土。

王中平則是和統會外圍組織「華夏政略研究會」的一員。華夏政略研究會同時也是2003年9月7日在台北發動的「反台獨救台灣」大遊行(註5)協辦單位之一,這場遊行緊接在時任民進黨籍總統陳水扁號召的台灣正名遊行之後舉行,訴求之一包括要求美國終止對台軍售。

王中平和印鐵林也都被中國和平統一促進會官方網站列入發起者名單(註6)。

宋楷文副執行長和王中平今年5月帶領了一個五人訪問團來到台北(註7),並與中國國民黨總統候選人洪秀柱、親民黨總統候選人宋楚瑜,以及民進黨前主席許信良會談;而這個訪問團在返回美國之前也訪問中國,會晤了中國海峽兩岸關係協會(海協會)前會長陳雲林(註8),並參訪北京、上海、瀋陽等城市。

王中平在7月14日的「第24屆海峽兩岸關係學術研討會」上建議(註9),中國應當實施「全球戰略」,「以海外包圍海內」,建立一支強大的推動統一力量。王中平表示,這應當透過軟實力及硬實力的發展積極實現,他還將「台灣問題」說成是文明衝突的一部分,是西方基督教文化與中國佛教文化的鬥爭。

而在這個月初,亞洲太平洋事務基金會又和中評智庫基金會一同舉辦研討會(註10),邀請台灣和中國學者商討台海兩岸的當前局勢。會議重點如下:

這場由王中平主持的研討會發出警告,認為蔡英文當選之後的台灣就算不一定會推動法理台獨,卻會「與美日合作」實施文化台獨和戰略台獨,「台獨意識」也不可避免會持續深化。因此,中國必須加強軟實力以促進統一、增強兩岸認同感,並且把搞台獨的後果講清楚。必須以武力為後盾,「硬的要更硬」,同時更要將重心放在中美關係上,在「台灣問題」以及整個中美關係上影響美國主流社會。這也需要海外華人來推動。一位與會人士表示:只要中美關係不穩定,兩岸關係就會顛簸。

所有這一切在我看來全都指向一個凶兆:中國正在加強力道孤立美國國內支持民進黨的人士。


中譯:William Tsai
Originally published on the China Policy Institute Blog.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

China Intensifies Media Campaign against Taiwan’s DPP in the US

PRC United Front and political warfare efforts against Taiwan's DPP are intensifying

Amid signs of a consolidating identity among Taiwan’s youth and the increasingly likely prospect of a victory by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the January 2016 elections, China’s Communist Party propaganda department is ramping up its efforts to cultivate a pro-unification sentiment within the island-nation’s population. And this time, foreign academics — American ones in particular — also appear to be on the target list. 

Ironically, the information about this latest effort by Beijing comes to us courtesy of reports in the China Review News (CRNTT, 中國評論通訊社), a Hong Kong-based publication associated with the China Association for Promotion of Chinese Culture (CAPCC, 中華文化發展促進會), a key platform of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Political Department Liaison Department (GPD/LD) that has spearheaded Beijing’s political warfare campaign across the Taiwan Strait. Since its inception in 2001, the CAPCC, working in conjunction with a loose constellation of entities, media outlets, NGOs and think tanks, has organized numerous forums, conferences, and cultural events to promote the “peaceful” unification of Taiwan with China by targeting Taiwanese officials, military personnel, students, and ordinary citizens. 

Although much of its political warfare effort has been directed at the Taiwanese, China has also used its resources to isolate Taiwan within the international community and turn world opinion against Taiwanese independence and, by default, the DPP. Up until recently, however, China’s political warfare campaign against Taiwan appears to have been conducted in mostly ad hoc fashion and whenever opportunities arose. That might be about to change, with the recent creation of a new U.S.-based think tank known as the Asia Pacific Affairs Foundation (USA) (亞洲太平洋事務基金會(美國)), which may represent a first step in the institutionalization of Chinese lobbying efforts in the U.S. 

My article, published today on the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute Blog, continues here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Not a Time for Scorched-Earth Politics

Under no circumstances should the DPP and its allies fight in the dirt with the ultraconservatives who have hijacked the KMT

With five months to go before the elections, the presidential campaign is unfortunately starting to resemble the Taipei mayoral race in Nov. 29 elections last year, in which one side engaged in outlandish fabrications against its opponent and turned the entire exercise into a silly back-and-forth of mudslinging and necessary denials. The tactic failed, and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the capital to a political neophyte — an independent, of all things. Sadly for Taiwan’s democracy, the ruling party appears to have decided to use a similar strategy for 2016, except this time the stakes are much higher. And it does so at a time when the nation should be striving for unity rather than division. 

It’s the same formula all over again: KMT makes baseless allegation against its opponent; media dutifully report said allegation; opponent issues denial; KMT accuses opponent of smearing its candidate and makes new allegation, ad nauseam…While this goes on, all sides fail to discuss their policies. As a consequence, the public remains in the dark and the election turns into a popularity contest rather than an arena in which the candidate with the best policies is voted into office.

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (photo by the author).

「熱血與基因」:令人擔憂的中國最新徵兵廣告

中國海軍徵兵宣傳片「加入我們,一起逐夢深藍」,影片連結:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z8_KRMdbbs

中國人民解放軍海軍(PLAN)上星期發表了一部全新的徵兵宣傳影片,而這部影片不太可能緩解亞太各國對民族主義及擴張傾向日益抬頭的中國持續升高的恐懼。

這部全長4分16秒的流暢影片,首先以標題「我們的夢想」開場,這一段召喚的對象是中國的年輕人,使用的配樂意外冷靜自制。我們看到中國青年從大學畢業,投身各式各樣的運動,包括單板滑雪(snowboarding)。其中還穿插著香港回歸的畫面,這都是為了培養「新中國」的自豪。搭配的中文字幕這麼說:「我們生於90年代,那時大國已經崛起.........我們像新世紀的曙光一樣,夢想絢爛.........為了夢想,我們投入一切,希望自己的未來,無比堅強。」

只是用不了多久,這部影片就轉而以浮誇的配樂呈現出完全不同性質的視覺意象。對民族主義,以及中國領土主權宣示的召喚不容忽視,其間穿插著同時由台灣和日本宣示為領土的東海釣魚台列嶼/尖閣列島,以及近年來矛盾持續升高的南中國海多處島嶼影像。

偶爾閃過一些中國海軍從事人道護航行動的畫面,但這和確切無疑的軍國主義卻兩相衝突,更被軍國主義完全掩蓋:炸彈落下、火箭發射、目標爆炸的畫面毫無間斷。這當然是為了自我宣告,而不是安撫他人。要是我們把這段影像和上個月初中央電視台放送的一段模擬攻擊台灣總統府的軍事演習影片(註1)兩相對照,其目的正是為了恐嚇潛在的對手,以實現不戰而屈人之兵。

搭配這段好戰畫面的字幕則更加令人不安。影片第二段的標題是「使命的召喚」,它告訴我們「人類賴以生存的地球,表面71%的是蔚藍,無論在世界哪一個角落,只要有蔚藍,就有我們的守護.......國家海洋和海外利益快速發展,幅員遼闊,但不容一分疆域他有。」

字幕接著宣稱,中國有300萬平方公里的管轄海域,其中500平方米以上的島有6700多座,「因海權產生的鬥爭卻從未停歇。」字幕繼續說:「物產豐富,絕不認半毫資源割讓。」注意,這段文字寫的是「資源」而不是「疆域」,但疆域包含在其中是不問可知的。換言之,疆域及其上的資源全都專屬於中國。根據美國海軍情報局最近一份對於中國海軍的報告(註2),中國評論者在字幕中提到的「中國有300萬平方公里管轄海域」,將會涵蓋「西太平洋第一島鏈內部將近90%的主要水體,包括渤海、黃海、東海和南中國海。」

影片第三段則是十分不祥地命名為「基因的榮耀」。「數以千計的海戰,造就了我們不凡的血性,熱血伴隨著硝煙,不斷摔倒,不斷成長;有汗水,才是青春,有磨礪,才有鋒芒。我們枕戈待旦,礪兵秣馬。」字幕是這麼說的。

影片最後一段「逐夢深藍」的調性就不那麼令人擔憂了。字幕吟詠道:「這裡,讓你展現過人的才華;這裡,給你胸懷寰宇的翅膀;這裡,有全世界關注的目光.......強大的祖國需要一個強大的海軍,海軍需要你,一起完成偉大復興的夢想。」

事實上,北京政權、中央軍委甚至中國海軍本身究竟有沒有意願讓海軍成為全球性的力量,是很值得懷疑的,在當今的地緣政治脈絡下更不可能,因為這樣的努力得冒著和美國海軍及其他歐美國家海軍升高緊張的風險。

這有一部分也是力有未逮。雖然近年來中國海軍在西太平洋進行過許多次實彈射擊演習,可這和真正長達數月之久的遠距離兵力調動還是相去甚遠。中國海軍要累積出這種實力、凝聚力及協同作業能力進行遠洋任務,恐怕得再等上幾年(美國海軍情報局則認為還需要十年)。因此現階段宣稱中國海軍是一支遠洋海軍(blue water navy),恐怕是不切實際的,中國海軍目前充其量就是一支逐漸擺脫近岸戰鬥力量這一傳統定位的近海海軍(green water navy),至於它在遠洋戰區投入戰鬥的能力則更令人懷疑,要和訓練更精良,作戰經驗更豐富的美國海軍或是日本海上自衛隊交手都還需要幾年的磨練,更不用說兩個對手聯合之後了。

大放厥詞和召喚民族主義,證諸世界各國徵召青年當兵的文宣都是合情合理的。然而,整部影片無可否認的好戰調性,加上熱血與基因的運用,這些都不太可能有利於中國消除全世界對其今後意圖越來越強烈的疑慮。


中譯:William Tsai
Originally published as "'Blood and genes': China's alarming new military recruitment campaign" in the Lowy Interpreter.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Taiwan Unveils New Long-Endurance Drone, New Weapons at Defense Trade Show

Taiwan showcases new weapons systems, including an indigenously produced long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle 

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense on August 13 unveiled a new indigenously produced long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and various weapons systems at the biennial Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE). 

The centerpiece of this year’s event was without doubt the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV developed by the Aeronautical Systems Research Division (ASRD), a branch of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), Taiwan’s top defense research institute. Still in the testing phase, the all-composite MALE prototype, which bears a striking similarity to the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, can carry multiple payloads and was designed to conduct civilian/military intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance, environmental research and coastal patrol operations. 

Although very little information was made available, a fact sheet provided by the designer indicated that the UAV can perform automatic takeoff and landing, automatic navigation, multi-vehicle control, aerial communication relay and ground network control, and real-time video transmission. The drone is designed for day and night civilian/military missions. 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here (photo by the author; more in Diplomat article).

'Blood and genes': China's alarming new military recruitment campaign

The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) last week released a new recruitment video that is unlikely to assuage growing fears in the region over an increasingly nationalistic and expansionist China 

The slick 4 minute 16 second video opens with the header 'Our Dream.' Accompanied by a surprisingly restrained soundtrack, this section appeals to China's youth. We see young Chinese graduating from university and engaging in various sports, including snowboarding. This is interspersed with images of Hong Kong's retrocession, all meant to cultivate pride in a 'new' China. 'We were born in the 1990s,' the accompanying text says, in Chinese. 'By then, China had already risen...with bright dreams, we want to shine like the new century...we want to become very strong.' 

It doesn't take long, however, for the video to shift to bombastic music and visuals of a very different nature. The appeal to nationalism — and to China's territorial claims — is hard to miss, what with footage of the Diaoyutai/Senkaku islets in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by Japan and Taiwan, as well as various features in the South China Sea, a source of rising tension in recent years. 

My article, published today in the Interpreter at the Lowy Institute continues here.

Real People vs. Phantom Sources in Taiwan’s Battle of Ideas

A struggling KMT will use anything at this point to discredit civil society and its main opponent in the 2016 elections 

It only took a few days before an op-ed in The Diplomat by U.S. academic Dennis V. Hickey turned into a coordinated assault by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, pan-blue media and the Chinese propaganda apparatus against Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Days after Hickey’s alarmist editorial was published, the embattled blue camp was accusing Ms. Tsai, the DPP’s presidential candidate for 2016, of sponsoring “extremists” and acting like the Islamic State terrorist organization in Taiwan. 

No strangers to hyperbole and false analogies, the KMT legislators seized upon Mr. Hickey’s remark that the DPP was “reportedly embracing a Middle Eastern practice known as ‘rent a mob’ and subsidizing extremists who attack Taiwan’s government ministries” and ran with it. The operative word in this otherwise preposterous sentence (preposterous to anyone who has been on the ground monitoring the activists since 2012) is reportedly. By not providing a single clue — no source, no link, no witnesses — as to who might be behind that damaging information, Hickey breaks the rules on academic and journalistic accountability. It would be one thing if Mr. Hickey had accused Ms. Tsai of, say, failing to wash her hands after picking up her cat’s droppings; it’s quite another to allege that she is sponsoring “extremists” who are attacking government buildings and undermining confidence in Taiwan’s democracy. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Coincidences, Coincidences in Tainan

An absurd vote buying case in the southern city threatens the fabric of Taiwan’s democracy 

The Ministry of Justice announced today (Aug. 10) that three Tainan prosecutors and a spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office are to be reassigned as part of what it called a “routine” rotation. Regular though such personnel changes may be, the move is nevertheless rather convenient for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), as all three prosecutors had been investigating alleged vote buying by Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) of the KMT in the Dec. 25, 2014, speakership election. 

But hey, coincidences do happen. 

It’s also probably a coincidence that the announcement comes one week after the Control Yuan voted to impeach Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for “gross negligence” resulting from his refusal to attend city council meetings and Q&As. Following the 7-2 decision on Aug. 4, the Control Yuan referred the case to the Judicial Yuan’s Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Public Functionaries. At its harshest, the Commission could decide to strip Lai of his post. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Sorry Beijing, But Taiwan Isn’t Turning its Back on History — You Are

The Taiwanese have made their choice; the ball is in Beijing’s court 

What happens when a closed authoritarian regime whose ideology is based on foundations of “historical inevitability” sees history move in an unexpected direction? That is a question that officials in Beijing must be asking themselves as Taiwanese society — and by default its political scene — continues to reject any possibility of unification with China. 

After nearly eight years of rapprochement between Taipei and Beijing, nearly two dozen cross-strait agreements and booming tourism, China is no closer to achieving “peaceful” unification today than it was a decade ago, when Beijing’s nemesis, president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was in office. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (photo by the author).

對台灣民進黨的兩大迷思可以休矣

其一,民進黨不會損害海峽兩岸關係。其二,民進黨也不曾幕後指使群眾抗爭。

在〈美國檢討對台政策的時候到了嗎?〉這篇文章中,郝志堅(Dennis V. Hickey)對美國與台灣關係今後的發展提出了幾項重要看法,這些觀點無疑是必須認真看待,以確保台灣海峽兩岸局勢穩定的。但不幸的是,作者對於目前被看好贏得2016年1月總統大選的最大反對黨民進黨,乃至台灣的公民社會,呈現出的卻是一幅誤解的圖像,並且有可能對負責為今後美台關係擘畫出明確一致策略的美國決策者產生誤導作用。

郝志堅首先寫道,儘管民進黨力圖將自己「重新建立為」在中國國民黨之外「負責任的」替代選項,「美國國防規劃人員仍不免懷疑,民進黨是否仍企圖陷美國於台海危機之中,以成全它的台灣脫離中國獨立之夢。」

郝志堅看來並不瞭解,民進黨在現任主席,同時也是總統參選人蔡英文領導下,早已不是陳水扁總統兼任黨主席時那個讓美國政府焦頭爛額的民進黨。民進黨不只是從過去經驗得到了教訓,民進黨高層也十分清楚,重回過去的好鬥姿態只會讓他們賠上這些年來一點一滴掙回的信任與支持。專家學者們毫無疑慮地假定北京當局已經從1995到1996年間的台海飛彈危機得到教訓,不會重蹈尋釁生事的覆轍,但他們卻似乎無法認同民進黨也能記取教訓,而民進黨又不同於北京的中國共產黨,它必須確實遵守民主政治規則。這樣的偏見往往蒙蔽了判斷。

不僅如此,民進黨和派駐台北的美國政府官員也持續進行著密切深入、極具建設性的對話,確保雙方對於重大問題的看法一致。

即使郝志堅堅稱,蔡英文「對這樣的疑慮未能充分解答」,而她「對許多當今重大議題的立場,特別是如何處理對北京關係的計劃,仍然曖昧不明」,蔡英文還是明確表示,她的海峽兩岸交流平台會是以當今(即中華民國)憲法架構為基礎「維持現狀」,並持續「累積成果」(也就是不廢棄前任政府在兩岸和解上取得的成果)。換言之,蔡英文承諾在一套與現任總統馬英九十分類似的政策之下維持海峽兩岸關係,事實上,這兩人的政策實在太相似,以至於台灣社會的「深綠」人士一再指控蔡英文企圖將民進黨「國民黨化」,兩個主張台灣獨立的新政黨在不久前成立,正是為了回應蔡英文在他們看來的靠攏中間路線。

此外,蔡英文也持續和中國高層展開對話,並且積極為彼此尋求一套可行的權宜之計(modus vivendi)。蔡英文女士唯一堅持不肯跨越的底線,是遵守「九二共識」及「一個中國」架構,她對這一點也表達得很明確。根本就沒有什麼把美國拖進對中國戰爭以達成事實獨立夢想的秘密計劃,因為在蔡英文心目中,台灣(或者中華民國)已經是個獨立國家,一旦她如願當選,首要任務將是提振持續衰退的經濟,還有更新社會安全體系等各項議題。

台灣與中國的關係正處於兩個極端之間的灰色地帶,其中一端(統一)是台灣人民無法接受的。因此,沒有一項政策會是完全透明的,台北和北京的政治人物必須在兩極之間尋找出路(北京認知到台灣人不願接受統一之後,也將不得不接受一套並非完美的兩岸政策)。

接下來,郝志堅毫無來由地表示對於民進黨「放棄民主途徑」的關切(至於是誰在關切則隻字未提),這種說法在2014年11月地方九合一選舉民進黨獲得大勝之後,完全站不住腳。作者宣稱,民進黨「據說」(但他沒提供消息來源)「正在採用中東國家常見的『僱人作亂』(rent a mob)手法,資助攻擊台灣政府機構的極端分子。」

大家想想看。郝志堅連個消息來源都無須提供,而他的說詞則和選情告急的國民黨,尤其是早已淪為丑角,毫無公信力的蔡正元、邱毅之流自從2014年太陽花運動佔領立法院以來慣用的說詞如出一轍。出於政治考量,馬英九政府始終不能也不願承認社會有能力不受當局制約而行動,而且只要體制失靈就會挺身抗爭這個事實。國民黨寧可不去面對近幾年來逐漸成形的世代與認同挑戰,而是選擇了阻力最小的路:將一切都歸咎於民進黨。

要是郝志堅過去幾年都待在台灣,並且做了該做的調查研究,他就會明白新一代與政府作對的抗爭者們不只對所有政黨都強烈懷疑,也有充分的組織能力、應變能力和才智,不需要任何政黨的「資助」就能做成大事。我們這些長期關注採訪台灣社會運動的人(我還沒加入小英基金會之前就已經採訪了很久早就得到了結論,他們的抗爭不只針對愈來愈不負責任、脫離大眾的國民黨,也針對同時被當成不可靠的盟友以及部分問題所在的民進黨。那些被郝志堅說成是在從事極端主義行動的非政府組織與公民團體成員們,對民進黨的評價極差,這種看法即使在蔡英文接替蘇貞昌出任黨主席,試圖挽救民進黨在社運抗爭者中的形象之後,仍然延續至今。

社會運動者對民進黨的積怨強烈到這樣的程度:許多決定加入政黨(多半是加入民進黨)的社會運動者都被說成是近乎「出賣」社運。臉書上隨處可見對決定投身政黨政治的青年發動的起底和攻訐,這實在不像是民進黨與社會運動者密切合作的表現。

當然,這並不代表公民團體與民進黨的利益不會在某些情況下有所重疊,或者他們的思想信念不會所見略同。可是,要從意見相近說到「資助」非國家行為者(non-state actors),這中間實在是跳躍太遠了。

人們也不免希望郝志堅真正去過現場,親眼看看他所謂的「極端分子」都是些甚麼人:那是一群年輕有理想的運動者,支持他們的則是專家學者、律師,以及一般大眾,他們用盡一切法律途徑提出申訴,到頭來卻只是讓政府公然背信、無視人民、繼續枉法蠻幹,有時不惜草菅人命,一旦事涉中國,更恣意危害台灣民主機制。悲哀的是,郝志堅對於充當馬英九及訪台中國官員保鑣,毫不客氣恐嚇威脅非政府組織工作者,甚至動手毆打手無寸鐵抗爭者而不受法律制裁的統派人士及(中國資助的)黑幫分子完全不置一詞,他也隻字不提國民黨支持者在2004年總統大選落敗之後使用汽油彈攻擊警察,或是開卡車衝撞警方人牆的行徑(開車衝撞警察的正是前文提到過的邱毅)。

馬英九政府如今企圖靠著辱罵侮蔑來誹謗公民社會,指控公民社會「極端」和「非理性」(還將他們比喻為基地組織、紅衛兵及伊斯蘭國),因為他們做到了民進黨無法做到的事。要是郝志堅有機會親自認識台灣的公民社會(但以他的狀況而言,能在難得訪問台灣時做到這點的外國學者實在也屈指可數,他們只和政府官員,以及預先安排好的親政府學者會談,偶爾才想到拜訪民進黨),他就會明白,他所謂的極端主義只不過是一個社會拒絕認命屈服的表現。抵抗國家的自我毀滅,捍衛自己的自由民主,這些都不是極端主義;實際上,這是完全理性的回應,儘管不可避免地也是一時權宜。

不幸,郝志堅在對公民社會的敘述(或者應當說是錯誤描述)之中,卻全盤接受了一個因為抗拒現代化而無法回應愈發自覺積極的公民社會訴求的政黨所散發的文宣。當前的局勢和香港頗有相似之處,香港的公民社會同樣以上街抗議回應(中國施加的)外在壓力。與我曾有一面之緣的郝志堅當然是立意良善的,這無須懷疑;但他在文章中提出的許多重要論點,卻因為他對台灣近幾年來最重要的議題,也就是台灣公民社會的崛起不免幼稚的觀感而大為動搖。

中譯:William Tsai

Originally published as "Two Myths About Taiwan's DPP That Need to be Laid to Rest," in The Diplomat.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Two Myths About Taiwan’s DPP That Need to Be Laid to Rest

The DPP will not ruin cross-strait relations, and it isn’t manipulating popular protests from behind the scenes 

In his piece “Time to Review US Policy on Taiwan?” Dennis V. Hickey makes several important points about the future of the United States’ relationship with Taiwan, and there is no doubt that those should be addressed seriously to ensure continued stability in the Taiwan Strait. Unfortunately, the author presents a picture of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), currently the favorite in the January 2016 elections, and Taiwan’s civil society that is highly misinformed and which risks misleading the very American officials who will be charged with formulating a coherent U.S.-Taiwan strategy for the future. 

To begin with, Hickey writes that while the DPP has sought to “‘rebrand” itself as a “responsible” alternative to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), “U.S. defense planners cannot help but wonder if the DPP will seek to entrap the U.S. in a cross-strait crisis in an effort to achieve its dreams of independence from China.” 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here (photo by the author).

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Canada's Crumbling Democracy

The government is dictating which Canadians can and cannot vote. What will it decide next? 

It’s funny what exile does to a person. It removes one from the seemingly intransient ground that for decades had been home and drops the subject between worlds: unable to become fully part of one’s adoptive land, and yet somehow alienated from one’s home. Still, with this alienation comes a richer understanding of what home is. It’s like taking a step back to assess one’s work of art, to look at it from a different perspective. 

In the nearly ten years that I have lived abroad, my experiences as an expatriate have helped me better appreciate what it means to be a Canadian. Not only has this allowed me to see how my native country is perceived abroad, it has also led me to better appreciate the idiosyncrasies that make Canada unique and precious. As a journalist whose work has largely focused on the travails of a young democracy living under the shadow of an authoritarian giant, I have also become more sensitive to the challenges that we face in ensuring the quality of our democracy. 

My article, published today in The National Interest, continues here.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

The Powers That Be and the ‘R’ Word in Taiwan

Once again the authorities are accusing young activists of ‘irrationality.’ But there is nothing ‘irrational’ about the screamers 

Taiwan’s political scene is once again being shaken by young people who have decided to take direct action against the government, this time over “minor” alterations to high school curriculum guidelines. As with the other youth movements that contested the authorities’ modus operandi in recent years, the participants have shattered the traditional norms of behavior by being loud, scaling walls, and occupying space. Thus challenged, the response by the authorities, school administrators, and members of the ruling party has been to characterize the protesters as “irrational.” 

This rhetorical tool was repeatedly used during the campaign against forced evictions in 2013 and in the midst of the Sunflower Movement’s occupation of the Legislative Yuan the following year. In each instance, the government — plus a complicit media and academic sector — countered by saying that while it welcomed disagreement under democratic principles, young people should express their views “rationally.” Needless to say, by rational the powers that be meant playing by rules that were set by the government. It didn’t matter that the government itself had broken every democratic rule in how it had arrived at some of its policies, or that debating officials “rationally” was the surest ticket to defeat. The government knew best, and if society didn’t agree that was because officials hadn’t explained themselves clearly enough. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (photo by the author).

Saturday, August 01, 2015

中台關係:延續現狀還是重啟對立?

隨著民進黨贏得2016年1月台灣總統大選,重掌執政的前景看好,許多評論者都預測台海兩岸在馬英九總統領導的國民黨政府任內八年的相對穩定之後,又要回到緊張對立狀態。

但是民進黨贏得大選究竟會不會真的導致兩岸回復敵對,多半還是取決於北京當局如何因應。

首先,很重要的一點,我們要釐清總統候選人蔡英文主席領導下的民進黨「不是」甚麼。蔡英文和2000到2008年間連任兩屆的前總統陳水扁不同,她在兩岸關係上採取更克制的態度。她轉而集中心力處理內政問題、團結全國人民。當她不得不說明自己的兩岸政策,蔡英文則採取較前任更為中道溫和的立場,宣示在現行中華民國憲法架構下維持「現狀」,持續與北京當局發展關係。

換言之,儘管某些圈子的人不斷危言聳聽,蔡英文終究不會片面宣布台灣在法理上獨立,不會採取行動挑戰北京早已宣示的對台動武「條件」。

除此之外,透過避談台獨黨綱問題,轉而運用台灣前途決議文之中宣示台灣/中華民國已經是獨立國家的文字作為台灣對中國關係的基礎,蔡英文也表明了無意在選戰中主打兩岸關係問題。

蔡英文的中國政策因此看上去和國民黨馬英九的並無二致,馬英九在總統任內也將「維持現狀」標舉為中國政策的重心。但是蔡英文和馬英九在一個關鍵問題上立場分歧,那就是充滿爭議的「九二共識」,其中的「一個中國」原則是蔡英文的民進黨選民所不能接受的。不過,蔡英文仍然保證繼續積極與中國維持關係───換句話說,她看重兩岸關係的實質更甚於海峽兩岸交流「平台」之類的技術細節。

儘管黨內保守勢力批判蔡英文,指控她企圖將民進黨「國民黨化」的聲音時有所聞,如今蔡英文的權力仍然達到了顛峰。民意調查結果顯示她遙遙領先國民黨候選人及其他對手的組合。

國民黨要想戰勝蔡英文,他們就得派出一位強力的候選人,能夠善加運用2014年3、4月間的太陽花運動所清楚展現的,對台灣認同日益鮮明且積極發聲的社會力量。

結果,國民黨卻提名了(並在7月19日正式通過)立法院副院長洪秀柱出馬競選總統,而她的中國政策在人們看來似乎是與社會趨向完全背道而馳的。洪秀柱對中國與台灣地位的看法,使得許多不分本省籍和外省籍的國民黨立法委員揚言退黨,還有一些黨員則公開批判,因而被開除黨籍。

眼看危機正在醞釀,國民黨大老們用盡全力勸說洪秀柱收斂自己的說法,這樣的干預在洪秀柱公開為「一中同表」政策背書,不僅違背國民黨官方「一國兩憲」的立場,更與北京的立場互相呼應之後成為不得不然。她公開宣示一旦當選就要與中國簽訂和平協議,並且有可能停止向美國購買武器,連許多國民黨人聽了都大驚失色,大多數台灣人就更不用說了,而她對中華民國存在與否前後反覆的表態───洪秀柱起先是說,表達中華民國的存在會產生「兩國論」,這是「不可以的」───也在許多圈子裡引起疑慮。在黨員的壓力下,洪秀柱最終回歸到國民黨主張的「一中各表」與「九二共識」,並提出「一個共識,三個內涵」框架,向選民承諾她會強力要求北京當局承認中華民國政府的合法性。

可是洪秀柱畢竟是亮出了她的意識型態底牌,因此很難想像她立場的明顯軟化不僅僅是一種在選前安撫大眾的策略。

雖說洪秀柱在民主的台灣當然有權利表達她的觀點,但這些看法在明年1月之前能不能獲得接受恐怕大有疑問。她的信念不僅和台灣人建立起來的信念恰恰相反,更和海峽彼岸專制獨裁政權的立場若合符節這件事,恐怕就足以讓目前身陷危機的國民黨再嘗敗績。

* * *

中國在最近一份國防白皮書〈中國的軍事戰略〉裡宣稱:「但影響台海局勢穩定的根源並未消除,『台獨』分裂勢力及其分裂活動仍然是兩岸關係和平發展的最大威脅。」

考慮到這點,北京如何回應蔡英文可望當選這個事實,將是台海兩岸關係在未來四年到八年的民進黨執政期間究竟會延續現狀還是重啟對立的決定性因素。北京當局由誰主導「台灣問題」的處理,也將對往後的發展產生影響。

北京可能的回應之一,是對於台灣人民在大選投票中做出「錯誤」選擇,投給蔡英文而非更親近中國的國民黨候選人洪秀柱加以「懲罰」。這方面的政策可能包含對台灣實施經濟制裁,或採取更強硬的手段。其中一項可用的策略,是中國共產黨和中國國民黨聯手詆毀民進黨政府。這可能有助於國民黨在2018年縣市長選舉,以及2020年總統大選中東山再起。然而,民進黨若能在立法院取得過半數席次(立法委員選舉和總統大選在明年1月16日一併舉行),這種行動的成效可能會減半。

此外,在中國人民解放軍總政治部聯絡部鼓動之下,一旦民進黨重返執政,特別是贏得國會多數之後,近年來在台灣各地滋長的促統力量,可想而知也會扮演更重要的角色。

從近年來促統人物在台灣各地建立的網路看來,國家機器恐怕並不具備監控其活動的能力,更不用說抵制了。「深藍」人士及統派公民社會甚至有可能仿效太陽花運動,運用公民不服從擾亂民進黨執政,造成社會混亂。

但是北京當局過多的公開行動恐怕會帶來反效果。正如1995到1996年的飛彈危機清楚揭示的,中國的直接施壓很可能適得其反,不但無法威懾台灣人,反倒會促成他們堅定立場。而在目前的狀況下,反效果意味著台灣民族主義的高漲以及反中國情緒的持續深化。最近中國中央電視台一段軍事演習模擬進攻一幢貌似台北總統府建築物的新聞影片在台灣引發的反應,正是一個典型的例子。

既然這樣的壓力有將馬英九總統任內發展多時的友好和睦及緊密依存一筆勾銷的危險,我們也就不能自動假設北京會甘冒這樣的風險決心「懲罰」台灣。因此,北京當局也有可能和蔡英文一樣尋求延續現狀。儘管北京透過傳統管道滿足其所欲的能力會在蔡英文當選之後大幅削弱,從而使它不得不運用親中促統的次國家(sub-state)力量。

將民進黨可能重掌政權放進周邊地區的地緣政治脈絡也是很重要的。亞太周邊地區對於北京政權及其主權宣示愈來愈不抱幻想,而中國對於國內公民社會日益嚴酷的鎮壓,也無法在國際上贏得任何友誼。

由此看來,只要蔡英文小心行事,她在國際上的地位,至少在華盛頓當局眼中的地位,就會比陳水扁前總統更令人羨慕許多;陳水扁在國際社會仍然對中國未來即使未必走向民主,也會更加友善無害的可能性仍然樂觀期待時,選擇奮力爭取國家主權的象徵。

儘管目前的民調數據意味著民進黨勝利在望,但在六個月內實在有太多事可能發生,而國民黨就算犯過這麼多錯誤,終究是存活到了今天───而且還非常有錢。

萬一國民黨和洪秀柱真的獲勝,立法委員選舉的結果就會更加至關重要,因為國會的勢力平衡將足以左右行政當局實施(或強行推動)政策的能力。國民黨當選總統而民進黨取得國會多數席次,或許能有效抵制洪秀柱領導的政府,一如國民黨占多數的國會在陳水扁的兩屆總統任期內成功癱瘓他的施政那樣。要是出現了這種局面,洪秀柱將無法隨心所欲地強推政策,除非她決心向北京那個專制獨裁政權看齊。不過,正如我們在馬英九對中國的交往跨越某些紅線時所見到的,當台灣公民社會感受到台灣的生活方式遭受危害,他們必定會再次起身抗爭。

另一個發生機率更低的情境也是同樣道理,只是社會大規模動盪的可能性更大,那就是國民黨既當選總統又贏得國會多數席次。這是要從台灣的保守/促統力量和北京的保守勢力「一體支持」洪秀柱的意識型態才能理解的。在這個脈絡之下,2014年在挺身抵抗政府的過程中大幅度自我培力,並且有效阻礙了馬英九歷史定位進程的青年世代,預計還會再次採取行動,而且極有可能升高抗爭強度。

在洪總統掌控行政部門及立法部門的情況下,台灣年輕人的恐懼程度將以指數飆升,他們之中許多人一再告訴本文作者,自己沒有其他國家的護照,因此只能留下來承擔後果。不過,要是洪秀柱在當選之後軟化她的中國政策,並且採納溫和理念,這樣的恐懼或許有可能得到緩解。儘管目前看來似乎不太可能,但選舉產生的政府官員通常會在當選之後向「中間」路線靠攏。

從當前局勢看來,採取偏中間立場呼應大多數台灣人最迫切訴求的民進黨,在當選之後會是最能確保社會安定的力量。洪秀柱的國民黨則很有可能成為最不穩定的因素,原因純粹只是民進黨在評估人民的需求,以及判讀台灣民族主義的熱度上表現得更好。

北京能否理解民主政治對於政黨的約束,以及它在民主政治產生它所不樂見的結果時如何應對,將是未來幾年影響台海局勢穩定的決定性因素。


中譯:William Tsai

Friday, July 31, 2015

After Young Taiwan Activist’s Suicide, Hundreds Storm Education Ministry

The crisis over controversial changes to school curricula in Taiwan intensified after the suicide of one of the activists 

Hundreds of Taiwanese activists stormed the Ministry of Education building in Taipei after midnight on July 31 as anger mounted over the ministry’s efforts to implement controversial changes to high school curriculum guidelines and the death by suicide of one of the young activists the previous day. 

The occupation—one of several direct actions in the past two years—occurs after months of snowballing protests over efforts by the government to make “minor” changes to curriculum guidelines. Critics say the process lacked transparency and that the new Sino-centric content imposed by the guidelines distorts history and whitewashes the authoritarian period in the nation’s history. The dissidents also maintain that members of the 10-person committee in charge of the “minor” adjustments, set up by then-minister of education Chiang Wei-ling in January 2014, are not suited to handle the matter. Chief among them is convener Wang Hsiao-po, a vice chairman of the Alliance for the Reunification of China. 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here (photo by Hsiengo Huang).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Better Get Used to it, China: Taiwan and Japan Will Get Closer

A changing geopolitical context and domestic sentiments mean that Tokyo and Taipei are likely to draw closer together 

Despite applying considerable pressure on Tokyo in recent weeks, Beijing was unable to prevent the Japanese government from rolling out the red carpet for former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui last week. During a visit to Japan, Lee addressed a packed Diet and had a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Besides showcasing the longstanding warm relationship between Japan and Taiwan, the Abe government’s decision to stand up to Chinese pressure presages a likely deepening of ties between Tokyo and Taipei, the result of both growing fears of China’s assertiveness as well as political change in Taiwan. 

In a strong protest on July 24 after Lee, 92, was allowed in Japan, a spokesman at China’s Foreign Ministry expressed Beijing’s “grave concern” over the visit by the former leader, whom he described as “a stubborn Taiwan splittist.” 

On the same day, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said Beijing “strongly oppose[s] any country providing a stage for ‘Taiwan independence’ activities, and take strong umbrage at Japan allowing Lee to visit.” 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.

Taiwan-China Relations: Continuity or Renewed Tensions?

What will cross-strait relations look like after the Jan. 16, 2016, elections in Taiwan? More of the same? Renewed tensions?

With the high likelihood that Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will regain the presidency in the January 2016 elections, many analysts have predicted a return of tensions in the Taiwan Strait after eight years of relative stability under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration of President Ma Ying-jeou. 

Whether a DPP victory in those elections would indeed mark a return to hostilities will be largely contingent on how Beijing reacts to this likely development. 

From the outset it's important that we clarify what the DPP under its Chairperson and presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, is not. Unlike her predecessor Chen Shui-bian, who served two terms from 2000-2008, Tsai has taken a more subdued approach to cross-strait relations. She has chosen instead to focus on domestic matters and to consolidate the nation. When pressed to explain her cross-strait policies, Tsai has adopted a more centrist position than her predecessor by vowing to maintain the 'status quo' under the current constitutional framework of the Republic of China (ROC) and to seek continuity in the relationship with Beijing. 

Part 1 of my article, published today in the Lowy Interpreter at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, continues here. Part 2 is available here (photo: Tsai Ing-wen Facebook page).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Taiwan and the Diaoyutai Spat: Is All that Noise Really Necessary?

The government tends to make a big deal over the Diaoyutais, but it’s a poor subject to garner popular support. Here’s why 

If a few years ago you had asked people outside the region whether they had ever heard about the Diaoyutai islets, or the Senkakus as they are known in Japan, the likely answer would be that they had not. That this is no longer the case is in large part due to China’s territorial assertiveness — which has recently become militarized — and Japan’s equally hard-noised response to what it regards as dangerous expansionism. The world started paying attention to those rocks in the middle of the East China Sea because it was feared that the dispute could lead to a military confrontation between the two Asia competitors and perhaps even draw in the U.S., Japan’s security partner. Both sides had “historical rights” and various maps and documents to support their claims, but in the end that didn’t matter, as facts rarely matter when nationalism is involved. 

The third claimant — Taiwan — doesn’t get mentioned as often in international media and at academic conferences on the subject, in large part because its stance on the issue has been much less bellicose. It briefly made the news when a flotilla of fishing and coast guard vessels were “fired upon” by the Japanese Coast Guard using water cannons, when overzealous military personnel asserted Taiwan’s claims by jotting a few Chinese characters on a Mk-82 500lb bomb carried by a F-16 aircraft, or when President Ma Ying-jeou proposed his “East China Sea Peace Initiative,” but for the most part Taiwan’s role in the dispute has received little world attention. It, too, has provided various legal documents or referenced historical fishing rights to make its case, but without the bluster, its voice was often ignored. 

My article, published today in the China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, continues here (photo by the author).

Monday, July 27, 2015

Taiwan Needs a Counter-Propaganda Strategy

The Taiwanese need their own United Front to counter Beijing’s propaganda. But before they can do so, they need to better understand each other 

Anyone who has spent enough time in Taiwan should be aware of the fundamental difference that exists between the Chinese and Taiwanese society. Young Taiwanese — those who were born in the late 1980s onwards — have no other experience of citizenship than that of living in a democracy. Granted, their identity can be shaped by the experiences of their parents and grandparents who lived under Martial Law and the Cold War, but first and foremost, theirs is the life of citizens of a liberal-democracy. 

For young Chinese from the same generation, the experience is markedly different. They grew up in an authoritarian system that fosters amnesia. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) doesn’t want them to know the past — or to put it better, it wants them to know a version of the past that lionizes the CCP and one in which discussing party mistakes is risky business. For most young Chinese, a strong party-state that ensures stability, economic growth, and which fuels their nationalistic pride, is sufficient. Democratic ideals are unnecessary — and sometimes dangerous — intrusions by a West that wants to keep China “weak.” 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (photo by the author).

Friday, July 24, 2015

Taiwanese Students Occupy Education Ministry Over Textbook Controversy

Taiwanese students are up in arms regarding recent changes to the country’s history textbooks...and they escalated on Thursday 

Dozens of Taiwanese students briefly occupied the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taipei last night to protest a series of “minor” adjustments (課綱微調) to school textbooks which activists and academics claim are Sino-centric and whitewash the authoritarian period in Taiwan’s history. 

Scaling ladders, the activists slipped by police and stormed the ministry building late on Thursday evening. According to the police, 18 activists subsequently barricaded themselves inside Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa’s office, using furniture to block the door. By about 1 a.m., police had succeeded in expelling the students, some of whom had their hands tied behind their backs with plastic restraints. 

In total, 33 persons were arrested, including 24 students—11 of them under the age of 18. Three journalists were also arrested and taken away. Law enforcement said they detained the media personnel to ensure they were not participating in the protest. Reporters at the site complained they were prevented from doing their work. Footage provided by one of the journalists who was taken away (he was released in the afternoon on NT$10,000 bail) shows police using strobe lights to prevent him from taking photographs, while other officers are pulling at him and are heard saying, “No one asked you to come to cover the story.” 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here (photo by the author).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chinese PLA Simulates ‘Attack’ on Taiwan’s Presidential Office

Why did CCTV show footage of PLA soldiers storming a computer-generated facsimile of Taiwan’s seat of government? 

His back to us, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier is seen running towards a building that bears a striking resemblance to the Japanese-built Presidential Office in Taipei. Following a collage of tanks and artillery firing rounds of ammunition, the scene switches back to infantry, which is seen approaching and eventually entering what is, presumably, the same building. 

According to reports in Chinese media, those scenes, featured in a three-minute video clip aired on state-run CCTV on July 5, come from Series C of this year’s live-fire Stride 2015 Zhurihe (跨越-2015·朱日和C) military exercises, which commenced at the Zhurihe Training Base in Inner Mongolia last month. 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Authoritarians' Credibility Gap

Whatever the CCP tells us about public support for its policies should be treated with skepticism 

As the Chinese government’s clampdown on human rights lawyers and activists in China intensifies, with 233 of them taken into custody since July 10, the international indignation has been countered by apologists of the regime in Beijing who are quite ready to speak on behalf of the 1.3 billion Chinese. 

Their response usually consists of a variation on the following theme: “Article X on the intensifying repression across China is ‘interesting,’ but the topic is meaningless to most Chinese people because President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption, and his effort to expand China’s international influence, have won a wide support, especially among the grassroots.” 

Besides turning criticism of Beijing’s mechanism of repression into a mere object of curiosity (“interesting”), this stance presumes to “know” what ordinary Chinese think of the matter. It is surely not by accident that their views tend to align perfectly with whatever campaign the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has embarked upon. According to this version of the “truth,” the 1.3 billion Chinese are perfectly fine with their freedom of expression being further curtailed, their access to the Internet increasingly limited, bloggers being silenced, magazines being censored or shut down, instant messaging (e.g., WeChat) coming under greater scrutiny, and lawyers and activists being arrested, disappeared, and possibly subjected to harsh interrogation—as long as Xi fights corruption and expands China’s presence internationally. 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Is Xi Jinping Losing Control of China...and the 'Peripheries'?

Rarely is authoritarianism a signal of strength; instead, it stems from fear, paranoia, and panic 

For a country that has accumulated great power and stupendous wealth in recent years, and whose “meritocratic” political system is supposedly leaving democracies in the dust, China’s behavior has been rather odd of late, its regime acting more like a fearful government than an in-group that has the situation well under control. Highly paranoiac and increasingly retributive, President Xi Jinping’s Beijing doesn’t inspire confidence—not among the Chinese people, and not among those who live on China’s “peripheries,” who have taken note of the erosion of liberties that has accompanied this slow descent. 

Given its accomplishments over the years, from a booming economy that has lifted millions of people out of poverty to Beijing’s emergence as an indispensable player in global affairs, we’d have assumed that China would have become more self-confident and therefore more willing to accommodate different voices within its society. After all, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has performed rather well on most of the issues that presumably contribute to the legitimization of the party in the eyes of the Chinese people: economy, prestige, and respect. 

My article, published today in The National Interest, continues here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

As Hung Secures Grip on Presidential Bid, KMT Sacks Members

In one fell swoop, the KMT has rid itself of five vocal critics of the direction the party has taken in recent weeks 

We won’t know until the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) congress this coming Sunday whether Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), the prospective presidential candidate who has scared the bejeezus out of most of us—and out of many a KMT member—with her out-of-touch views on China, but already the party is taking measures to quiet the internal grumbling. 

Following President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) Orwellian take on Hung’s “one China, common interpretation,” the party announced today that it had sacked five of its members for being too critical of the KMT. Thus, rather than accept that Hung’s views are out of sync with the wishes of the majority of Taiwanese and will likely cost it both the presidency and its majority in the Legislative Yuan, the KMT is choosing to clamp down on internal dissent. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Ministry of Truth with KMT Characteristics

Hung Hsiu-chu’s views are a problem for the KMT. If she is to continue as the presidential candidate past July 19, party members will have to engage in Newspeak 

Much has been said in recent weeks about prospective Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) “one China, common interpretation” remarks, which have been widely regarded as her recognition of Beijing’s sovereignty claims over Taiwan. Hung’s departure from the KMT’s “one China, different interpretation” baseline was not well received within her party, prompting a number of its members to jump ship and to join the People First Party, with several others threatening to follow suit unless Hung is either cast aide or forced to articulate more acceptable (and current) views on Taiwan’s relationship with China. 

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the high priest of the “one China, different interpretation” concept, was himself said to have been “deeply angered” by Hung’s unilateral dismantling of the KMT’s ambiguous — and thus far arguably useful — formulation. And rightly so, as Hung could put at risk the balancing act that President Ma has performed over the past seven years and torpedo the KMT’s chances in the presidential and legislative elections in January next year. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

專制政權不想讓你看到的

週六晚上你所在的位置,有可能使得你錯過金曲奬頒獎典禮的某些亮點

假如你也是星期六晚上打開電視收看台灣第26屆金曲奬頒獎典禮的許多閱聽人之一,那麼,你看到的很有可能不是整場頒獎典禮的實況轉播。至少,你從新加坡或中國是看不到整場實況的。

這項1990年首度舉辦,如今由文化部統籌策劃的年度獎項,可說是台灣的葛萊美獎,獎勵以這個國家通行的幾種語言創作出的最優秀歌曲及演唱者。

而在這樣的盛會上,公民意識較強的得奬者往往會把握自己能夠發言的幾分鐘時間,表達自己對於政治,以及同性戀平權、基本人權、戰爭等各項攸關公共利益議題的看法。

當然,在台灣這個開放社會中,藝術創作者們享有表達意見的自由,他們也經常勇敢表達意見,事實上,近幾年來,藝術家們不但更加暢所欲言,也更願意具名參與及聲援許多議題。閱聽人同不同意他們的政治觀點,則是閱聽人自己的事。簡單一句話,這正是自由社會的菁華所在。

悲哀的是,其他國家的政府並不願意讓自己的公民取得這麼多的資訊,若不是因為這些政權自認為最瞭解公民及全體國民的需要,就是他們害怕人民一旦接觸了危險思想就會遭到感染。

昨天晚上,新加坡政府和中國政府可一點都不想冒險:這兩國的審查人員鞠躬盡瘁,確保在境內同步轉播的金曲奬頒獎典禮不含任何「危險」訊息。由於延遲30秒的魔術(要不是早就有人這麼做過,北京一定會發明這個方法),資訊過濾高手們得以預先過濾掉特定訊息,防止非必要的訊息滲入境內觀眾的眼睛與耳朵。

昨晚上演的正是這種場面。獲得「最佳客語專輯」項目提名的歌手黃瑋傑等人,揮舞著大幅的「今天拆大埔,明天拆政府」旗幟走上星光大道,那是2013年台灣公民挺身反抗政府在苗栗竹南大埔里對人民強拆迫遷的記號,但新加坡的觀眾只能看到一個黑色畫面,上面寫著幾行字:「這一部份的節目內容,因尺度考量,不宜播出,不便之處,敬請原諒。」不過當然了,新加坡政府對於他們把16歲少年余澎杉(Amos Yee)抓起來關進精神病院,只因為他膽敢批評已故的前總理、也是極力宣揚所謂「亞洲價值」與民主互不相容的大祭司李光耀(Lee Kuan Yew)所帶給少年的不便和困擾絕無懊悔之意,更不須請求諒解。

中國的收視狀況則更糟,「年度最佳歌曲」項目的得奬者一公佈,直播立刻中斷。原因再清楚不過了:滅火器樂團的「島嶼天光」(註1)在去年成功阻止了台灣政府通過與中國之間備受爭議的服務貿易協議的太陽花運動中,成了運動的主題歌,這是中國政府所不能容忍的。結果,除非中國人想辦法翻出防火長城,否則他們大概只能以為台灣今年沒有頒發「年度最佳歌曲」。

另外一件事倒沒那麼惡毒,卻也同樣令人困擾:儘管經由台灣電視公司(TTV)的官方轉播收看這次頒獎典禮的觀眾,都能不受阻礙、不被過濾地看完全場直播,台灣其他電視台稍後的大多數新聞報導,卻都不提滅火器贏得年度最佳歌曲這件事。每一家電視台全都大篇幅報導蔡依林、張惠妹,還有香港的陳奕迅(Eason Chan)抱走了多少獎項。國家官方的中央通訊社英文網站「焦點台灣」(Focus Taiwan),在頒獎典禮當晚發出了10篇報導,卻沒有任何一篇的標題寫到滅火器贏得「年度最佳歌曲」,只有在「蔡依林『呸』大贏家」這篇報導內文的得奬者完整名單裡提到過(註2)。(值得肯定的是,「焦點台灣」確實有一篇報導談到香港歌手莫文蔚(Karen Mok)對美國聯邦最高法院裁定同性婚姻合法化表達支持(註3)。)

這一切的言外之意是這樣的:明哲保身(像以前美好的威權時代那樣)寫些無關痛癢的心碎之歌和夏日戀曲,整個世界就是你的,連專制國家都向你敞開。可要是你談政治,就會寸步難行。

還是恭喜滅火器贏得實至名歸的大獎!

中譯:William Tsai
Original article: http://thinking-taiwan.com/what-the-authoritarians-dont-want-you-to-see/

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What Authoritarian Regimes Don’t Want You to See

Depending on where you were on Saturday night, you may have missed some of the highlights from the Golden Melody Awards 

If you were among the many people who tuned in to Taiwan’s 26th Golden Melody Awards (金曲獎) on Saturday night, there is a chance that you didn’t get to see the full show — at least if you were watching from Singapore or China. 

Organized by the Ministry of Culture, the annual event, which was first held in 1990, is Taiwan’s own Grammy Awards, with prizes for best songs and artists performing in the variety of languages spoken in the country. As often happens at such galas, the more civic-conscious winning artists will use the few minutes they have at their disposal to say a few things about politics and other issues — gay and human rights, war, and other matters of public interest. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (photo by the author).

Saturday, June 27, 2015

同性婚姻在台灣:為了進步、現代性及國際能見度而發聲

反對同性婚姻的人就是講不出道理。跟反同性婚姻運動的領導人之一參加同一場座談,你就明白了。

我想,作為用英文寫作的記者中極少數持續追蹤台灣同性婚姻議題的人,我獲邀參加1月3日台灣師範大學舉辦的「同性婚姻模擬研討會」,也是再自然不過。

當我收到議程,得知自己要和「台灣宗教守護家庭大聯盟」(他們的「家庭」專指異性婚姻家庭)發言人張全鋒同場對談,我幾乎按捺不住驚訝(老實說是興奮)。我和台灣大學健康政策與管理研究所的碩士生潘柏翰(Sean Pan)獲邀發言支持同性婚姻;以「反對同性戀婚姻立法的理由」作為講題的張先生顯然是反方,歐洲聯盟資深口譯員塔雅(Aline Tayar)則表達根本反對婚姻機制有效性的論點,也是言之成理。(作者自白:我再過20天就要結婚了)。

不用說,身為統一教(他們在西方更為人知的名字是「文教徒」,Moonies)成員的張先生,表現一點都沒讓人失望,如果你期望的是複誦「同性婚姻合法化如何導致社會敗壞」這類陳腔濫調的話。要是你還不知道統一教對同性婚姻的立場,以下這段文字引自他們的官網:「撒旦正在摧毀全世界的家庭,運用同性戀、自由性愛及道德敗壞等手段破壞人類的生命。」還有,教祖文鮮明牧師自己也用「吃屎的髒狗」「奉神之名將有一場清洗,邪惡會像陰影般消滅。同性戀也要被消滅。」之類的話敘述同性戀者。(統一教一向宣稱文牧師是用韓語講道的,我們無從理解他的真意。對我們來說,幸好其他同樣瘋狂的基督教派並不那麼謹慎小心,而且它們的領袖是說英語的美國人,例如國際禱告殿。)

張先生的發言是把「反修民法972」運動開始至今,我們已經聽過無數次的那些老話重說一遍:愛滋病蔓延;一路推到人獸交、亂倫及淫亂的滑坡論證;道德價值的崩壞;感情不忠(說得好像只有同性戀會亂搞);孩子的「權利」;「絕對性愛」(absolute sex)相對於「自由性愛」,如此這般。(既然他並不費心解釋「絕對性愛」的意思,我們只能推斷「絕對性愛」的含義大概包括男女交合使用傳教士體位,而且絕不在晚上七點前做!)張先生一度預言,就算我們現在看不到壞處,同性婚姻也會毀滅台灣,一如持續累積的各種弊病最終拖垮蘇聯;但是人人權利平等是怎樣和經濟政策失敗、對外戰爭,以及極權主義體制的自我腐蝕畫上等號的,他顯然不願多作解釋。

(圖:2013年台北同志大遊行的參加者之一)
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ccVEAXboKM4/Useebg9yt1I/AAAAAAAAFd0/P0ZMtc3-3EU/s200/DSC_8630.JPG

為證明自己的論點,張先生也播放一小段從今年同志大遊行擷取而來,近乎一絲不掛的男女舞蹈與集結的影片。他說,要是允許了同性婚姻,這樣的公開(public,我差點寫成陰部pubic)展示就要在社會上每天發生。參加過這兩年的同志大遊行之後,我可以確認有些人真的會為了遊行而扮裝,但他們既不占多數,也是為了表達訴求才這樣打扮,而在一年其他364天裡,他們的穿著和你我甚至張先生都沒甚麼兩樣。(事實上,我在遊行裡遇見過一個穿著女裝的男人,結果他是在誠品賣唱片給我好多年的店員。我花了一段時間才認出他來,我敢保證,我在店裡向他買唱片的時候,他穿的是一般服裝,化的粧也不比同事更厚。)我忍不住想問張先生有沒有在台灣參加過喪禮,在喪禮上都習慣請幾乎一絲不掛的女人為死者跳鋼管舞。對了,(張先生也說,)同志大遊行顯然也在提倡娛樂性用藥,這又是個徹頭徹尾的謊言。

張先生還宣稱許多支持同性婚姻的異性戀者不是為了關心社會正義、人權和平等,反倒是出於自私自利。像我這樣的人聲援同性戀,顯然是為了達成「性解放」和「自由性愛」,據說這才是我們夢寐以求又能從中牟利的。換言之,同性戀者只不過是達成目標的手段,被別有用心的人自私地當成工具。

接著又是賊喊捉賊(註1)的戲碼:張先生認為,推動反對歧視同性戀的修法就是在歧視基督徒;換句話說,不給他們歧視特定群體的權利......就是一種歧視!(這些可憐蟲。他們因此再也不能對同性戀造謠汙衊而不受法律制裁了。)不僅如此,張先生還說台灣與西方國家不同,不需要立法規範這種問題;神的律法就夠用了。我們由此看到了張先生的主權神學色彩(查查「主權神學」的含義,簡直駭人聽聞)。

我們這位文教徒朋友還說,許多反對同性婚姻的人,特別是那些在民意調查中不表示意見的人,是因為擔心受壓迫而不敢公開表態;說得好像同性戀者及其聲援者們才是要從反對者身上剝奪反對者早已享有的權利的兇手一般。

張先生及其他教會領袖最有趣的共通點是,他對於與肉體相關的一切事物都很明顯地感到不適。他的外貌與身體都無法放鬆,只要談到性行為,音量更是減弱到近乎喃喃自語。當他簡短提及皮繩愉虐(BDSM)及其他非正規的性行為型態(噢,肛門周邊的皮膚竟然這麼容易破!),我們幾乎聽不到他在說甚麼,而所有這些顯然全都是惡劣的、危險的,說到底是敗德的。這種對於關於性的一切所表現的不安,在恐同人士和反對同性婚姻人士的身上竟是如此普遍的現象,其成因值得深究。

當然,我們完全不可能改變他的觀點。他有宗教上的「真理」和足以填滿整本百科全書的不可證明事物(unprovables)做為後盾,遇到任何質疑就只是像跳針的唱片那樣,一再重複他偏執的論點。(或許是因為「謊言說了一百遍就是真理?」)從現場聽眾的組成看來,我很難想像張先生能夠成功讓任何人支持他的說法,甚至有好幾次,在他大張撻伐時,我都看見聽眾們強忍住笑、直翻白眼,或者難以置信地搖頭。我必須正襟危坐,畢竟我正在參加研討會,而且就坐在他旁邊;但我還是忍不住翻了好幾次白眼。我的感覺還真像是坐上時光機重回中古黑暗時代那樣。

他們越是努力走出教會的孤島,向世人展現自己的本色,收到的效果就越惡劣;而我們距離台灣及世界各地最終立法准許同性婚姻,也就更近了一步。

* * *

我們就不提張先生了,以下是我在規定的20分鐘時段的發言,講題是「台灣的同性婚姻:促進發展,現代化與提升國際能見度」。

不論反對同性婚姻的一方怎麼說,同性戀既不是疾病,也不是後天選擇或經由環境接觸而「習得」的。同性戀存在的關鍵在於生物學。以下是我個人的實例:家母是在魁北克市南邊虔誠信奉天主教的聖路基村(St. Ludger)長大的(該市周邊的大多數村鎮也都以主保聖人命名),那時正是將一整套嚴格的羅馬天主教體系施加在社會各層面的杜普利西(Maurice Le Noblet Duplessis, 1890-1959)政權下台後不久。從很小的時候開始(她現在60幾歲了),全世界都告訴她同性戀是「壞的」、「不道德的」,而且是一種病。就我所知,她長大的時候身邊並沒有同性戀,就算有,也沒人敢「出櫃」。

那麼,她又是怎麼被「逮到」或者「學會」成為同性戀的?這兩個詞都是恐同人士很常用的。她又是怎麼從很小的時候就知道自己喜歡女生的?為什麼和一個終身虔誠信教,還得到神學士學位的好男人(家父)長達16年的一夫一妻婚姻無法「治療」她,改變她的性向?答案就在生物學。同性戀是自然發生的現象,無論我們接受與否,我們都是自然與演化的產物。我們不可能置身於演化之外,這又是教會常用的另一套說詞,尤其是創造論者和「智能設計論」提倡者。

沒有任何一點證據足以證明台灣一旦立法准許同性婚姻,據說就會遭逢的那一切危害(愛滋病及其他性病、淫亂、人獸交、亂倫、社會認同混淆等等)。當然,除非這樣的信念是近似於美國牧師布雷(Michael Bray)的,且讓我從道金斯(Richard Dawkins)《上帝的迷思》一書(頁270)引述布雷的說法:「當神決定降下天災打擊一個窩藏罪人的城鎮,無辜的公民就有遭受附帶損害(Collateral damage)的風險。」

同性婚姻問題產生的唯一不穩定因素,正是來自於反對者:如同俄羅斯、烏干達那樣的仇恨宣傳戰,謊言,宗教極端主義,諸如此類;或者也來自於對事實真相產生負面反應的人(仇恨、恐嚇、家庭破裂等等)。

當然會有人用「如果論」質疑我的說法:「要是同性婚姻在你父母那一代就已經合法,你媽媽就會嫁給另一個女人,你爸爸也會跟別人結婚,那你就不可能出生了。」這是當然的。儘管我很樂意覺得自己很特別,做為一個記者也能對社會做出正向的貢獻,但我既非不可取代,也不是為了甚麼目的而生的。我爸爸要是和別的女人生下了孩子,他長大了說不定會發現治療癌症的藥呢。(反過來說,也有可能成為希特勒再世,但是反同性婚姻聯盟的某些成員似乎不太介意這點。)

你媽媽要是和別的女人結婚,就生不出小孩了。錯。代理孕母、試管嬰兒和收養都是選項,至於最後一個選項,被同性結婚的雙親收養看來會比在傳統家庭遭受虐待,或是在孤兒院長大更勝一籌。我從來就不信同性戀家庭長大的小孩會搞不清楚自己是誰或性向如何這種鬼話。

反對同性婚姻的一方提出的主張純粹是基於道德論的(「真愛」相對於「不完全的愛」),它必須有憑有據,卻又無從證明。它又是依據聖經的斷言,以及人只能透過聖經學習道德觀的信念做出的論斷。那麼,不相信基督教的幾十億人口又要怎麼說?難道他們都不道德,或是超越道德嗎?當然不對,有足夠的證據說明道德的發展是獨立於宗教聖典之外的,甚至常常與宗教信念相悖。

他們的說法是這樣:同性婚姻不道德,因為聖經說它不道德;透過人造的法律將它合法化就會摧毀道德,讓同性戀在世間傳染,最終天下大亂。按照這個邏輯,一個將殺人合法化的國家很快就會淪為隨處屠殺的修羅場;而這種狀況之所以沒發生,是因為我們內在的道德感。我們都知道殺人是錯誤的,不需要(人造的或神訂定的)法律來告訴我們這點。同性婚姻也是如此:同性婚姻合法化並不會增加同性戀行為,因為異性戀都知道自己是異性戀,沒有同性戀傾向。

反之,同性婚姻合法化更有助於社會穩定,因為它創造了維持穩定關係的動機。

還有「低生育率」論調:台灣目前已是全球生育率最低的國家,立法允許同性婚姻只會讓這個問題惡化。這是邏輯謬誤。無論法律是否允許同性婚姻,同性戀伴侶仍然會存在,除非透過代理孕母或試管嬰兒,也還是不會生下自己的小孩;而台灣的一夫一妻配偶也不會比現在多生或少生孩子。然而同性婚姻合法化反而能夠培養成功的收養與教養所不可或缺的穩定環境。

加拿大從十年前開始立法允許同性婚姻。但從來沒有任何經驗證據能證明同性婚姻合法化破壞社會穩定。加拿大從那時到現在一直都是全世界政治和社會最穩定的國家之一。

台灣可以開風氣之先,成為東亞第一個立法允許同性婚姻的國家。這是向中國以外的國際社會發出的強有力訊息。台灣社會大多數民意若非贊成同性婚姻(將近53%)就是事不關己(15-20%),這表示社會上並沒有大多數人的反對。

正如我在上個月發出的一系列報導所揭露的(註2),反對同性婚姻的組織及動員幾乎完全是基督教領軍的,他們不只在政府內部有強大影響力,同時運用著國外進口的說詞。我至今還沒看到過任何一套台灣在地原生的反對同性婚姻論述。(弔詭的是,反方卻宣稱同性婚姻這個概念本身就是西洋舶來品。)

同性婚姻不只是人權問題;它同時也是理性、邏輯,以及啟蒙思想對抗蒙昧愚民策略的課題。將同性戀正常化並推動平權,就能教導下一代接納和包容的價值,這恐怕才是一個社會追求進步最重要的方法,也是宗教團體和張先生這樣的人士理應提倡而非壓制的。


==
註1:J. Michael Cole, "The Perpetrator as Victim" (2013/12/18) http://fareasternpotato.blogspot.tw/2013/12/the-perpetrator-as-victim.html
註2:例如J. Michael Cole, "The Extremist Christian Infiltration of Taiwan" (2013/12/21)
http://fareasternpotato.blogspot.tw/2013/12/the-extremist-christian-infiltration-of.html

中譯:William Tsai

報導原文:"Same-sex marriage in Taiwan: A case for progress, modernity, and putting Taiwan on the map"
http://fareasternpotato.blogspot.tw/2014/01/same-sex-marriage-in-taiwan-case-for.html

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Strange Case of the KMT’s Hung Hsiu-chu

The KMT is in a process of adjustment before the 2016 elections, but it seems to be moving in the wrong direction 

There is something very bizarre going on at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nowadays. Shaken by last year’s Sunflower Movement, a catastrophic showing in the November 29 nine-in-one elections and the removal of President Ma Ying-jeou as party chairman, there was every indication that the KMT would do the “rational” thing and move closer to the center so as to better align itself with the wishes of the electorate ahead of next January’s presidential and legislative elections. Instead, thanks to poor leadership by Chairman Eric Chu, Hung Hsiu-chu has emerged from left field as the prospective presidential candidate, and her platform, rather than seeking to reassure voters, reads as if it has been drafted in Beijing. 

With the more moderate members of the KMT seemingly standing by, Hung has forged ahead with a radical pro-Beijing policy that has much in common with the pro-unification New Party. In fact, a new term — the “New Party-ization of the KMT” — was recently coined to describe what has been going on at the KMT. Hung, who was vitriolic in her opposition to the Sunflower Movement’s occupation of the Legislative Yuan, has also complained that controversial changes to school curricula, which present more China-centric material, are not going far enough. 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

中國正在劫奪陳納德的遺產嗎?

89歲高齡的前飛虎隊員J.V. "Jay" Vinyard,和第二次世界大戰期間領導這支傳奇飛行隊的陳納德將軍(Gen . Claire Chennault)外孫女Nell Calloway都在開懷大笑著。同一張沙發上,坐在他們身邊的則是一個出人意表的人物:那個全副軍裝,正在饒有興味地端詳一張照片的人,是中華人民共和國國防部長梁光烈將軍。

梁光烈在多位中國人民解放軍將領陪同之下,這個月初來到維吉尼亞州的阿靈頓(Arlington, Virginia)會晤飛虎隊員後人,但他們其實不該出現在這個場合,陳納德若是地下有知,對他們的到來也會怒髮衝冠。這是因為梁光烈等人所代表的,正是陳納德對抗了一輩子的那個政權。1958年7月去世的陳納德,畢生都是個堅定不移的反共人士。

梁光烈在這次會面中表示,中美兩國人民有著長遠的友誼,同時列舉了二戰期間飛虎隊和中國人攜手抵抗日本人的一連串戰役。他說,中國人民永遠不會忘記這些功績。

陳納德確實曾經和中國人並肩作戰,但他的戰友是蔣介石領導的國民黨,而不是今天統治著中國的毛澤東傳人。隨著蔣介石的軍隊慘敗於中國共產黨之手,殘兵敗將逃到了台灣海峽彼岸,作為陳納德盟友的中國也就不復存在。從那時候起,陳納德就以當時盛行的摩尼教式二元對立思維看待台灣和中國,認為台灣是自由世界抵禦共產邪惡勢力的堡壘。要是陳納德今天仍然健在,無庸置疑,他必定會是最熱切支持台灣的人,他會盡一切力量確保台灣面對日益崛起、武力強大的中國仍有充分的自衛能力。

弔詭的是,陳納德的這個理念正是今天的某些中國和美國官員力圖抹殺的。不只透過梁光烈和飛虎隊員後人的會面,也透過他們在一座以這位備受爭議的飛行員為名的博物館之中扮演的角色。

陳納德一定會感到很荒謬,位於路易斯安那州,由他的外孫女Calloway擔任館長的陳納德航空軍事博物館,竟然收了涉嫌為中國人民解放軍從事間諜活動的華為科技公司提供的五萬美元作為擴建經費。同樣是這家公司,去年還為了博物館擴建事宜包辦了一場晚宴,並且現場抽獎贈送兩人同行中國七日遊。

就這樣,陳納德作為「自由中國之友」的名聲,正一點一點被令他深惡痛絕的另一個中國給挪用。陳納德博物館以及至今仍然健在的陳納德親人和戰友允許事態如此演變的後果,是不經意地讓北京得以劫奪陳納德的遺產,同時嘲弄他對台灣的堅定支持,這種事在他看來絕對是不可原諒的。(同樣耐人尋味的是,就在這個月稍後,親中促統的旺旺中時媒體集團旗下的中天電視台要派出一個製片團隊到路易斯安那州拍攝陳納德的紀錄片。)

就Calloway而言,她看來是真心誠意地相信外祖父也會認同自己的做法,她也同意接受本文的訪問。

「我的興趣只在於協助美國人民理解並感謝中國人民。」她在週三的一封電子郵件回信裡這麼說。

「我的外祖父在1937年來到中國。那時中國還沒有成為共產國家。他所看到的只是中國人民遭受的壓迫與苦難,因此他留了下來。大多數美國人都不知道日本人當時對中國人做了什麼。」她說:「我跟別人說日本人殺了2500萬到5000萬中國人,他們總是感到驚訝。」

Calloway說,中日戰爭在人們印象中是場被遺忘的戰爭,她接著說,她一直費盡心力要讓人們不只記得美國人的犧牲,也要記得中國人的犧牲。

「陳納德將軍支持的是中國人民。他甚至為戰火中失去雙親的孩子們辦了一間孤兒院。」她寫道。

關於她和梁光烈的會面,Calloway則強調推動雙方交流的重要性。

「上週的會面對我而言很重要,因為我覺得,我們如果能在強化兩國人民關係這方面開展雙方的交流,我們就能創造一個更好的世界。」她說。她也提到自己已經受邀去過中國好幾次,包括2010年和美國前總統卡特(Jimmy Carter)一起到浙江省的飛虎隊紀念館,為外祖父的雕像揭幕。

「中國人似乎非常感念飛虎隊為了他們國家的付出。北京有一座陳納德將軍的銅像,我媽媽曾經和它合照。我們和桂林的一座博物館『飛虎隊遺址公園』也是合作夥伴,陳納德將軍在戰爭期間曾經使用過的山洞指揮所就在那裡。」她說。

話題轉到台灣,Calloway說自己還沒去過台灣,但一直都想去。

「若能受邀和馬英九總統見面,將是我的榮幸。」她說:「我知道我的外祖父和其中一位叔叔戰後在那兒有一個家。我也聽說台灣有一座陳納德將軍的銅像,很想去看看。」

「我不是政治人物。我不需要認同他人的政治觀點,別人也不必認同我的,但至少我們都能理解歷史。」Calloway說。

然而,這起事件所涉及的其他人卻是與政治相關,並且有可能造成嚴重危害的。去年8月19日的那場盛宴上,華為高級副總裁丁耘(Charles Ding)身邊還站了另一位貴賓,那是美國海軍退役上將,曾任美軍參謀首長聯席會議副主席的歐偉廉(William Owens),自2006年起出任安盈控股公司(AEA Investors)駐香港首席執行官。安盈控股公司又是誰的合作夥伴?你猜對了,就是華為。(Calloway否認華為公司與解放軍有關。)

在歐偉廉等人近年來積極推動的美中兩國第二軌道外交「三亞倡議」(Sanya Initiative)之下,歐偉廉強烈鼓吹美國縮減對台軍售。三亞倡議的美方代表團成員,還包括曾任美國空軍參謀長的退役上將Ronald Fogleman、曾任美國陸軍副參謀長的退役上將John Keane,以及曾任美軍南方司令部司令的海軍陸戰隊退役上將Charles Wilhelm等人。

在2009年11月《金融時報》的一篇對頁評論中,歐偉廉將美國承諾確保台灣面對中國具有自衛能力的「台灣關係法」指為陳舊過時,對北京與華盛頓增進雙邊關係有百害而無一益。除此之外,三亞倡議會談更全力推動美國逐步終止對台軍售,以及中國解放軍同步減少第二砲兵部隊瞄準台灣的飛彈數量,但已經有些國防專家表示這種主張幼稚無知地不堪設想。

陳納德並不是最近幾年來唯一一個名譽在中國獲得恢復的反共歷史人物。他在二戰期間的老戰友1949年帶著潰敗的國民黨軍隊退守台灣,此後數十年來始終被中國共產黨醜化為雙手沾滿人民鮮血的暴君,如今也改頭換面成了一位被誤導的領袖,雖有缺點但功過參半。為了符合一整套以強化「一個中國」概念為終極目標的歷史敘事,作為毛澤東死敵的蔣介石被重新塑造出另一種形象。

一個接著一個,讓「兩個中國」或「一中一台」概念產生可信度的歷史巨人們,都在「統一戰線」修正主義的畫筆之下遭到塗抹刪改。悲哀的是,那些理當更瞭解狀況的人卻掉進了北京的圈套,結果不但無法真實呈現歷史,更有進一步戕害台灣作為一個自由、民主社會的存續空間之虞,而台灣有別於中國的獨特性理應受到珍重,而不是被看成美中加強雙邊關係的絆腳石。

而在同一時間,台灣的陳納德銅像終於在花蓮空軍基地的紀念館裡找到了容身之處。2006年8月出席儀式為銅像揭幕的其中一位台灣官員,如今正派駐在華盛頓,為了台灣向美國購買自衛所需的戰鬥機而奔走努力。這樣的努力必定也是陳納德所樂見的。

中譯:William Tsai
Original article: "Is the PRC hijacking Chennault's legacy?" (J. Michael Cole, Taipei Times, May 19, 2012)
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2012/05/19/2003533172

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Political Assassins Have Drawn their Knives

As long as hacks who have long been proven to be liars and fabricators are given a platform in the media, they will continue to undermine our democracy 

Oh my. It’s only June and already the talking head madness has already begun. If the past week is any indication, we’re in for an excruciating next seven months, during which triteness, outright lies, and accusations will hijack rational discussion and analysis of the upcoming presidential election. 

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which is in a bit of a bind nowadays, has already unleashed its critters. The usual suspects, individuals who have turned crass political attacks into an art form, are out. Tune in to any Taiwanese TV channel nowadays and you’re likely to come upon reports on Alex Tsai’s (蔡正元), Chiu Yi’s (邱毅), or other KMT legislators’ latest libelous attacks against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). I will not dignify the mud that comes out of these hacks’ mouths by reprinting it here. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.