Friday, February 24, 2012

Striving for a ‘united front’

Political differences will always remain, but shared values is a bond that can help people of various persuasions work toward a common goal

Thousands of years of Chinese history have taught us that one of the preferred strategies adopted by Chinese leaders is to divide their opponents to weaken resistance and conquer them when a large enough opening has been created.

The one country that is most threatened by Chinese expansionism — Taiwan — should be acutely aware of the grave risks that division poses to its future, and that consequently its people should do everything they can to maintain unity.

However, it is clear that unity is exactly what has long been lacking in Taiwan’s boisterous political environment. A deep ideological split between the pan-green and pan-blue camps makes a lasting consensus all but impossible.

Ironically, consensus was on everyone’s mind during the presidential elections last month, as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) promoted the so-called “1992 consensus,” while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) proposed an alternative, if somewhat ill-defined, “Taiwan consensus.”

After Tsai’s loss on Jan. 14, many on the pan-green side saw the outcome as proof that the pan-blue camp had rejected Tsai’s call for unity and seemed to validate the claim that the KMT was on a ruthless quest — echoes of its authoritarian past, perhaps — to undermine Taiwan’s democratic way of life.

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

No comments: