Friday, June 01, 2012

The stigma that never goes away

Su Tseng-chang takes the helm at the DPP on Wednesday
Taiwanese politicians — and now warheads — are ‘anti China,’ part of a linguistic bias that seeks to negate Taiwan as a legitimate entity in itself 

Taiwan probably has the distinction of being the global leader on the frequency by which it is referred to as being “anti-” something, an underlying bias among journalists and academics that is as unfair to its peaceful constituents as it is to reality. 

For years, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which played an instrumental role in the democratization of the country and which is founded on the principle of self-determination, has been plagued by references, usually in foreign media, as an “anti-China” party. No matter what it does, the DPP is portrayed as a political entity that would will China out of existence if it could. 

In reality, throughout the years and under various leaders, the party has shown itself amenable to exchanges with China and has engaged in dialogue with Chinese officials on a number of occasions, in both above-board and behind-the-scenes settings. Even under former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), whom Beijing reviled as an “extremist” bent on “splitting the motherland,” the DPP made several attempts, especially during its first term, to foster closer relations, so much so that the economic interrelationship in the Taiwan Strait changed dramatically during that period, developments that simply could not have happened had Chen and the DPP been “anti-China.” 

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

1 comment:

Michael Fagan said...

"For years, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)... has been plagued by references, usually in foreign media, as an “anti-China” party."

Usually in left-wing biased foreign media, which, on certain issues at least, is most of them. The "leftist" bent of the DPP is intriguing given that Taiwan, with its relatively successful market economy and long-term "relationship" with the U.S., is a cause which the star-journos on the Left are more likely to sell short than to support.

For their part, the DPP could focus on trying to make Taiwan less vulnerable to a CCP takeover by focusing on free-market reforms that would remove the State from its "core" areas of power - education being the obvious place to start. A move like that could be dressed up - in perfect honesty - as a "domestic" policy move, but so long as the DPP remains bent leftwards, it's impossible. And that is the real indictment of the DPP, not the "anti-China" nonsense uttered by the utter stools working for the likes of AFP.