Hallmark Card

Andrei Marks · April 5, 2008

Editorial from the Southern Weekend, March 27th, 2008. About the recent election in Taiwan. I think the PRC might be a little excited about it. Written by one Shi Zhe.

Great Firewall cuts off international Google searches for Taiwan’s 民进党 (Democratic Progressive Party). Other search engines are okay. Search for 龙应台 produces the same effect, though not in English.

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Well Wishes for the Taiwanese, Well Wishes for All Chinese

On that night, Taiwan’s 36,000 square kilometers and 23 million people welcomed a new turn of history’s wheel.

Some were uplifted to the heavens, some were thrown into the abyss, but together 23 million hearts beat rhythmically in unison. Wild with joy and mournful, excited and distressed…there was still that swath of blue, that swath of green, still the clear distinction of rival camps. But this time, after the curtain went down, no more harsh words were exchanged, there were hardly any collisions on the streets, none of the usual backthrusts of politicians, and even the most nervous characters of this drama felt a little “disappointment”.

Well, let the politicians be disappointed. After having been through the disillusionment of dreams, strenuous struggles, eight years of expectations, this is undoubtedly the best consolation and gift for the majority of Taiwan’s people.

In these eight years, the intrigues of politicians have torn apart popular sentiment, and have broken the goodness at the bottom of people’s hearts. Now “goodbyes” can be said and there don’t even need to be any more reasons given. Despicable politicians haven’t answered the hopes and longings of this land. Perhaps the Taiwanese could accept the end of an economic boom and a faltering economy. The DPP government has blamed a “Guomindang inheritance”, has blamed “mainland pressure”, has blamed “globalization”, but they haven’t been thoroughly self-critical. The Taiwanese could even accept for a time the the DPP’s corruption and lack of scruples. After all, in a Taiwan where corruption was in vogue and a legal system was still being constructed, the enticements of power were great, and for a political party that never considered “pastries falling from the sky” it was even more so the case. But they were not able to endure the politicians wantonly trying their patience and taking advantage of their leniency. They were not able to endure the shamelessness of those political characters, their irresponsible remarks, the damning of fathers and mothers that left teachers unable to instruct their students, and parents unable to raise their children. So Long Yingtai can shout from her heart, entreating “give Taiwan a politician!”

But perhaps all of this will no longer be a part of Taiwan’s stupor, because Taiwan can itself take hold of its own fate, and can use its own wisdom and bravery to win a possible future for itself.

Casting aside ethnic divides, casting aside political machinations, and casting aside corruption, the Taiwanese masses have chosen economic development, have chosen the people’s happiness, and have thrown in their votes in favor of a path of redemption. Wu Boxiong, the Guomindang Chairman, once emotionally said, “After 20 or 30 years, everyone will be able to say to their grandchildren with pride, in 2008 Taiwan was saved, and I was a part of it.”

In fact, they’ve not only saved their own future, but perhaps that of the entire Chinese race. Without any coercion, and with full awareness they expressed their own desires for peace. And although for the time being, they cannot identify with the mainland’s appeal for “unification”, they have shown that they don’t war, and they desire to develop with the mainland, together. This, I believe the Chinese on this side of the strait will be able to understand.

Actually, the majority of us understand that Taiwan’s economic prosperity is inseparable from the larger environment of mainland development; and the continuation of the Chinese mainland’s progress and rise is also inseparable from a united, stable, and prosperous Taiwan. After facing off for 13 years, the two shores may be able to throw off the vexations of the “virtual” agenda of Taiwanese independence. And though in the short term it is not certain that there will be any substantive developments, an ice-breaking glimmer of hope has already come about. At a journalists reception on May 23rd, Ma Yingjiu announced a series of mainland policies, like opening the airline industry by degrees, opening up to visiting tourists from the mainland, restarting the functions of sea-based and maritime organizations, and even welcoming pandas to Taiwan, etc., that made the future clear. On Monday, the mainland’s Three Prongs Concept was received as a bright ray of sunlight, and Taiwan’s 200 plus stocks rose after opening, which is yet another hint of the future.

The Taiwanese masses deserve to be proud of themselves. They have paid a great price, having spontaneously developed a modern democracy from a Chinese political culture devoid of a democratic tradition. Although even after the initial indecision and indecisiveness Taiwanese democracy was faulty, now in the second rotation of political parties the Taiwanese masses have shown proof of rationality. They are now growing into reasonable “public citizens”. After this, Taiwan’s internal political environment will be one that Chinese society has never seen before in history.

But more importantly, the “Two Shores Three Lands” Chinese’s current development of democracy is the arrival at a high point of one of humanity’s common values. At the CCP’s 17th People’s Congress, the mainland put forward that the “development of socialist democratic politics is our party’s steadfast target of struggle”, moreover the people’s democracy is seen as “the vitality of Socialism”. This clearly shows how the Communist Party cherishes democracy, and how it is determined to develop democratic politics. And in Hong Kong, the realization of this has already entered the timetable with direct elections to be held in 2017.

Sun Zhongshan once said, “Democratic politics is vast and mighty force, those who go with it will flourish, and those who go against it will perish.” The Chinese race, despite having been through many errors of fate, will finally stand at the crest of history, and what good fortune this is.

So we wish luck to the Taiwanese people, and wish luck to all Chinese!


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Might just be some good old fashioned turn of the century American political correctness, but the race angle creeps me out.

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