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This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-10-8 15:48|
The seminal incident that made many native Taiwanese dislike the Mainland was the so called 228 incident of February 28, 1947, when a general of the then ROC based in Nanking sent to govern Taiwan requested and got thousands of troops shipped from the Mainland to Taiwan to put down what he called an "insurrection". Like most militarist thinkers, whose only tool is physical force, he wanted to put down the unrest caused by his own callous policies towards the Taiwanese by brute force. The root of the problem was his prior inept application of the cigarette tax on an old lady trying to eke out a living selling cigarettes that did not have any stamp (tax) pasted on them, resulting in the neighbors coming out to defend the woman from being manhandled, their being attacked by the local police, and the local police station being attacked in turn by a mob. When this erupted, the communist party in China actually sympathized with the Taiwanese, declaring this incident as another instance of fascist brutality of the KMT then headed by Chiang in Nanking. This is why many of the "insurrectionists" in Taiwan joined the CCP, including an ex-KMT chairman later booted out of his own party for advocating separation from China in violation of the charter of his own party and of the constitution he was sworn to defend.
There are many fundamental differences between the 228 Incident and the current situation across the strait.
1st of all, the general who ordered the brutal suppression of the local Taiwanese belonged to a different party than the CCP. In fact, he belonged to the KMT.
2nd, this general, who was later executed by orders of Chiang himself, belonged to a different government, the ROC, now governing Taiwan, rather than the PRC, now governing the Mainland, although both claim to represent the same One China.
3rd, the KMT in 1947 governed Taiwan without any electoral input by the local Taiwanese, while the present KMT under Ma was elected overwhelmingly by democratic elections in Taiwan to both the Presidency and an absolute majority in the Parliament.
4th, the CCP in 1947 backed the Taiwanese against the KMT-controlled ROC government which it was trying to defeat on the Mainland at that time. There was no fundamental enmity between the CCP or the PRC and the Taiwanese historically. In fact, there is abundant evidence of collaboration, support and sympathy. It was only in 1949 that the CCP succeeded in taking over the Mainland, establishing the PRC. Until then, and even afterwards, the Taiwanese resistance and the PRC were in sync with each other, which explains why when Chiang tried to suppress the Taiwanese resistance, he invariably labeled all of them as communists, in order to gain Western support. Most of these Taiwanese resisters were not communist at all. But, quite a number of them are loyalists of the Japanese empire, as the world would later find out, when one of them became the President of the ROC in Taiwan, and nearly succeeded in making Taiwan a separate country, not out of love of the non-Japanophilic Taiwanese, but in spite of them.
5th, both the Taiwanese and the Mainlanders who survived the authoritarian rule of the Chiang regime were dissidents, until Chiang Chingkuo in Taiwan liberalized the rules in 1980 and the CCP in China won the civil war in 1949. Now, the Chiang regime is gone for good. All that is left are its orphans grown up as adults. Taiwan is doing very well as an economic powerhouse long before the Mainland began to catch up in the 1990's. The Mainland is now more than ten times more economically powerful than Taiwan and is Taiwan's major export market. The KMT has changed, so has the CCP. Taiwan has changed, so has the Mainland. Comparing the Mainland government in 2013 with the Mainland government of 1947 stretches credulity, especially when the Mainland is headed by a Fifth Generation of leaders who were born after the winding down of the Chinese Civil War.
6th, if China fails, Taiwan will suffer immensely, not just economically which is a given, but also territorially, as Japan will surely make a return to claim its ex-colony, step by step, by first making it its protectorate (as it did to Korea in 1895), or as it is making Diaoyudao today (in the name of "administering" it without valid soveriegnty, which is simply colonialism by a different name).
7th. THEREFORE, IF NOT NOW, WHEN SHOULD THE TWO SIDES OF THE STRAIT BE UNITED AGAIN AS ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION, ONE COUNTRY, SHARING AS ALWAYS, ONE LANGUAGE, ONE HISTORY, AND ONE FUTURE? CAN THERE BE ANY TWO POLITICAL ENTITIES MORE ALIKE, MORE BONDED TO EACH OTHER, AS TAIWAN AND THE MAINLAND CHINA, TO MERIT UNIFICATION?
8th, LASTLY, IF NOT XI AND MA, WHO COULD UNITE TAIWAN AND THE MAINLAND AS ONE CHINA AGAIN? XI AND MA HAVE SURNAMES THAT BELONG TO MINORITIES. YET THEY ARE BOTH HEADS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS. BOTH ARE BORN AFTER THE CIVIL WAR ENDED IN 1949. BOTH HAVE THE EXTREME BURDEN OF RESPONSIBILITY TO SET A STRAIGHT PATH FOR THEIR CONSTITUENCIES, TO NEVER AGAIN BE AT WAR WITH EACH OTHER, AND FOREVER BE AT PEACE AS BROTHERS IN ONE AND THE SAME FAMILY.