Every now and then I receive messages from people who accuse me of being pro-KMT, pro-China, anti-Taiwan etc. etc. Well, I admit that I’m not a China-hater or KMT-hater, and that repeating over and over again that China and everything related to it is bad is not the purpose of my blog, and I wish – as a reader of blogs and newspapers myself – that the attitude of demonising others were less widespread.
I have explained in another post that I think the media coverage of China is often extremely biased; it is either ideologically pro-China or ideologically anti-China. During my academic career I have learnt one important thing: when you write about something, distance yourself and try to be balanced. Being balanced doesn’t mean you can’t interpret things from your own perspective, but you must try to take into account all possible perspectives.
I therefore made clear that I think both pan-Chinese nationalism and Taiwanese nationalism are as legitimate as any other political ideal.
However, in this post I would like to explain my own personal opinion about the Taiwan issue, so as to do away with all misunderstandings.
First of all, I condemn the fact that the People’s Republic of China has not renounced the use of force to bring about unification. I never support the use of force, except when force is used for the defence of invaded sovereign states. From this perspective, I condemned the Iraq war of the Bush administration, the wars of Putin, and every war that did not have self-defence purposes, no matter which country was the attacker.
Second, it is a fact that the Republic of China on Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China on the mainland have been two entirely separate states for 65 years.
At this historical juncture, I think the most humane thing to do would be to hold a referendum in Taiwan, so that the people of Taiwan themselves can decide if they want to maintain the current Republic of China or if they want to found a new state called “Republic of Taiwan”. Like Singapore, which has a majority of Han-Chinese but is an independent state, Taiwan could be an independent state and certainly the universe would not implode and the PRC nationals would have no practical damage whatsoever. If the PRC were not threatening the ROC, I think such a referendum might have been held long ago.
Nevertheless, my personal opinion will not prevent me from trying to understand the point of view of pan-Chinese nationalism. There are reasons why mainland Chinese and why the KMT see Taiwan as part of China. I believe a referendum is the most humane politcal way to solve the Taiwan issue and uphold the cause of world peace. But I also think that every point of view needs to be understood, analysed, and taken seriously. I hope the people who sent me those angry messages will understand that I am not willing to turn my own blog into a propaganda machine for either side.