Following an island-wide mobilization, Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and other secessionist groups managed to organize a massive protest against the newly-passed Anti-Secession Law in Taipei on Saturday. The size of the rally does not, however, make the event a rational move. Instead, it further exposes the secessionist forces' attempt to misuse people power to pursue their secessionist agenda.
Although organizers billed the march as a carnival for peace, the event turned out to be nothing but a political carnival for some politicians from the pan-green camp, formed by the pro-independence DPP and its close ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU). Leading DPP members, including "president" Chen Shui-bian, "vice-president" Annette Lu, "premier" Frank Hsieh and party chairman Su Tseng-chang, all participated in the protest in a high-profile way. Chen's predecessor Lee Teng-hui, spiritual leader of the radical TSU and a staunch supporter of "Taiwan independence," also joined the rally.
During the protest, the TSU drummed hard for Taiwan's secession from the motherland through "constitutional" change and by rectifying the island's name. The event was more about the promotion of secession than peace.
The absence of the pan-blue camp -- formed by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party -- from the protest, highlights the controversial nature of the rally. The opposition parties refused to participate in the demonstration because they see no need to take any irrational moves relating to the anti-secession bill. After all, as both KMT chairman Lien Chan and PFP chairman James Soong pointed out earlier, it was secessionist forces and their increasing secessionist activities that led to the necessity of the passage of the anti-secession law in the first place.
The bill, passed by the National People's Congress in a nearly unanimous vote on March 14, is entirely targeted at "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces and by no means at Taiwan compatriots.
Undoubtedly, the anti-secession law has dealt a heavy blow to secessionist forces by stipulating the employment of non-peaceful means as a last resort to stop Taiwan's secession from the motherland. The fear of the bill has prompted secessionist forces to hold the Taiwanese public hostage in their push for independence. That explains why they have been distorting the law, calling it "a war mobilization order" or "a law of aggression" to mislead the Taiwanese public and instigate hostility between people across the Taiwan Straits.
To embolden the secessionists, the ruling DPP administration used its executive resources to launch a full mobilization all over the island in a bid to muster as many people as possible for Saturday's march. Hsieh even encouraged government officials and employees to take part.
The secessionist forces' conspiracy to fool the public and fuel cross-Straits tension shows how necessary the anti-secession law is. Facts have shown again that "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces are the biggest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. Only by effectively opposing and checking their secessionist activities can peace and stability in the Straits be maintained.
As for Chen, his participation in the protest added to his record as a man of bad faith. Only one month ago, Chen solemnly pledged to develop cross-Straits relations during his meeting with PFP chairman James Soong. Unfortunately he has failed to honour his word.
Any plot to stir up public sentiments and provoke confrontation can only end up souring cross-Straits ties and damaging the fundamental well-being of Taiwan compatriots. If the Taiwan authorities really want to strive for cross-Straits peace and better bilateral ties, they should immediately stop promoting secession. This is a simple but effective way to promote common development and prosperity across the Taiwan Straits.
(China Daily March 28, 2005)