Taiwan’s neurosis

Taiwan’s neurosis

Double Tenth National Day of the Republic of China on Taiwan turned out to be a truly gloomy day for President Tsai Ing-wen and her new Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)government, chief cabinet minister Lin Chuan as well as DPP’s fanatical Taiwan independence honcho 93-year-old Gu Kuan-min who sat through the entire ceremony with a glum face and crossed arms.   He is one of the chief advocates for immediate Taiwan independence and he does not recognize the “Republic of China” as “legitimate”.

Taiwanese political TV talk shows all commented on the gloomy atmosphere of the day of  “celebration”, the disrespectfulness of Lin Chuan for not singing the national anthem and the utter disrespectfulness of the fanatical Taiwan independence honcho Gu Kuan-min for not even bothering to stand up throughout the entire ceremony to sing the national anthem and to pay tribute to the national flag of the “Republic of China”.  The talking heads also said that Double Tenth National Day is a day of distress for President Tsai Ing-wen, members of the DPP, and supporters of Taiwan independence.  It is a day they now have to celebrate against their inner sentiment of hatred towards and denial of the “Republic of China”.

Their neurosis has been clearly shown on Double Tenth, 2016, the first national day celebration of newly elected President Tsai Ing-wen who drafted the “two nations theory” for former president Lee Teng-hui.

In the southern port city of Kaohsiung, no national flags were seen.  There was an air of dismissal while President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her national day address of empty words.  Her speech repeated everything she said on inauguration day, May 20, 2016, adding only the “new four no’s and one without”, i.e., “no change in promise, no change in good will, not yielding to pressure, not returning to the old path of confrontation, and without accepting or recognizing the ‘1992 consensus'”.

In Taipei, in front of the Dr. Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall, a row of national flags stood tall, people gathered, marching bands played and veterans marched.  There was an air of nostalgia.

Neurosis of President Tsai Ing-wen and her new government about their national identification is poignant and gloomy.   As the television talking heads said, Double Tenth Day 2016 was a day of distress and agony for President Tsai Ing-wen and her new government.

One Taiwanese commentator wrote at length about all of this.  The commentator noted that in President Tsai Ing-wen’s Double Tenth Day (October 10, 2016) speech, she mentioned the “Republic of China” three times, “This nation” (alternately “This country”) 9 times, and “Taiwan” 19 times.  This is a subtle indication that President Tsai Ing-wen does not identify with the “Republic of China” and is reluctant to say the words “Republic of China”, therefore she uses the pronoun “This nation” (“This country”) as a psychological substitute, while identifying with “Taiwan”.  Uttering the words “Republic of China” seemed to have been very difficult for her.  The commentator noted that President Tsai Ing-wen called on the Chinese Communist regime to “face the fact that the Republic of China exists” and that perhaps it is also a call upon the Taiwan independence fanatics within the Democratic Progressive Party to “recognize” her as “president of the Republic of China”.  President Tsai Ing-wen is obviously not satisfied with the national name nor the current constitutional system based on a 1947 “constitution of the Republic of China”, but she wants to “maintain the status quo”, so she uses “This nation” or “This country” as a pronoun, a psychological substitute.

In the southern port city of Kaohsiung, one sees and feels the atmosphere of dismissal and hostility towards and rejection of the “Republic of China” and its symbol, the national flag.  On Katagalan Avenue in Taipei, one hears only the empty words of President Tsai Ing-wen’s “heartless” address.

Taipei’s politically independent mayor Ko Wen-je said in 2013 when he was invited by the Taiwan Justice Society to speak:  “This country has gone crazy.  What should the people do?”

Taiwan’s political “madness” and political “chaos” all stem from its “chaos of self identification”!

President Tsai Ing-wen herself is in conflict as to Taiwan’s identity and her own psychological conflict about national identification.  What should the people under her leadership do?  Northern Taiwan and southern Taiwan hold strongly separate sentiments towards the “Republic of China”.  In Taipei, people embrace it.  In southern Taiwan, most people do not celebrate it nor necessarily embrace it.

“What country is this country?” asked another commentator on October 11, 2016.  “Has Tsai Ing-wen thought it through?”  “She must not have thought it through.”  “Tsai Ing-wen has obviously not learned how to extend her hand in peace towards her political enemy (the former president Ma Ying-jeou)”, how is she expected to deal with the belligerent Chinese Communist mainland regime?  “The status quo is eroding away”, this commentator noted.

On May 20, 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen said in her inaugural speech:  “A country will not become great because of its leader.  A country will become great only by the struggle of all its citizens.”  In her 2016 Double Tenth National Day address, she said:  “This country will become great because of reform.”  Yet, reforms that are carried out without conforming to the constitution and the law will create (have already created) social and political division and confrontation.   They will make it impossible for “this country to become great”.

What President Tsai Ing-wen should think clearly about is not only “what country should ‘this country’ be” but she must also think clearly “what does the constitution of the Republic of China actually mean to her?”  “What is the meaning of ‘this country’ to her?”  “In what direction does she want to lead ‘this country’?”  “Is her definition really what the greatest majority of the people wants?”  With such a gloomy Double Tenth National Day, President Tsai Ing-wen must think clearly what “this country” of hers is!

Taiwan, as President Tsai Ing-wen calls “this country”, is seeking its own name, its own geopolitical position, and its own future.


About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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