Reunification in Sun Yat-sen’s name, Hu Jintao says, but Taiwan wants democracy
by Wang Zhicheng
China’s president claims the Communist Party is Sun Yat-sen’s faithful successor. However, in Taiwan scholars note that the mainland has not yet implemented one of Sun’s ideal, democracy. Taiwan’s president says the Republic of China is a reality of the present, not the past.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – Beijing and Taipei are involved in a war of symbols over the centennial of the 1911 revolution that saw the end of the Qing Empire and the rise of Asia’s first democracy, the Republic of China.
In a ceremony held in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party's Central Committee, as well as former party secretary Jiang Zemin listened to Chinese President Hu Jintao who praised Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the 1911 or Xinhai Revolution (named after the year in the Chinese calendar), as a “great patriot”. Hu also called on the mainland and Taiwan to achieve “reunification by peaceful means,” which “best serves the fundamental interests of all Chinese, including our Taiwan compatriots”.
In 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek fled the mainland, Taiwan became the home of the Republic of China, claiming to be the continuation of the state founded by Sun Yat-sen.
However, for the People’s Republic of China (PRC), founded by Mao Zedong that same year, Taiwan is a rebel province that must be reunited with the fatherland by force, if necessary.
In the past few years, Taiwan has developed closer ties with the mainland under President Ma Yingjeou, including trade, shipping, air transportation and tourism. In fact, the PRC has become the island’s main trading partner. However, opposition parties have accused Ma of selling out Taiwan to China.
In celebrating the centennial of the revolution, which is also Taiwan’s national day, President Ma tried to take another approach. He insisted that the mainland Beijing mainland to increase freedom and democracy in the mainland.
For his part, President Hu said in his address that the Chinese Communist Party is Sun’s “most faithful successor”. The latter’s political action was based on three principles: nationalism (minzu zhuyi), democracy (minquan zhuyi) and the welfare of the people (minsheng zhuyi).
For Kao Huei, professor at the National Quemoy University, mainland China has up to now pursued the “welfare of the people” but now it must start down the path towards democracy if it wants to put into practice all of Sun Yat-sen’s principles.
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