College students are China’s hope for democracy; Over 100,000 protest in Taiwan

Demonstrators holding sunflowers shout slogans in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei March 30, 2014 Credit: Reuters/Toby Chang

Demonstrators holding sunflowers shout slogans in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei March 30, 2014 Credit: Reuters/Toby Chang

We Chinese are proud of our college students. They are the driving force of Chinese history.

See how similar the Taiwan college students’ campaign to defend Taiwan’s democracy is to the Chinese college students’ campaign for democracy at Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. They are so disciplined and well-organised, strong but peaceful.

They are so wise as to clearly know what is at stake. The pact Taiwan students are opposing is in fact beneficial to Taiwan as China wants to use economic benefit to attract Taiwan to unify with it. However, the students know that Taiwan’s democracy may be at risk if Taiwan allows China to dominate it by economic baits.

Some people believe that the best way out for Taiwan is independence, but Taiwan can never be a lasting independent state separated from China because it is too small and located too close to China and too far away from the United States, who has promised to protect it when China tries to take Taiwan by force.

Now, Chinese leaders want a peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue. They will keep on providing Taiwan with economic benefit to establish economic ties between China and Taiwan so tightly that the two will become inseparable.

However, no one can guarantee that future Chinese leaders will not want a military solution especially if Taiwan declares independence while the US has become weaker than China, and unable to defend Taiwan.

The only way for Taiwan to defend its democracy is to set an example of how people are benefited by democracy and how peaceful, disciplined and well organised the struggle for democracy can be.

Unlike Ukraine, they do not resort to violence to drive away a democratically elected president, which began a crisis that caused Ukraine to lose a vital part of its territory.

Unlike the uneducated workers, peasants and wild Red Guards who were exploited by Mao’s great democracy to help Mao in his power struggle to seize power back from his political enemies, they refuse to be exploited by political parties.

Taiwan’s college students will set an example for the democratisation of China. The only hope for them to be sure that their democracy may survive is to help turn China into a democracy.

The following is the full text of Reuters report titled “Over 100,000 protest in Taiwan over China trade deal” on how college students succeeded in moving multitudes of people to support them:

Over 100,000 protest in Taiwan over China trade deal

More than 100,000 protesters took to the streets of Taiwan’s capital on Sunday as a two-week-long campaign against a trade pact with China gathered steam, piling further pressure on the island’s leader.

The rally in Taipei – where many were dressed in black and some clutched sunflowers to symbolise hope – was one of the largest in recent years in Taiwan, an island that split from China over six decades ago after a civil war.

Protesters say the deal to open 80 of China’s service sectors to Taiwan and 64 Taiwanese sectors to China was rushed through, and could leave Taiwan increasingly beholden to China’s Communist Party leaders.

Some called for the resignation of Taiwan’s China-friendly president Ma Ying-jeou, whose popularity has plunged despite helping to improve ties with China since taking office in 2008.

“We must safeguard our island’s interests,” said Chin Mei Ching, a 29-year-old mother who was pushing her one-year-old daughter in a buggy. “We have to guard against China using the economy to control us.”

A coalition of student and civil groups behind the demonstration said that around 500,000 people had massed in streets near the Presidential Palace and the parliament building that has been occupied by protesters for nearly a fortnight.

Police put the figure at 116,000.

Police erected steel barricades to prevent protesters from reaching major government buildings including the cabinet offices that were raided by students last Sunday, sparking scuffles and the use of water cannon by police.

“We will not back down,” Lin Fei Fan, one of the student leaders behind the occupation of Taiwan’s legislature, told Reuters inside the building. “The large turnout today shows there is a clear majority in Taiwan that demands President Ma address our concerns in an acceptable manner.”

Activists have plastered anti-Ma banners on the legislature walls, and stacks of armchairs block the exits.

ECONOMIC FOCUS

Ma has said the trade agreement is necessary for Taiwan’s economic future, but opponents say the deal could hurt small Taiwanese companies. Many also worry the pact will allow Beijing to expand its influence over a fiercely independent and proudly democratic territory that China sees as a renegade province.

“Save Democracy, Don’t Sell Our Country,” read a banner on Sunday.

The trade pact was signed by China and Taiwan last June as a way to boost economic cooperation between the two sides but has yet to be formally ratified by Taiwan’s legislature.

“China is using economic methods to invade Taiwan,” said protester Liou Jong-yuan, a 47-year-old engineer.

The protest could strain the recent rapprochement between Taiwan and China, particularly if Ma capitulates on the trade deal that the protesters want scrapped.

Ma Ying-jeou said on Saturday the protests would not affect the potential for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both sides have expressed interest in a historic meeting between their leaders, though no time frame or venue has been set.

Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since the Communists won China’s civil war in 1949.

Editor’s note: While government officials came up with the amazingly precise figure of 116,000, student organisers and other observers estimated it at closer to 500,000.

Source: Reuters “Over 100,000 protest in Taiwan over China trade deal” by Michael Gold and James Pomfret
 


Categories: Human Rights & Social Issues

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9 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

  2. History, or histrionics…..I in universities in China…… lovely sentiment… but these things only happen with there is social alignment, which is very very rare…….. In China. Yes, the Taiwanese students want to defend their democracy….. in China, there is none to defend….. it is necessary to create……. democracy or something else that provides the populace with a worthwhile government.

    China is now on a path to war…. with ALL of its neighbours….. sad, pathetic, arrogance, hubris… all of the talents of this chinese government….

    Like

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