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2004-04-05 13:49:00 | 人氣(965) | 回應(0) | 上一篇 | 下一篇

What Taiwan Wants 台灣要什麼 (TIME ASIA)(二)

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Never before has Taiwan's status—sovereign state, or exiled government waiting to return to China, or renegade province bracing to be reabsorbed by the mainland—been as hotly debated on the island. A big reason is the coming vote. Last July, President Chen Shui-bian was trailing his main opponent Lien Chan, a former Vice President who leads the Kuomintang (KMT), by as much as 15% in the opinion polls. Now they're neck and neck, largely because Chen and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have made Taiwan's identity the cornerstone of his re-election bid. Two weeks ago, when Chen organized a "Hands Across Taiwan" event to promote "Taiwanness," up to 2 million people linked up island-wide and shouted slogans such as "Yes! Taiwan," "Trust Taiwan," and "Love Taiwan." On election day, Chen is also holding a referendum asking voters whether the island should increase its defense budget if China refuses to remove the 496 missiles it points at Taiwan, and whether Taipei should engage in dialogue with Beijing to establish what Chen calls a "peace and stability framework." Chen says the referendum reflects the deepening of democracy in Taiwan, and that it's the first step to calling another referendum in 2006 to approve a new constitution for the island. All of this moves Taiwan steadily toward self-determination—and possible confrontation with its frustrated and affronted adversary. "China is in an impossible situation now," says Lee Si-kuen, a political scientist at the National Taiwan University who is also a member of the KMT. "Taiwan nationalism has a momentum all of its wn that can't be stopped. If you love Taiwan, if you identify as Taiwanese, it follows that you reject China. That's the reality China needs to face."

The issue of Taiwan's identity has even infused the island's pop culture. In a studio-cum-hip-hop clothing store in the southern city of Tainan, Tseng Kuan-jung, alias Dog G, 25, writes and records pro-Taiwan rap. The poster boy of the DPP's southern youth vote campaign, Dog G was a struggling musician until he penned "Taiwan Song," in which he raps not in Mandarin but in Taiwanese: "Those without the fear of losing, they are the true spirit of Taiwan; those who don't agree, get out!" Dog G, whose best-selling single tells listeners to "act Taiwanese, speak Taiwanese, and to stand up and proclaim they are Taiwanese," says he wrote that song because he wanted people "to stop being ashamed of being Taiwanese."


The ethnic balance of Taiwan's politics began shifting in the early 1990s, and the effect of that shift is still being played out today. Lee Teng-hui, who became the island's first native Taiwanese President in 1988, gradually purged mainlanders from the top ranks of his party, the KMT. He got rid of what were called the "old thieves" who occupied the legislature, and made possible the election of new lawmakers, including one who would earn a reputation as an exposer of corruption and a defender of the interests of native Taiwanese: Chen Shui-bian. The media, long under KMT control, grew more liberal and began covering issues such as government corruption and the KMT's enjoyment of special privileges. A parallel change in the island's culture, a flowering of things Taiwan, celebrated these new freedoms: schools began teaching Taiwan's history, restaurants specialized in local dishes, musicians sang about political repression in their native dialect. As Taiwan became more democratic and the majority of its people acquired greater political clout, independence aspirations grew.

By playing the Taiwan identity card, Chen is not just attracting votes and riling Beijing but changing the island's political culture, too. Before, the battle lines were clearly drawn: Chen and the DPP were pro-independence, the KMT and itsallies were in favor of reunification. Now, in order to stand a chance in the election, even the KMT is walking a pro-Taiwan line. The very law that Chen has invoked to hold his referendum on China's military posture was introduced not by the DPP but the KMT. The KMT, Lien told reporters recently, no longer wants to be branded as Taiwan's "reunification party." Eager to convince voters that he is sincere, Lien is using "Taiwan First" as one of his campaign slogans, and a political advertisement is running on Taiwan TV that shows him standing in his "home county" in the south of the island, even though he was born in the mainland. "His father was born here but Lien wasn't. He's trying to portray himself as Taiwanese to win supporters in the south," says Tainan county commissioner Su Huan-chih. "But people down here aren't fooled. They don't trust that his heart is really in Taiwan."

Taipei resident Chen Pei-jun, a 31-year-old biotech researcher with a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, is the kind of voter the KMT needs to win back. As a teenager, Chen's heart belonged to China. A brilliant student, she attended the exclusive Taipei First Girls Senior High School, directly opposite the presidential office. In school she learned matter-of-factly that the red brick office, built in 1919 during the half century Taiwan spent under Japanese colonial rule, was occupied by the legitimate government of China. Each morning, on her way to class, Chen reverently observed the President's guards slowly hoisting the red, white and blue Republic of China flag. She shared the KMT dream that one day this flag would again fly over Tiananmen Square. At night she read books by mainland-born writers—wistful childhood memoirs set in Hunan or Fujian or Shanghai. "I wept," she says. "Their experience became my experience. Their China was my China. I longed to return. I was the perfect Chinese." Today Chen is remodeling herself as the perfect Taiwanese, and has given up on reunification. Her transformation began when she went to the U.S. in 1995 to study. On campus, she met students from the mainland and realized she had nothing in common with them, and bristled when they described Taiwan's President as "provincial
governor." In her spare time she read books about the island and its history, written by exiled dissidents, which were not available in Taiwan. Since returning from the U.S. in 2002, two years after the KMT was first knocked from power by the DPP, she has been filling in the gaps of what she calls her "missing years." "The KMT lied to me," she says. "I was brainwashed. They made me think I was Chinese just to further their own ends. I'm not. I'm Taiwanese."


台長: 小杜白雲
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