Taiwan Civil Government (TCG), a group of Taiwanese led by Roger Lin (林志昇) and Richard Hartzell (何瑞元), attended a USA court hearing on Feb. 5th in which they appealed to revoke a previous court decision that declined their argument on US government's sovereignty right over Taiwan.
Michael talked about this in his recent blog (Lin Trial Transcripts: Does the US have sovereignty over Taiwan?). His opinion, as well as the comments given there by readers, seem to go overwhelmingly against TCG's cause or the current lawsuit:
"a crank lawsuit that is simply a waste of the Court's time"
"another aspect of this folly is that it further serves to divide the pro-Taiwan community into more disparate factions"
"The ever fractious nature of Taiwanese movements divides the amount of donated funds available to promote the cause and renders each group in the movement impotent"
"what is the real motivation behind this pointless lawsuit?"
"The whole thing seems more like a vanity project"
I want to remind readers that the situation Taiwan is in right now is very different from 4~5 years ago when TCG started their campaign along this course.
At that moment Taiwan was in control of a pro-independence government marching toward promising self control of sovereignty and a more advanced democracy society. Looking at TCG from that path, it might be easy to conclude that TCG's idea was unnecessary.
But Taiwan is now in a fast slip into China's pocket, i.e., a direction that's totally reverse of that we were going. Ma Ying-jeou has downgraded Taiwan from a state to an area of China, and made cross-strait policies with that China seems to be the only one who gains. The police and judiciary systems are abusing their power, and many regulations to protect Taiwanese rights against the encroachment of China are lifted. Ma Ying-jeou is recreating a pre-228 society in which Taiwan's resources are meant to serve the interests of China nad China only. Long before we have a chance to pick a new president next time, we will most likely lose our rights as a Taiwanese on all fronts. In fact, Ma Ying-jeou said in more than one occasion that his term of presidency is 8 years, despite the fact that 4-years-per-term is defined clearly in the Constitution. In one interview he assured he has 8 years even after the interviewer corrected him. It's very likely that we will not even have the chance to vote for a president any more.
So, how can TI supporters, or any other Taiwanese for that matter, fight against the fast approaching of a total lost ? Does any one have any idea as exactly how ?
The significance of TCG's approach, especially the lawsuit against US government, should therefore be re-visited with this updated context in mind. Contrary to most comments in Michael's blog (and in many other blogs or forums) saying that the lawsuit is useless, I think it plays a very important role to bringing the international attentions to details of Taiwan history. One of the possible positive side is that no matter if TCG wins or not, more people would recognize that either USA is somehow responsible for Taiwanese rights, or Taiwan's status is undecided. In other words, more people will learn that China has no hand in this matter at all. Statements like "Taiwan split from China civil war" would automatically becomes a lie. That is, this would be an add-on to what we have been doing all along.
IMO, with the current situation, TCG's approach might even be the only way out for Taiwan.
As a more specific response to some of the critics, I have been very puzzled by claims like "TCG divides the amount of donated funds available to promote the cause." TCG got their money by fund raising. How can anyone claim that "the money you donate to TCG should have been donated to my cause" and uses that as a base to blame TCG ? In a forum that I participate, a seasoned TIer did just that, blaming TCG when some TI supporters make their own choices to donate money to TCG. How can we assume that if people don't donate their money to TCG they will definitely donate that money to the TI cause ? This sort of fantasy is something I don't get.
As some claimed, the existence of TCG seems to create a situation of splitting among Taiwanese. But, again I have to remind readers, many of those who made this claim play no small part in the splitting they accused TCG of. By launching waves after waves of brutal verbal attacks blaming TCG a splitter, some of them in fact actively play the role of a splitter themselves. The in-fightings extend from Ah-bian's presidency into Ma Ying-jeou's administration (that is, now), and seems to get heated up and up by the recent lawsuit against US. As far as I know, one of the reputable pro-TI columnists has devoted 5 of his recent 6 articles to attacking TCG, turned his column into one that specializes at anti-TCG. In another case the fight went so ugly that some private info of a TCG members was posted to the web.
All these infightings result in an unbelievable situation that when Ma is already half-way done cutting Taiwan's throat, we are still focusing in hand-in-hand wrestling among ourselves.
How can any of us expect to survive Ma using this approach ? When we are fighting a battle against someone, could we possibly win that battle by fighting someone else ? What can we possibly gain if we leave Ma alone but work so hard trying to annihilate TCG ?
On the way of reaching down the end of this article, one voice kept coming out from my mind --- why are you spending time on this, Echo? Ministry of Justice is covering up the crime of Ma Ying-jeou and his sister (Non-lawyer Ma Ying-jeou misrepresents reality yet again); Taichung Mayor Jason Hu says he did nothing wrong when he violated the law (1健身車5發票 胡志強拚消費 帶頭違法), Ma government is opening doors for China to invest in (and control) Taiwan's internet (Newslets (09.02.10, Tue)), etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc ... There are tons of more serious problems to tackle, and every split of seconds you spend on writing (and someone reading) this, Ma and his cohort are getting away from their crime and Taiwan is one step closer to slavery. So JUST-WHAT-ON-EARTH-ARE-YOU-FREAKING-DOING-HERE, ECHO ?
Note: New announcement from TCG.