Taiwan Offers China Model

A former top Communist Party aide says fighting corruption is easier in Taiwan.

2009.10.08
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zhao-bao-305.jpg Bao Tong, 76, a former top aide to late Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang, holds up a photo of Zhao during an interview at his home in Beijing, April 27, 2009
AFP

HONG KONG—Taiwan, which marks its own National Day nine days after a lavish display of communist military power by rival Beijing, should provide the model for reunification with China, a former top Communist Party aide has said.

Bao Tong, former aide to late ousted Party chief Zhao Ziyang, lauded the current form of democracy on the self-governing island, which still celebrates the fall of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) with the 1911 revolution led by Sun Yat-sen.

“In Taiwan, where there is no socialism, it is possible to ferret out corruption openly,” Bao wrote in an essay marking the “Double Tenth” celebrations.

“On the mainland, where we enjoy the benefits of the dictatorship of the proletariat, masses of people who turn out to protest at corruption are suppressed as troublemakers,” Bao added, referring to the 1989 military crackdown on student-led protests on Tiananmen Square.

Bao said that while Taiwan had long since reversed the official verdict on a massacre of demonstrators by the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) troops in 1947, in China to this day, no one dares to mention “June 4, 1989.”

“Courts in Taiwan have the power to pass judgment on high-ranking officials,” wrote Bao, who called for peaceful reunification between Taiwan and China, ruled separately since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

‘Mao’s dying wish’

“Mao Zedong managed to divide China into two parts: This part is the ‘New China’ under the leadership of the Communist Party, while the other is the ‘old society’ in a faraway place,” said Bao.

“Liberating Taiwan was Mao’s dying wish, but he didn’t have the means to carry it out, and Taiwan has gone on existing.”

“As we on the west bank of the Taiwan Strait have conducted reviews of the troops and sung the praises of the last 60 years, Taiwan has continued to develop on the east bank.”

Writing from house arrest at his Beijing home, Bao said reunification should occur on the basis of Taiwan’s system of government, not China’s.

“In mainland China, where there is no separation of powers and everything is controlled by the Party, you need the permission of the provincial Party secretary to lodge a case against a county level official,” Bao wrote.

“Without this, the court has no jurisdiction.”

‘A big lie’

Bao recalled a comment of former Communist Party supreme leader Mao Zedong, who is reported to have said: “Unification can be achieved only on a democratic basis.”

“I agree with Mao’s assessment,” said Bao, who spent seven years in jail following the fall of his former political mentor Zhao, who was removed from office by late supreme leader Deng Xiaoping for sympathizing with the 1989 protesters.

“Only peaceful reunification on the basis of democracy will bring happiness to compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.”

Bao said the last 60 years of “glorious” Communist rule contained “a big lie.”

“In the first 30 years, tens of millions either died of starvation or were ‘struggled’ to death under the banner of revolution,” he wrote.

“In the second 30 years, anyone standing up for civil and constitutional rights, for religious freedom, for ethnic autonomy has been declared an enemy of the people en masse, all in the name of stability.”

Rivals Taiwan and mainland China kicked off direct air and sea transportation links for the first time in 60 years at the end of last year, with inaugural flights taking off on both sides of the Taiwan Strait—which leaders said signaled improved ties.

Original essay in Chinese by Bao Tong. Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Translated and written for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.

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