A pretty good interview with Joseph Wu
The interesting thing is that he uses the rhetoric of “misunderstanding” a lot. The operating theme seems to be that if Taiwan would “explain” itself better that all of the problems would disappear. They won’t. One of the basic problem is that Wu is trying to “explain” that the DPP is trying to exercise restraint, and then Lee Teng-Hui comes and screams for “independence now.” Joseph Wu tries to “explain” how Taiwan really isn’t trying to change something, and then Chen Shui-Bian does something that people see is pretty clearly rocking the boat. Joseph Wu talks about how Taiwan is trying to perserve the name “Republic of China” and then Chen talks as if he wants to get rid of the name ASAP.
The basic problem is that Chen has to be lying to someone. Either he is serious about promoting Taiwan independence or he isn’t. If he is, then he is lying to the United States and moderates on Taiwan. If he isn’t, then he is lying to his deep green supporters. Chen has tried to get around this by being a lawyer and constructing clever explanations and concepts that are technically true, but that doesn’t work because acting like that just gets people to mistrust you. Logically, he must be lying to someone, and once you get the sense that the person you are talking to has to be lying to someone, then you start worrying that it migh be you. In any case, Chen has built such a complicated explanation to try to explain himself that it could dangerously fall apart. The other problem is that Chen then becomes unpredictable, no one knows what he will do in a given situation, or what he really thinks. The problem with sincerity especially becomes an issue because for a decade, Lee Teng-Hui was actually being very insincere about what he wanted to do.
By contrast, Beijing is clear as day about what its goals are. You might not like them, but you know what the goals are and how Beijing is likely to behave in a given situation. Beijing can be “trusted” to do anything that advance its goals of reunification with Taiwan. By contrast, since no one knows what Chen really wants, how can you “trust” him to do anything.
In any case, I don’t want to spend too much time discussing it. My big fear is that there would be a war, and that I’d have to go through the same sorts of hellish experiences that my parents went through. I was seriously worried about this between 2002 and 2005, but the danger seems to have receded. The role of Chen Shui-Bian is rapidly becoming an issue for historians to talk about, and a new President (whether blue or green) is something that will offer people a chance for a change. People are obviously having the conversations that they should be having, and so I can spend my time doing other things.