Sunday, December 14, 2014

Defend It Now Because You'll Miss it When it is Gone

Taiwan can learn a lesson from China's suppression of the Hong Kong democracy protesters:

Staring into the mirror of Hong Kong, Taiwanese, who enjoy a vibrant democracy and a press ranked within the top 50 freest in the world, see a worrying future.

Yes, I mentioned that:

The Taiwanese would do well to remember that it is better to have freedom and the ability to defend it rather than rely on your ability to convince the communist elites to grant freedom to you.

And it gets worse.

If the Taiwanese think that somehow the Chinese people would recoil from seeing the Peking rulers crush Taiwanese democracy, guess again:

Champions of democracy everywhere take note - the aspirations of the young protesters of Hong Kong did not immediately resonate with their counterparts on the mainland.

Despite being beneficiaries of globalisation and despite having ever greater contact with the West through university education and holidays abroad, many young Chinese are suspicious of idealistic political messages.

Since childhood, they have been exposed to a historical narrative which dwells on China's humiliation at the hands of foreigners.

Many now echo their government's suspicion of street protests, social chaos and foreign ideas peddled by people whose hidden agenda may be to divide China and keep it down.

Taiwanese who rejected the party of closer ties to China in recent local elections, which could be a foretaste of the 2016 presidential poll, should consider that it is far easier to defend democracy and freedom that you have than it is to win it back from the Chinese Communist Party.

If China takes Taiwan, don't think you can count on the Chinese people feeling sympathy for Taiwanese when the crackdown comes.