Taiwan Political Prisoner Report, Jan. 23, 2013. Legislator Hsu-Chung-hsin, a member of the Taiwan Solidarity Union, has spoken out in defense of imprisoned Chen Shui-bian, the former Democratic Progressive Party president of the Republic of China in-exile. Chen is serving a lengthy prison sentence for alleged corruption following a controversial trial after leaving office. Hsu granted an interview at his legislative office.
Legislator Hsu, also a law professor, sees Chen’s case as one of Chinese vs. Taiwanese: “I think President Chen, as a Taiwanese voice, must be heard in the Western world because we Taiwanese people have no international stage to show our determination, our will to be the master of our own. President is one of our former leaders and his activity was for Taiwan independence. President Ma and China would like to put him in jail to deter Taiwanese from any independence movement. That is not fair for us.”
“Some people even think that behind President Ma there is China. So the general treatment of President Chen should be decided by President Ma instead of China. If we talk about President Chen leaving the prison then China has the deciding role. If China says no, you have to put him in jail, then President Ma will go on to put President Chen in jail. So I think that President Ma and China are the two responsible for President Chen’s mistreatment,” said Hsu.
“The problem is we Taiwanese people, like me, who have had a chance to learn English and can speak with you, and become legislators, like me, are very few, not many,” explained Hus. “Most of the public officials, especially those responsible for Taiwan’s foreign affairs, mass media and communications—they are mainlanders. They come from China after 1949. My ancestors were here in Taiwan for more than 400 years. Taiwanese like me, not many can be educated in the world, in the Western world. So, not many people can speak for the Taiwanese. I am lucky to be educated in England and I am lucky to have you here so I can report this case to you to tell people and to awaken the Western world.”
“The people who are responsible for our foreign affairs, and our information office, public information office, they are Kuomintang-related or they are mainlanders. They don’t want to tell the world the true facts, they just same something for the KMT and they crowd out the Taiwanese voice which cannot be heard by the Western world,” said Hsu.
Legislator Hsu emphasized: “The Taiwanese people need to have a fair chance in a way to make our own decisions about Taiwan’s future. We hope the Western world will not just focus on the Chinese market, not just focus on Chinese influence in the world. We have to treat Taiwanese people, because they have been isolated for a long time, we have to treat Taiwanese people fairly. The Taiwanese voice cannot be heard because the KMT government does not express our wish and opinion. The KMT just represents Chinese people’s thinking, and the Chinese government’s view. We, Taiwanese people, have our own opinion and view, and we have our own country and we would like the world to treat Taiwanese fairly and to support Taiwan in the future.”
“President Chen is one of our important leaders; please help President Chen to get out.”
Legislator Hsu offered a short history lesson: “Taiwanese pride has suffered from brutal treatment by the KMT before the 1970s. China has gotten stronger and stronger. The KMT is so rich. The KMT took so much money. In the past, when the Japanese government left, the Japanese government’s property and Japanese industry were all confiscated by the KMT. And the KMT took the money, not as this country’s money, they channeled the money into KMT’s pockets. The KMT became rich. And not just the KMT, the key members of the KMT also share in the benefit. So Japanese property became KMT property and became KMT member’s personal property.”
“Because the KMT is so rich now in the elections ahead they have so many resources but our people don’t have these kind of resources. So President Chen has to rely on donations, donations from the enterprises, donations from the people, so this type of donation is for the Taiwanese people to have a fair competition with the KMT. But they said that is corruption, that is a bribe and they put President Chen in jail.”
“In order to compete with the KMT, no money no competition. Donations from the enterprises, from the public, is the only way. If there is no exchange, give-and-take, then it will fail,” said Hsu of the political realities of Taiwanese elections.
“I’m so happy you can come to Taiwan and make our voice heard.”
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