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Pro-China Taiwanese Officer Resigns, Says Separatist Forces Have Already Won

A pro-China Taiwanese army officer has resigned in protest against Taiwan 'separatism'. 

Ch'iu Yü-hung (邱裕弘), an infantry platoon leader of the Taiwanese army, resigned due to what he described as 'separatism' (分離主義). In a Facebook post that followed his resignation, he stated his belief in Chinese unification and his opposition to Taiwan independence.

Ch'iu wrote that he chose to pursue a career in the military because he believed that the Republic of China was "not only a thing of the past," but that it was "still important for the future of a united China."

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The Republic of China (ROC) was founded in 1912 in mainland China. At that time Taiwan was part of the Japanese Empire. During the Nationalist era (1927-1949) the ROC was governed dictatorially by the Guomindang (Chinese Nationalist Party) under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek. At the end of World War II, the Allies pledged to return Taiwan to China, whose forces began to take over the administration of the island from Japan in October 1945.


But after the Guomindang regime was overthrown by the Communists in 1949, the whole government of the ROC relocated to Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek continued to claim that the ROC represented the whole of China, while on the other side of the Taiwan Strait Mao Zedong's Communists founded the People's Republic of China (PRC), which also claimed to be the legitimate government of the whole of China.

To this day, the Guomindang adheres to the principle of Chinese unification, as does the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 2016 the Guomindang suffered a humiliating electoral defeat at the hands of the Taiwan-centric Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is opposed to unification. Although the ROC exists on paper, in reality the vast majority of its population identify with Taiwan and regard China as a separate country.   

In his Facebook post, Ch'iu Yü-hung criticized the current DPP administration, yet he also admitted that the idea of a unified China no longer enjoys any significant support in Taiwan.

"The national flag is still the same, the Martyrs' Shrine is still the same, Chü-kuang television still says that the purpose of the martyrs' sacrifice is to protect the country, but where is the spirit they represent?" Ch'iu asked.

"Separatism has deprived it all of its meaning," he added. "But they [the separatists] have already won. In terms of public discourse, politics and economic plunder, they have scored a complete victory, so that no one can challenge them on this island today. They have a firm grasp on the country's power, have destroyed the basic spirit of nation-building."

Ch'iu stated that the Republic of China has already ceased to exist. "I can only resign," he wrote. "Because I'm Chinese, and Chinese people cannot wage war over separatism."

Ch'iu argued that Taiwan should play a major role in China's democratization. "As an example of a democracy established by Chinese people, the more successful Taiwan is, the more it can lead the whole nation towards democracy and freedom," he said. 

Taiwan became a democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but China has turned increasingly authoritarian under the leadership of President Xi Jinping

Taiwan's Ministry of Defence declined to comment on Ch'iu's resignation and his personal opinions, but it stated that defending the existence and development of the Republic of China as well as the security and welfare of the people of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu is the unswerving standpoint of the armed forces and the solemn oath every soldier takes. 

Ch'iu served in the Taiwanese army from 2008 to 2009. In 2010 the Selection Committee of the Ministry of National Defence disqualified him from taking part in the 2010 Volunteer Reserve Military Officer and Reserve Noncommissioned Officer Examination because of his criminal record. 

In 2005 Ch'iu had been sentenced by the Taiwan Taoyuan District Court to 50 days of detention for negligently causing an injury in a car accident. Ch'iu appealed the decision and requested a constitutional interpretation. In 2013 Taiwan's Supreme Court ruled that Ch'iu could not be barred from pursuing a military career as a result of an act of negligence that led to a minor offence.      

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