Secessionist DPP turns ‘referendum’ on Taiwan livelihood issues into anti-mainland manipulation
Published: Dec 18, 2021 11:58 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the island of Taiwan has been criticized for selling the interests of the people of Taiwan out in exchange for US support of its secessionist political pursuit, after the DPP manipulated a so-called referendum and turned it into an anti-Chinese mainland performance.

According to media reports, the turnout for the "referendum" on Saturday was 41 percent, or about 8.145 million people, considered to be very low.

One major voting on whether to ban the import of US pork containing ractopamine failed as not enough voters showed up to validate the outcome.

According to the vote count, more people voted against the proposals than for them. But with the threshold of 5 million votes being needed to either pass or reject the proposals not being met, the outcome was not considered valid under the island's election laws.

The results would allow the DPP authorities to continue their much-criticized trade and energy policies.

Of the four "referendums," the focus was on the anti-ractopamine voting. The DPP had deliberately raised the issue of importing the US' ractopamine pork to the level of ideological confrontation with the Chinese mainland, whether the island can still receive support from the US in the future to confront the Chinese mainland, and even whether the island's economy can continue to recover, Zhu Songling, a professor from the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Beijing Union University, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Taiwan residents have expressed great concern over the import of pork containing ractopamine, an additive banned by many countries, as this issue impacts the health interests of every Taiwan resident, Zhu said. 

Thousands of people flooded Taipei's streets in late November for a protest march, with much of the anger focused on the DDP authorities' decision to ease restrictions on imports of US pork.

The DPP authority has allowed the import of thousands of tons of ractopamine-contaminated US port since January 1, according to media reports.

This is enough to expose the fact that the DPP has ignored the interests of the people on the island, and is aimed at currying favor with certain political and economic forces in the US, Zhu said. By selling out the interests of the people in the island, DDP authorities wish to earn some specific economic benefits from the US to make its ruling performance look better, and to continue to win the US' support in the local elections and the future leadership election, Zhu pointed out. 

Before the DPP took office as ruling party of the island, it was strongly opposed to the import of the US pork containing ractopamine, but later it gave up the appeal and tried to fool local people for political gains and in exchange for the US support, said Wang Jianmin, a senior cross-Straits expert at Minnan Normal University. 

The DPP politicians tried to scare local voters, hyping that "if the import of US pork containing ractopamine is not approved, Taiwan's economy will return to the predicament at the mercy of the Chinese mainland," and claimed that the rejection of the four "referendums" are equal to opposition to "Chinese mainland annexing Taiwan."

In response, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the DPP has applied its usual tricks to politically manipulate the "four referendums" for its own gain.

Ma pointed out that the DPP, on the one hand, conspired with some politicians in the US, Japan and other countries to intimidate Taiwan residents; on the other hand, they deliberately provoked Chinese mainland and created anti-mainland populism to cover up their disregard to the interests of the Taiwan people and being willing to be taken over by foreign forces. Ma called on compatriots in Taiwan to keep their eyes open and not to be deceived by such political manipulation.

"Taiwan is always part of China. How can we talk about 'annexation?' They are humiliating the intelligence of the Taiwan people. How shameless!" Ma said.