Taiwan Church News
July 21 - July 27, 2014
PCT Has To Be Cautious About China's Religious United Front Work, Scholar Warns
Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong
On July 19, at the National Taiwan Alumini Court, the Independence Forum of Taiwan Society, who is a group of professors stressing Taiwan sovereignty and subjectivity, holds a seminar discussing Hong Kong's recent political situations. Professor Leung Man-to, an Oxford PhD in politics and now a politics and economics graduate professor of National Cheng Kong University, was invited to deliver his speech, named "The Change of Hong Kong after July 1st Parade". Within his speech, Leung is specially wary about the future of PCT, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would definitely place PCT as top agenda in united front work to merge Taiwan into China.
Leung, a Hong Kong native, analyzes the reason why PCT is the top agenda for CCP's religious united front work, because PCT is the most populous protesting group within current religious and civil groups in Taiwan. In order to get close or even penetrate into PCT, CCP would strategically utilize kinds of bottom-up democratic methods, like religious visits, church association, direct contacts or third party agents which has been front united by CCP. As PCT's General Assembly and the medium level institute like presbytery are more politically alert, a distinctive fact of PCT's ecological system which is well known to CCP, most likely they would not become the target of CCP's united front work. Rather, volumes of PCT pastors firmly staying at grass-root local congregations would become the prey of such explicit united front vulture.
Leung sharply criticized as illusionary and dangerous on recent China-inclined mind-set of the main opposing Democratic Progressive Party(DPP), especially when the Taiwan Independence clause in party manifesto is hotly debated whether to abolish or not. He thinks the main problem lies at DPP's illusionary and dangerous wish to get closer to China. Therefore, Leung warns that the future of PCT also faces the same grave risk, if following DPP's increasingly China-tilted footsteps without reflection and judgement.
"CCP's united front work is simple. He just want to make friends with you. His goal is simply to make you not his enemy to go against him, better you can stand behind him in words or deeds. As to the question, if there is any deal or trade-off involved, who knows. At least, it looks quite dangerous (for Taiwan) at present!", said Leung. China's religious united front work is easy to reach the goal, once the mutual visits increased so strong to stimulate Taiwan's hallucination about China. And CCP would try best to meet Taiwan's unrealistic imagination, only you stop to mention anything sovereign or subjective about Taiwan.
Leung also strongly criticized The Most Rev. Dr. Paul Kwong of Hong Kong Anglican Church, due to his anti-human rights and anti-democracy remarks after July 1st HK Parade, not to mention his flattery expressions to China authorities. Leung lamented, except minority Christians, most Hong Kong Churches adulate CCP and keep quiet in HK's public interests. Even the anti-communist stance of Roman Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, after the Bishop John Tong Hon was appointed in 2009, becomes more and more blurred. It is believed there is still an internal conflict and power struggle on this issue inside HK Catholic Church.
Translated by Peter Wolfe