Wu’er Kaixi, when asked “What do you want to see in the future between China and Taiwan?”

I am not a nationalist. I’m an anti-nationalist. I have big problems with nation-state politics. I’m a victim of nationalism, as a Uighur [the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic minority native to the western Chinese region of Xinjiang]. Many people in the world who are victims of nationalist oppression become nationalist themselves. I see that, and I try to prevent that. For me, the way to prevent that is to have a bigger principle, bigger guidelines to make sure that when you have to take a side on unification or independence, when this kind of issue is proposed, you know how you’re going to cast your vote.

So on the question of Taiwan and mainland China’s unification, or [Taiwan’s] independence, for me the answer is whatever is better for people’s freedom. It’s as simple as that.

If we had to choose today, if Taiwan is independent or unification, it is very clear. I would join the majority of Taiwanese people here for independence. The reason Taiwanese people say we aren’t sure, we want to maintain the status quo, is that the status quo is that the mainland’s missiles aren’t dropping on our heads. That is the status quo they want to maintain.

It’s not that they like the idea that Beijing claims Taiwan as part of them. It’s not so much that they like that China prevents Taiwan from entering any international arena. It’s not that they want to reserve a chance to one day go back to China. It’s not that. It’s just that we don’t want war.

(From “Q. and A.: Wu’er Kaixi on Tiananmen’s Hopes and Taiwan’s Achievements”, NY Times)

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