Newspaper article China Post

For Best Results, Add Self-Knowledge

Newspaper article China Post

For Best Results, Add Self-Knowledge

Article excerpt

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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- "Know Thyself" is an ancient Greek aphorism, which is known as "gnothi seauton" in Greek and "nosce te ipsum" in Latin. It came from the ancient Egyptian proverb, and was attributed by Plato to his mentor Socrates.

This aphorism, inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, urges man to try to know who he actually is.

All of us should be temperate, and continue to expand the knowledge of ourselves.

In fact, similar aphorisms abound in China, India and other ancient civilizations. Self-knowledge is a life-long process. As one matures, one knows oneself better.

But one group who regularly fail to "mature" while they age are politicians. One such example is President Tsai Ing-wen, who sired the "two-state theory" ([...]) for President Lee Teng-hui that made Beijing brand him a separatist.

The theory defines the relations between Taiwan and China as ones between two separate countries.

It wound up as President Chen Shui-bian's "one country on each side" ([...]) concept that maddened the People's Republic enough to codify an automatic invasion of Taiwan in its "Anti-Secession Law," in the event of a Taiwanese declaration of independence.

President Tsai was roused by Beijing's machination to have the International Civil Aviation Organization deny Taiwan's participation in its Montreal assembly on Sept. 25.

She was scheduled to vent her ire in a special address at a reception for diplomatic mission chiefs in Taipei in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Democratic Progressive Party. Typhoon Megi sideswiped Taiwan on last Wednesday, forcing her to cancel the reception. Instead, she posted on her Facebook page an open letter to members of her ruling party.

Lack of Self-Knowledge

In that letter, Tsai exposed her lack of self-knowledge.

Tsai promised to persist in all her planned reforms, calling on her party faithful to resist China in seeking to expand Taiwan's international Lebensraum.

"Building on a democratic base, we will build a prosperous, safe and just society for Taiwan," she wrote.

Tsai added her party had succeeded in laying the foundations for this over the past 30 years, and will succeed in reaching that goal in the next three decades.

Tsai acknowledged this would not be easy. Over the past few months, one issue after the other came has come to the surface.

She attempted to reassure the public by saying, "I understand everybody's worries, but I'm asking everybody to believe that the DPP will not abandon its ideals in the face of pressure."

That pressure comes from within her party as well as from outside, Tsai said.

She promised to lead the country as she had led the party to surge again in difficult times after its 2008 electoral defeats, and solve the country's problems one by one. …

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