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Former politician says reunification inevitable

By ZHANG YI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-11 09:50
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Yok Mu-ming

Yok Mu-ming confident of two sides coming together as they are one family

Yok Mu-ming, the former president of Taiwan's New Party who is a renowned pro-reunification politician on the island, said the reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is an inevitable historical trend as both sides share the same roots.

Even in his 80s, Yok often takes young people of Taiwan to pay tribute to the Yellow Emperor Mausoleum, located in Shaanxi province, in memory of Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, who is regarded as one of the Chinese people's most important ancestors.

"We are all Chinese, and we Chinese people are known as the descendants of the Huangdi emperor and the Yandi emperor, so our nation's roots are in the mausoleum. I take young people along with me to let them remember that as Chinese, our roots are on the mainland," he said.

Despite spending most of his life in Taiwan, Yok said his own family's roots are in Shanghai. He was born in 1940 into a wealthy family in Shanghai doing foreign trade. He was the 17th child of his parents and the youngest. A pharmacy established by his family used to provide free medication to the poor in Shanghai.

"The pharmacy was our charitable venture. I remember that every Thursday, the less fortunate people could get free medication," he said.

"Before I was taken to Taiwan, my family took me to visit the City God Temple in Shanghai and I ate spiced beans bought near the temple. It was my childhood memory about Shanghai," he said.

Yok went to Taiwan in 1948 along with his father when he was 8 years old. His father wanted to open a branch of his company in Taiwan. He did not expect that due to war it would be four decades before he would set foot on the mainland again.

He studied medicine during his time at university in Taiwan and then became a professor at a college there. In 1981, Yok, who was a member of the Kuomintang party, was elected as a lawmaker in Taipei, thus beginning his political career. In 1993, due to his dissatisfaction with the then KMT head Lee Teng-hui's pro-independence policy, he withdrew from the KMT and founded the New Party.

Despite the "Taiwan independence" forces in Taiwan's political arena, the New Party, led by Yok, has always been committed to opposing "independence" and promoting peaceful reunification across the Taiwan Strait. He visited the mainland often to promote cross-Strait exchanges and met with mainland leaders.

Yok's devotion to such a career was because he has a personal understanding of home and roots due to the long separation of his mainland family members. After arriving in Taiwan, for a long time, his family members on both sides could only rely on letters to contact each other.

In 1990, his father passed away in Taiwan, and his sisters on the mainland traveled to Taiwan for the funeral but were unable to see their father for the last time, leaving behind great regrets.

"Taiwan is originally a province of China, and I am a witness. Both sides of the Strait are one family," he said, adding that "national reunification is the prerequisite for national rejuvenation and for me to be a proud Chinese".

After the reunification of the two sides of the Strait, Yok said he would like to give speeches around the country, telling the younger generation about the history and culture of China and why the Chinese nation has been able to endure for thousands of years.

He said he believes that the richness and depth of Chinese culture is rooted in one important concept — family.

"Chinese people value family, and the structure of China is based on the family unit. This structure is extremely strong and not easily broken," he added.

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