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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 03, 1982

MINUTES OF THE MEETING BETWEEN WANG SHENG (DIRECTOR OF THE GENERAL POLITICAL WARFARE DEPARTMENT, MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, TAIWAN) AND MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD

This document was made possible with support from the Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    General Wang Sheng and Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad discuss Malaysia's view of communist countries in Asia and Taiwan-Malaysia relations.
    "Minutes of the Meeting between Wang Sheng (Director of the General Political Warfare Department, Ministry of National Defense, Taiwan) and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad," April 03, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Box 16, Wang Sheng Papers, Hoover Institution Archives. Translated by Fulong He. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123460
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Time: 10:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m., 30 March 1982

Venue: Office of Prime Minister

Wang [Sheng]: I am much honored to be granted audience by Your Excellency while Your Excellency’s schedule is so full on the eve of the election. I want to express my admiration for the resolute anticommunist policy of your government.

Mahathir [Mohamad]: What is your opinion about global campaign against communism?

Wang: The current world situation is chaotic and fluid, but is substantially a polarized one between freedom and slavery. The philosophy of the Free World is “either enemy or friend,” whereas the philosophy of the Communist World is “either comrade or enemy.” This is a basic fact that we cannot afford to ignore.

Mahathir: So how is the overall situation in Taiwan today?

Wang: I am so grateful to your inquiry and attention. Taiwan is relatively stable from within, but challenges and difficulties remain. Currently no military confrontations exist across the Taiwan Strait, but there are always invisible wars between the two parties [the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party]. Many predicted Taiwan was doomed after its expulsion from the United Nations. The Philippines, Japan, and many other Asian countries switched their diplomatic recognition to Beijing. Even the United States, a long-time partner of Taiwan, abandoned us, scrapped [our] mutual agreement, and withdrew their forces from Taiwan. It is such a huge blow to us, and I truly hope God will continue to help us to survive in this world. Currently the Chinese Communist Party is using the United Front to set a plot against us. The United Front means to unite secondary enemies to attack primary enemies, attempting to achieve the optimal result by paying the lowest cost, or rather, to beat your own head with your own hands. By internally differentiating our society and externally isolating Taiwan’s international status, the Chinese Communists sought to destroy us and break us into pieces. Fortunately, under the leadership of President Chiang Ching-kuo, we managed to weather all the crises and dangers. Many believe it advantageous to make friends with the Chinese Communists, such as gaining huge commercial profits by doing businesses with them. Given geographical proximity, we in Taiwan are actually the easiest to establish connections with them, and they will certainly welcome us if we intend to do business with them. But we do not, why? Because we understand them all too well. We are fully aware of their plot and will never be taken in. We Chinese in Taiwan will never surrender to the Chinese Communist Party even if the cost is to shed our last drop of blood.

Mahathir: Malaysia maintains relations with many communist countries in the world, but such relations are sustained on the premise of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

Wang: Under your able leadership, Malaysia has made such great progress, making your country the one with highest hope and potential in Southeast Asia. When meeting with your military and intelligence chiefs, I pointed out the strategically pivotal position of Malaysia and its rich strategic natural resources. These, along with issues surrounding race, religion, and the widening gap of wealth in your country, become reasons why Communist China deem Malaysia a country sure to be won over. Why Communist China is launching smile diplomacy today are its serious internal problems, and the existence and the continued growth of the Republic of China on Taiwan. But it is our firm belief that the entirety of Southeast Asia cannot prosper and stabilize without first defeating Communist China. If Taiwan fails and falls into Communist hands, the overall political landscape of Southeast Asia will shift immediately. As Taiwan and Malaysia face a common communist enemy and possess shared interests, we should cooperate with each other in many fields.

At present our common enemy is far too strong, so it is necessary for us to maintain a viable amount of troops. Without security, nothing can be left. We are maintaining a good mobilization system, with which we can mobilize 2.87 million people within 24 hours. We can manufacture certain small conventional weapons by ourselves, and the study of advance weapons is also underway.

The battles of Guningtou and Da’erdan in 1949 and the battle of Quemoy [Jinmen] in 1958 laid the solid foundation for Taiwan’s survival and success. We are aware that there will eventually be a war between Communist China and Taiwan, and we are confident we will win this war. To defeat the Chinese Communist Party, we need to apply both military and political strategy, with the latter being the main resort. We will endeavor to improve people’s lives, education, and political democracy. In the past three decades, Taiwan was transformed into a paradise on earth, while the Chinese mainland has become a living hell. Though the enemy we are facing is fierce and tricky, we are confident that the Three Principles of the People will unify the whole of China.

The agricultural output of Taiwan decreased from 90% of 30 years ago to today’s 26.1%; the country is having a total foreign trade value of 44.6 billion dollars and is embarking on developing new-type machinery, precision industry and heavy industry, but it is still troubled by the lack of natural resources to develop. To show my sincerest thanks for your reception, I would like present you with videotapes about our armies and the military parade for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. I will also present you with a videotape about our ten major construction projects for your reference.

Mahathir: Thank you for your visit, and wish you a good trip here.