London calling...

A Taiwanese woman's journal of her pursuit of an MBA, a meaningful life, love and her observations of the world along the way! Blogger based in Taipei.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How a Taiwanese person feels about China?

Well, this question has been following me since I met the first foreign friend or during my one year of study abroad. On one hand, I'm glad that people from other regions in the world would care to probe this controversy between Taiwan and China. But on the other hand, I also get irritated by some folks who generalize the disputes between the straits as "China's domestic matter" and laugh about Taiwanese' reaction towards its hostile neighbour.

So exactly how a Taiwanese person is supposed to feel about China? Don't you share the same language and culture? One can barely differentiate a Taiwanese from a Chinese person from the outer appearances anyways. So what's the big fuss? Let me try to answer in brief what the big fuss is about.

1. Yesterday the white paper of the Taiwan defense ministry has been published. There are in total 784 Chinese missles aiming at Taiwan at the moment. If the Chinese party leader orders to attack, China can bomb Taiwan for 10 hours non-stop. What do you think Taiwanese feel about that? How would you feel about that if you were in our shoes?

2. Although I was forced to memorize all cities, names of mines, rivers and every minute details about China during my 14 years of compulsory education in Taiwan (when the ruling party was still Kuomingtang), I have absolutely no emotional connection towards China. I am positive that many people of younger generations born after the 1970's in Taiwan would share the same sentiment as I do.

I mean, what's the big deal about using the same language? Do the Dutch and Belgian claim to belong to the same country? I don't think so. Since people in Great Britain, US, Canada, Australia (and many other more) all speak English, why don't they form a country together? It's more efficient anyway! Do you think that North Korea and South Korea can just live happily ever after if they merge with each other since they are all Koreans? I hope you get my point. The key lies in the thinking, the logic and the mentality of the people. Taiwanese and Chinese are different. From my point of view, the whole point lies that Taiwan is just too small geographically to matter in this whole military and economic competition. That's the sad truth about being a small country.

3. It simply makes me sick whenever I see news like this:

The Chinese media praised Taiwan-born Ang Lee for his best director Oscar win but state TV cut part of his speech mentioning China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Lee thanked everyone in all three regions. Beijing regards Taiwan as sovereign territory and Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

"Ang Lee is the pride of Chinese people," said the China Daily.

State television also cut Lee's words of thanks to the two gay cowboys in his film, Brokeback Mountain.

Lee said: "They taught all of us so much, not just about the gay men and women whose love is denied by society but, just as importantly, about the greatness of love itself."

Brokeback Mountain will not be released in Chinese cinemas and can only been seen on pirate DVD.

The Chinese government refused to include it on a list of foreign films approved for domestic cinemas, a move that stops just short of an outright ban.
Track back URL for the above quote

So, what do you think a Taiwanese person is supposed to feel about China?

157 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does a mainlander feels about Taiwan?

You may feel offended when I call myself a mainlander instead of Chinese, and you may think that it indicates I am another mainlander who knows nothing but the communist proganda, but to me "Chinese" is not only a notion refers to people live in China, it refers to people speaks Chinese and cultivated by the Chinese culture. Communism is not a Chinese culture, it belongs to the west and was imposed on China by people who betrayed the Chinese culture.

How do I feel about Taiwan? To me, Taiwan is a beautiful dreamland of all Chinese, it represent the future of China, it is the first and only part of China where real democracy exists and prospers. But it is such a unreachable dreamland that most Chinese don't understand the significance of it.

I felt sick too when I read the news about cutting Ang Lee's speech in the Oscar ceremony, it's sheer stupidity and madness that a regime tries to prevent the people from seeing and knowing the truth. But what makes me even sadder is that people around the world, especially people in Taiwan think that this regime represents the people live in mainland and regard all mainlanders as stupid and blind. This is not the truth, the people in mainland are longing for freedom and democracy, just as Taiwanese were under the reign of Chiang family, and we mainlanders have already shed our blood for what we are longing for on Tian An Men Square and there still are people shedding their blood now every day fightnig for a brighter future. For many mainlanders, Taiwan is not only a part of China, but also the guiding star in the dark night and the lighthouse in the stormy sea. Taiwanese of course have the right to decide their future, including declare independence. But I am asking, as a mainlander, for help from our Taiwanese friends and compatriots (if I may) to not forsake your obligation to the Chinese people across the strait, that is, to make all Chinese people free and to bring hope and democracy to the land that belongs to both Taiwanese and mainlanders.

8:36 PM, March 08, 2006  
Anonymous RajGB said...

Jen, your views are the same sort of thing my Taiwanese friend has expressed to me. Really Taiwan is an independent country already. But other countries won't recognise it because they're greedy and don't want China to throw a temper-tantrum. To be honest I might back Taiwanese independence purely to teach China that it can't have everything its own way. The last thing we want is an "America" with something like Middle Kingdom syndrome.

I feel sorry for Taiwanese people, in some respects, as they have to put up with so much abuse thrown at it from the mainland while having the international community wagging fingers at it so as not to "upset the status quo". They deserve to be able to make their own choices without outside pressure. Whatever they decide to do, the world should leave them to it.

9:11 PM, March 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you feel about authors like 黄文雄 and their anti China books?

10:53 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger NYkrinDC said...

Hello Jen,

I understand that Taiwanese people feel detached from a mainland China that is at the same time both belligerent and Communist. Additionally, for many Taiwanese, China is no longer their homeland, as you rightly point out. That said, I would submit that in time it is inevitable that Taiwan will become part of China, or of China's sphere of influence. Taiwanese businesses and businessmen are investing heavily in the mainland and as such Taiwan and China are drawing closer than ever economically. As China grows in stature, economically, politically and culturally it will extend that influence to Taiwan. I see the process as inevitable, and that may be my own bias in the manner in which I see the situation unfolding. I would much like to continue this conversation as I think this is an important topic and one which clouds over US-China relations and one of the few that can bring down this phase of globalization. For example, Chen Shui Bian has done much to provoke a Chinese reaction merely for his own political gain (going against US wishes that he not do so) and placing our relationship in jeopardy because of it. I would like to get your read on this and on Chen's actions and China's subsequent reactions.

11:34 PM, March 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do I feel about Taiwan? To me, Taiwan is a beautiful dreamland of all Chinese, it represent the future of China, it is the first and only part of China where real democracy exists and prospers. But it is such a unreachable dreamland that most Chinese don't understand the significance of it.

In many ways Taiwan represents what the rest of China could be. However, the reason it has been able to become like that is because it has never been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. As a non-Chinese, I don't have a problem with the idea of Taiwan being considered part of China in principle. However, comparing Taiwan and China I think it would be a disaster for Taiwan if they were forced to become part of the People's Republic of China.

4:49 AM, March 09, 2006  
Anonymous shavenpope said...

You're not alone. I know literally hundreds of people who feel the same way. Good on you for putting it so succinctly, and having the guts to do so. There are many who will silence you if they possibly can.

10:08 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

This is awesome! Thanks for commenting on my post; I know you were referred to my blog by Peking Duck. No matter you're pro or against my opinion, I hope we can keep this discussion alive. For each one who asks questions in their comment, you will get a feedback from me very soon.

11:52 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Michael Turton said...

Hot damn! Welcome to the Taiwan blogosphere! I love you already.

Michael Turton

4:46 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Michael Turton said...

I understand that Taiwanese people feel detached from a mainland China that is at the same time both belligerent and Communist. Additionally, for many Taiwanese, China is no longer their homeland, as you rightly point out. That said, I would submit that in time it is inevitable that Taiwan will become part of China, or of China's sphere of influence. Taiwanese businesses and businessmen are investing heavily in the mainland and as such Taiwan and China are drawing closer than ever economically. As China grows in stature, economically, politically and culturally it will extend that influence to Taiwan. I see the process as inevitable, and that may be my own bias in the manner in which I see the situation unfolding. I would much like to continue this conversation as I think this is an important topic and one which clouds over US-China relations and one of the few that can bring down this phase of globalization. For example, Chen Shui Bian has done much to provoke a Chinese reaction merely for his own political gain (going against US wishes that he not do so) and placing our relationship in jeopardy because of it. I would like to get your read on this and on Chen's actions and China's subsequent reactions.

Wow, two common mainlander propaganda themes in one little comment: the Inevitable Chinese Victory and the Horribleness of Chen Shui-bian -- it is "inevitable" that China will absorb Taiwan -- you know, like the way the US inevitably absorbed Canada or Germany inevitably absorbed the Netherlands or Spain inevitably absorbed Portugal. Reality: it's not inevitable, and there is nothing wrong with the two staying apart. China already heavily influences Taiwan -- and in fact, the more it influences Taiwan, the more people don't want to be part of it.

Then we have the --inevitable -- switch to Chen and how he has "provoked" a Chinese reaction merely for his own political gain. *SOB* It is China, not Chen, that is the problem here. It is the Chinese who point missiles at Taiwan and seek to obliterate its freedom and democracy. Chen is not the bad boy. Hu is. It is China's desire to annex Taiwan that can bring down the present era of globalization, not Taiwan's desire to live as a democracy. Democracy threatens no one. Missiles do.

In any case I am curious to see what China will do, which I suspect will be serious.

Michael

4:56 PM, March 09, 2006  
Anonymous Michael C said...

Very nice post, Jen.
I too feel the same way about China. Many Taiwanese people, me included, think that language is the only thing we have in common after visiting China. Ironically, the common language makes us realize that there are just too many fundamental differences. There are many things that would simply go away if Taiwan becomes a part of China. They range from the intangibles like freedom of speech, democracy, to the very real everyday stuff like the public health care, policemen who have to listen to my complains, getting a passport quickly without connection to some big official, bitching about the China Time (a pan-blue pro-China news rag) with my dentist, no visa requirement to go to Japan. Now, why anybody would give up these to be a part of China is beyond me.
What really ires Taiwanese is China’s refusal to discuss and imposition of total denial to very diplomatic fronts. The bullying and sheer snobbishness is just too much to take. Communist China has never flown its flag or collected a dime of tax from Taiwan, and I mean ever. Yet China runs around the world shouting in high decibel that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. Sadly, the whole world holds China’s feeble claim like a rare Ming vase, very fearful of dropping it. Hence, that’s where Taiwan it today.
Just a quick reply to NYkrinDC:


"For example, Chen Shui Bian has done much to provoke a Chinese reaction merely for his own political gain (going against US wishes that he not do so) and placing our relationship in jeopardy because of it.”


I remember the number of missiles pointing at Taiwan was in 400’s a few years back before Mr. Chen became president. It is close to 800 today. While the pan-blue blocked arm purchases in Legislature, China passed anti-succession law. Who is rocking the boat? The President froze a defunct body to make the point that Taiwan’s future will be determined by its people. How is this misconstrued as self-serving political gain and damaging to US-Taiwan relationship especially when this is in line with the principle of “We, the people” in your constitution. Bush admin is not happy only because now it has to hug and kiss China because it is soooo sensitive about territorial integrity, including parts that do not belong to her. Taiwan has been a docile partner to American policies, but Taiwan need not to bow to America's every whim, especially in this case.

5:17 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

An anonymous reader commented that, "How do you feel about authors like 黄文雄 and their anti China books?".

Well, not much actually as I haven't read any of his work. Now that you've reminded me, I'll have a look at what he has to say next time when I hit the bookstore.

5:31 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Thanks Michael, for your warm welcome and candid comemnt. ;-) It moves me when people speak from their heart. Have you noticed a bizzare phenomenon in Taiwan that some media often dare not say anything bad about China? Many TV stations/newspapers in Taiwan often downplay China's hostility towards Taiwan as if they were afraid to be penalized. That often confuses me and makes me mad. Are we in Taiwan or China? Who are they afraid of anyway?

Glad that we still have the Taipei Times, which has some backbone.

5:43 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

shavenpope said that, "... there are many who will silence you if they possibly can."

Well, try silencing me then. ;-D I welcome the challenge. Actually I think a lot of people here in Taiwan are open enough to consider a pragmatic solution for the cross-strait relations. But please, convince us with democracy and civilization. Missles just won't do it, period.

5:51 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

I think what we should be discussing here is not whether Taiwan has the right to declare independence, but how it can be achieved peacefully?

You might be astonished that a "mainlander" will support Taiwan independence, but let me explain my position:

1. There's no doubt that Taiwanese people is entitiled to determine their future, but any reasonable human being has to make a cost-and-benefit analysis before making any decision. Given the current situation, there is no way that Taiwan could be de facto independent without a bloody war which may cost tens of thousands of precious lives across the strait.
2. Mainland's democratization is the prerequisite for a peaceful Taiwan independence, without democracy in the mainland, the mainland government will only view a Taiwanese government declaring independence as a traitor and a great enemy, even the people.
3. Nationalism is a double-edged sword, nationalism in Taiwan may be taken advantages of by politicians to fulfill their ambitions which may not necessarily in the interest of the people. In the same vein, nationalism in mainland can by used by mainland politicians to maintain their legitimacy. The collision of the two nationalisms may lead to the greatest tradegy on this planet after WWII, as it may result in the destruction of this beautiful island and a long and bloody war between China and the US, two biggest powers of the world.
4. Mainland's democratization can be realized with the help of Taiwan people, with greater and closer exchange of business, politics and people, many mainlanders like me has realized that democracy is not incompatible with the Chinese culture and freedom can be earned with persisting struggle.
5. A democratic mainland will be the best friend of Taiwan and all mainlanders will respect the choice of their Taiwanese sisters and brothers, just like Canadians vs. Quebecois (this comparison may not be appropriate but the reasonings are the same), Quebecois and Taiwanese can vote out their future, being remaining in Canada or independence.
6. But by then maybe their is no need for Taiwanese to declare independence anyway because there is no threat from the mainland and the benefit of keeping close relationship with mainland is much bigger than cutting this link.

This is what I can think of for the time being, if I have time, I want to discuss in length with all of you about a better choice for both mainland and Taiwan.

8:06 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

Chinese Communist Party sucks! They say one thing but do it differently. Who killed the most Chinese? It's Chinese itself! If you are Chinese, please pay more cares to your own people and your next generations. Do your best to make China better instead of dreaming of taking over Taiwan. Taiwan is none of your business. Taiwan belongs to the people in Taiwan!

10:08 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Vincent,

I respect your opinion that "taiwan belongs to the people in Taiwan", just as I believe "China belongs to the people in China", but in my heart Taiwan is a part of China unless she declares independence. But what is the consequence of Taiwan declaring independence now? If you really care about the lives of your brothers and sisters in Taiwan, I don't think that you want them to push for independence at current stage. Yes, you are right that Taiwan is none of mainlanders' business, but do you really believe that Taiwan's independence can be realized with 1.3 billion people (not include me) believing that it's a betral and should be crashed.

I know that every Taiwanese will get sentimental when we talk about this issue, but as people of reason, we cannot let emotion take control of our mind, instead we should use reason to reach our ideal.
The only way, as I always insist, for Taiwan to get independence is to help mainland becomes democratic and free. In this sense although Taiwan is not mainlanders' business, mainland is every Taiwanese' business.

Let's resort to reason, not emotion. Everyone loves freedom, I would like to fight for the independence of Taiwan shoulder by shoulder with you till the last breath, just like I would support any province in China to declare independence in order to live in real freedom, but before that please give peace a chance. OK?

11:25 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger NYkrinDC said...

Wow, two common mainlander propaganda themes in one little comment: the Inevitable Chinese Victory and the Horribleness of Chen Shui-bian --

Actually, they are not. The first argument is an economic argument. The Taiwanese and China are becoming extremely interrelated economically and will draw even closer, just as S.Korea is doing despite its history of animosity with China. Additionally, this cannot be taken out of context, China is changing, fast. Within the next thirty years China will follow the Taiwanese trajectory to democracy, it will go from what it is now quasi-communist (yes, I know Taiwan wasn't a communist country, read till the end and see what I mean) to a one party state (non-communist more technocratic), to eventually more openness and some modicum of democracy. As China makes that journey, and begins to export its cultural revival to its near abroad, those countries, (or provinces) that now abhor everything China stands for, will begin to draw ever closer. We have to help that flow by opening China more economically to the world. As China adopts the Core's rulesets, it will begin to change faster, because in order to remain in power the CCP needs to attract sufficient FDI to keep the economy rolling, absent that, it crumbles under all its contradictions. Taiwan is part of this process as a conduit for that trade and the rule-sets that govern the Core, much like Hong Kong did with banking once it became part of the mainland. Now China's banks are adopting Hong Kong's rule sets on banking in an effort to attract even more FDI. The argument is far more complicated, but to go into detail would take me too long. I refer you to Thomas Barnett's blog and his articles in Esquire for a more detailed argument.

As for Chen, he is a bad apple, despite all the promises he has made to the US, he has continued to break and bend those committments. The Chinese have signaled that they're willing to keep the status quo indefinitaly and the US has agreed but Taiwan continues to provoke a reaction from China, that makes Chen dangerous because it pits the US and China against one another thanks in large part to our defense guarantee with Taiwan. That is a problem and it is a major reason why I believe that the defense guarantee should be scrapped. That is what my post on China and Taiwan dealt with here.

3:48 AM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous laoyao said...

I am from Mainland too. I hope that's not an original sin...just joking...

I would very much like to see Jen's rebuttal on the first Anonymous comment. That's what I believe too. Thank Godness that Taiwan remained seperated from the Mainland so that we can see what a modern civillized Chinese (all right, culturally speaking) society could be. I mean, hey, my Taiwan friends, we understand that you don't want to be part of that Chinese state. Who the fxxx wants? You think Chinese people like and support that government? Please differentiate the Chinese Government and the China as a combination of Culture, land, and people.

I don't have too much to say as the others have spoken for me, except that I am not very confident about the Chinese dominance even in ecnomics only. China could well be another Argentina. But, wait, hold your smiles if you had, my Taiwan friends, that's definitely not a good news for Taiwan. Don't be fooled by Nationalism. It's the Globalism era now. The best option is to thrive together. Politicians suck and let's all be very wary of any kind of Fundamentalism.

I do hope that Taiwan people understand the situation of the Chinese people, and do more to push the democratization process of the Mainland, instead of portraiting all Chinese people as communists or brainwashed by the government propaganda. The best way to gain indenpence is not by a war, or a gambling of no war, but convincing the other side that it's your right to be independent. That can only be done by helping China to become more civilized and democratic.

And thanks to Jen for this blog.

7:11 AM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Taiwanese people should approach the view of "China" and "Chinese" rationally and not with emotion alone (although I understand the difficulty in so doing). Obviously, not that many people like the CCP (that of course includes myself). On the other hand, "China" and the CCP are not necessarily the same, just as "Taiwan" and the DDP are not necessarily equivalent either.

When we separate the two, I think it is quite possible and even likely to recognize that the mainlanders too are human beings. Whether you like it or not, mainland China and Taiwan have significant ties with each other at the present time, economical or cultural. This tie is deepening and it will influence Taiwan significantly. And, instead of assuming that the one who pointed a gun at you is "bad," maybe we can first rationally ask ourselves why the gun was there in the first place.

PRC is not seeking an immediate unification today (according to an advisor of President Chen Shui-Bian in 2004). It is seeking a prevention of Taiwan Independence, that of which remains the minority opinion today. Are they justified in so doing? Some would suggest Abraham Lincoln had faced the same question, and the answer remains a question today.

Nonetheless, "China" can be a good thing or a bad thing. In that regard, it is no different from the US or Japan: if you treat it the way you wish it would be, it will become what you want it to be. If you want "China (PRC or else)" to be friend or family and treat it accordingly, it will be that way. The reverse is also true. How should a Taiwanese person see "China"? That of course depends on what future you desire.

7:14 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

Well, according to the "mainlander"'s logic, I can also say that in British hearts, they consider China as a part of UK, unless China declares its independence. Don't you think it's funny and stupid? Could any Chinese tell me by which rule or law must Taiwan belong to China? I can give you KMT, but don't think about my Taiwan.

If there will be a war bwtween Taiwan and any other country, I will and must go back to the Taiwan military and fight for my country and people. I'm not afraid of wars, so do all people in Taiwan. If China merely knows how to creat or solve problems by violence, please stop calling yourself "the peaceful people". This is a modern world which problems should be solved by brains, not weapons. Please behave like an educated human being. Don't learn everything from the barbarian and notorious Chinese Communist Party.

7:24 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

By the way, I have several Chinese friends, and all of them agree that Taiwan is an independent country and does not belong to China. I deeply believe that only selfish Chinese who benefit from the communist party would behave and say the same things as the damn party. We people in Taiwan do care about the future of Chinese people. But if you don't help youself, what can we do? I am so sad that so many Chinese still believe in the lies of CCP. Think about your family and friends first before you care about Taiwan. Solve your own problems before you can attack Taiwan.

People in Taiwan do not hate Chinese, but we hate those CCP Chinese. Open your eyes, and make China better. It's your country, and you should do your best to make it better instead of relying on people in Taiwan.

7:32 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

[according to the "mainlander"'s logic, I can also say that in British hearts, they consider China as a part of UK, unless China declares its independence. Don't you think it's funny and stupid? Could any Chinese tell me by which rule or law must Taiwan belong to China?]

I really don’t understand the logic of yours that the relationship between China and Taiwan is similar to UK vs. China, if you really believe what you said, I don’t know who really deserves to be called “funny and stupid”. What the hell are we talking about here if Taiwan is already independent from China? If you are independent, why don’t you change the name of your country and openly declare your independence? But I doubt whether you have the guts to do so. Having said that, I am not against Taiwan independence, but as I said, in my heart it is still a part of China as long as she doesn’t declare independence. If Taiwan chooses to declare independence against all odds, it is your choice and I will wish you success, and if I am allowed to get into Taiwan, I would like to fight shoulder by shoulder with you against the mainland army till my last breath.

[This is a modern world which problems should be solved by brains, not weapons. Please behave like an educated human being.]

You are right, we should use brains, not weapons, that’s why I am asking you to give peace a chance before taking radical steps, don’t let emotion take control and don’t think all mainlanders are greedy monsters coveting the beauty of Taiwan. Taiwan is a dreamland of many mainlanders, but that does not mean that we will destroy her if she “divorce” (de jur independence) from mainland instead of keeping the status of “separation” (de facto independence). It’s exactly like a love affair, I love you, therefore I give you the freedom to choose, but the circumstances around me doesn’t allow a peaceful divorce, so please be patient and wait for a moment.

[Open your eyes, and make China better. It's your country, and you should do your best to make it better instead of relying on people in Taiwan.]

Who’s relying on you? I am asking for help from Taiwan, and the help I mean here is keeping your patience, mainlanders are not beggars begging for your sympathy, we are fighting everyday for democracy and freedom and we’ve already shed more blood, much more then you did fighting for the same cause, and we will continue to struggle, until China became a democratic country which can peacefully accept the independence of Taiwan. So please cut out your rant and behave like an adult. A reasonable adult won’t do things that brings destruction to his/her own home and shout at anyone whose opinion is not in line with his/hers.
I respect your opinion, so if you want to conduct an intelligent discussion here please respect mine and stop using words like “funny and stupid”, the kind of psychological state behind these words of yours could by no means help your course.
Finally, I want to apologize beforehand if my response by any chance is offensive in your eyes, but I am not making enemies here, I want to make friends, I have friends and relatives in Taiwan and I want to be a friend to all Taiwanese, including you, Vincent.

8:29 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

Should I declare my independence everyday and all the time, given the fact that I don't belong to China? If you really hope for a talk between the Strait, then the best way is to recognize each other as an independent country rahter than to argue who belongs to whom all the time. Be fair, and show respect. That's the rule for a game.

9:55 AM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Michael C. said...

There are several posts from mainland Chinese, like Mainlander, Laoyao. Your posts seem open-minded enough to start a dialogue. It’s refreshing to see this, and your even-handed approach ought to be congratulated.

Most, if not all, people in Taiwan are very capable of distinguish CCP from ordinary Chinese folks. CCP despite its false claim over Taiwan, continue to push Taiwan away. From Wu Yi entourage’s “who cares about you?” in WHO meeting, to Foreign Minister Mr. Lee’s remark about our President, there is no sign of peace, mutual respect, or humanity in those statement. These certain leave a bitter taste in our mouth.

As about helping people in China, I don’t know about helping as “compatriot” as someone puts it. We are the same country to begin with. Getting rid of CCP and bring democracy to China is a Herculean task. But if you mean Taiwan serving as an example of democratic Chinese (I mean that in an ethnic sense) society and promoting the idea via citizen exchanges, well, here we are. There are many Taiwanese traveling to and working in China now. We have been here all along, and we are not going away.

The biggest regret to many people here is not being able to openly call our country Taiwan. Many people have work hard to change it, against pressure from inside and out. The external pressure is not just from China along. That’s the reality we have to live with for the time being. But situation is dynamic and I am not sure time is always on China’s side as many people tend to believe. So it has nothing to do with guts as one post puts it.

I am glad that Taiwan is not part of China and this is not a minority sentiment. I am truly fortunate that we inherit a prosperous and democratic society without much struggle by my generation, thanks to the hard work and scarifies of last one. Surely, there are new sets of challenges in our time. As the saying goes, there is no free lunch, and that’s work that we are willing to take on..

11:42 AM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous LA said...

My in-laws are 8 and 9th generation Taiwanese, and they and their Hakka friends consider themselves ethnically Chinese. I have no doubt that when mainland becomes as prosperous and as democratic as ROC (Taiwan), then political reintegration can easily be made.

Now, I cannot say what the Hoklo population in Taiwan would feel.

1:16 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Being Chinese descent does not mean you automatically should belong to a country together. Don't mix up the political situation with ethnical background. They are different stories.

1:29 PM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous LA said...

Just expressing what I gathered from my in-laws. Now, they want me to visit Taiwan and Mainland, because they are apparently everywhere. LOL. Political reintegration seems very possible to me, as politics are tools created by people.

BTW, my Hong Kong born minister is constantly talking being Chinese and working toward betterment of mainland, and she is not even political:)

1:51 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

La: You are entitled to express your opinions and share with us what you gathered from your "in-laws" or relatives. That's just the beauty of free speech which we protect and treasure here in Taiwan.

But make no mistake: the destiny of Taiwan still have to be determined by the majority of Taiwanese people, via a legitimate measure such as a referendum, not whoever wants to have their say in HK or China.

5:20 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Jen, Michael C, Vincent,

Glad to see that more Taiwanese are joinging this conversation, I think this is an overdue one between serious mainlanders and serious Taiwanese.
I am sorry if I had used some words in my posts that appear offensive to you, but most of them are responses to some "offensive" words targetting at me, I am sorry for that anyway.

Yes, you are an independent people living in a democratic and prosperous country (ROC, at least on the surface and constitutionally), and now you and many of your friends want to press ahead to change the name of the country, and the first step is to change the constitution which still declares mainland and Mongolia as a part of ROC, because this is perhaps the last thing that binds your hands as a free country. Your constituion is a joke, isn't it? But the circumstance around us is so wierd that the mainland government, who is a local (renegade) government according to this constitution is the strongest guardian of it, even comparing with the KMT. I have likened in my previous post the relationship between mainland and Taiwan as a love affair or more accurately, a marriage; we have been separated for more than half a century, but none of us has forsaken the "marriage certificate" (two constitutions across the street) in our hands, although they are different "marriage certificate", they both declare another party as spouse in a legal sense.

Mainlanders are struggling hard for a better and brighter future and we are making progress everyday, and nobody want a war to stop this process. But as you may be aware, a de jur Taiwan independence will lead to a war, because the army of mainland doesn't belong to us, it belongs to the ruling party, and the ruling party won't hesistate to crash this "rebellion" in their eyes even against the will of the mainland people. But a even bitter truth is that most mainlanders support the war, blinded by the nationalism which is a siamese twin of your nationalism.

Yes, Taiwanese are helping our cause toward democracy and freedom, by investing, by exchanging people, business and political views, etc. But it's not a unilateral process, mainland is helping you too, at least economically speaking. The trade surplus Taiwan enjoys vis-a-vis mainland is more than US$ 40 billion annually and is till increasing, and there are more than one million Taiwanese are now working and living in Taiwan, what's more, there are more than 20,000 cross-strait marriages every year! The economically and culturally link across the strait are perhaps much stronger than you thought.

What am I asking of Taiwan? I'm asking for your patience and your warmheartedness, don't push forward the cause that will certainly put both sides on a collision course, this is the last thing we want in our pursuit for freedom and democracy. And you can do much more than what you've already done now, for example, open the "三通" (three direct links of trade, mail, and air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits) and allow mainlanders to travel, invest, live and love in Taiwan! Millions of Taiwanese are travelling around mainland every year but only thousands of mainlanders are allowed entry into Taiwan and they have to transit at Hongkong before they fly to Taipei, that's ridiculous and sheer madness!

And please don't let hatred blind your eyes and let ignorance poison your hearts, mainlanders are your friends, your relatives, your colleagues and possible family members, we share the common language, the same root and even the same dream and we will be living only a strait away forever till the end of the planet, there is no way that Taiwan can ever break away from this geographic, cultural and economic relationship!

Do you think that I am asking too much? I don't know, but on my part I will do everything that I can to help more of my chinese friends understand the significance of Taiwan, to tell them what a free and prosperous society she is and what a beautiful people you are! Keeping our distance from hatred and nationlism, let reason reign, let peace reign, let us create a better future for you and me, for all the people across the strait, this is my dream, this is a dream I want to share with you.

5:59 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Sorry, a typo mistatke, I mean "there are more than one million Taiwanese now working and living in mainland".

6:05 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

An anonymous reader stated that, "..., instead of assuming that the one who pointed a gun at you is "bad," maybe we can first rationally ask ourselves why the gun was there in the first place."

So, when a notorious killer who wouldn't hesitate to use tanks on its own people pointed nearly 800 rifles right outside of your window, your reaction would be to ask why the guns were there?

Bravo!

6:22 PM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

Mainlander

If the problem is the CCP government, perhaps Chinese should show their opposition to it rather than cash in by going along all with whatever it says/putting their fingers in their ears and pretending nothing is wrong. Taiwanese should not have to suffer because of the greed of your brothers and sisters.

10:09 PM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

LA

In response to your comments about how Taiwanese regard themselves, the National Chengchi University published an extensive survey of polls on this issue over the last 10-15 years. Less than 10% of Taiwanese now regard themselves as being 100% Chinese. Over 40% see themselves as being 50/50 Chinese-Taiwanese or 100% Taiwanese. Your in-laws are in the minority.

Equally I would say that my HK friends show scepticism towards the mainland and regard themselves as being very distinctive from mainlanders, even if they do see themselves as being "Chinese" in some respect.

10:16 PM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>So, when a notorious killer who wouldn't hesitate to use tanks...

This is exactly what I was referring to: using fear and anger instead of reason. You have also neglected to grasp history.

PRC and ROC have been consistently fighting each for the past, say, 40-50 years. This hostility has toned down in 1980s and early 1990s. The military confrontation gradually ceased at that time. In fact, Taiwan accidentally fired an artillery shell into mainland territory (Xiamen). Response from PRC? They were afraid to anger or alienate Taiwan and did nothing.

This gradual peace and the decrease in tension was brought back in the late 1990s, after the "two-state" theory by Mr. Lee and a series of other statements. I'd say yeah, the gun was pointing at Taiwan again. But before then, it was turned away. It was pointed back because certain people threw a few rocks and even grenades at the holder of the gun.

You want to talk about 800 "rifles" pointed toward your house? Why not look at the South Koreans? They have tens of thousands of "artillery" pointed at their capitol at this minute. There are thousands of "rifles" (North Korean missiles) pointed at their home too. And what did they do?

They confronted it. Not with fear or anger, but with tolerance and understanding. Today the South Koreans no longer fear them. The two sides reached reconciliation. Yes, the two sides still have problems and occasional skirmishes, but the South Koreans now fear Kim Jung Il less than the Bush administration.

Don't let fear and anger control you. Again, if you want "China" to be your friend and family, it will be. If you let hatred blind your visions, "China" will be your enemy, not because it wants to, but because you choose to.

10:47 PM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taiwan IS and WILL ALWAYS BE a separate, soveriegn nation. The majority of Taiwanese have their roots in Taiwan and not China. What I've noticed about the mainlanders in China is that they regard all Chinese as Zhong Guo Ren, and thus treat them as such. What they don't seem to understand is that we consider it our race and not something of a "global Chinese community" that the Chinese press seem to keep advocating. A very good example would be the way how the Singaporean Chinese consider the Mainland Chinese, a perpetual foreigner, through and through.

1:53 AM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

Anaonymous said:

"Why not look at the South Koreans? They have tens of thousands of "artillery" pointed at their capitol at this minute. There are thousands of "rifles" (North Korean missiles) pointed at their home too. And what did they do?

They confronted it. Not with fear or anger, but with tolerance and understanding. Today the South Koreans no longer fear them. The two sides reached reconciliation."


North Korea doesn't insist that the South rejoin it as one country. Indeed if there was reunification, Seoul would become the new capital and the north would have to adapt to its rules, system of government, etc. As it is the South Korean government is criticised for giving the North far too much slack over its missiles. They have given lots of food, money and supplies for no returns, other than a handshake and a little propaganda.

So your example would be like the CCP agreeing to give up all its sovereignty to the Taiwanese government. South Korea will never give any power to the North.

2:36 AM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

If the problem is the CCP government, perhaps Chinese should show their opposition to it rather than cash in by going along all with whatever it says/putting their fingers in their ears and pretending nothing is wrong. Taiwanese should not have to suffer because of the greed of your brothers and sisters.

I'm not sure I appreciate this villification. I guess the idea that the majority of mainlanders don't criticize the CCP because they are afraid, not because they're greedy, has never crossed your mind. After having read and heard enough about the PLA opening fire on civilians and students receiving 17 years in prison for throwing paint at Mao's portrait, I guess most of them get it into their heads that "Hey, that's some fucked-up shit...better leave me out of it". Totally selfish, I know. But of course, if you had been born mainland Chinese, I'm sure you would not hesitate to stick it to The Man, Raj.

About the Taiwan issue...my personal opinion is that both sides need to cool down. A lot of what the leaders are doing is merely political theatre and vainglorious grandstanding. The PRC needs to start treating Taiwan as a country with de facto independence and a growing sense of a "Taiwanese" national identity, and cut the treacly and incredibly condescending "prodigal son longing to return to Mother's embrace" rhetoric. More diplomacy, and less carrot-and-stick bullying.

(On that note - it also rather puzzles me why both Hu and Chen would choose incendiary tactics that retard rather than advance cross-Strait relations. Surely they must know that such actions are suboptimal security-wise, as well as economically.)

Mainland's democratization can be realized with the help of Taiwan people, with greater and closer exchange of business, politics and people, many mainlanders like me has realized that democracy is not incompatible with the Chinese culture and freedom can be earned with persisting struggle.

While I agree with you that it would seem democracy in China (note I said "democracy" and not "democratization", because in my opinion some democratization is already happening)would have to be a prerequisite before any reunification happens, I disagree that Taiwan is going to provide that impetus.

In fact - and not to sounds like Mao - but I think it's the disenfranchised Chinese peasantry who are going to be the agents of real change. Neither international influence (from the U.S., Taiwan, etc) nor the bourgeousie (the social elites who have been coopted by the CCP) are going to be all that useful.

Someone mentioned how relations between North Korea and South Korea are improving, even without democratization in North Korea...I think that's a good example to consider. South Korea is clearly pursuing a policy of engagement and reconciliation. (Note I said "reconciliation"...not necessarily "reunification".)

It is China's desire to annex Taiwan that can bring down the present era of globalization, not Taiwan's desire to live as a democracy.

I think this doomsday scenario is unwarranted. Globalization really has very little to do with the Taiwan-China-US debacle. At its heart the issue is about regional geopolitics.

And I'm one of those who don't take much stock in the PRC firing those 700 or so missiles at Taiwain.

3:38 AM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

nausicaa

I reserve the right to give stupid answers to stupid questions. If Chinese people merely put their hands in the air and shrug when Taiwanese ask them to rein in their government, that is one thing. But they can't ask Taiwanese to sacrifice their rights just because they're not willing to do anything.

On a more serious note, although there is an element of "fear" in China, it is not that palpable. I think we all know here that Chinese do not stop talking when they see a policeman in the street. Even if they are warey of authority, they do not run and hide from it. It is more that they interested in challenging the government. You're kidding yourself if you deny that the intelligentsia has mostly made a money-deal with the government. Everyone knows they have.

In any case, who said they had to "storm the Bastille"? Does the CCP arrest people for writing letters these days? What would it do if millions of Chinese wrote to the government saying they didn't want it to attack Taiwan? Throw them all in jail? In some respects the Chinese people's worst enemy is not the government, it is their own fear of what it might do to them.

FYI if I was Chinese I personally would use what rights I had to indicate that I didn't agree with government policy if that was the case.

8:27 AM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous boo said...

Where did this blog come from? How did it go from no comments to nearly 40 comments? Jen, who are you?

Amazing thread. Keep it going, this is an unusually intelligent conversation.

9:53 AM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

I reserve the right to give stupid answers to stupid questions. If Chinese people merely put their hands in the air and shrug when Taiwanese ask them to rein in their government, that is one thing. But they can't ask Taiwanese to sacrifice their rights just because they're not willing to do anything.

True. Which is why I don't agree with mainlander's (or someone's else's??) proposal that Taiwan should reunite with China or somesuch to teach China about democracy. No nation indulges in such self-sacrifice.

On a more serious note, although there is an element of "fear" in China, it is not that palpable. I think we all know here that Chinese do not stop talking when they see a policeman in the street. Even if they are warey of authority, they do not run and hide from it. It is more that they interested in challenging the government. You're kidding yourself if you deny that the intelligentsia has mostly made a money-deal with the government. Everyone knows they have.

The reason the fear may not be "palpable" to you is because it has been internalized. Through persistant punishment over many decades (as well as through propaganda), the CCP has communicated to the mainland Chinese what it considers to be acceptable and unacceptable behavior. So the Chinese, either subconsciously or otherwise, know there is A Line, and rationally and self-interestedly choose to not cross it, by either going along with the CCP, or being altogether politically passive.

As for the intelligentsia making a money-deal with the Chinese government, let me disagree. First of all, you were talking about ALL the Chinese being greedy, you didn't specify the intelligentsia/middle class/bourgeousie (which makes up only a small part of China's population), so it was a blanket, and therefore unwarranted, condemnation. Secondly, the Chinese intelligentsia, unlike the intelligentsia in Western liberal democracies, have little actual agency (lack of freedom of expression/media), and you're assuming that they do. Therefore, China's gentry, save for a few particular anomalies that didn't end well (now there's an understatement!), have never had a strong commercial nor political impulse. At best you could say that the CCP co-opted/appropriated them by offering a carrot (economic liberalization), but they really had little say in it, considering what the stick was.

In some respects the Chinese people's worst enemy is not the government, it is their own fear of what it might do to them.

A fear which in many cases has been justified. Therefore, the costs of protesting in China rises exponentially compared to the costs of protesting in a liberal democracy like the States or Great Britain. While the benefits of doing so are not nearly as apparent.

Furthermore, millions of Chinese are not likely to write letters to the government because 1) unfortunately, the majority/a good part of them believe that if worst comes to worst, the PRC *should* attack Taiwan, 2)the problem of collective action, and 3)not living in a democratic society, they haven't had much experience with democratic processes like letter-writing (also the same reason why they are not litigious...taking advantage of the judicial system being something of a foreign idea), and 4) letter-writing is one of the most useless if civilized methods of protest.

FYI if I was Chinese I personally would use what rights I had to indicate that I didn't agree with government policy if that was the case.

Well, good for you. But what rights do you think you'd have? Over the past decades, China has made quite a lot progress in civil law (mainly on the commercial side of things), but little in constitutional and criminal law - which is the system you'd be dealing with if you thought about exercising those political "rights".


Btw, sorry Jen, for talking extensively about China and thereby hijacking your thread on Taiwan. On the bright side, at least it seems you're getting the traffic you wanted, eh? ^.~

10:40 AM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taiwanese should do whatever they like politically.
The PRC government should take their dirty hands away.
However, the dominated ideology of Taiwanese is extremely narrow and selfish.
They dont have any politacal perspectives in the global scope whatsoever.
The hegemony has such a prejudice toward the same race across the trait. They just want to get the hell out of the dictator control of the Chinese govn't, they wouldn't care about the mainlanders.
To me, mainlanders are like barbarian street bum and TWnese islike the pretentious missy.
The bum wants to get laid and the missy shows him no mercy.
But, still, selfishness and pretentiousness don't take their sovereignty away.
I never like the TWnese but I would say they have the right to decide whatever they want.

12:05 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

Hah. We've got all these nifty analogies going on. Someone upthread mentioned how Taiwan and China are like ex-spouses with different marriage certificates, and now Anon likens China to a street bum and Taiwan to the hoity-toity bint he wants to...ravish. (And I guess that makes the international community a bunch of voyeurs?)

Funny how people are framing an issue of identity politics in terms of sexual politics.

East Asia. At least we're never boring.

Btw, I'm from the mainland. I demand that you rejoin us because you're the only ones carrying on the great tradition of kunqu opera...those plebes from Beijing only like the raucous three-ring circus that passes for Peking opera.

12:57 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raj said:

>>Does the CCP arrest people for writing letters these days?

Yes.

>>What would it do if millions of Chinese wrote to the government saying they didn't want it to attack Taiwan?
Throw them all in jail?

Do you know anything about the past 50 years in the PRC? After having lived through famines, the Great Leap Backwards, the Cultural Revolution, and other massacres that followed do you think people have any interest in politics? You live through that and then start your letter writing campaign. I guess it would be worth 10 years in the Chinese version of Abu Gharib to state that the PRC shouldn't invade Taiwan.

The PRC does not want to invade Taiwan. If they did, the CCP would fall. On the other hand, if the CCP "lost" Taiwan, the CCP would fall. Idiots like Chen want independence in name when Taiwan already has it in fact. And for what? For nothing.

4:18 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

[I reserve the right to give stupid answers to stupid questions. If Chinese people merely put their hands in the air and shrug when Taiwanese ask them to rein in their government, that is one thing. But they can't ask Taiwanese to sacrifice their rights just because they're not willing to do anything.]

I also reserve the right to give stupid answers to stupid questions. If Taiwan people merely close their eyes and plug their ears when Mainlanders ask them to rein in their government, that is one thing. But they can't expect mainlanders to parade in the street and throw molotov cocktail bombs to the CCP tanks when the PLA airforce began to bomb Taipei because it is them that turned down any reasonable solutions in the first place.

[In any case, who said they had to "storm the Bastille"? Does the CCP arrest people for writing letters these days? What would it do if millions of Chinese wrote to the governmenst saying they didn't want it to attack Taiwan? Throw them all in jail? In some respects the Chinese people's worst enemy is not the government, it is their own fear of what it might do to them.]

A government didn't hesistate to slaughter armless protesting students won't hesistate to throw anyone writing "petition letters" into prison, because they know better than anyone else that the next scenario following the "millions of letters" is the "millions of demonstrators". Do you know Doctor Jiang Yanyong-the whistle blower of the SARs cover-up? He was under house arrest and disappeared from the public eye ever since he wrote a letter to the politburo petitioning for a rethink of the "6.4" movement. Do you know that thousands of evicted peasants were intercepted and beaten up at the railway stations by hatchet men hired by local governments just because they want to deliver the petition letter to the responsible official in Beijing in person? Writing a letter to stop the government to attack Taiwan? This is a naive suggestion mainlanders won't entertain because they know it's absolutely useless. We won't entertain your suggestion because we are afraid? It's so cheap of you to make such a judgment when you are not under the threat of being thrown into a prison cell filled with rapers and sodomites for writing a petition letter.

[To me, mainlanders are like barbarian street bum and TWnese islike the pretentious missy.The bum wants to get laid and the missy shows him no mercy. ]

Please stop using any degenerating analogies. I acknowledge that it is me who started up with the analogy of the "marriage certificate", but I refuse to accept the idea that a decent marriage is comparable to whoring because it's an insult to your parents and yourself.

Finally, I want to make it clear again that I am not asking Taiwanese to sacrifice their rights, I am suggesting, that for your own sake, please hold on for a minutes, because by insisting you rights to independence under current circumstances you might lose your rights to anything. We mainlanders are struggling hard to make mainland a better place, and we don't want this process stopped by an unwarranted provocation and we don't want our brothers and sisters across the strait to waste their precious blood for mutual destruction.

6:24 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger HI said...

Hey,

I've reading all these posts, and I am disgusted, especially about the part that "I am not Chinese" crap.

Don't matter how much abuse you get from anyone, including the CCP, you never deny who you are. It's sickening.

As for Taiwan independence, HELL NO. If Hawaii wants independence, the United States would never grant it, so why should China grant Taiwan independence? No nation would vote to disintegrate itself except for those who lost their mind.

So if you want independence, you gotta fight. AND a war it'll be !!!

6:41 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger HI said...

Mainland,

Stop begging those secessionists.They have no love for China, so expect none from them. They told you already that they love Japan.

Their purported love of freedom is just a cover to gain independence from China and to deny their Chinese heritage. Taiwan already enjoys freedom even now without independence. So what are they fussing about?

6:47 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

LA

Media tends to be fragmented on political loyalty. There are the Pan Greens and Pan Blues, so it's inevitable the media will be split. But when it comes down to people, the poll as I indicated to you is the reality. The pro-unificationists are in a small minority.

nausicaa

Writing letters can make an impact if people do it together. If Chinese people don't want to use the limited means at their disposal to object to something that is their choice. But I do not believe people are completely powerless. They are their own worst enemies when they believe they can do nothing.

HI

Hawaii is not governed separately from the mainland, nor were its predecessors the rightful government of the US. Nor do its people want independence. Thus your point is irrelevant.

Plus what has Chinese heritage got to do with anything? Once Chinese always Chinese, huh? Well sorry but identity isn't based on skin colour or who your ancestors were. It's a lot more complex than that. Only people like the Nazis believe genetic-ethnicity is the most important thing.

7:21 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger HI said...

Raj,

I don't believe genetic heritage is most important for a state. In fact, I am against ethnically-pure states. Only Europeans love it, and they have 2000 years of war and atrocities.

What I believe in is a poly-ethnic state. And that is the reason I am opposed to ethnic nationalism, like the one you are espousing for Taiwan.

7:31 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous boo said...

Jen, welcome to the world of trolls! Idiots like Hi can be a real cancer, so feel free to delete liberally. He makes false analogies and racist statements, as though race binds people's nationalities. Nonsense. And look at how many comments he's posted! Yes, definitely a troll.

7:39 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE HISTORY YOU FORGOT...OR PURPOSELY FORGOT...

What's this stuff about "native Taiwanese"???

Sounds quite self-serving.

The REAL Native Taiwanese are the aborigines who originally inhabited Taiwan island. Today, there are about 2 million of them living on Taiwan, and most do not vote pan-Green DPP.

The so-called "native Taiwanese" today are the descendants of the Chinese who moved to Taiwan when Taiwan became a part of Ming China 400 years ago. So really who's native??? And these "settlers" killed and drove the aboriginal population from their fertile lands and to the mountains. So you don't have many aborigines voting pan-Green, the coalition that espouses what it deceptively calls "native Taiwanese" nationalism.

7:48 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

"The so-called "native Taiwanese" today are the descendants of the Chinese who moved to Taiwan when Taiwan became a part of Ming China 400 years ago. So really who's native??? And these "settlers" killed and drove the aboriginal population from their fertile lands and to the mountains. So you don't have many aborigines voting pan-Green, the coalition that espouses what it deceptively calls "native Taiwanese" nationalism."

First up,Taiwan was never under the Ming.The Ming Dynasty ended in 1644.The closest Taiwan ever came to being "Ming" was when Zheng Cheng-gong,a Ming Loyalist, fled to Taiwan in 1662 and drove out Taiwan's Dutch rulers, who had occupied Taiwan in 1624.Zheng was trying to restore Ming rule to China.

The Ming and the Dutch had fought over the Pescadores (Penghu)in 1624.The Dutch had occupied the Islands and China objected.In the end it was agreed that the Dutch could have Taiwan, as it was not considered part of China,but the Piscadores was, and they would remain Chinese.

After the Qing defeated the "Zheng Dynasty" on Taiwan in 1683,they only maintain passive rule over parts of Taiwan,until the 1871 Peony Tribe incident.Taiwan only became a full Chinese Province in 1885.It was then ceded to Japan in 1895, and remained a Japanese colony until 1945.

Secondly,to view Taiwanese people as only descendants of Chinese who moved to Taiwan 400 years ago would be naive.Chinese people,mostly from Fujian, came to Taiwan for two reasons.First to get away from it, and secondly as migrant farmers and fishermen who did return home to Fujian.

Taiwan was used as a haven by Japanese,Chinese and Korean pirates.They obviously contributed to the Taiwanese population.Further as more Chinese,most of whom were single males,settled in Taiwan and in many instances did drive the Aboriginal people off their land,they also intermarried with them.The lowland Aboriginal Tribes of Taiwan were on the whole absorbed into this single Chinese male community.This community was also mixed with a little Dutch and others and finally had a good dose of Japanese blood in the Japanese colonial period.

While these people followed a culture largely based on that of Fujian,and spoke a language that was mostly based on Min-nan,it would be wrong to see these people as nothing but Chinese settlers.

The fact that these people also rebelled repeatedly against their Chinese, Spanish, French, Dutch and Japanese rulers should also be taken into account.The Taiwan Republic was declared in 1895 before the Japanese landed.While this is often seen as a bit of a joke,because the Qing officials fled.Don't forget that twelve thousand lives were lost in the first months of the Japanese period as the Japanese Army took control of the Island.About 500 being Japanese, and the rest largely being Taiwanese.

Finally, we have a number of nations around the world today,where the majority of the population are descended from settlers who arrived less than four hundred years ago.About time we listened to Taiwanese voices on their future.I wonder how the Blue Camp would do if the missiles went, and the Status quo was not an issue?

11:13 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Michael C said...

Shit! Major typo. Jen, if you are reading, scrap my last post.

"Their purported love of freedom is just a cover to gain independence from China and to deny their Chinese heritage. Taiwan already enjoys freedom even now without independence. So what are they fussing about?"

It's mentality like that makes China a crappy nation. People just piss and shit on the guys below. And you mainlabers couldn't figure out why Taiwan does want to be a part of China. We are very well aware that our ancestry goes back to China. That's no reason for Taiwan to accept China politically.

12:03 AM, March 12, 2006

12:06 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bra Fatts,

You're a hypocrite.
Stop white-washing history.
"Native Taiwanese" only applies to the original aborigines whose ancestors lived there before the mass invasion from your ancestors. Fact is most Aborigines on Taiwan today do not even vote pan-Green DPP and TSU. They know what happened, and they certainly don't identify with the so-called "native Taiwanese" which really means political domination by the descendants of settlers from Fujian.

1:41 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bra Fatts,

HISTORY OF TAIWAN.

If you check your history, Taiwan is a part of China as early as the Ming Dynasty when the Ming Army drove the Dutch colonialists out of Taiwan. There is really no "Taiwan" to speak of at the time. The so-called self-styled "native Taiwanese" haven't arrived from Mainland China yet. Most of the island was occupied by the Aborigines, whom the Ming Armies liberated from the Dutch since the Dutch were persecuting en masse the Aborigines there.

Later, Taiwan became a part of Qing China, which is still, despite all your arguments, still China. And that is a fact for two centuries, at least. True, not a province until later in the 19th century, but that does not negate the fact that Taiwan is a territory of China for all that time under the administration of neighboring Fujian Province. Consider this fact a blessing because had not Taiwan became a part of China, the Dutch would have ethnically cleansed Taiwan and the ancestors of the so-called "native Taiwanese" would have never been able to travel so from Mainland China freely across the Straits to Taiwan.

1:49 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael C,

My experience with Taiwanese, being a Taiwanese myself, is that Taiwanese are the ones always looking down upon others, especially if they're poor and uneducated. The label for these people is that they are "backwards" (luo-ho)It seems to me it's us who are looking down on Mainlanders.

1:52 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

Writing letters can make an impact if people do it together. If Chinese people don't want to use the limited means at their disposal to object to something that is their choice. But I do not believe people are completely powerless. They are their own worst enemies when they believe they can do nothing.

It's easy to be an armchair dissident when you have the rule of law on your side. Also, letter-writing campaigns are pretty much useless even in liberal democracies.

Hawaii is not governed separately from the mainland, nor were its predecessors the rightful government of the US.

Heh. China after Yuan Shikai was a clusterfuck revolving around the warlord government, the Chinese KMT, and the CPC. Who the heck even knows who or what was the rightful government of China? Bunch of proto-fascists, all. China never even had a chance.

...but I'm off on a tangent. Anyway,I agree with you. Hawaii is not an apt analogy to make with Taiwan.

2:08 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

About China's historical ownership of Taiwan - also depends on what you qualify as "China". Many use Qing to late-Qing boundaries as a starting point.

2:15 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous laoyao said...

wow, this thread is more and more interesting now. I guess most of us came here from the Peking Duck's link?

To HI, you said "No nation would vote to disintegrate itself except for those who lost their mind."

The truth is, Swedish people voted to allow Norway to be independent from Sweden last century.

And I don't understand why so many of my Mainland compatriots love to say things like that. I mean, do you have the right to vote on elections? Do you have the right to vote on any referrendums that affect our life? And suddenly you want to vote on whether Taiwan can be independent? Get our rights of voting from CCP first! Don't you see how dark sarcasm your statement is?

My opinion as a mainlader is, it's the Taiwanese people's right to choose what to call their home. We've already lost so many rights under CCP, how can we then help CCP to suppress other people?

However, having this right doesn't mean you have to use this right. I think it's better to the interest of the Taiwan people not to choose to claim non-China immediately. Be more practical, rather than the Nationalism sentiment.

I say this because Chinese has long suffered from all kinds of Fundementalisms, like Nationalism, Communism. I think the best way is to be practical. I despise how CCP blocks Taiwan in international organizations, and understand that caused a lot of trouble to Taiwan people. (Well, we have a lot of trouble under CCP too, like the difficulties of going abroad.) But think about it, would a Taiwan Republic help or worsen the whole situation?

Let's all be rational, practial, and still keep optimistic. Do it slowly and gradually but consistently. Never risk war or bloody conflict. Eventually we the people will triumph, in both sides of the strait.

3:04 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laoyao,

Fortunately, people of your opinion is in the vast minority on the Mainland China and overseas. Otherwise, you'd sell the whole Chinese nation down the tubes. Look at the former USSR. The reasoning was the same at the time. The Russians said to themselves, if only we'd just let all the republics go independent, Russia would become stronger. 20 years after, and Russia is still struggling to climb out of the dustbin of history. The promise at the time was that Russia and all its independent republics would quickly become rich capitalist nations. That didn't happen. And you know, Russia is sliding back into autocracy, but even worse, with diminished international influence and rampant poverty even worse than that seen under the USSR.

Imagine this. If China were to disintegrate into several regions. China's geo-political weight would diminish. Not only is that bad for economic development since China has lost vast resources in Western China but also threatens the very security of China. For instance, an Islamic Turkestan or a pro-Indian Tibet could very well prove troubling for China's nascent economy and security. Also, an anti-China pro-Japan Taiwan Republic could very well prove a threat to all the coastal regions.

I agree however that the CCP has not managed the Taiwan issue very well. For instance, garnering more friendship across the Straits. But, independence is out of the question, for unlike the Canadians, or the Swedes (whose history as told by you I have yet to confirm), China is really in the "middle" of it all. We have great geo-political reasons to insist on anti-partition.

4:03 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LA,

I am a big fan of the ROC. But please note, I do not equate ROC with Taiwan independence. Some secessionists have simply confounded the issue by equating ROC with Taiwan independence, which if and of itself denies Taiwan as part of China. AND please note, unlike the Taiwan secessionists and CCP, I do not view China as the PRC only. China is both PRC and ROC, and Taiwan is an integral part of China.

I knew it all along, it's the ROC that got it right, for our struggle is not about pitting one Chinese ethnic group against another. It's about political ideology. For all our talk about going beyond skin-color or race, we shall most focus on this, rather than on who is Taiwanese and who is Mainlander.

4:12 AM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

What's a big deal to change a country's name? What's a big deal to have Taiwan an independent country? Why are some Chinese so sensitive to that? Can't we Taiwanese call ourselves whatever we like? Is there any rule that people who speak the same language must have the same country? How about the independence of USA from UK? The argument that Taiwan belongs to China is so ridiculous! If Taiwan does belong to China, why don't you Chinese come to Taiwan whenever you like? Why can't the ditactor Hu come to Taiwan if he is the leader of Taiwanese people? Please wake up and see the fact which is going on now. Why are some Chinese always sleeping and dreaming of those nonsense stories!!?? Chinese are always welcome to take over KMT. I do believe KMT belongs to China, but definitely not Taiwan.

4:42 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vincent,

Your reasoning is a joke. If KMT does not belong to Taiwan, then why is at least half of the electorate are voting KMT? Are Taiwanese people stupid or something? You are insulting the people of Taiwan.

And it's not about just changing a country's name. It's about survival for Taiwan, for China, for Chinese people, for the ROC, and in general, for Chinese civilization, which encompasses Taiwanese culture. We cannot let the pro-Japanese anti-Chinese bigots win.

4:52 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vincent said, "What's a big deal to change a country's name? What's a big deal to have Taiwan an independent country? Why are some Chinese so sensitive to that? Can't we Taiwanese call ourselves whatever we like?">>

Vincent,

Let me put this in perspective for you. IT is a BIG DEAL.

Your saying let's let Taiwan secede from China is like I'm saying to you right now let's let Northern Taiwan secede from Southern Taiwan because after all, you gotta admit, Northern Taiwan is different from Southern Taiwan. In fact, I propose a two-state solution for Taiwan. Northern Taiwan will retain the ROC, whereas Southern Taiwan can have their ROT (Republic of Taiwan; great acronym, eh?)And all the Pescadores and Kinman Islands can vote to decide whom they want to join, ROC, ROT, or PRC. Now I would say that's fair. I certainly don't like Southerners tell me what I am.

6:12 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous cpj said...

Jen started this thread with comments on Ang Lee's brokeback mountain speech being cut: at first, i was pissed off to hear that the comments were censored. but keep in mind that the whole oscars ceremony was cut and edited, and translated into Chinese when they rebroadcast it on CCTV-6 in China. That doesn't mean that they didn't purposefully cut out parts of Lee's speech--I suspect they did--but just to let people know, this wasn't the only thing cut in the Chinese broadcast. I guess that doesn't justify the cutting, but anyway.

9:58 AM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous cpj said...

China and Taiwan--where to even begin? I have friends and relatives on both sides. When I lived in Boston, i got together two taiwanese, one mainlander, and myself to share an apartment. My parents' dinner parties usually involve friends from both sides of the strait. In my Chinese literature classes, my fellow students included Malaysian, Singaporean, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, and mainland Chinese and me--an ABC--reading and discussing "San Guo Yan yi" (romance of three kingdoms) in Chinese. Of course, there are divisions, there are differences, there are prejudices and hostilities, as we've seen throughout this discussion--but things change when you interact with people. The stereotypes and generalizations probably remain in your mind, but get a lot weaker--you start looking at and treating people as human beings.
But that's in the US, or the diaspora, where in general, Chinese people can all "just get along"--obviously, to hope that things back in Asia could be like that is too romantic a view.

You can blame whoever you want--the CCP, Chen shuibian, historians with agendas, or even ignorance in general--but the question still remains--how do we go on? How do you chart a course for the future affecting the people of China, Taiwan, and the overseas Chinese. Here, i think mainlander hits the nail on the head--you have take practical steps, even if that means the pace of change is slow.

I've read through most of the historical arguments, and i've read most of other posters' analogies with canada, hawaii, germany, etc. It's all interesting, but when it comes time to roll up the sleeves and get to work on solving China/Taiwan, i don't know how much of that is going to matter. They are references, good to keep in mind, but China/Taiwan is, historically, a unique situation, which is what makes it thorny.

The PRC government probably fears a domino effect situation--if Taiwan manages to get its independence, then what happens to Xinjiang, Tibet, etc? The PRC would be hard pressed to explain why they could let a group of (mostly) Han Chinese people go while keeping ethnically and culturally distinct Uighurs and Tibetans in the fold.

I'm glad that at least here people can talk about it. I stopped talking to a friend of mine, a Beijinger, because she said that she would help out the war effort (not as a soldier) if indeed Taiwan declared independence. I very much hope that I will live to see some kind of one-country two systems deal worked out, but I told my (ex) friend that whatever happens, I would not support a war, because if you believe Taiwanese are Chinese, then you believe that Chinese people killing other Chinese people is necessary to preserve territorial integrity. I want to live with my Taiwanese friends, not bury them.

Ending on a bleak note: someone said upthread to watch out for fundamentalisms. Well, i think they're everywhere. Even many educated mainlanders still hold fast to the received truth that Taiwan is part of China. Personally, I also don't like Taiwanese people that are always trying to distinguish themselves from mainlanders, the nativization process, in certain cases can go to far and end up looking like a kind of anti-everything Chinese bigotry. Problem is that the world's problems aren't solved by bloggers (or is that fortunate?), but by politicians who end up where they are (presidents of nations, etc) by swearing allegiance to a particular ideology. Take america's own world leader pretend, who's gotten us into a fine mess in the middle east.

Is Ma Yingjiu+some Chinese leader more moderate than Hu Jintao the answer? Who knows. Who was it that said that the KMT belonged to China. Not that any of us are important, but those remarks don't help. My parents are waishengren that grew up in Taiwan, our leanings are naturally pro-blue. I can't say that I'm terribly excited by all the meetings between Lian Zhan and the CCP leadership. The thought of shaking hands with anyone in the CCP bothers me, because shaking hands with a man implies a certain respect for them. But in any case, i've been told that politicians shaking hands (think Oslo accords) can signal the beginning of the thaw. And that's about the only rational basis for hope we have, at this point.

10:43 AM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

"Anonymous said... You're a hypocrite.Stop white-washing history.

"Native Taiwanese" only applies to the original aborigines whose ancestors lived there before the mass invasion from your ancestors. Fact is most Aborigines on Taiwan today do not even vote pan-Green DPP and TSU. They know what happened, and they certainly don't identify with the so-called "native Taiwanese" which really means political domination by the descendants of settlers from Fujian."

Sadly, Anonymous, the only hypocrite is you.
First up,I'm not Taiwanese, I'm African.I didn't insult you in my post, so why the need to start calling me names?

I would suggest you go and reread my post and check your history.If you want to argue about the history of Taiwan,I suggest you become a little more acquainted with it,because right now, even this African, who is by no means an expert, clearly knows a little more than you do.The only white-washing of history seems to be by you, through your ignorance of it.

Aborigines are indeed the indigenous people of Taiwan.They make up less than 2% of Taiwan's population of around 23 million.In my previous post I explained why it would be naive to believe that the majority of the Taiwanese population were simply just Chinese settlers and of per Han blood.

Secondly,there was never a mass invasion by my ancestors.Not many African people in Taiwan (the only Africans I'm aware of in Taiwan history are two companies of African slaves in Zheng's Army 1662).I know you presumed that I was Taiwanese and therefore you are referring to people from Fujian.

There was never any mass invasion (your term) of Taiwan by people from Fujian.The Fujian settlers moved across in small numbers over a considerable period of time.The only "mass invasion" of Taiwan by Chinese people, around 2 million, was with Chiang and the KMT in 1949.

While undoubtedly not all Aboriginals vote Green, the reverse would also be true.
There has been conflict between Green elements and Aboriginals.The Blue camp has often quite successfully exploited this.The fact remains that there is a rift between these two groups, but there is common ground too, and people in both groups are moving towards it.There are some very Green Aboriginal groups, but it would be correct to say that at this point they remain in the minority.

"Anonymous said...If you check your history, Taiwan is a part of China as early as the Ming Dynasty when the Ming Army drove the Dutch colonialists out of Taiwan...."

Anonymous time for you to do some more reading.Taiwan was never under the Ming nor did the Ming drive out the Dutch.

The Ming Dynasty ended in 1644.The Dutch were driven out of Taiwan in 1662 by Zheng Cheng-gong, a Ming loyalist,who was at war with the Qing rulers of China, and wished to restore the Ming.The Ming nor Zheng never liberated the Aboriginals.

The Aboriginals were very much entrenched in their own areas, which was most of the interior and East Coast(I'm not denying that many lowland tribes had been driven from their land on the SW coastal plain.)

To suggest that the Chinese were liberating Aboriginals is absurd.China at this point was happily importing many castrated African slaves.I doubt that they thought so highly of Taiwanese Aboriginals at this point in Chinese history, that they felt the need to liberate them from "Dutch" rule.The Dutch never pursued a policy of "ethnically cleansing" the Aboriginals.They did fight them, and killed many, but they also traded with many, and never penetrated and controlled the interior and East Coast of Taiwan.
I never said that Taiwan wasn't part of Qing China,but only that one should look at how it was a part of Qing China.

The Qing pursued a policy of passive rule/control over areas of Taiwan for most of the Qing period.The Qing never controlled the interior and the majority of the Aboriginal people.The Qing even maintained that their sovereign rights did not extend into aboriginal areas, when trying to avoid responsibility in the Peony Tribe Incident.

Anonymous,I suggest that you look at the history of Taiwan with a more open mind.Your attitude seems to be pretty much in line with the usual response to anyone who happens to point out that some of Taiwan history is not quite as clear cut as many Chinese would choose to believe.

11:35 AM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

"Anonymous said... If the Taiwan secessionist people had it their way, they would want to ethnically cleanse...."

I take it you mean the Green Camp.I'd be more worried about the Blue, they do have a history of violence and killing.Big numbers!

I thought you said that Taiwan had been Chinese since the Ming, so wouldn't that be Chinese Killing Aboriginals then, or do you acknowledge a difference when it suits you?

Do some reading, the Qing Government Officials from China also killed plenty,as did the Japanese don't be selective when pointing your finger.

12:43 PM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Adding to Bra Fatts said...

Adding to what Bra Fatts said about the Aboriginal (and I'm going to add Hakka) political position.

Voting in Taiwan goes along ethnic lines because of KMT one party rule for 50 years. No one remembers the stuff from 300 years ago or at least the events weren't traumatic enough for it to affect politics today.

Anyways, whatever the history of the first immigrations, that has nothing to do with the case today and it looks nothing like European colonization of the Americas. To accuse the DPP of wanting to commit ethnic cleansing is a complete insult and dishonor to the work they did in bringing multiethnic democracy to Taiwan. If you are talking about the promotion of Taiwanese language, you're still wrong because over time, because of the Min-nan majority, both Aboriginals and Hakka were mostly able to speak Taiwanese (this obviously did vary from area to area since they did have their own language as well). Basically, the new rise of Taiwanese in Taiwan is actually a very natural one, and even still, it still loses out to Chinese in schools, since Taiwanese is never used for instruction.

The KMT, being almost completely waishengren, decided that in order to suppress the rights of the benshengren, they would enlist the help of Aboriginals and Hakkas. Thus, they did those communities many favors, such as building infrastructure in their communities way out of proportion to their populations and spent tons of money buying votes and buying favors from local leaders. This is what led to Hakkas and Aboriginals becoming traditionally pan-Blue.

Further, look at the way Hakka culture and Aboriginal culture is now being promoted under the Chen Shuibian administration. There was never any room for that when the KMT one-party state was in power. In fact, the inclusiveness of the current Taiwan is driven mainly by the constant insistence by the KMT that everyone in Taiwan was Chinese and nothing more.

You can say that multiculturalism and democracy were used by Taiwanese nationalists for the greater cause of Taiwanese independence. I'm not sure I really see the problem here--benshengren, not understanding why they were being deprive of their rights and their language, based on ethnicity, came to the conclusion that there was a universal right by all human beings for democracy and expression of culture. Is that so bad? Because they wanted to be able to speak Taiwanese and because they wanted to participate in the government under democratic rules, they picked up the causes of all ethnic groups (also women's rights too).

2:22 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Bra Fatts,

It's so nice to have an African involved in our discussion, that brings in a lot of fresh air to this heated chatroom. But the problem I have with your comments is that they are so biased toward the Pan-green camp, seems like you had been educated in Taiwan for sometime during the Chen Shuibian regime or you've been reading a lot about the history written/promoted by them. I have some questions for you, what do you think of the British/French colonial rule in Africa? Do you think African people should promote their tribal languages instead of being assimilated into the globalized world? By asking that, I am not doubting their rights to protect their unique culture, but do you think it's very constructive to teach their kids generation after gerneration that Brits/French killed much more people than any other rulers of the country and that anyone who's supporting British/French version of democracy or idea is a traitor to their ethic African countrymen? Do you think that Zimbabwe, by actively or passively getting out of the Confederation is an inspiring examples to all other African countries? What do you think of the current situation in South Africa, do you think that the current regime should keep on blaming the former white governments for the poverty of the black population while playing down the real threat of the spread of AIDS?
Sorry for asking so many questions not directly related to Taiwan, but in an interdependent world the problem of one country/region may be mirrored in other places, and I am really curious about the answers you may offer us, since you are obviously a very intelligent and knowledgeable African. I have to acknowledge that I learned a lot from you, a foreigner about the pre-modern history of Taiwan, what a shame!

6:33 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

"Mainlander said... the problem I have with your comments is that they are so biased toward the Pan-green camp, seems like you had been educated in Taiwan for sometime during the Chen Shuibian regime or you've been reading a lot about the history written/promoted by them."

Sorry Mate,haven't received a Taiwan Education.I'm not surprised that you think I'm biased.People that ascribe to your views on Taiwan always seem to say this when you don't quite agree with their version of events.

I would be happy to answer some of your questions on Africa, but this is not the place for it.We would all go way off topic.

7:22 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Brat Fatts,

Can you give me your email or refer me to some appropriate chatroom to continue our discussion about your home continent? Or you still need some time to figure out because you don't know much more about Africa than about Taiwan:)?

8:16 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

"Mainlander said... Brat Fatts,
Can you give me your email or refer me to some appropriate chatroom to continue our discussion about your home continent? Or you still need some time to figure out because you don't know much more about Africa than about Taiwan?"

Mainlander,Here you go.You can use this e-mail: fattbz@gmail.com .

9:42 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Hi Bra Fatts,

I just send an email to you, please check it out, I am waiting for your response.

10:37 PM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bra Fatts,

I've read your long-winded reply to my post about Taiwan history. You are a bundle of contradictions when it comes to history and concrete facts. For instance, you insinuated that the Hakka and Aborigines love the pan-Green Taiwanese Nationalism, yet, they still vote pan-Blue because they've been "bribed." I think you are the one who is insulting Taiwan. Not me. Fact of the matter the KMT is not all Waishengren. At least half of the electorate in Taiwan is now voting KMT, and that by far include way many more Bengsheng Taiwanese than Mainlanders. So what are you talking about? Why are you constantly insulting my intelligence and the intelligence of everyday Taiwanese?

6:35 AM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bra Fatts said, "Taiwan was never under the Ming nor did the Ming drive out the Dutch. The Ming Dynasty ended in 1644.The Dutch were driven out of Taiwan in 1662 by Zheng Cheng-gong, a Ming loyalist,who was at war with the Qing rulers of China, and wished to restore the Ming."

Bra Fatts, I just love your dabbling in moot technicalities. Zheng Cheng-gong was a Ming loyalist, and therefore the armies he controlled were effectively Ming Armies. Nevermind the imperial capital was already sacked by the Qing Armies, Ming Government was effectively operating on Taiwan. And yes, Zheng Cheng-Gong was a Chinese. So there, it was a Chinese government on Taiwan.

Qing China later supplanted Zheng Cheng-Gong's government on Taiwan. But it was still a Chinese government on Taiwan !!! So what is your point, Bra Fatts??? Why are we even arguing over such matters. Your historical point is MOOT.

6:49 AM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bra Fatts,

There's a reason Africa is still poor because it is constantly dabbling in ethnic tribalism. There are no central-functioning governments for the most part. Tribes and tribal warfare run the affairs of lots of African nations.

6:51 AM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mainlander,

While I admire your "open-mindedness", I hope you don't run into the mistake of forgetting the national interest.

The Russians when they dissolved the USSR without even a thought of the alternative consequences is one mistake Chinese people should not repeat.

7:17 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

KMT wants to reunite with China, so let it be. Now you Chinese say it's dangerous for KMT to go back to China? Then why isn't it dangerous for Taiwan to be "reunified" by China? I don't understand how you think about that issue.

8:09 AM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vincent,

China is slowly transforming itself. My assessment is that it will become a democracy in some recent future. The KMT, and other parties on Taiwan can return. But it will take some time.

To me. Right now, Taiwan can either be a shinning example to the Chinese people of how a Chinese democracy works, or it can be an example of a democracy gone wrong. No self-respecting Chinese, either on the Mainland, or overseas, could ever stomach the fact that once you've embraced democracy, you deny your Chinese heritage, or even attempt to alienate yourself from all things Chinese. Unfortunately, among some circles, particularly secessionist ones, that is the trend, to hate Chinese and China, and to love Japan. This is not an example China would follow.

8:43 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger richard said...

The Russians when they dissolved the USSR without even a thought of the alternative consequences is one mistake Chinese people should not repeat.

Russia didn't make a mistake. They did just fine. A few years of political turmoil was well worth the huge progress the country has made since then. It would be sublime if China were to follow Russia's example to the letter. Russia is a textbook case of the success of democracy and freedom.

12:45 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

Anonymous said...Bra Fatts,
You are a bundle of contradictions when it comes to history and concrete facts. For instance, you insinuated that the Hakka..."

Sorry,Anonymous.I didn't say anything about the Hakka.Look again it wasn't my post.

"Anonymous said...There's a reason Africa is still poor because it is constantly dabbling in ethnic tribalism. There are no central-functioning governments for the most part. Tribes and tribal warfare run the affairs of lots of African nations."

Half the story,but true.This is not a thread to discuss Africa.My e-mail address is there if you wish to join Mainlander and I.Mainlander and I discussing things,not insulting each other, so you are only welcome if you can behave.

"Anonymous said...Bra Fatts, I just love your dabbling in moot technicalities. Zheng Cheng-gong was a Ming loyalist, and therefore the armies he controlled were effectively Ming Armies. Never mind the imperial capital was already sacked..."

Can't help you if you want to pretend the Ming Dynasty didn't end in 1644.There is a difference between trying to restore and being the Ming.

"Anonymous said...Why are you constantly insulting my intelligence and the intelligence of everyday Taiwanese?"

I'm sorry you think so.Would you feel better if I didn't post?

2:17 PM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Kenneth said...

Bra Fatts and Anonymous, Zheng was actually half Chinese, half Japanese and he said he was a Ming loyalist. However, when he defeated the Dutch, instead of claiming sovereignty for the Ming Dynasty, he established his own kingdom called Tungning Kingdom or Dongning Wangguo. But he used Taiwan as a base for attacks on China in attempt to restore the Ming Dynasty. Their troops actually controlled part of Fujian Province (by that time, he was dead and his son took over). Ultimately, his grandson lost to the superior Qing military and Taiwan became Chinese territory for the first time in 1683.

2:53 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

To the anonymous dude above who spoke to Bra Fatts and Richard:

If you are so logical and reasonable as you claim, then practice what you preach!

I am allowing everyone's comment here not to let you bitch about others while conveniently mask yourself under the protection of anonymity.

2:54 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

"Kenneth said...
Bra Fatts and Anonymous, Zheng was actually half Chinese, half Japanese and he said he was a Ming loyalist. However, ....Ultimately, his grandson lost to the superior Qing military and Taiwan became Chinese territory for the first time in 1683."

Correct Kenneth!

3:05 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Adding to my post about "How a Taiwanese person feels about China", I'd like to refer those who shares my sentiment, especially if you are Taiwanese who were born after the 1970's, to this book, Island in the Stream, if you want to read more about Taiwan's complex history.

5:38 PM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jen and Taiwanese friends,

I am a Beijinger studying in Europe.

What I want to say to all of you is:

NEVER DENY WHAT YOU ARE!

TAIWAN IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY!

TAIWAN IS ALWAYS A PART OF CHINA!

Your friend
Fluter

7:04 PM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Kanwa-Kyudai said...

There's no need for Taiwan to declare independence because it is independent enough at present. To keep the current condition, Taiwanese people should watch out for hasty political games which possibly give the CCP the opportunity and excuse to attack Taiwan.

Time is surely on Taiwan's side, not on the CCP.

Most countries in the world officially support the one-China policy simply because the PRC is big in everything, such as population, land, military and economy. But I imagine a lot of people, in particular, in democratic countries surely regard Taiwan as an independent coutry in their hearts.

By the way, Mr. President, please accept the offer of the two pandas, and entertain Taiwanese children waiting for the pretty pair. It's too late to reject it, and you have nothing to lose anyway. It might even improve your plunging approving rating.

9:45 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

Everyone must agree that nobody is born to hate China, but Chinese government and the Chinese propaganda make everyone hate them. Why? Because some Chinese do not know how to respect others, even to themselves.

And according to the current status, Taiwanese can go to China easily whereas Chinese can't come to Taiwan without Taiwan's permission. Therefore, China should be a part of Taiwan.

Sadly to see those educated Chinese still believe in their ridiculous and notorious government. Does you government merely teach you how to threat Taiwan and how to hate Japan and USA? Life of hatred is miserable, isn't it?

1:07 AM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

[Everyone must agree that nobody is born to hate China, but Chinese government and the Chinese propaganda make everyone hate them. Why? Because some Chinese do not know how to respect others, even to themselves.]

Yes, you are right, the Chinese government did a hell lot of shitty things in the past half century and the Chinese propaganda authority is probably one of the most shameless one in human history, I have no doubt that the majority of mainland Chinese just ignore anything that they publicized, especially the infamous CCTV newsbroadcast at 7 PM every night. Those propandas are just boooooll shit!

But ironically, it is exactly because of the ineptness of the Chinese propaganda instruments that people begin to look for their own source of information, like overseas news portal, magazines, newspapers or even rumors spread out from HK, Taiwan, etc. And people are getting better and better informed of what the real situation in HongKong and Taiwan are.

But I doubt that whether the government in Taiwan has told Taiwanese that mainland is changing and mainlanders are not enemies of Taiwanese, or they just make no distinction between the mainland people and the mainland government? Vincent, I have no problem with you hating and chastizing the mainland government, a certain percentage of mainlanders including me loathe this government too, but what I don't like about your posts is that you have such a unpleasant attitude against the mainland people, as if they are your enemies and it's them who are making your life miserable. The truth is that they suffer much more than you under this government because they have no other place to hide and they have not a strait to protect
them from the tyranny.

One of the previous posts mentioned that peasants, not intelligentsia are now the driving force of the civil rights movement, he/she is to some degree right because a big portion of the intelligentsia has been co-opted by the government. But that is not the whole picture, now more and more intellectuals, including many lawyers, university scholars are standing out and making their voice heard by the government. Last month, there are a few famous dissidents and their supporters began to take on a "hunger stike relay" in front of Xin Huamen, the gate to the CCP headquarter in Beijing. They were arrested and taken away immediately after their actions being found by the police, but it just shows you how brave and persistent they are in pursuing justice and democracy in China! With them, and with more and more people admiring and following them, sooner or later we can make a change, a real and big change to our country.

[And according to the current status, Taiwanese can go to China easily whereas Chinese can't come to Taiwan without Taiwan's permission. Therefore, China should be a part of Taiwan.]

Of course mainland could be a part of Taiwan, I would be happy to see it be part of a larger democratic China, and at least it is already and still one part of the Republic of China accoring to the ROC constitution, isn't it? The ROC constitution is far better than the PRC constitution, if I have to choose between the two, I will definitely choose the ROC one, and I believe I am not alone at all in this regard. Having said that, could you please explain to me why your government is still taking such a hostile and unreasonable policy as regards mainland visitors, are you afraid of being inundated by the mainland population? Or you really believe that those visitors might be plain-clothed PLA soldier who mighted secretly raided your Presidency Office?

[Sadly to see those educated Chinese still believe in their ridiculous and notorious government. Does you government merely teach you how to threat Taiwan and how to hate Japan and USA? Life of hatred is miserable, isn't it?]

I doubt that the majority of the educated Chinese still believe in the current government, they are busy making money and couldn't care less about the government now. And those angry youth you saw on the TV last April chanting anti-Japanese slogans are just kids, they will mature in time and be more reasonable and I have confidence in them to be the future driving force of democratization in China, after all they are the internet generation and are not easily cheated time and again. Believe it or not, those kids, most being the only kid of their family, are more individualistic (both in a negative and postive sense, but I am counting on the latter) and harder to control than any previous generations and they sooner or later will realize their place in the history and their duty to the future.

3:55 AM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger richard said...

There were a lot of adults among those angry kids, including university professors. I wouldn't write this off as just some adolescent rage. When you are that angry, it doesn't just wash off. Look at the Red Guard. Their future lives were ruined in many cases, because their capactiy for rational thought had been wiped out. They never fully recovered.

9:53 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

Vincent, most of us mainlanders who've been participating in this discussion have been quite courteous and conciliatory (well, except for Crazy Anon Guy), so perhaps you can drop the antagonistic and accusatory tone? If you hate us mainlanders, that's fine. But don't presume to speak for "everyone".

And Richard - I'm still not convinced of your "Attack of the Red Menace, Part Deux" take on the fenqing. Though resentment towards Japan is widespread in China, *most* people don't act on it. And those who do, are *mostly* youths. But that's okay, we're simply going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

10:58 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mainlander,

Be careful with their rhetoric and arguments. I am an American-Born Chinese whose parents are from Taiwan. I was raised and grew up here in the USA, went to a prestigious school. Heard and discussed all sorts of little theories and arguments the anti-China crowd put forth. If you get down to it, they want to do one thing: LET you start feeling guilty for ALL your sins simply because you are Chinese. BUT that's not all ! They want you to believe China is just imaginary; hence, the arguments that "China" is just a civilizaton, a culture, no more than a figment of the imagination, or object of tradition, with no borders or sovereignity to defend, or even national interest to look after, all the while Americans, and British, are looking after their national interests by looting the world's oil and bombing the hack out of Iraq, and supporting pro-Western dictatorships around the world. After all, Saddam was the product of American support until he turned anti-American.

11:07 AM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

HI said, " ... Mainland, Stop begging those secessionists.They have no love for China, so expect none from them. They told you already that they love Japan."

Typical hysterical behavior of a Chinese person - everything in the end has to relate to your hatred towards Japan. Grow up! You are blurring the focus of discussion.

11:21 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Jbo in beijing said...

to Anonymous said...
Hi Jen and Taiwanese friends,

I am a Beijinger studying in Europe.

What I want to say to all of you is:

NEVER DENY WHAT YOU ARE!

TAIWAN IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY!

TAIWAN IS ALWAYS A PART OF CHINA!

Your friend
Fluter

Taiwan has been an Independent country since 1949. When the KMT first moved itself to Taiwan and the communist took over the mainland, TAIWAN had a seat in the UN and not China, also, Taiwan was recognized as the legitmate capital of China until the late 1950's, of course, that is something that is not taught in chinese history classes.
As for the Current NPC meetings that have been going on in Beijing, I have grown tired and sick of the slanted reporting from CCTV. Everyday, they say that the NPC members are the voice of the people and that they support the plans that have been laid out in the next 5 year plan. When in reality, the NPC is not the voice of the people. The NPC members are chosen not by direct elections, but by local party members. Most of the NPC delegates are themselves party members. How is this the voice of the people?
Taiwan has the right to decide its own future, they should not be bullyed by China.
I am an American living and working in Beijing. Everyday, i have to listen to government officals bad mouth not only Taiwan, but also the United States. From the research that i have done, I have come to realize, that if China did seek to "reunite" Taiwan with the mainland, and if they did it through war, China would not win. They have neither the military capabilities nor the money to fight a long term war with any country from the west, especially with the US. A reunification war would be costly for not only the Chinese economy, but also for china's identity.
Jen, as you said before let them try to silence me, well in the mainland they have. I had to reach your site through my secret proxy server.

11:34 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen,

Face it. When you don't agree with something, everything that the opposition says sounds "childish" and offensive.

11:34 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Jbo in Bejing said...

Just one more thought, Taiwanese people may share a common language with china, and a common ancient history, that does not mean they are Chinese. My decedents came from Europe to the US in the early 1600's, Just because I share a common language with the UK and a common ancestory with them, does that make me British? No. I am American. We have our own history and culture since our country was founded. As is the same with Taiwan. It has its own culture now, its own history. Heritage does not make one "belong" to a certain group. Identity does. Most "white" americans do not say that they are european, our identity is American. Taiwanese people do not say they are chinese, because they do not identify with the Chinese people, their idenity is Taiwnese.

11:39 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jbo,

Taiwan secession is extrememly dangerous. The PRC will definitely attack Taiwan. Without foreign support, PRC troops would be all over Taiwan in days.

Here lies the problem, secessionists don't believe this and insist that Americans will come to the rescue. Being American, I know it ain't gonna happen. A USA-China War would be costly to China, but PRC has huge stakes in ensuring Taiwan not secede, even if they need to use nuclear weapons to NUKE out American vessels to achieve that. IS America willing to go Nuclear over Taiwan when America is already having so much trouble with the Islamic terrorism??

Keep in mind, Osama Bin Laden is just waiting for China to become alienated from the USA in a "hot" war, and thereby gain a very useful ally when it comes to the supply of nuclear bombs.

11:47 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Jbo in Beijing said...

that is true. Yet, another paradox faced by both countries (the US and China) is the close econmic ties that they share with each other. It would be a costly war both in lives and money, but seriously, i dont think that China wants the ramifications of dropping nuclear weapons on anyone, especially the US. The US has a "retaliation in kind" policy that stems from the cold war. If China were to nuke US ships protecting Taiwan, than, the US would have no choice but to nuke China into utter obliteration. I really like to hope and think that the leaders of both countries have thought out scenirios such as this. Remmeber, the US does have the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world (last count, enough to blow up the world like 8 times over).

Just a side note, have you ever head of the Mcdonalds theory of peace? It states that the US has never gone to war with a country that has a Mcdonalds in it. So according to that theory, a war between the US and China is not likely to happen.

11:54 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JBO said, "Just one more thought, Taiwanese people may share a common language with china, and a common ancient history, that does not mean they are Chinese. My decedents came from Europe to the US in the early 1600's, Just because I share a common language with the UK and a common ancestory with them, does that make me British? No. I am American. We have our own history and culture"

JBO,

You are neglecting one part of our American history. The Confederates in the South, including Texas, Missippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Carolinas, Tennessee, used to make the same arguments that Taiwan secessionists are making, namely that they don't identify with being a part of a larger United States. In fact, state referenda in the South all decided to secede from the United States. And what did your American ancestors do when they heard that?

As I recall, the Unied States launched an aggressive war with the Confederate South. Forget about referendas !!! It was national sovereinity that was at stake.

No, slavery was not the main issue the United States went to war with the Southern Confederacy. Slavery was a side-issue, one of many issues, including tariffs and Northern and Southern identities that finally pushed the Southerners to demand full independence from the United States. Abraham Lincoln himself was totally prepared to compromise on the slavery issue if only the South would not secede from the United States.

BUT at the end: "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" THE American civil war, or known in the South, the War Between the States broke out.

Now tell me, where would the USA be if it allowed its own partition back in 1860??

Chinese people, learn more about American history on your own, rather than let some know-it-all American tell you about it.

11:58 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Jbo in Beijing said...

that is true. Yet, another paradox faced by both countries (the US and China) is the close econmic ties that they share with each other. It would be a costly war both in lives and money, but seriously, i dont think that China wants the ramifications of dropping nuclear weapons on anyone, especially the US. The US has a "retaliation in kind" policy that stems from the cold war. If China were to nuke US ships protecting Taiwan, than, the US would have no choice but to nuke China into utter obliteration. I really like to hope and think that the leaders of both countries have thought out scenirios such as this. Remmeber, the US does have the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world (last count, enough to blow up the world like 8 times over).

Just a side note, have you ever head of the Mcdonalds theory of peace? It states that the US has never gone to war with a country that has a Mcdonalds in it. So according to that theory, a war between the US and China is not likely to happen.

11:58 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The American Civil war is not at all like the issue facing Taiwan and China, for one thing, the South Attacked the North. And, to make a correction of your comment, the war is know in the south as the war of northern agression. Everyone knows that slavery was just the underlying cause of the civil war. As for another thing, my post was about national idenity, and has nothing at all to do with war. I was just stating that Taiwanese do not identify with China like the Americans do not identify with the british.
The south, would have never flourished with out the north. They had few railroads, few industries. The southern economy was based on 2 things 1)farming and 2)agriculture. After a few years, the south would have wanted reunifaction with the US. Taiwan, on the other hand, has greatly flourished with out the help of china, actually,it has flourished inspite of china.
In the future, if you are going to comment on someones comments, then please try to stay on the topic.

12:06 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JBO,

China will go to war over Taiwan secession, much like the North went to war with the South during the American civil war. Passions will rage. Men will cry for the glory of nations and gods.

Besides, the PRC is now in a bind with all its domestic problems. A war is a perfect excuse to divert all attention to an external one.

USA can certainly blow up the PRC with all the nukes at its disposal. China's overpopulation problem would be solved overnight. BUT I can guarantee you, that even though the PRC does not have more nukes than the USA has, a few hundred is sufficient to wipe out a good chunk of the USA. Considering Bin Laden and Iran and the EU, and all the countries America has alienated during the past 5 Bush years, I'd think America would be extrememly weakened and vulnerable at this point.

MacDonalds would be busy making money as usual.

12:06 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

To: Jbo in Beijing

I thoroughly appreciate your comments; it is concise, clear, reason free of passion. Hats off!

12:15 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be a great fan of the American Civil War history. Looking back at it, there were very interesting parallels between what happened in 1860 and today in Taiwan.

The Southerners in America were talking about independence, using all the rhetoric the Taiwan secessionists are using today, including how it's an inherent right of people to self-determine their own future. The thought at the time was that the Northerners in America don't have a stomach for a fight against Southern Independence, very similar to what the pan-Green DPP in Taiwan is now saying about their Chinese compatriots on the Mainland. In FACT, Southerners honestly believed that Great Britain would come to their aid against the North, another very very familiar language the pan-Green DPP is saying about how the USA will come and rescue Taiwan Independence.

I think the stories and parallels are enormous. I just hope more people learn from history.

12:27 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Bra Fatts said...

Hi Anonymous,I'm trying to follow and understand the parallels between what happened in [the USA in] 1860 and today in Taiwan.

I don't know all that much about US history.If I'm to look at parallels between the two, to what must I compare the 50 years of Japanese Colonial rule?

Just a question,mate.Because that is what I'm getting stuck on in trying to draw parallels.

Cheers,

Bra Fatts

1:05 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Jbo in Beijing said...

Bra Fatts,
I think the parallel they are trying to draw is that south felt that they were being treated badly by the north. But when in reality, the problems with China are and Taiwan are more like that of the US and GB during the American war for independce.What taiwan and China are facing is not a civil war, but more along the lines of a war of decolonization, although, taiwan is not a colony of china nor a provence or a part of china. So , I guess in the end, I too fail to see the parelle that they are trying to draw.

1:12 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous LA said...

Are you guys still at it. This argument about War of Independence versus Civil War is really pointless.

History is always written by the victor.

A conflict between 1.4 billions and 23 millions, I wonder who is going to win? ROC or ROT's best chance is for mainland to become democratic, and then work out some deal.

1:44 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Jbo in beijing said...

La,
you are right, it is pointless, and thats the exact point we are trying to make. You can't really compare conflicts of the past with conflicts that have never happened. Each situation is different. Obviously, how ever unpopular it might be, maintaining the status quo is really in the best interest of all parties involved. The only way it would be beneficial to change is if the PRC would actually become a democracy, which, is not likely to happen anytime soon.

1:53 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jbo,

Glad you are beginning to make some sense.

I have always advocated the status quo.

As for your seeing that Taiwan independence is more like USA becoming independent from Britain, your argument is MOOT, precisely because America's independence fight is the same as the Confederacy's independence fight during the American Civil War. Note this 1861-65 war was called a Civil War only because Americans won it, but actually to many Southerners, the Americans from the North were the aggressors who denied the right to secession for the South who rightfully voted for full independence.

Also, to my amazement, the Southerners in the Confederacy at the time, actually used the American War of Independence to justify their cause for independence from the United States. They argued, that since United States could secede from Britain, why can't the Southern American states secede from the United States permanently.

Likewise, the United States invaded and colonized all the Western territories, including present day California whose inhabitants, mostly Mexicans, don't even identify with the USA, at least not as intimately as Whites. You can effectively argue that the USA is one big empire.

3:20 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Kanwa-Kyudai said...

It's interesting to think about the similarlities between Taiwan/the PRC issue and the American Civil War. But this analogy is a bit unfair with Taiwanese because their partner is ruled by communist dictatorship, not democracy. Further, Taiwan has been actually separated from the PRC for such a long time, and its people have already nurtured their own identity.

3:21 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger aBat said...

In 1999, when the earthquake hit Taioan, Japan sent machines and personnel to help Taioan dig its loved ones out of the rubble. The Chinese gov't stood by telling the world in a CCTV monotone that all aid was supposed to go thru the Communist Party.

As Asian people or as boosters of some kind of democracy, can we call the little republic "Taioan," and help free Tibet and let the Uyghurs go, but still tell Washington to get lost?

Yeah, we can. The people of Venezuela and the president-elect in Bolivia did already. Asia is getting rich. Getting together and getting along is actually the bigger challenge. Conquering each other isn't the solution. Tokyo tried that already.

4:21 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

to Anonymous said...
Hi Jen and Taiwanese friends,

I am a Beijinger studying in Europe.

What I want to say to all of you is:

NEVER DENY WHAT YOU ARE!

TAIWAN IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY!

TAIWAN IS ALWAYS A PART OF CHINA!

Your friend
Fluter


You are a quintessential example of the overseas Chinese I encountered during my study in Europe. Europe, what a coincidence… When I studied in the Netherlands during 2003 ~ 2004, my Chinese classmates couldn't stand it when I participated in the class discussion as a representative from Taiwan. (What can I do? I was the only Taiwanese in class!) Despite the fact that I frequently displayed good will by saying hello and smiling when we passed by, my Chinese classmates regarded me as invisible, all the while criticized me behind my back about how I even dared to act so "un-Chinese" (read: assertive and outspoken). I thought that people who made it to a master program in Europe would be rational and open-minded enough to have a discussion about Taiwan and China. But I was wrong. In the end I still just got brushed off, because I was not hesitant to show my identity that "I am from Taiwan". Fluter, don’t disgust me by signing off as a friend. What we need the least is a sanctimonious and patronizing joker like you.

When I was in Europe, I encountered many Chinese people who claim they'd do what's need to prevent Taiwan from "separating" from China, even it means to erase every signs of life on this island. Sadly, what they knew about Taiwan was so ridiculously limited.

99.9% of the Chinese students I met in NL would do whatever they can to continue staying there after graduation, even it means they have to produce fake papers, fake tests and work illegally in a restaurant that offers them absolutely no coverage of risks. Since we have a lot of angry overseas Chinese posting their comments here and judging from my cluster map, most of your IP addresses are located in the US and Europe. I'd like to ask a question which has been lingering on my mind for so long:

If your country is so great that Taiwan has to be part of it, then why the hell don't you want to part of it yourself?

4:22 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger richard said...

Love that harebrained comparison to the US Civil War. The red, white and blue flew over the Southern States. The states formed one ocuntry, and all agreed to that. The flag of mainland China has never flown over Taiwan soil. There was no such agreement to be one and the same, as there was with te US States. You can only secede if you were together. There is no togetherness. No one-ness, no sense of cohesion. If you think there is, come over to Taiwan for a while. These comparisons betray a grotesque ignorance and a willingness to turn one's back on fundamental concepts of logic and of history.

4:31 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

[Taiwan, on the other hand, has greatly flourished with out the help of china, actually,it has flourished inspite of china.]

Are you kidding me? Taiwan flourished inspite of China? What about the 2.5 million mainlanders fled to Taiwan following the ROC government, were they lying on the bed doing nothing except being fed by the aboriginals for the following 50 year? What about the technology, knowledge, experience and brains they brought to Taiwan, this is perhaps the biggest "brain-drain" in human history? The mainland, left with a barren land populated by ragged people and demolished factories, took 50 years to recover from this "brain-drain" and "treasury-drain"! Don't forget about the tons of gold and piles of dollars the ROC government took from the mainland treasury, and don't forget that the reason for the US to pour money into Taiwan is simply because they want Taiwan to be a vanguard of the containment chain against the mainland. Any now Taiwan is enjoying an anual trade surplus of more than $ 40 billion! And don't tell me that you Taiwanese single-handedly build this land when the bulk of the "forbidden city treasure" are still exhibited in your "forbidden city"!

I hate myself when I got sentimental about issues like that, but whenever I see and hear people babbling about the history without the faintest clue of what they are talking about I just couldn't hold back.

[There is no togetherness. No one-ness, no sense of cohesion. If you think there is, come over to Taiwan for a while. These comparisons betray a grotesque ignorance and a willingness to turn one's back on fundamental concepts of logic and of history.]

Richard, I always respect you and I am a frequent reader of Pekingduck, but this time I really think that your view about mainland-taiwan relation is biased. I am a forever supporter of democracy and freedom, as I have repeatly declared in my previous posts, but the mainland-taiwan issue is not only about democracy, it's about history, economy, psychology and perhaps most importantly human nature. A peaceful solution of this problem, which should be the ultimate topic of this thread and the ultimate goal of this discussion, can not be reached by simply preaching democracy and freedom and blaming each other, it can only be reached by mutual understanding and mutual respect, and by facing squarely the reality and finally ourselves.

8:36 PM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous TheWorld said...

To the pooh-poohing anonymous: While there certainly is a lot of garbage in this string of comments, I do think there are a lot of different and interesting points of view displayed, and all this is useful in the sense that normally people don't write out their thoughts on Taiwan-China relations and normally they don't do this with a hostile audience in mind whom they want to convince. Essentially, there is some imposition of structure, some back and forth, and some consideration of new information, which I think is awesome.

I'd like to consider the historical/psychological aspect of the conflict, and I'd like to hear responses from both sides:

1) Formation of Taiwanese identity: I think the most relevant things are a) Japanese colonial rule + b) KMT authoritarian rule + experience of real, c) two party democracy (or 4) since 2000, but a steady march democratization, if at times slow, since the 1980s and prior.

So how did Taiwanese people feel during these times? (These are simplifications that hope to be accurate in general even if there are exceptions)

a) 1895-1945. A peaceful time during which only a very small minority put up any resistance to Japanese rule. Many improvements were made to Taiwan in terms of infrastructure. Ironically, it was because Japan wasn't trying to turn Taiwan into Japan (like they were Korea, where they completely abused the populace), that Taiwanese identity was not crushed. Taiwanese were certainly second-class citizens, but, there was no strong independence movement nor was there much of a movement to become first-class Japanese citizens.

b) 1949-1990s. KMT, consisting of mainlander wealthy families and army immigrants, comes to Taiwan. The 1945-1949 period already leaves a disgusting taste in the mouths of Taiwanese as they are mistreated and their protests were crushed under 2-28 (Chinese overseas, please read about this history in order to understand Taiwan:

Formosa Betrayed, by George Kerr. Based on own eyewitness of 228 events.
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 14

Forced Chinese language instruction (Taiwanese, while a "Chinese language"... forcing a Taiwanese population to speak and write Chinese is equivalent to forcing a Spanish speaking population to speak French) and the general cultural suppression of Taiwanese identity continued under KMT authoritarian rule. Two main things the KMT tried to force on the populace during this time:
(i) All Taiwanese are Chinese
(ii) The Chinese in Taiwan are, any time now, going to go to China to kick some CCP ass (under the leadership of great one, Chiang Kai-shek, of course)

Comparisons during this time are very quickly made to Taiwanese rule under the Japanese. For those that think Taiwanese have a fondness for Japan, you're right! But this is why--those they saw as Chinese (KMT authoritarian overlords) were causing instability and havoc, while Japan, which was no saint, but allowed Taiwan to be mainly peaceful and even helped develop it to an extent, compared very favorably.

Remember also that in Taiwan, history of the ROC nation is taught as if it began in 1912. Everyone counts years from 1912. Average Taiwanese get more Chinese history and classical Chinese education than those in China do. Remember Taiwan never went through Cultural Revolution.

c) 1990s to Present. State of identity shock. Consider the psychological state of a descendant of mainland immigrants to Taiwan. Continually told that one is Chinese, the ROC is the real China, Chinese is the language of prestige... and then! Boom! ROC is now Taiwan! Taiwanese is the language of prestige, now a prerequisite for running for office! Complete revival and unleashing of Taiwanese identity which has been suppressed and formed over 50 years of authoritarian rule.

The native Taiwanese case is more straight forward, but the big thing is that KMT rule (the proxy for Chinese-ness) is what created a desire for independence and democracy and no love for greater China. Still, there is some confusion as a result of KMT Chinese-ness education.

2) Formation of China identity. Here's my China sketch (which is admittedly much more threadbare):

a) Early 1900s-1949. CCP as a party struggles against the KMT. KMT is seen as corrupt officials and the wealthy class. CCP promotes Chinese identity as one of class--all of China unite against the common enemy of the landlords! Woohoo!

I don't mean to ignore the national component, which is the product of foreigners (UK, Franch, Germany, Italy) taking advantage of China, but the biggest attack, being the actual invasion by the Japanese. So CCP was seen as a source of strength--accept communism and then we can fight properly against the Japanese and all other foreigners.

b) 1949-1980s. During this time, the CCP is not yet ideologically bankrupt, meaning they still believe in communism, which again, has a very large class component that is not exactly the same as one of ethnicity or country. People don't talk about unification with Taiwan at all, but rather the liberation of Taiwan. There really was a belief that as soon as the KMT was defeated, most Taiwanese people would welcome their CCP liberators with open arms. Remember that the KMT was the enemy on China, and it running off to Taiwan made the KMT-ROC on Taiwan the enemy. Mao even once advocated independence for Taiwan, as it was preferable to it being in 1) Japanese hands 2) KMT hands.

c) 1990s-Present. China grows economically powerful, but ideologically bankrupt. There is no such thing as liberating Taiwan anymore, and the target, Taiwan has moved! It isn't ruled by the KMT anymore (though they still and always have controlled the legislature), and it's democratic.

Economic power coupled with ideological bankruptcy has led to a vacuum--nationalalistic sentiment in China rises to unprecendented levels. Though there was a time when Chinese directed their discontents towards the CCP itself (Tiananmen 1988), this is no longer the case. Greater China sentiment drives views of foreigners on all issuess, whether it is anti-Japanese sentiment, return of Hong Kong and Macau, or forced annexation of Taiwan.

CCP makes an alliance with the KMT on Taiwan, its former enemies. Liberation is no longer talked about--only "reunification".


In sum, both identities have taken long journeys. On the Taiwan side, I'm curious what concerns (if any) do Taiwanese feel about China? Is fear of invasion basically it (it'd be understandable I think)? Does anyone in Taiwan besides Li Ao care about the democratization of China (though he also kissed the CCP's ass)? I'm very curious about the Chinese reaction to the change in thinking about Taiwan, and for those that have experienced democracy, how that would fit in with attempts by China of annexation of Taiwan. The opinions of mainland graduate students, especially masters students that don't really know what it's like to really live as a participant in a Western democracy, don't weigh heavily in my mind, as I don't think it would be much different just in 2-3 years, but I'd be curious anyways.

12:20 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

If your country is so great that Taiwan has to be part of it, then why the hell don't you want to be part of it yourself?

Because...I want to be educated here in the States?

And I'll be going back after I'm done with my (mis)education. China...it may be ugly, but at least it's mine. ;-)

Theworld wondered if any Taiwanese besides the brown-noser Li Ao cared about China's democratization...and here I'm wondering why wouldn't they care. The whole reunification versus independence bitchfest aside, Taiwan's sheer geographical proximity to China and its relative size disadvantage would make it an issue of some salience, one would think. If Democratic Peace theory (which has its flaws, but all models do) holds, then a democratized China would certainly pose less of a threat to Taiwan in terms of maritime security, and moreover it could prove to be more willing to negotiate instead of coerce (Anti-Succession Law, hohoho). Furthermore, China's democratization would likely promote greater regionalism within the Asia-Pacific region, and that's certainly something a politically isolated Taiwan can benefit from.

2:05 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and BTW, if “ROT” is so great, I think you should really be in the cabinet of Mr. Chen or at least petitioning outside of it now rather than studying for GMAT.

5:53 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

Anonymous said:

"True that the propaganda of CPC sucks, but at least they make the distinction between the people of Taiwan and the “secessionists”."

That's the whole problem. They don't recognise that a large section, perhaps even a majority of Taiwanese people want independence. They're stereotyped as a tiny minority whose views should not be ignored. They reserve the most rude and spiteful language to describe them. The mainland gives no recognition to how Taiwanese people feel over this issue. They only think about themselves. They are even so arrogant as to say that all of China's 1.3 billion people has as much of a say over Taiwan's future as the island's own people! I can't remember the last time a mainlander said "I want Taiwanese people to have a free choice".

7:54 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

"They're stereotyped as a tiny minority whose views should not be ignored."

Should read = "They're stereotyped as a tiny minority whose views should be ignored."

7:55 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

Also, although Jen could obviously not be accurate by saying something like "99.9%...." it IS true that many Chinese are extremely antagonistic towards Taiwanese students.

When I was at university, the President of our Chinese Society threw a hissy-fit when some Taiwanese students tried to have a separate (from the Chinese) slot on a "cultural evening". She used every means at her disposal to have the Taiwanese group blocked (i.e. other Chinese students in the "Overseas Students Association" committee). And the Taiwanese students I met said they always felt more comfortable with other nationalities, as the Chinese students were unpleasant towards them.

8:04 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Raj said...

Anon

One last thing. Making snide comments about Europeans is extremely petty. It undermines your entire position. We're supportive towards Taiwanese because we recognise the difficult situation that they're in, but at the same time we're very happy to get along with Chinese.

Comments like yours are the fastest way to change that last part. Don't make enemies where there are none.

8:08 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I want to know is why Chinese all of sudden want to annex Taiwan. This is a recent phenomenon of the last, maybe 20 years. Prior to that, there was the idea that Taiwan was occupied. Why? To Chinese in China and overseas: Why the hell do you care? Your parents never did.

Taiwanese indeed have achieved what your parents wanted. They're no longer under the occupation of the KMT-ROC party state and live under democratic freedom, even if it's messy at times. No one seems to remember the hate was directed at Chiang Kai-shek and his idiotic, I'm the real leader of China policy.

Taiwanese, if they had their choice then, would have gladly chosen a regular UN seat over leaving the United Nations. If that had happened, it would not be such a big deal today.

By the way, people in Taiwan would care more about China if people in China didn't constantly say they were willing to kill Taiwanese people. I don't think democracy is the answer--there is something very sinister going on where propaganda has become so strong it is now self-perpetuating. Chinese don't know their own history and play the victim card to feel strong, and if you let them vote on whether they should invade Taiwan or not, I suspect a majority would just say yes.

From stories I hear, the interaction of Taiwanese people in China has only led to more anti-Chinese sentiment. Is this surprising? Chinese keep telling them that in effect, if they want to choose the road of freedom and democracy, then they would love to help kill you and your family and friends. What is that about? What's so great about being Chinese if most of the people who are Chinese want to kill you?

8:46 AM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger aBat said...

Interesting comments about Chinese and Taioanese nationals not getting along. Like Hong Kongers, most Taioanese have a superiority complex when they deal with the Chinese, mostly because of the wealth gap--which is older than the ROC.

This kind of bad sportsmanship could tick anybody off. Concrete experience tells me that the Chinese have respect for Taioanese views--up to and including independence--when they're treated as equals. In southern China and overseas, at least, an independence-loving Taioanlang has no need to tone down her rhetoric.

The CHinese are also antsy about SOME Taioanese trying to sell their souls to the people of the Western Ocean and Eastern Ocean. (But, shhh, that's where the $$$ is.)

9:04 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

Well, first of all, y'all need to get different monikers. Too many Anons floating around here. Really confuses a girl. But anyway, Anon XVII:

people in Taiwan would care more about China if people in China didn't constantly say they were willing to kill Taiwanese people. I don't think democracy is the answer--there is something very sinister going on where propaganda has become so strong it is now self-perpetuating. Chinese don't know their own history and play the victim card to feel strong, and if you let them vote on whether they should invade Taiwan or not, I suspect a majority would just say yes.

Well, I don't know if it would be a majority, but a good portion of the population would say yes, unfortunately. But only to a war - I'm pretty sure if you framed the question as "killing Taiwanese people" that many would recoil from such a course of action.

As for democracy...that's pretty much your best bet right now. I wouldn't count on the international community to step in and magically resolve the issue by creating a new UN seat for Taiwan and grant it full legal sovereignty. States are essentially self-interested, and what's more they're predisposed towards reinforcing the status quo. The US as the hegemon of East Asia also wouldn't allow for such a change, lest it upsets the delicate balance of power in the region and puts strains the Sino-US economic relationship.

So if not internional pressure, then what - war? Hardly. Too costly, and I doubt the CCP will go for it. The new CCP leadership, despite the occasional fist-shaking, is comprised of technocrats withoout military backgrounds who are not particularly close to the PLA. There will be a lot of grandstanding and maybe even some brinksmanship, but nothing will come of it. The status quo will remain unchanged.

Democratization, however, is not only in China's interests, but also in Taiwan's. A democratized China, socialized in the norms of a democratic international system, is more likely to be cooperative and establish friendly relations with neighbouring states than an authoritarian China with its anarchic worldview (whose political imperative dictates that it must consolidate/enhance power by securing geopolitically-important Taiwan.) So even if the Taiwanese don't give a flying f*ck about the Chinese, they should care about the state of China, because it's in their own national interest.

9:40 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raj said, "One last thing. Making snide comments about Europeans is extremely petty. It undermines your entire position."

Raj,

No one has made snide comments about Europe. Actually many Chinese have an high appraisal of Europe, except of course, when Europe is WRONG.

IF you're wrong, you're wrong.
We all know Europeans are also quite self-interested. After all, you've been ruling the world for the past centuries. And now that you don't have an "empire" in influence world events, you have sour grapes, and so you bash China, the United States, and Russia whenever you could.

You guys gotta stop that "holier-than-thou" kind of attitude. It's annoying.

11:17 AM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyudai said, "It's interesting to think about the similarlities between Taiwan/the PRC issue and the Kyudai said, American Civil War. But this analogy is a bit unfair with Taiwanese because their partner is ruled by communist dictatorship, not democracy. Further, Taiwan has been actually separated from the PRC for such a long time, and its people have already nurtured their own identity."

Kyudai,

Actually the American "Civil War" is a very apt analogy. Of course, it's not an identical case with the Taiwan-PRC issue, however, they are more similar than dissimilar. The issue is about secession and independence, and how sovereign nations dealt with it.

True, Taiwan had been separated from Mainland China for 50 years, and thereby developed its own sense of identity. BUT if you look at the American situation in 1860, the Southern States had also their own identity, and no less more intensely distinct from their Northern Americans than the Taiwanese are to the Mainlanders. Also, like Taiwan, Southern States had their own militia, their own-defacto armies (KEEP in mind this was the era before the Federal Government had large standing armies like today) Each state had their own armies and own independent banks without a centralized banking system as you do today with the Federal Reserve.

The South was de-facto independent, but de-jure still a part of the United States, for each Southern state constitution recognized that the South is a part of the United States. This is a situation very akin to Taiwan, whose ROC Constitution recognizes the larger entity of China which encompasses Taiwan. The PROBLEM assuredly arose when the Southerners in America declared independence via referendum and decidedly to "alter" or to completely overthrow their existing state constitutions. That was when the UNITED STATES, this great old country, started to send its armies to southern territory, thereby provoking an attack from the Southern Armies. THE AMERICAN "CIVIL WAR" started.

Shall we see the same across the Taiwan Straits?

11:31 AM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

aBat 提到...
Interesting comments about Chinese and Taioanese nationals not getting along. Like Hong Kongers, most Taioanese have a superiority complex when they deal with the Chinese, mostly because of the wealth gap--which is older than the ROC.


Not true. The key lies in one word: respect. Apart from those Chinese students who were hostile towards me, I did in the end meet one good Chinese friend, Lee, who's originally fron Shanghai. To make ends meet, Lee took many jobs such as a black job in a student bar, tutoring Chinese and even Kung-Fu.

Though life in Europe was not easy, Lee took his precious time of studying abroad to mingle with the class regardless of their nationalities and we got along just fine. In fact, Lee and I were among a group of good buddies composed of students from other countries such as Sweden, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. Until now, Lee is still on my messenger list and we say hello to each other still, with him in Belgium and me in Taipei.

I do not hate Chinese. But by all means do not try to belittle me and my identity on one hand, and on the other hand tell the world that you and us belong together. If you think your tricks of military threat, verbal attacks, hatred, bigotry would stop like-minded Taiwanese expressing our opinions, you can forget about it. IT WON'T WORK!

Talk to Taiwan when you are ABLE to express and bare to hear different opinions towards CCP and Chinese government when you are actually living in China.

12:08 PM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some earlier poster wrote, "Forced Chinese language instruction (Taiwanese, while a "Chinese language"... forcing a Taiwanese population to speak and write Chinese is equivalent to forcing a Spanish speaking population to speak French) and the general cultural suppression of Taiwanese identity continued under KMT authoritarian rule."

You can blame the KMT for this and that, that's because you are rich sitting on your behind comfortably at home typing on your computer...

Some times I think if it weren't for the KMT education systme, Taiwan would have gone to civil war very quickly, just like what we're seeing now in Iraq.

What the KMT did was was to instill in the Taiwan population a sense of common identity. You can call it oppression, whatever you will. BUT the fact remains that Taiwan is extrememly ethnically diverse. TOO often we classify the battle as between "Mainlander" and "Taiwanese". The lable itself "Taiwanese" is deceptive, for behind it mask another whole array of different ethnicities with different dialects and cultural differences. Imagine, if Mandarinization in Taiwan was not attempted, how would all these ethnic groups, including the Min-nan, Hakka, Aborigines communicate?? You need a common language. And the only way to do that quickly enough in order to solidify Taiwan's unity under the threat of Communist invasion, you needed a strong education system to quickly inculcate a common identity, in this case "Chinese." Of course, Taiwanese secessionists hate this. They argue that this is not fair. Ok, so now today we have this new idenitity "Taiwanese," and now look at the results in Taiwan today. Society is polarized, divided, and people hate people simply because of their ethnicity. Why??

Because the so-called "Taiwanese" identity separate from "Chinese" identity is really about being Min-nan Taiwanese. Speaking Taiwanese is really about speaking Min-nan Taiwanese, not Hakka, or Aborigines, nor Mainland dialects. Rather than having an all-encompassing identity like "Chinese", Taiwan instead had traded in for a parochial divisive one.

A Taiwanese speaking from the heart.

12:13 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

匿名者提到...
and BTW, if “ROT” is so great, I think you should really be in the cabinet of Mr. Chen or at least petitioning outside of it now rather than studying for GMAT.


Oh, and how would you know I am not doing so? ;oP If you've got a life, you should MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS instead of poking your nose around what I do in my life.

12:18 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

nausicaa 提到...
If your country is so great that Taiwan has to be part of it, then why the hell don't you want to be part of it yourself?

Because...I want to be educated here in the States?

And I'll be going back after I'm done with my (mis)education. China...it may be ugly, but at least it's mine. ;-)


Good for you! Now it looks like a Chinese with backbone.

12:53 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Mainlander 提到...
Yes, you are right, the Chinese government did a hell lot of shitty things in the past half century and the Chinese propaganda authority is probably one of the most shameless one in human history, I have no doubt that the majority of mainland Chinese just ignore anything that they publicized, especially the infamous CCTV newsbroadcast at 7 PM every night. Those propandas are just boooooll shit!


Oh Mainlander, if you had the chance to watch some news in Taiwan you'd be amazed to see many of the TV channels here broadcast news clips of CCTV's propogandas now and then to show us how to behave otherwise China would not hesitate to attack. For those clips you may regard as propoganda, many TV channels bought it just fine.

1:04 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger aBat said...

Jen,

Don't mistake me for "the enemy." Considering where I was born, the languages I use, and the kinds of beer I drink, I could be as Taioanese as you are (but probably less Chinese, since I didn't get brainwashed by the KMT Mandarinization campaign...well, okay, but my parents did).

All I'm saying is that Taioanese people and institutions need to mind the fine line between the Chinese people and their government. Let's not forget that they're not free to express themselves over there. Maneuvering in the shadow of the central Chinese gov't, Taioan needs all the help it can get. That includes the help of the people across the Strait. Let's show 'em some love.

1:38 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Anonymous said, " .... I certainly don't like Southerners tell me what I am."

So you think living in Northern Taiwan and believe in KMT makes you superior than Taiwanese people in the South? Your remark shows how small you are.

As much as you disagree with the political preference than Taiwanese people in the South, you should be glad that you live in Taiwan where people are free to express different opinions. If you do not approve of one political party, use yout ballot to show your disapproval. There is no need to discriminate people in Southern Taiwan like that. You are an example of folks who is spoiled by the democracy you enjoy here and forget about respecting others.

3:08 PM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous anon said...

Jen, you can't have it both ways. Anonymous suggested a hypothetical situation where Taiwan split up because he doesn't like Southerners to tell him what he is. How is that discriminating against anybody? Are you sure it's not you who is spoiled and forget to respect other opinions, for examples, in this hypothetical situation where one part of Taiwan decides to exercise its freedom to break away?

3:15 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Hi Anon,

Your question is thought-provoking. That makes me think.... for a second! And I can proudly tell you it's a big NO to your question. Here's why.

In reality, my closest friend is a pro-KMT, pan-blue girl who regards herself as Chinese. She very much dislikes Chen Shui-Bien and the DPP. As vocal as I am, of course I have made clear to her my political stand. When she criticized about the ruling party and the president, I quietly listened. And just yesterday when I was complaining to her how much crap there is on my blog, she offered to comfort me. In addition, I share a flat with another Taiwanese girl who constantly talks bad of Taiwan and shows her admiration towards China. Guess what? We also get along just fine, in a civilized manner. Talking about respect and tolerance, I'm living it every single day.

To answer your other question, I do not think anon's hypothetical analogy is valid. Taiwanese people, whether they live in the North, the middle or the South, are under one political regime. Has PRC ever ruled Taiwan for a day? When you want to make a hypothetical situation, the comparison has to make sense.

4:28 PM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What the KMT did was was to instill in the Taiwan population a sense of common identity...Imagine, if Mandarinization in Taiwan was not attempted, how would all these ethnic groups, including the Min-nan, Hakka, Aborigines communicate?? You need a common language."

Are you really Taiwanese? Seriously, are you? Because many of those non-Min-nan groups did end up NATURALLY learning Taiwanese. Taiwanese was basically the common language of the island that you talk about.

I hate KMT authoritarian apologists. There I said it. I'm biased and I hate authoritarianism in all its forms all over the world, and from 1945-1990s even, that is what the KMT was. I could plausibly see someone voting KMT today. But I am sick and tired of hearing myths about how the KMT created stability or the KMT created some kind of economic miracle or whatever other garbage is put out there.

Fact is, KMT, when they first came in 1945, destroyed the stability of the island previously enjoyed under Japanese occupation. It confiscated private property and turned a lot of it into KMT/ROC property (which was the same thing back then, i.e. party-state). The economic miracle, if you've ever read Paul Krugman or any other top economists, is mainly explained by 1) high savings rate and 2) increased labor, coming from longer hours and women entering the workforce. These are not things the KMT did. This is not money brought from China by KMT thieves. This is sustained, high-rate economic growth that occurred for very explicable and non-KMT reasons. In fact, the industries that were not well-developed were all the ones that were state owned. Government's suck at business, and in Taiwan, they were used as private bank accounts for top party officials, much like the CCP is in China (unfortunately).

In any case, it wasn't just about educating people in schools. It was about beating students that dared to speak Taiwanese in schools, it was about banning expressions of Taiwanese culture (puppet operas as an example), it was banning it on TV, etc, etc. The KMT were the ones that polarized people... identities are formed under pressure. By treating a segment of the population (well okay, a MAJORITY) like shit, they will tend to think that whatever you represent (in this case Chinese-ness) is shitty and resent it.

Let me throw you a bone. Let's say economic reasons are good reasons for your actions. Let's say I killed your father and now you make double your current salary. Fair? Nice trade? Worth the violation of dignity, human rights?

The ethnic Chinese identity was a fiction forced on the people. Chinese is like saying European, or Nordic. You think Taiwan is divided today--but that's only more apparent today because Taiwanese can freely express their different opinions. But they totally rally around democracy and even those who support some level of unification with China have to couch the benefits in terms of its benefits to Taiwan, not to some abstract great China is awesome garbage.

4:35 PM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous nausicaa said...

Good for you! Now it looks like a Chinese with backbone.

Even though you're implying that most Chinese are spineless and even though your "compliment" smacks of condescension, uh...thanks?

Look, the Chinese don’t shit rainbows and neither do the Taiwanese. It shouldn’t be that hard to relate to one another as individuals rather than as ethnic stereotypes or caricatures. And intolerance and bigotry goes both ways.

I think what several Chinese commentators have expressed here(and it's a view I agree with) is not that Taiwan must become part of China, but that because of the CCP's realpolitik approach towards Taiwan, it would take time for Taiwan to make a peaceful transition to independence. A greater emphasis is placed on friendlier cross-strait relations and reconcilation than on reunification. (well, except for Anti-Secessionism Warmongering Guy, who thinks Taiwan declaring independence is going to lead to a meltdown of post-Soviet Russia proportions - but I think he's played one too many rounds of Ghost Recon.)

5:10 PM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous anon. said...

To answer your other question, I do not think anon's hypothetical analogy is valid. Taiwanese people, whether they live in the North, the middle or the South, are under one political regime. Has PRC ever ruled Taiwan for a day? When you want to make a hypothetical situation, the comparison has to make sense.

Forget the PRC. There is still the ROC, is there not? For at least a few years, Taiwanese and mainlanders were ruled by one and the same regime, you would not deny that, right? What happened afterwards was one of those accidents of history which could have ended in a number of other outcomes. Even today, Kinmen and Matzu remaining with the ROC should remind you of this bit of history and give you an understanding of how the other side perceives Taiwan.

Anyawy, we should not dwell on the past. The issue now and in the future is how to find a pragmatic solution. I think that is by far the broadest concensus for Taiwanese or mainlanders. Circumstance puts all of us in this together, whether we want to or not and whatever our differences may be. I hope you see that. In the search for a pragmatic solution, you have the Chinese people on your side, because they share your goals of peace, prosperity, and democracy. But you need to work with them, not ignore them or dismiss them.

5:55 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Vincent said...

To anon:

People in Taiwan are working with the whole world, including China. And Taiwan is and wants to be part of the international community. That's all! The majority of the people in Taiwan consider themselves Taiwanese instead of Chinese and insist Taiwan is an independent country. Could you Chinese please repsect and accept our own choice and decision? I'm really fed up with the statement "You're Chinese (citizen)" even though some Taiwanese never give a damn shit to China!

Even if Taiwan and China once ruled by the same regime, ROC, the fact is there are two seperate and fdifferent regime now!!! And Taiwan has never been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party! So CURRENTLY China does not have the governance over Taiwan, i.e. Taiwan does not belong to China.

Look back your own Chinese history, you will understand why Taiwan doesn't belong to China.

9:09 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Kanwa-Kyudai said...

To Mr./Ms. anonymous,

Thank you for your reply of 11:31 AM, March 15, which gave me another good opportunity to think over this ineresting issue. I agree with some of your points which says the Southern states were in a half-independent status before 1861.

But the United States of America of that time, which included the North and South, had only one common Constitution. Furthermore, both sides had elected common Presidents, such as James Buchanan or Abraham Lincoln, before the war started.

As you know, Taiwan and the PRC has their own Constitutions and political leaders respectively even before they start fighting. And let me allow to repeat that Taiwan's parter is ruled by communist dictatorship, not democracy.

I still suppose the dissimilarlities are a little bigger than the similarities in this respect. To put it simply, it was an independent-or-not-independent problem for Americans then. On the other hand, it is a reunite-or-not-reunite problem for Taiwanese today.

9:48 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Jen,

I am getting tired of the discussions here; it seems to me that the sole purpose of this thread is providing the angry youth from both sides an opportunity to curse each other, and whenever there is a hint that the flame is going to fade and someone wants to start a serious discussion about how we can peacefully solve the problem you, our magnanimous hostess, will add some oil into it and remind everybody: Hey, everybody, what are you doing here? This thread is reserved for china-bashing, don’t you forget that Taiwanese are victims and mainlanders (except one who happens to be your friend) are monsters blah blah blah…

But if we continue the discussion in this direction then what end does it serve? Are we spending our precious time here only to argue whether or not Taiwanese is different from Chinese and how miserable a Taiwanese’s life is under the shadow of the super bully? It seems to me that no Taiwanese in this chatroom, including you want to face the real issue and take my challenge: how do you solve the problem instead of blaming everyone and everything? What measure will you take to help realize a peaceful solution?

I have stated in my previous posts time and again that mainland’s democratization is the prerequisite of a peaceful solution and any radical movement by the Taiwan government is unreasonably and will only bring disaster to Taiwan, which is in no one’s interest. I have also tell you that many mainlanders are fighting/working hard to promote the democratization in mainland and more people are trying to understand more about Taiwan and they are willing to find a peaceful solution. But I am yet to hear any CONSTUTIVE and POSITIVE suggestions from you and your folks.

And that’s why I asked the question that why you people can not be patient and reasonable, and why your government block the “three-links” between the two sides which certainly will boost the mutual understanding between us and show the “narrow-minded” mainlanders what a prosperous and democratic place Taiwan is and what a beautiful and kind people you are!

As many people including you have pointed out, the “victimization psychology” promoted by the mainland government created blind hatred in the minds of many mainlanders toward Japan, US, etc., but from the posts of many Taiwanese commentators’ I detect the same psychology, a psychology that everyone owes you and therefore you have the right to do anything, including burning yourself with fire. Yes, burning yourself with fire! Do I need to tell you 1000 times that a radical independence of Taiwan is suicidal? Do you need to do anything besides blaming and cursing when so many mainlanders are reaching out for Peace and Reconciliation? As someone said (although I don’t necessarily agree), time is on Taiwan’s side, so what’s the hurry?

I wish you success in your MBA application, but if you still want to go back to Taiwan after graduation you people need to do more to rein in your capricious government, I see great danger in president Chen’s future move, let’s work hand in hand to save this beautiful island from a imminent disaster.

Sincerely yours,
Mainlander

5:04 AM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger Mainlander said...

Jen,

I am waiting for your answer--WHAT IS YOUR SUGGESTION FOR A PEACEFUL SOLUTION? If you keep avoiding the real issure and don't give me an umabigouous response then this is my last post and I wish you all well.

Mainlander

5:28 AM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger aBat said...

Mainlander,

I see what you're saying on the topic of this Taioanese victim psyche. I also agree that the people of Taioan can't afford to ignore what goes on in the lives of their neighbors.

I don't live in Taioan most of the time, not now and not for most of my earlier life, and I never served in the armed forces there. So, even though I take a very personal interest in Taioanese issues, I don't have standing to condemn the choices that Taioanese voters make. That said, here's my analysis of how to arrive at a peaceful solution:

1) Taioanese independence is not a domestic issue. On the other hand, the independence of the ROC and PRC from each other is technically a domestic issue. This should be a moot point because the Taioanese people are on the cusp of dismantling the ROC. The "People's Republic" is trying to stop them from doing that, thus violating its own founding principles yet again.

2) Peace and friendship is in everybody's best interests. This can be achieved with or without unification.

3) The CCP takes issue with the notion of long-term mutual independence--even though Mao supported "radical Taioanese independence" at one point not so long ago. Many KMT members also take issue with eventual independence. There is a direct conflict between democracy (the will of the people) and unification (the will of the CCP and part of the KMT/Pan-Blue camp).

4) If or when they become powerful enough, the emerging CCP-KMT coalition (sure, I'm exaggerating) will give the people of Taioan a choice between peace OR independence. This scenario is not favorable to the people of Taioan. They and we—their friends—must work to head it off.

4a) One way to do that is to make the CCP-KMT coalition our friends, so that they’ll stop trying to make Taioan do something it doesn’t want to do.

4b) Another way is to make the CCP, in particular, too weak to enforce its will against the people of Taioan.

5a) Many Chinese actual feel lukewarm about the CCP's stance toward Taioan. Many Chinese actually feel lukewarm toward the CCP itself.

5b) Chinese citizens should understand that an independent Taioan is not against their best interests. The Taioanese and their friends must work to help them understand this. Speaking of friends, the Taioanese do need friends among the Chinese. LET'S NOT ALIENATE THEM.

5c) The more that Taioanese people and institutions openly approach the PEOPLE of the People’s Republic as friends and benefactors, the more likely it becomes that they’ll pull off either 4a or 4b--either weakening the unification movement, or helping to pull the rug out from under the CCP itself--a task which, obviously, won't be accomplished by us alone, but by other factors and other hands...

6) Either way, it would become possible for the people of Taioan to have BOTH peace and independence.

10:37 AM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Mainlander,

I was furnishing my office last week thus my broadband service was not available until yesterday. If you'd give me your email address, then I will send you my reply.

Jen

6:03 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Anon said that,

"...In the search for a pragmatic solution, you have the Chinese people on your side, because they share your goals of peace, prosperity, and democracy. But you need to work with them, not ignore them or dismiss them."


Any long lasting change comes from inside and I believe that aplies to a country like China. If those from China truly care about their country's democracy, they should contribute their worth instead of sitting in the comfortable environment provided by the US or Europe and expect that Taiwanese people, who were deceived by the KMT and ended up being marginalized in the diplomatic field, to take on the full responsibility. Conquering us does not and will not make your world better. If Chinese truly want democracy, you should put your own country in order instead of imposing your values on us. People in Taiwan endure so many turmoils and years of ups and downs before we arrive where we are today. And the identity took years to build up. It's not as easy as many of the folks from China put it that people like me are the minority.

The pity for the most of the people in Taiwan is not able to call our own country "Taiwan". One of the most important pillar of the values that the United Nations claims to commit to is "self-determination". Even a country like Palau with less than 20,000 population can voice itself in the diplomatic arena, the international community expects Taiwan, a democratic country with 23 million people, to keep silent under all the bullies from China. Very ironic indeed...

6:33 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger Fluter said...

I am wanting for your responds on my comments that I left a few days ago. Unfortunately, you have already deleted it. Does it mean your blog only contribute to behave abnoxiously towards other readers unchallenged?

9:53 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Fluter said...

Sorry, waiting in stead of wanting.

And you will be happy to know that I won't be commenting here again!

Good luck with your desire!

9:57 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Fluter,

I reserve the right to be unaccommodating to those who are hostile and only want to get a reaction.

Good luck with your life adjustment after returning to China!

1:00 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Last night a reader who has commented on my posting about China tried to hack into my email system. It is disappointing as that reader always projected an "open-minded" image in his comments.

You know who you are. Don't ever try to do that again.

1:05 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger richard said...

Disgusting. Don't let them bully you, Jen. And trust me, your better off without the likes of fluter.

2:56 PM, March 30, 2006  
Anonymous Barbar said...

Commenting here seems to have ended a week ago, but I just wanted to highlight a statement that I found remarkable:

Well, I don't know if it would be a majority, but a good portion of the population would say yes, unfortunately. But only to a war - I'm pretty sure if you framed the question as "killing Taiwanese people" that many would recoil from such a course of action.

Ugh.

4:20 AM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Have you noticed a bizzare phenomenon in Taiwan that some media often dare not say anything bad about China? Many TV stations/newspapers in Taiwan often downplay China's hostility towards Taiwan as if they were afraid to be penalized.

There's a name for that phenomenon: Finlandization. During the Cold War, Finns practised a form of self-censorship wherever the Soviet Union was discussed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finlandization

Finns hated that term, invented in the West as it was, though it accurately described what was going on.

6:16 AM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger Jen said...

Hi Finnpundit,

Many thanks for sharing your knowledge on that term. I'm glad that I learned something new!

Cheers - Jen

3:14 PM, April 08, 2006  
Anonymous Season4EP20 said...

Jen.

I come to this blog through another guy's blog. Welcome to the world of Trolls. If you notice one thing is that MOST of chinese posters here is either sitting comfortably OUTSIDE of china. Im guessing that this blog won't be reachable in china due to the commie censorship. (and don't use that re-opened newspaper as a counter example...you know what I'm talking about). Hell, I'm guessing some of them are even citizens of other countries such as Canada or US...just a fact.



Some of chinese uses the ancesory arguements heavily to argue the issue (plus alot of nationalism and alot of "business hypocracy"), but again, by nowadays standards, does ancesory really becomes a factor for determining national borders. If so, America should be annexed by British, and Briain should be annexed by Norway (Anglo-Saxons in the Ancient time).

anyway, Im not really good at debate (I think some of chinese posters are, since all they got are the abilities to twist over the truth and the brainless "Who can shout louder" tactics. Especially over the military or economic discussions. Just choose a military discussion board and if there's chinese characters appears in one of the post, you will know the above will happen.

Just because the chinese say so doesn't make it so.

10:00 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please make a account on wikipedia and edit those taiwan-china related articles. there are too many chinese editors on there, we need taiwanese influence

8:24 AM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have the right to decide who they are. This right cannot be taken away from them: not by threats, not by bullying, not even by missils.

8:33 PM, August 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shall... one day, when i am old, before my death, hopefully take my family to Mainland China once for a vacation, after democracy, after communism ends, and i shall return to my grandfather's once-home... and hope that Chinese mankind would not do anything so stupid again.

8:10 AM, December 23, 2014  

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