Saturday, October 07, 2017

Education in Taiwan must focus on the real history of Taiwan: an oped by Lee Min-yung in Taipei (translated from the Liberty Times into Engliish for the Taipei Times)

A well-known poet and essayist in Taiwan, Mr Min-yung Lee, often writes opeds in the major Chinese-language newspapers in Taiwan, with the Liberty Times daily paper being his most popular platform. I've been following his work for years and now his columns are reprinted in English in the Taipei Times newspaper, the sister publication of the Liberty Times. Expert translators do the translations and the final product in English is important to share worldwide, so that the rest of the world learns the truth about Taiwan.

Taiwan is not part of Communist China, and never was and never will be. It is an independent, sovereign nation 100 or so miles off the coast of Communist China. For Taiwan's 23 million people, Taiwan is home, Taiwan is their nation.

In a recent oped, Mr. Lee wrote, among other things:

''Taiwan’s modern and contemporary history dates from more than a century ago. During the early period between 1895 and 1945, it was subject to Japanization. The middle period from 1945 to 1995 was one of sinicization, and the late period, since 1995, has seen an unfinished process of Taiwanization.

''Starting from the nation’s native inhabitants, the Aborigines, Taiwan has passed through various stages, including Dutch colonization, followed by the Kingdom of Tungning founded by Cheng Cheng-kung better known as Koxinga, and then by the Qing Dynasty. In the process, it has formed a cultural profile that is different from China’s and manifests itself in daily life.

''Taiwan is separated from China by a stretch of sea. It is closer to the East Asian nations of Japan and North and South Korea, and more distant from the countries of Southeast Asia. That is because the former fall within the cultural sphere of Chinese characters, while the latter moved away from China’s cultural orbit when they came under European colonial rule.

''Taiwan has shifted the emphasis of its relations in the region from a northbound orientation to a southbound one, hoping to expand its trade, business and cultural relations with Southeast Asian countries so as to reduce the risk that results from excessive reliance on China.

''Taiwan is a special place — a political, economic and cultural entity that is a nation and yet is not one. After World War II, Taiwan, unlike other former colonies in Asia, did not choose to become independent. Instead, it became entangled in the all-out war between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

''Consequently, Ilha Formosa, which could have grown into a small, but beautiful country, cannot stand tall on the world stage, even though it does in fact exist."

To read the entire essay, see the Taipei Times link here.

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