Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Standing Up for Taiwan's Sovereignty & Calling China to Account

There is an excellent blog by an Eric from Tainan called the Taiwan Dream Foundation. Eric wrote a piece on the China melamine-in-milk scandal and the KMT's response. DEMO! heard that Eric was one of the ones to confront the ARATS deputy from China 張銘清 this week [video]. Zhang has in the past made many disparaging and inflamatory remarks towards Taiwan. To give one of many examples, the Taipei Times reported that Zhang stated in 2004, “We will smash the separatist schemes of the Taiwanese independence movement at all costs.” Despite commonly exhibiting this kind of rhetoric, Zhang was invited here for a visit by the Ma administration.

Zhang's carefully scripted visit did not go as the Leninist KMT of Taiwan and the Leninist CCP of China had planned. Taiwanese came to confront Zhang at the Confucian Temple in order to call China to account for its international oppression of its peaceful neighbor. Taiwanese were unwilling to let this particular Chinese government official's insults go uncontested, nor were they willing to see Ma's stealth annexation agenda succeed. So during Zhang's truncated three-day visit, Taiwanese introduce him to real freedom of speech in the real, democratic nation of Taiwan. Zhang shortened his trip claiming health reasons, but perhaps he did not like losing face; maybe in his authoritarian country, he is unaccustomed to the freedoms that Taiwan's citizens enjoy; maybe he is used to crowds being "controlled" like his PRC government did in Tiannanmen Square in 1989 and at the Olympics this year.

At the Confucian Temple in Tainan City, Tainan City Councilor Wang Ding-yu (王定宇), Kaohsiung City Councilor Hsiao Yung-ta (蕭永達), and others confronted him. They made clear statements in front of the Taiwan news media and also this Chinese government official who had come to visit Taiwan that Taiwan is a sovereign nation and that Taiwan and China are different countries. We need to support these courageous citizens of the nation of Taiwan.

Tainan's Confucian Temple, incidentally, is a place every foreigner should visit. One could wish this foreigner, Mr. Zhang from China, had looked at the historical artifacts there more closely and clearmindedly instead of with the eyes of China's propaganda. You can see clearly on the three-hundred-year-old stone tablets that though many of Taiwan's people immigrated from China, Taiwan was never part of China. West Taiwan was part of the non-Chinese Manchu Empire from the late 1600's to 1895.

That the Manchu Empire was not Chinese is evident on the tablets that are engraved in two languages: Manchu (with an entirely different script), and Chinese characters for the Han subjects to read. Some tablets were only engraved in the Manchu language (in Taiwan!). Chinese regimes cannot bear the thought of having been conquered so when in history they were conquered and annexed by large foreign empires such as the Mongols or the Manchus, China will, in a propaganda process worthy of the greatest Taoist alchemists, magically turn these foreign empires into "Chinese" dynasties -- in this case the "Yuan" and the "Qing" -- so as not to lose face.

To maintain the fiction for the sake of their ethnic nationalistic pride, Chinese regimes then try to claim any territory once governed by those foreign empires as part of the "Chinese" motherland. Mongolia, Tibet, and Central Asia countries fall into its "borders" to be reclaimed. Taiwan is another such location. No matter what the history is, or the fact that the Manchu empire ceded Taiwan in perpetuity to Japan in 1895 by international treaty, China will still claim it as an "inseparable part of the motherland that has been part of China since ancient times."

Repeat lies long enough and with enough backing and money and people may even begin to believe them. But you cannot so easily erase what is literally carved in stone at the Confucian Temple and also at the Taiwanese pirate king Koxinga's old Anping Castle in Tainan City. This castle, incidentally, was originally a Dutch fort, because the Dutch were in Taiwan in the 1600's and they were the ones who originally encouraged Chinese immigrants to cross the Strait and begin rice-farming in the Dutch colonial lands of west Taiwan. This is because the Austronesian culture and economy of Taiwan's inhabitants at the time were not as amenable to taxation. Before the Dutch came, Taiwan had been for thousands of years the homeland of the Austronesian peoples, the land Maori in New Zealand to the far south and Hawaiins to the north called "Hawaiiki". [ref: Science Daily, Taipei Times]

Please join with blogs like the Taiwan Democracy Movement and the Taiwan Dream Foundation in ensuring that the truth will never be buried.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chinese Successor Government Owes Debt from its Predecessor

China cannot have it both ways. It stakes a claim on Taiwan based on the PRC being a successor government to former Chinese regimes. Whether or not that claim to being a successor government actually gives legitimacy to its claim on Taiwan is a separate question. But although the PRC claims to be a successor government of China, it refuses to pay back the international debt the former regime incurred. Here is a recent report about this issue.

The actual truth of history is that no Chinese regime has ever governed Taiwan. The last Chinese regime was the Ming Empire. It was conquered by a non-Chinese Manchu Empire that like the Mongols before ruled a vast territory encompassing many cultures including China. The Manchu Empire were the ones to establish a marginal rule over the west coast of Taiwan. But they gave up all right and claim to Taiwan in perpetuity to Japan in 1895 by an international treaty. Japan was the nation to finally conquer and unify the entire island. Japan then gave up its claim to Taiwan in the Treaty of San Francisco after World War II. But it did not designate a successor. By all international laws and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Taiwan belongs to the Taiwanese people and is a free and independent nation.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No privacy or freedom of speech in China

China is tracking, blocking, and recording text messages of its citizens: is this what you want to happen to Taiwan? The Ma administration and the KMT Legislative majority must be opposed by Taiwanese if they wish to keep their freedom. Whatever their intent, the KMT in effect is rushing, pushing Taiwan headlong into annexation by China.