Friday, March 28, 2014

An excellent video about the Sunflower Movement to share with those unfamiliar with Taiwan.

There is one thing not accurately portrayed in the video: the comparison between Hong Kong and Taiwan is too simplified. Hong Kong was never self-governing. It was leased by the Manchurian Empire to Britain for 99 years. Taiwan is completely self-governing and has never been ruled by China.

Taiwan is the original homeland of the Austronesian peoples. Its east coast has remained free for thousands of years (Taiwan is the Austronesian homeland) even when its west and north were successively governed by the Dutch, Spanish, the Cheng Kingdom, and then finally the Manchurian Empire. Taiwan's west coast was under nominal Manchurian rule over several centuries, but that ended when the Manchurian Empire ceded Taiwan to Japan in perpetuity in 1895. (In 1895, Taiwan's people declared a Republic of Formosa and with a president and cabinet but it was quickly crushed by Japanese troops.)

Meanwhile across the strait in China in 1911, the Chinese finally overthrew the foreign-rule of the Manchurian empire in China and established a republic in China that quickly turned into a dictatorship. But Taiwan had no part in that because it was part of the Japanese Empire.

After World War II, the Allied Powers took over Taiwan and in 1951, Japan relinquished its claim to Taiwan without designating China as a successor state. Taiwan should have been free at that point, but the U.S. allowed the Republic of China dictatorship to flee to Taiwan when they lost the war in China. They quickly seized control of Taiwan and suppressed the Taiwanese' people's right to self determination. It was not until 1996 that there was a full-fledged democracy in Taiwan. But the Communist government of China has never ruled Taiwan and has no right to claim Taiwan or annex it. Phrases like "break-away province" or "the two sides-split amidst a civil war" are incorrect and misleading propaganda that gets parroted by the international media.

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