Sunday, April 6, 2014

What a 14 year old student in Taipei thinks about the Sunflower Movement

The following was written by a junior high school second year student in Taipei. 
(Name withheld)
The question isn’t exactly if China will invade Taiwan or not.  China has already decided to try and "reclaim the break away province" that is not the break away province.  One thing I want to make clear is that Taiwan is an entirely different country and we have always been a different people.  We are Taiwanese, not a kind of Chinese.  It's not like we are a break away province trying to gain freedom, we were here BEFORE China even noticed us.  Anyways Taiwan's history before China tried to control us is pretty complicated so I won't go into detail about that.
Before I keep going, I'll have to give an explanation on what the KMT are.  In the 1900s Chang Kai Shek and Mao Zhe Dong were both leaders fighting to get power of China.  Chang Kai Shek lost and fled to the island of Taiwan to get away from Mao.  Now don't get me wrong, he was not fighting for freedom in China, he just wanted the power for himself.  The reason these two people are fighting is because they want the powers for themself.  Okay now that (I think) I've gotten that straight I'll move on.  When Chang Kai Shek came to Taiwan he established a dictatorship here.  Don't believe what most textbooks say about him, he was not a nice guy trying to help out Taiwan.  Yes, he was not a communist, but he was a fascist and that's almost the same thing.  He called himself "general" but in reality he was a dictator.  He killed many thousands of innocent people and put Taiwan under martial law.  So this is the guy that led the KMT or Kuomintang. This is the political party that likes Chang Kai Shek, wants China to take over Taiwan, and doesn't want Taiwan to be a democracy.
So coming back to present time.  Unfortunately in 2008 people were not thinking of that and voted for Ma Eng Jioh the guy that is chairman of the KMT party.  (I know many people who didn't, but there were a lot of people who were drawn in by his nice speeches and promises of good stuff, kind of like what happened with Obama.  There are also people who just care about power and money that would vote for him.  It is also possible that there were some fraud votes.) Now that he's in office and has the power, he's been trying to get Taiwan to become part of China.  It wasn't really happening very well (at least it was happening very slowly) until the following happened: The KMT signed a trade tract with China.  Let me explain more about this pact before I go on.
Sounds fair, it might even benefit Taiwan, right?  This doesn't sound really bad, does it? At first, maybe, but let me give you the details.  It's like the "Trojan Horse" of China.  Normally trade pacts should take YEARS to look over and discuss, ESPECIALLY with a communist country like China.  Not this time, the way that the pact was passed was very sneaky.  They met to supposedly "discuss" the trade pact but instead they "discussed" for 30 seconds then suddenly said, "Okay, it's passed."  You have to start wondering about that, don't you?  Before I go on I need to give more about the details of the trade pact.  First of all, China has 1600 missiles pointed at us.  Do you really negotiate a "real" trade pact with a country that has missiles pointed at you?  Secondly, this is not just trading food or different material, this is allowing workers from China to flood into Taiwan and work in major industries.  Again, at first this doesn't sound bad.  But think a little bit longer.  So a Chinese worker eventually owns a Taiwanese industry and everything seems fine.  Then, since he's the boss, he can eventually tell all the Taiwanese workers to leave and that he just wants his own Chinese workers, making less work for Taiwanese and more work for Chinese.  It’s starting to sound bad, right?  Here's another thing.  All businessmen that have been here for 6 years can vote.  Well that means that they are going to vote for the KMT, and since there are so many of them then there isn't a chance that the people who want democracy and oppose the KMT will have enough votes.  It's a slower process than an immediate invasion, but it slowly floods out all the Taiwanese and makes Taiwan overrun with Chinese.  As the Chinese make more work and slowly take over higher positions, Taiwan is basically gone.  This is exactly the same thing that happened to Hong Kong.  Did you know that some of Taiwan's biggest supporters are people from Hong Kong?  They went through this exact same thing and realize what will happen to Taiwan if we pass the pact.  Hong Kong actually wasn't Chinese; they were Cantonese.
So now that I'm done with the trade pact, I'll get to what's going on now.  So many people were outraged at this trade pact because we felt like Ma was betraying Taiwan.  (Well, he was.)  On March 18th, 300 students gathered together and got in to occupy the Legislative Yuan (the Congress Building) where the pact was going to be signed.  Before I go on let me get something straight: These students are clean, organized, and most importantly entirely peaceful.  They take care of their trash and even started cleaning off graffiti.  The protest they are doing is called “civil disobedience.”  We were so happy that they took the initiative to do this because we would not have known what to do.  Anyway the police tried to get in several times but failed.  So the police took to not letting anyone out and not letting anyone in.  Well to show their support, more then 10,000 people came, sat, and are still sitting around the Legislative Yuan where the students are inside.  Right now even more people have gone to sit there and show support.  The president, Ma, has refused to talk to the students and is totally ignoring us.  In fact, they are still trying to get the pact passed even though they can't go to do it at the building. Well after a while another group of people went to occupy the presidential cabinet building.  This time, Ma sent riot police to go and kick them out of the area.  Imagine, riot police!  These students were just peacefully sitting there!  Well they got in, beat the students until many were bleeding, and set the water cannons on them.  It was so sad to hear the sirens going down the street.  (We live pretty close to the parliament building.)
Then a rally was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 30th, 1-7 PM for all to show support to the students and want Taiwan to be a free democracy.  Everyone wore black to signify the "black box" (or in the USA the expression means "behind closed doors") in which the pact was made and brought sunflowers that signified hope and transparency to all.  Guess what?  700,000 people came!  I was at the rally; there could easily have been that many people.  They covered so many streets and almost everyone couldn't hear the speeches being made because there were too many people that we couldn't get to the stage.  It was amazing!  That was around a week ago.
Well now, our president and the KMT are still ignoring us.  I mean, ignoring 700,000 people??  They are still doing their best to ignore us and, unfortunately, they have the wealth and power to do that.  Ma wants to arrest the students now and they're still trying to get the trade pact passed.  That is where the prayers are needed now.
OK, now where the USA comes in is that first of all, there is hardly anything on the news over there about a rally that had 700,000 people fighting for democracy.  All that's really being reported is stuff that China reports on, which, of course, is mostly lies because they want to cover up all that they are doing (Like beating up peaceful and unarmed students until they are bleeding).  So while Taiwan is struggling for democracy and freedom, the news in the USA is showing Michelle Obama doing some tour in China... it's like they want to “get good” with communist China and aren't paying attention to a struggling democracy.  Well, I hope that explains what’s going on over here.


J. Bryant said...

Thank you for a clear and complete explanation of what is going on in Taiwan right now. I was at the San Diego 330 Rally in support of the students in the Legislative Yuan (Congress building). We had 300-350 demonstrating Balboa Park. My family and I will continue to pray for Taiwan and the Taiwanese. God bless you and God bless Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the well-written explanation of the Sunflower Movement. You are not alone. There are a lot of Americans who Support you!! KEEP FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY!! LONG-LIVE TAIWAN....WE ARE NOT FOR SALE!!!

Brock Freeman said...

Perhaps some of the explanations are too difficult for some politicians, getting schooled by a middle-school student might be more their level...

Also posted this article link to

David Yeh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Yeh said...

Let us all fight and preserve democracy in Taiwan. I have never chosen a party (DPP or KMT) until 3/18, since the Sunflower Movement.
I'm relieved to see Taiwanese students standing up for themselves, in large part due to the lack of economic opportunities and wage stagnation.
Unlike American students, whose student loan interest rate just increased and legislators are being bought up after Citizen's United and now McCutcheon. Democracy is eroding fast in American but our students haven't been pushed around hard enough or long enough to march in the streets. That day will come.