Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's Double-Ten Day --- Which begs the question: when is Taiwan's birthday?

October 10 is a holiday in Taiwan. What does it mean for real?

The R.O.C. fascist dictatorship existed from 1911 to 1949 = 38 years.
The R.O.C. fascist dictatorship in exile oppressed Taiwan from 1945 to 1996 = 51 years.
The sham R.O.C. democratic government of Taiwan has existed from 1996 (when Taiwan had its first direct presidential elections to the present) = 18 years.

Taiwan is not 103 years old. The Republic of CHINA rule over its own territory ceased to exist many decades ago.

So how should we calculate the age of Taiwan and when should we celebrate its birthday?  Definitely not 10/10.  

How about May 23 -- that is May 23, 1895, the date that the Formosa Republic / Taiwan Republic was declared... a declaration of independence from foreign colonial rule.  If so, despite the lapse into foreign colonial rule first of the Japanese and then the R.O.C. government in exile, Taiwan would officially be 119 years old this year.  

Or April 28th  could be celebrated as Taiwan's birthday. April 28, 1952 is the date that the Treaty of San Francisco came into effect (it was signed Sept. 8, 1951).  In this treaty Japan gave up its claim to Taiwan but did not designate a successor. Therefore by international law, the people of Taiwan could legally claim their own sovereignty on this day.  With this calculation, Taiwan would be officially 62 years old this year. 

One final possible birthdate to celebrate is March 23, 1996. This date represents the first time that the regime governing Taiwan was forced by the people to hold direct presidential elections. Unfortunately they were carried out under a constitution not for Taiwan but for the Republic of China before the end of its rule in China and its sham rule over China in exile. In this case, Taiwan would be 18 years old this year.

Which one do you think we should celebrate as Taiwan's birthday?


David said...

Actually I would suggest 10 December as Human Rights Day and also the anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident which was a key event that led to Taiwan's democratization.

It's also worth noting that 10 October is also World Day Against the Death Penalty. If political leaders in Taiwan were brave enough to announce a moratorium or abolition of the death penalty on this day then there would be something to celebrate.

Joel LInton said...

May 23, 1895 ... May 23, 1996 ... 101 years after Taiwanese declare a Republic, they finally get their first presidential election and a full-fledged republic. I think Taiwan's national day should be May 23.