I have a few queries relating to the letter from Colin Spencer ("Letters," Dec. 24, page 8).
Perhaps it is ignorance on my part, but I understood that in written form the Chinese family of languages are the same and therefore -- far from what Mr Spencer suggests -- many lines of literature are in fact in publication.
In any case, should the entries [for the composition competition] be limited to Aboriginal form, then surely that would lower the number of entries and therefore do more harm than good.
Having lived in England (my adopted country since leaving Taiwan at the age of 9) for the past 12 years and visited countless book stores I would only agree that Welsh/Gaelic books are "well represented" if "well" meant "almost non-existent." (In fact, I would go so far as to suggest I would more easily find a Chinese book than a Gaelic book).
This then leads me to raise the point that a UK National Arts Council does not exist -- there are in fact separate art councils for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There would therefore obviously be an uproar should the Arts Council of Wales award prizes to Welsh pieces written in English as Mr Spencer suggests; but by the same token, the Council of Cultural Affairs in Taiwan is not going so far as to award prizes for pieces written in Japanese!
I therefore do not think we should be asking "how boring" these prizes are, but do more to encourage more of them!
Your editorial calling for ethnic harmony ("Overcoming historical divides", Dec. 18, p. 8) deserves support.
With the abolishment of the province [of Taiwan], there are no more provincial differences; there is only a national identity. The term "people from other provinces" is obsolete. Taiwan can survive and prosper only if all ethnic groups and political parties are united under mother Taiwan.
Aboriginal, Hoklo, Hakka and mainlander groups arrived in Taiwan at different times all for better living and/or political freedom. Most of these people consider Taiwan as their homeland and love Taiwan wholeheartedly.
However, it is difficult to understand why so many mainlanders -- and even their Taiwan-born descendents -- while enjoying living in Taiwan, prefer unification of Taiwan with China.
These mainlanders hated or feared communism and fled to Taiwan in a hurry more than 50 years ago. Now, they want Taiwan to be ruled by the Chinese Communist Party!
"Don't take the whole dish just becuase I offered the soy sauce," as the old Taiwanese saying goes. It's time for the mainlanders to identify with Taiwan.
If China, the KMT, the PFP and the New Party have a common partisan goal of achieving "one China," their leaders should disqualify themselves from running for presidency in 2004. Under the "one China" policy, no president of Taiwan is permitted by China. Unless these parties change their goal to "one Taiwan," it would be more appropriate if they operated in China and competed with the Chinese Communist Party.
United we stand. Divided we fall. (The motto of Kentucky.)
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