Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters: A letter to George W. Bush

Dear US President George W. Bush,

I am Taiwanese and I feel obliged to write this letter to you on a most important issue. This regards the proposed Taiwanese referendum on joining the UN, which has caused some concern throughout the world.

Historically speaking, we Taiwanese people lived a free and independent life before the 17th century and had nothing to do with the Chinese. The Dutch colonized the southwestern part of Taiwan and forced us to interact with the outside world and join the world trade system in the early 17th century. After the Dutch rule, there came the Koxinga [Cheng Cheng-kung (鄭成功)] regime, which originated from the Ming Empire and was expelled by the Manchurian (Qing) Empire in China. In 1683, Taiwan was annexed by the Qing Empire, which had ruled the plains lowland area of Taiwan for 212 years. At that time, Taiwan was, just like China, a colony of the Manchurians.

During the Qing Empire, the mountainous parts of Taiwan were free of Manchurian rule. That was one reason for the Rover Incident between Taiwanese Aboriginals and the US Marine Corps in 1867.

Furthermore, the majority of the so-called Han Chinese of Taiwan (apart from displaced Chinese who came to Taiwan after World War II) are the descendants of Taiwanese plains Aborigines.

Because the Manchurians enforced "assimilation" and "divide and rule" policies, our ancestors were forced to use Han Chinese surnames and to give up their land.

In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan after the first Sino-Japanese war.

When the Chinese overthrew the Manchurians in 1912, Taiwan was "legally" the territory of the Japanese empire. By the way, it was the Japanese who "conquered" all the mountain Aborigines.

After the war, Taiwan should have held a referendum on becoming an independent state under the mandatory order of the UN. Nonetheless, with General Order No. 1 of US General Douglas MacArthur, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) army came to Taiwan to disarm the imperial Japanese army.

After the disarmament, however, the Chinese army did not withdraw and continued to occupy Taiwan.

That was the beginning of Taiwan's KMT occupation nightmare, a tyranny among the worst human beings have ever experienced.

The atrocities they committed include the 228 Incident in 1947 and the White Terror era, which included tens of thousands of people being persecuted in political witch hunts amid hyperinflation, in which prices increased more than 40,000 times from the end of 1945 to June 15, 1949.

Now, after the demise of the KMT dictators, we Taiwanese want to further rid ourselves of the so-called Republic of China colonial regime.

We want to be an independent country. We are really glad about the letter your government wrote to the UN to remind the whole world that Taiwan is not part of China.

With this, we want to implore you to help us build our own nation. If not, just like the founding fathers of the US, we will struggle to the end of our lives to gain the inherent right of being independent and free people.

Chia Tek-khiam

Taipei

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