Fri, Jan 07, 2011 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Stop fabricating Taiwan’s history

However, Ma’s entire New Year’s speech was aimed at linking Taiwan’s history to that of China and attributing Taiwan’s success to the ideals of the late ROC founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫中山).

The ROC was created when Sun led a revolution against the Qing Dynasty. That is a fact.

However, of the things Taiwan has achieved over the years, none of them happened as a result of putting Sun’s ideals into action, but rather because countless members of Taiwan’s pro-localization groups stood in opposition to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), a foreign regime, even in the face of the White Terror. This is why we enjoy the freedom and democracy we have today. These are Taiwan’s achievements as a democratic, advanced society and they have nothing to do with Sun’s ideals or Chinese history.

Worse still, although China’s recent history, one of war, famine and despair, is worthy of our sympathy, none of those incidents have anything to do with Taiwan.

Ma said he feels deeply moved by the Eight Hundred Heroes who took part in the Defense of Sihang Warehouse (四行倉庫八百守軍) in China in 1937, but for the people of Taiwan, that is really just another piece of some other country’s military history and is about as relevant to Taiwan as the 300 Spartans who fought the Battle of Thermopylae against the Persian Empire. Would Taiwanese who know this piece of history suddenly identify with Greece and propose that Taiwan is part of Greece? What’s more, Taiwanese are very clear about how Ma treats the ROC flag in front of Chinese people, and a few “moving” words in his New Year’s speech will do nothing to fool them.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) hit the nail right on the head when she criticized Ma’s speech, saying that the largest single difference between the KMT and DPP is that the KMT believes there can be no Taiwan without the ROC, while the DPP believes that there can be no ROC without Taiwan.

Put simply, the KMT worships “authority and rulers,” while the DPP believes in “the land and the people,” and that involves placing Taiwan first and supporting the majority of the people. Because the KMT worships authority and rulers, they cannot appreciate the importance of Taiwan’s success in terms of democracy and freedom. The KMT knows only how to carry out deification campaigns, whether for the two Chiangs or Chinese culture.

To demand that Taiwanese remember and respect the two Chiangs is really tantamount to treating the people of Taiwan like fools. Taiwan’s pro-localization camp believes the land and the people are the true masters of Taiwan’s history and that the future must be decided by the 23 million Taiwanese rather than some foreign regime or culture. They also believe Taiwan’s future cannot be based on the so-called “1992 consensus,” which was invented by the KMT and is purely fictional in nature.

In conclusion, Ma’s New Year speech to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ROC did not paint a bright future for Taiwan. All it did was repeat a bunch of fancy sounding slogans, like the talk of a “golden decade” (黃金十年計畫), 100 years of peace, a century of justice and fairness and the like, in an attempt to shift public attention away from the fact Ma has not delivered on his election promises.

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