On Aug. 16, it was reported that Chinese were suppressing and bullying Taiwanese through cross-strait academic cooperation. Rao Yi (饒毅), a professor from Beijing University, made the demand that his co-author of a paper, Chiang Ann-Shyn (江安世) from Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University, change his listed address to “Taiwan, China.”
Rao also wrote a threatening letter to the National Science Council, asking it to end its policy of having its researchers list their address as “Taiwan” or “Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC),” saying that otherwise, this issue would hinder cross-strait academic cooperation.
Chiang refused to accept Rao’s unreasonable demand, sticking to his position and protecting the integrity of Taiwan.
Shigeru Oda, an authority of international law, published an article in 2006 titled “A Sovereign Independent Country, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Status Within International Law.”
Oda concluded that: “Taiwan was not part of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] in the past. Taiwan is not part of the PRC now either.”
According to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Taiwan’s sovereignty is not vested in China either. Now, I am very excited and pleased to see Chiang’s effort to maintain the dignity of Taiwanese. This shows that Taiwanese are people with hope.
Facing bullying from China, which has repeatedly tried to suppress Taiwan, how can Taiwanese cope with it?
Although Taiwan is very vulnerable compared with China, which is now a world power, Taipei still should not yield to Beijing’s unreasonable demands. When facing threats from China, Taiwan should fight back and not show concessions and compromise. For example, if you are 165cm tall, but someone insists that you are 155cm tall, you should reject the statement since it is not true.
Height is the characterization of an individual’s body. The only legitimate way to state true height is to base it on fact. People should never compromise and yield to a statement that is not true. If you cannot win people over by telling the truth, you still need to state it for the sake of protecting your dignity and standing firm on your position.
When you deal with a bully, do you want to sacrifice the truth and join them? Do you still want to make peace with neighbors with evil intentions? Taiwanese should not be too naive, otherwise we will suffer a great loss.
Internationally, the ROC is not recognized by many countries. The ROC is mistreated at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the Olympics and other international platforms. Living in an era when the supremacy of human rights are heralded, Taiwanese should have the right to decide their own future; to establish their own country.
Facing suppression from China, Taiwanese should not complain. Taiwanese should walk on their own path, think of ways to protect themselves and have confidence in their plan.
We should be brave and stand up and shout loudly, so the whole world can hear the voice of Taiwanese.
Hooray and come on, professor Chiang. Let us Taiwanese all work together.
Yang Liu Hsiu-hwa is chairman of the International Cultural Foundation.