Mon, Jun 18, 2012 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Textbook tactics to re-write history

What is the historic truth? On Oct. 25, 1971, at the 26th session of the UN assembly, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), founded on Oct. 1, 1949, was given the legal right to represent China at the UN in a landslide vote. The PRC is universally recognized as “China.” How can we continue to maintain the isolated view that it is not?

During the recent presidential campaign, Ma said that even if he were burnt to ashes he would remain Taiwanese and on the international stage he has said that he is president of Taiwan. Now, after his re-election, upon what is he basing his statements that teaching materials should avoid mentioning Taiwan?

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the view that Taiwan’s position remains undetermined, we cannot ignore the historic fact that Japan and 47 other countries signed the Treaty of Peace with Japan, also known as the San Francisco Peace Treaty, on Sept. 8, 1951. Regardless of whether one supports this view, it is a fact, just as we cannot change the fact that the regime of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) occupied Taiwan militarily after having been gifted it from Japan as the Allies’ representative in 1945. Why can we not let our children learn these facts of history?

As for the laughable claim about the “central position of Chinese culture” we only have to look at the US and Canada, two immigrant societies, to see if the teaching materials in their schools stress “the central position of English culture” and if they call themselves “English.”

The biggest impact on Taiwanese students studying abroad during the Martial Law era occurred when they went to libraries overseas and discovered information which unearthed the Chiang regime’s lies. Today, under Ma’s rule, a single suggestion from the public makes the education ministry want to turn history textbooks into incomplete materials to serve a political end, and in doing so, they are cheered on by junior Chinese officials.

This is an absurd step backwards and it makes one wonder if the government’s next step will be to rewrite history completely in an attempt to eradicate Taiwanese history and the Taiwanese identity.

We all have a duty to keep our eyes on the government and to do anything we can to prevent that from happening.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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