Taiwanese here to stay
In a recent opinion piece in the Taipei Times, National Taiwan University professor Chen Tsui-lien (陳翠蓮) asked: “As the masters of a democracy, should Taiwanese continue to tolerate this bullying and domineering attitude?” (“Party-state haunts history revisions,” Feb. 7, page 8).
Chen was referring to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration and its followers’ efforts to interpret, revise and dictate how Taiwanese history is depicted in high-school textbooks. The answer to Chen’s question is, of course, no. Taiwanese, as the people and masters of this nation, will say no to and refuse to tolerate this kind of abuse of power by the Ma administration and its backers.
As Chen wrote in the article, history “defines who we are, where we come from, where we are and where we are headed.”
The people of this nation are Taiwanese and though some of their ancestors came from China, they have been in Taiwan for a long time. Taiwanese are in Taiwan and are here to stay; they are not going anywhere. Taiwanese are Taiwanese and their nation has its own history, culture and traditions.
The information made available through printed and electronic media has revealed the lies, distortions and false statements told by the government and Chinese academics. Taiwanese are more knowledgeable now than ever before and those Chinese seem to be underestimating them this time around.
China is a big country, yet most of it is not developed and the majority of its people are uneducated, uncivilized and inconsiderate, while its culture is mostly superficial, fake and pretentious. The 5,000 years of China’s history are unimpressive and its culture is not as splendid and glorious as Chinese say it is.
The Ma administration and its followers are mostly refugees from China driven out by the fighting with the communists in the 1940s, or they are the children of those refugees. Now that relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has improved and travel restrictions lifted, these people can move back to China if they want to. If they choose to stay in Taiwan, they must have a reason for it. They should be thankful for being able to live in Taiwan, which is free, democratic and respectful of human rights.
Taiwanese will not take any more abuse of power from the Ma administration and its supporters — those Chinese need to know that and they need to stop doing what they are doing.
Ken S. Huang
Plaza naming is shaming
The naming of a plaza at National Cheng Kung University made headlines after students voted for the name “Nan-jung Square” (South Banyan Square, 南榕廣場) to commemorate democracy activist Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), but the university’s School Affairs Committee decided to dismiss the poll results.
The incident at the Greater Tainan school has sparked public concern and media criticism.
In an article titled “My alma mater has forgotten its glory,” Tsai Chen-chiang (蔡澄江) said that the plaza name was selected through a democratic process devoid of any political overtones.
However, some self-designated “wise” individuals expanded or factored in their personal views to this process and forcefully associated it with politics. Unfortunately, this resulted in the university ruling out the winning name. This incident touched me deeply.
Although history professor Wang Wen-hsia (王文霞) formally apologized for remarks she made about Deng to support the overruling of the vote, there has not been any official response or action from the school so far.