Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 8 News List

A vicious distortion of Taiwan’s history

By James Wang 王景弘

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) are on the brink of collapse and they have few tools left in their bag of tricks.

All they can do is incessantly, and without any semblance of integrity, nag that Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) “does not speak clearly” in regard to maintaining the so-called cross-strait “status quo.”

It is Ma who has been talking a lot of nonsense and it is he who has been ambiguous.

Ma does not seem able to clarify whether he sees the Republic of China (ROC) as a country or as a government, nor does he differentiate between the ROC during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the current ROC.

He is also unable to distinguish between Taiwanese-US relations and relations between the US and “our country.”

Ma thinks that US academics support the KMT’s muddling of textbooks and that they accept the view that the relationship between Taiwan and the US is in excellent condition primarily due to the lie that the two have enjoyed a solid friendship ever since World War II.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War the map of China included Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) KMT government; the government of Wang Ching-wei (汪精衛), president of the ROC between 1940 and 1944; the Manchukuo government of the Qing emperor; areas controlled by the Chinese Communist Party; and the government of Outer Mongolia.

Taiwan was under Japanese control at the time and as such was an enemy of the US and a target of US air raids.

With the arrogance of victors, Chiang’s government, representing the allied countries, occupied Taiwan, which was the territory of the defeated the Empire of Japan and enacted martial law.

When the US broke off diplomatic relations with the Chiang regime, Chiang’s son Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) did not speak for the rights of Taiwanese, but rather complained to then-US deputy secretary of state Warren Christopher that his government’s long-lasting alliance with the US against the Japanese had been betrayed.

DEMOCRACY

However, people in post-colonial Taiwan struggled for and obtained democracy, electing a new government under the bastard name “Republic of China” that had nothing to do with either Chiang’s or Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) Chinese governments.

The development of Taiwan-US relations was due to the evolution of Taiwanese democracy and is unrelated to the US’ and China’s friendship during the war against the Japanese.

The Ma regime’s invitation to the descendants of Chiang Kai-shek’s old friends — US Army general Albert Coady Wedemeyer, general Claire Chennault and brigadier general Jimmy Doolittle — to visit Taiwan to commemorate the ROC’s victory over Japan is a vicious distortion of historical fact.

It highlights several fallacies: Chennault’s Flying Tigers were a group of highly paid mercenaries; Doolittle’s famous air raid on Tokyo had nothing to do with Taiwan; and, while Wedemeyer coordinated with Chiang Kai-shek, US general Joseph Stilwell strictly monitored the distribution of US aid and urged Chiang to fight proactively.

Stilwell’s descendants were apparently not acceptable invitees according to Ma.

Ma and his KMT are obsessed with the Second Sino-Japanese War and they long ago departed from the reality of Taiwanese democracy.

James Wang is a media commentator.

Translated by Zane Kheir

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