Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan independence: It’s in the air

By David Pendery 潘大為

Though many people would not agree (they would indeed strongly disagree), the fact that China ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 seems to indicate that Taiwan was once part of China.

No, not the People’s Republic of China, but that is what “China” is today and therefore it can be essentially connected to the China that was in existence in the 19th century.

In spite of its proximity, it does not seem likely that China could, as happened in Spain, legally annul a move toward Taiwan independence or issue arrest warrants for Taiwanese leaders, so the door could still be open for Taiwan.

This proximity could also be helpful in other ways: With an EU-like conglomeration with China and other nations in Asia, there is the possibility of Taiwan unifying with China (with a good deal of independent power, it would be hoped) in the borderless world suggested.

Goldfarb points out that about 500 years ago a Polish nobleman was asked about his national identity.

“I am of the Polish nation, of Lithuanian citizenship, of the Ruthenian people and of Jewish origin,” he said.

This is the sort of borderless world referred to and akin to a Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations thesis — but we should dismiss the clash and focus on what could be positive.

Huntington said that a resident of Rome could define himself as Roman, Italian, Catholic, Christian, European and Western. This accumulation could be seen as a very positive binding covenant in one’s identity, opening new worlds of possibility and connection.

The time is now. Decisions need to be made.

Step up Taiwan, make your voice heard in the world.

A new and exciting selfhood, both associated and particular, awaits.

David Pendery is an associate professor at National Taipei University of Business.

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