Sun, Sep 02, 2018 - Page 6 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Focus on Aboriginal roots justified

Nevertheless, after the Chinese Civil War, the party-state claimed that Taiwan has always been part of Chinese territory, that the inhabitants of Taiwan are Chinese and belong to the Republic of China, and so on.

They forced Taiwan’s native population to identify with China, distorting and belittling the history of each ethnic group through the use of brute force.

This is why Taiwan must take a more expansive and rigorous approach to rebuilding its view of its own history.

Over the past 400 years, Taiwanese culture has incorporated elements of Han Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Japanese culture, and Western culture has had a significant influence since the end of World War II.

Still, Aborigines were Taiwan’s earliest inhabitants. The nation’s cultural origins must be expanded back in time, beyond the Chinese migration.

Taiwan is a veritable treasure trove of Austronesian culture and knowledge worthy of study and research. More funding and resources should be made available, including for transnational and interdisciplinary research. This would yield results over the long term and would be a way for democratic Taiwan to project soft power on the international stage.

The visit by Maori youth coincided with the Ministry of Education’s review of its 12-year national education program. The new curriculum is to emphasize Aboriginal history and the identity of colonized societies.

The Maoris’ visit in search of their ancestral roots is a justified reason to rewrite history, to create a more international outlook that better reflects the facts. That is a welcome advance.

Translated by Chang Ho-mingand Edward Jones

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