A Taiwanese abroad
The recent articles about the life of Taiwan specialist J. Bruce Jacobs, who passed away recently in Australia at the age of 75, one written by Diane Baker and the other by Han Cheung, were informative and useful (“Taiwan specialist Bruce Jacobs dies in Melbourne,” Nov. 25, page 1, and “Taiwan in Time: Remembering the ‘Big Beard,’” Dec. 1 , page 8).
A Taiwanese man living for many years now in the US read the two articles, and reacted by sending me an e-mail detailing his personal recollections of the times Jacobs had lived through in Taiwan.
“I was a graduate student in America during the 1980 Kaohsiung Incident in Taiwan,” he wrote. “[Chinese Nationalist Party] KMT spies were on every American college campus then. They would report ‘unpatriotic’ students back to Taiwan. Many Taiwanese students were scared. Some students were so afraid that they would use chopsticks to pick up student newsletters [from Taiwanese associations on local campuses] and drop them into a trash can — afraid that reading the newsletter would leave fingerprints.”
“Information regarding the murder of Lin I-hsiung’s (林義雄) family members was very fuzzy at the time. KMT news outlets indicated that there was a ‘big beard’ guy involved, but no name was given. But we all knew this fake news was KMT’s revenge against Lin’s involvement in democratization events,” he wrote.
“As Taiwan’s democratization has evolved through many stages, the younger generation today likely does not know how difficult the process has been,” he added.
“At one time, a Taiwanese student in Los Angeles used his telephone as a news broadcasting center. He would record some news in his telephone recorder. Anyone who wanted to get the anti-KMT news would dial the number and listen to the news. To break KMT’s news control, some overseas Taiwanese thought about hiring a boat patrolling around Taiwan to broadcast ‘democratic’ news into Taiwan. Many people, including foreigners, such as Bruce Jacobs, took risks in helping Taiwanese,” he wrote.
“Before 2000, no one in my generation could ever have envisioned that Taiwan would become a democracy and freely elect its first non-KMT president, Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Thinking about these past events in Taiwan was like a bittersweet dream come true, with many people to thank for it,” he said.
“For those who have left a footprint — either by their actions, or published or spoken remarks — in this process, like professor Bruce Jacobs, they are a part of Taiwan’s success story,” he said. “We all hope that Taiwan will continue to develop her own unique culture and sense of identity, and become a contributing member of the UN.”
South China Sea exercises in July by two United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers reminds that Taiwan’s history since mid-1950, and as a free nation, is intertwined with that of the aircraft carrier. Eventually Taiwan will host aircraft carriers, either those built under its democratic government or those imposed on its territory by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). By September 1944, a lack of sufficient carrier airpower and land-based airpower persuaded US Army and Navy leaders to forgo an invasion to wrest Taiwan from Japanese control, thereby sparing Taiwanese considerable wartime destruction. But two
This year, India and Taiwan can look back on 25 years of so-called unofficial ties. This provides an occasion to ponder over how they can deepen collaboration and strengthen their relations. This reflection must be free from excitement and agitation caused by the ongoing China-US great power jostling as well as China’s aggressive actions against many of its neighbors, including India. It must be based on long-term trends in bilateral engagement. To begin with, India and Taiwan, thus far, have had relations constituted by various activities, but what needs to be thought about now is whether they can transform their ties
On Thursday last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a barnstorming speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, titled “Communist China and the Free World’s Future.” The speech set out in no uncertain terms the insoluble ideological divide between a totalitarian, communist China and the democratic, free-market values of the US. It was also a full-throated call to arms for all nations of the free world to rally behind the US and defeat China. Pompeo elaborated on a clear distinction between China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in an attempt to recalibrate the
As Taiwan is engulfed in worries about Chinese infiltration, news reports have revealed that power inverters made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co are used in the solar panels on the top of the Legislative Yuan’s Zhenjiang House (鎮江會館) on Zhenjiang Street in Taipei. However, what is even more worrying is that Taiwan’s new national electronic identification card (eID) has been subcontracted to the French security firm and eID maker Idemia, which has not only cooperated with the Chinese Public Security Bureau to manufacture eIDs in China, but also makes the new identification cards being issued in Hong Kong. There might be more