To die-hard pan-green camp supporters or convinced followers of the Taiwanese independence faith, I am an untrustworthy former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesperson with ulterior motives, as I continue to call on the government to “uncover the truth” and for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to face the “historical wounds” of the past and examine them head-on.
Media reports say that the Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation (陳文成博士紀念基金會) and 43 other non-governmental organizations organized a 228 Incident memorial event.
In response, Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan chairman Tashi Tsering said that as far as every Tibetan is concerned, “history will never forget,” and called on Taiwan’s youth to recognize the 228 Incident and never forget the past.
Giving an address at the event in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), Jun Ting (潤庭) of the Formosa Youth Congress Preparatory Office said that “the 228 Incident was a Taiwanese slaughter committed by the KMT,” and he reminded everyone living on this land that they must deal with past wounds if they want them to heal.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has even addressed whether the Transitional Justice Commission should be abolished by saying that the murders of Lin I-hsiung’s (林義雄) family “are still vivid in my mind.”
From the bottom of my heart, I truly agree with this educational memorial event, and I am even willing to actively search for “the truth,” for a single reason: By remembering the past, we can learn from it.
When Jun defined the 228 Incident as a Taiwanese slaughter committed by the KMT, I might have had my doubts, but then again, should people not accept the most stringent examinations by academic experts? There is no need to cover up or prettify right and wrong.
As the DPP has total control of the executive and legislative branches for a second consecutive term, surely this should be an easy thing to deal with, in theory and in practice. Is it not just a matter of the government’s determination and boldness?
To put it more bluntly, regardless of whether people support or detest the DPP, all 23.5 million Taiwanese are in the same boat: They make up a shared community, and they will only be able to deal with external threats if they first can stop fighting domestically.
What are Taiwanese if they are unable even to pursue this kind of fundamental historical truth, and instead just continue to passively demonstrate in the streets, hold academic forums and call news conferences?
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) once asked rhetorically: “Didn’t we all choose to obey and follow during the authoritarian era?”
Unless that was just pretense, does it not mean that the DPP really is just continuing to obey and follow, without taking action?
Hu Wen-chi is a former vice chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee.
Translated by Perry Svensson
Chinese strongman Xi Jinping (習近平) hasn’t had a very good spring, either economically or politically. Not that long ago, he seemed to be riding high. The PRC economy had been on a long winning streak of more than six percent annual growth, catapulting the world’s most populous nation into the second-largest power, behind only the United States. Hundreds of millions had been brought out of poverty. Beijing’s military too had emerged as the most powerful in Asia, lagging only behind the US, the long-time leader on the global stage. One can attribute much of the recent downturn to the international economic
Asked whether he declined to impose sanctions against China, US President Donald Trump said: “Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal... [W]hen you’re in the middle of a negotiation and then all of a sudden you start throwing additional sanctions on — we’ve done a lot.” It was not a proud moment for Trump or the US. Yet, just three days later, John Bolton’s replacement as director of the National Security Council, Robert O’Brien, delivered a powerful indictment of the Chinese communist government and criticized prior administrations’ “passivity” in the face of Beijing’s contraventions of international law
In an opinion piece, Chang Jui-chuan (張睿銓) suggested that Taiwan focus its efforts not on making citizens “bilingual,” but on building a robust translation industry, as Japan has done (“The social cost of English education,” June 29, page 6). Although Chang makes some good points — Taiwan could certainly improve its translation capabilities — the nation needs a different sort of pivot: from bilingualism to multilingualism. There are reasons why Japan might not be the most suitable role model for the nation’s language policy. Bluntly put, Japan’s status in the world is unquestioned. The same cannot be said of Taiwan. Many confuse