[ LETTERS ]

Fri, Sep 07, 2018 - Page 8

March for Taiwan

In the 400 years since 1624, Taiwan has been known as Dutch Formosa, Spanish Formosa, the Kingdom of Tungning, Qing Formosa, Japanese Formosa and Taiwan Province of ROC [ Republic of China].

During these times the domestic people were treated as a scapegoat and were never invited to express their will about dynastic change. Even after World War II, they were not given the chance of self-determination to decide their own future.

The people used to be enslaved as scarecrows instructed by the last ruler, Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), that Taiwan was part of the ROC, which owned the territory of China, Mongolia and Taiwan. They were not only brainwashed to believe it, but also got the Stockholm syndrome to carry on the ROC label and slogan, saying that Taiwan is the ROC and the ROC is Taiwan.

Is it true? No of course not. Taiwan is neither ROC nor Chinese Taipei; Taiwan is Taiwan, that’s it. It is that simple.

Unfortunately, all Taiwanese athletes were forced to carry the name Chinese Taipei. In 1960, 1964 and 1968, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] gave us the name Formosa, but the KMT regime disliked it and asked athletes to carry an “under protest” banner at the opening ceremony.

On Monday, civil groups submitted 526,688 signatures, way over the threshold of 281,745, for a referendum proposal to change the national sports team’s name from Chinese Taipei to Taiwan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Now, the enthusiasm for the referendum has been lit, let’s urge people to vote on the referendum alongside the nine-in-one local elections on Nov. 24.

On Thursday last week, the Formosa Alliance held a news conference for a rally in Taipei on Oct. 20 to protest against Chinese bullying and promote Taiwan’s right of self-determination.

FTV talk show host Dennis Peng (彭文正) read a written statement clearly pointing out that the best way to cut the threat from China is to abandon the illusive country of the ROC and seek the recognition of the international community for the name of “Taiwan.”

Accept the “one China” policy of the US and reject the “one China” principle of the PRC [People’s Republic of China], for Taiwan is not part of China.

Alliance convener Kuo Pei-hung (郭倍宏) said: “We hope everyone will stand with us and seize the chance for Taiwan to become a normal nation.”

Yes, this is the historic moment for Taiwanese worldwide to stand up and return home to join the fight on the rally day: We must be brave to tell the world we are Taiwanese, not Chinese, and Taiwan is not Chinese Taipei.

Let’s join hands to decide our own future. Let’s achieve self-determination.

Let’s loudly tell the world that “yes, we will defend our homeland. Yes, the beating of our heart echoes the beating of our voices. We swear to defend our freedom, democracy, equality, liberty and dignity. We are ready to welcome Ilha Formosa. We are ready to join the international community and serve the world.”

John Hsieh

Hayward, California

Mathematics matters

I commend Wu Po-hsuan and Jake Chung for their story and I commend the Taipei Times for publishing it, (“Researchers outline new approach to predator-prey math,” Sept. 3, page 2).

The story was about a paper by three Taiwan-born mathematicians, Albert Yang (楊智傑), Peng Chung-kang (彭仲康) and Norden Huang (黃鍔), “Causal decomposition in the mutual causation system,” published in Nature Communications on Aug. 23.

Predator-prey mathematics studies the relationship between populations of predators like wolves and prey like moose, or lynx and rabbits. It has important applications to population studies and causation generally, and to such things as disease control.

Too seldom do we see mathematics research reported in a newspaper. The importance of mathematics to modern society is far greater than the space given to it in popular media.

Wu and Chung exhibit real understanding of the mathematics they write about. They go beyond merely saying that the study was written and published. They actually discuss the paper using mathematical terms and concepts.

Many editors might squelch such a story, fearing that it would not appeal to or be understood by their readers. This would not further public education.

The newspaper’s editors did the right thing by publishing the story, math discussion and all.

I was very pleased to be able to show the story to my young sons and read it with them. It was an opportunity to explain some math as discussed by Wu and Chung, and to illustrate the importance of studying mathematics.

The story also provides secondary-school math classes something to build on by accessing the original research. I hope they will. They can test their English as well as their math.

Taiwan has an international reputation for math education. Articles like this one give us hope that the good reputation will be deserved.

Robert Dildine

Yilan County