Mon, Jan 23, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Aboriginal KMT lawmaker criticized for talk in China

By Tseng Wei-chen  /  Staff Reporter

Aboriginal Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟) came under fire yesterday after a video clip of a speech he made in Beijing in 2010 surfaced that showed him saying that Taiwan’s Aborigines have “three mothers” in China.

Liao made the remarks when addressing an exhibition held by Beijing authorities on Taiwanese minorities. Likening his Beijing visit to a return “home,” Liao, in the company of about 50 Aborigines, said Taiwanese Aborigines have “three mothers.”

“The first mother is China’s State Ethnic Affairs Commission, which governs national affairs on minority people; the second one is the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots in charge of welfare affairs on Taiwan fellows; and the third is the Taiwan Affairs Office, which is the youngest and the richest and provides the most beneficial services,” Liao said.

Liao expressed thanks to the Chinese officials in attendance because “you never abandoned us” and added that “minority people in Taiwan are important members of the Chinese people.”

When reached on Saturday for comment about his remarks, Liao rejected criticism that he was buying into China’s united front strategy.

“Unlike the Han people, for Aborigines, the nature of the visit was like making friends. There was not ideology involved,” he said, adding that over the past 20 years, there have been frequent exchanges of visits involving Aborigines from Taiwan to China and the invitations were extended by the three institutions.

KMT Legislator Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉), who witnessed Liao’s speech at the exhibition, said he felt a bit “nauseated” when he heard Liao’s remarks.

Liao was re-elected to the Eighth Legislature on Saturday last week, receiving 27.5 percent of votes, or 26,998, the highest among 10 candidates vying for three seats allotted to Aborigines in plains areas.

Mayaw Biho, one of Taiwan’s most prolific Aboriginal documentary filmmakers, said he despised Liao for the way he downplayed the dignity of Aborigines to anyone who had granted him favor.

Some netizens left messages in response to the video clip, saying that people who have voted for Liao must now regret their action.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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