Wed, May 07, 2014 - Page 1 News List

History textbook sparks hullabaloo

‘ADULTERATED’ HISTORY:The textbook, published by a pro-unification advocate, says independence movements risk plunging the country into ‘a deranged state’

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

According to a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) in July last year, when the controversy over history textbooks had already arisen, Shi-Ji and two other publishers — Bei-Yi Cultural Co and Ke-Yi Cultural Co — were owned by pro-unification Chinese Integration Association chief executive officer Cheng Chih-shen (鄭旗生). Association chairman Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) served as a consultant to the companies.

Yesterday, the DPP said the controversial textbook was biased and not written in accordance with democratic principles.

While Chiang said it would be up to the schools to choose which textbook to use, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a news conference that the ministry’s response was like “permitting adulterated food to remain on the shelves in the name of consumer choice.”

The DPP demanded that the ministry first rescind its approval of the textbooks — Volume 1 and 2 of the high-school history textbook published by Shi Ji — and second ask the publishers to rewrite the content.

The party added that the ministry should also investigate the review process.

“If the education ministry refuses to do so, DPP legislators will launch counteractions in the legislature,” Lin said.

Lin said that Taiwan’s sovereignty is a matter of consensus among the public and that the textbooks should not praise the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yet smear the opposition.

“These textbooks were written under the guidelines established in 2011. We cannot help but worry about what textbooks written under the curriculum guidelines adjusted this year will be like. The potential for ‘brainwashing’ will be a serious concern,” he said.

Additional reporting by Chris Wang

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