Mon, Nov 21, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Book makes case against `renegade province' argument

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui gives away free copies of the book ``Is Taiwan Chinese? A History of Taiwanese Nationality'' to some children during the book's launch yesterday. The book, which deals with Taiwan-China relations, is published by the Taiwan Advocates think tank.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

A book that uses historical and legal perspectives to argue the case that Taiwan is not a Chinese territory was launched yesterday, in a bid to counter China's enactment of the "Anti-Secession Law," which lays down a legal foundation to attack Taiwan.

A group of academic researchers under the instruction of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) wrote the book, Is Taiwan Chinese? A History of Taiwanese Nationality in February, when China was drafting the law.

The main co-authors of the book are Huseh Hua-yuan (薛化元), chair of the Graduate Institute of Taiwan History at Chengchi University, and Tai Pao-tsun (戴寶村), a professor in the Graduate Institute of Taiwan History at Taiwan Normal University. Other contributors to the work are historians, professors of anthropology and professors of international law.

"Although it is widely agreed [in Taiwan] that Taiwan is not Chinese, most people don't know how to explain the relations between Taiwan and China or even Taiwan's history, which is the reason we had to publish this book," Lee said at the book's launch.

The book's preface, which was written by Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝), secretary general of Taiwan Advocates, a think tank established by Lee, said that the work was a means of refuting the false impression China propagated within the international community that Taiwan is a "renegade province."

"China's propaganda to the world and the passage of the `Anti-Secession' Law are ultimately aimed at paving the way for China to annex Taiwan," Huang said.

Besides being available in English and Chinese, Huang said the book will soon be published in Spanish, Japanese, and German.

"We won't be able to understand the future without knowing our past history. And only when we understand the past can we hold fast to Taiwan's sovereignty and not get lost," Lee said.

Citing the recent controversy over the rejection of a Taiwan visa for Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), China's top Taiwan affairs policymaker, as an example, Lee questioned the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) motive for inviting Chen, saying that doing so would only foster the Chinese Communist Party's ambition of bullying Taiwan.

Lee said that Chen's purpose for visiting Taiwan was to announce that "Taiwan is a province of China," and to urge the legislature to pass the cross-strait peace advancement law, which recognizes the "one China" principle and supports its "Anti-Secession" Law.

"Chen's visit is to give the international community the false impression that Taiwanese people are oblivious to the 700 missiles which China has deployed against Taiwan," added Lee, who praised the government's decision to shut its doors to Chen.

Lee said that the government should never allow Chen and other senior Chinese officials to visit Taiwan unless China decided to do away with the "Anti-Secession" Law.

"As long as the law exists, approving Chen's entry would be tantamount to raising a white flag [in response] to the law and letting China eat Taiwan for breakfast," Lee said.

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