Taiwan could be the place from which all Austronesian peoples originated, Academia Sinica vice-president Liu Tsui-jung (劉翠溶) said yesterday, citing the results of research conducted over the past decades.
Liu made the remark during a keynote speech at the opening of a conference on issues concerning indigenous peoples worldwide organized by the International Geographical Union.
The conference, which opened in Taipei yesterday, will continue through Saturday.
The Austronesian family refers to indigenous peoples found in a region that stretches "from Taiwan in the north to New Zealand in the south, and from Easter Island in the east to Madagascar in the west," Liu said, adding that this excludes indigenous people in Australia.
For a long time, academics have attempted to trace the origin of Austronesian peoples through linguistic, anthropologist and archaeological research, and had raised several theories, Liu said.
Theories include the Indo-China Peninsula as the origin, southern China as well as the southeast coast of the Asian continent, Liu said.
Although Taiwan was first considered as a possible origin of the Austronesian peoples in 1965, it was not until 10 years later that the theory was taken seriously.
"In 1975, archeologist Richard Shutler and linguist Jeffrey Marck ... contended that archeological and linguistic evidence demonstrated that cord-marked pottery found in Taiwan from around 9000BC to 2500BC represented the earliest Austronesian community," Liu said. "Taiwan was thus the earliest homeland of the Austronesian people."
Advanced biotechnology allowed a team from New Zealand to conduct DNA tests on New Zealand Maoris in 1998.
"[The] finding reveals that Maori ancestors came originally from Taiwan and confirms Maori beliefs about their origins," Liu said.
DNA tests of 640 Taiwanese Aborigines by the Transfusion Medicine Laboratory at Mackay Memorial Hospital in 2005 also showed that "Taiwanese Aboriginal populations are more closely related to Southeast Asian island populations than to those from mainland East Asia," overturning earlier continental origin theories, Liu said.
In addition to Liu's keynote speech, relations between the state and its Aboriginal populations, as well as Taiwan's Aboriginal cultural and knowledge systems, were also explored by academics in essays presented at the conference.
FEW REMAIN: Conservationists tried to stop the demolition, but to no avail, and the owner cannot be fined, as the structure was not listed as a historical building One of the few remaining Japanese colonial-era granaries in Taiwan was dismantled by its owner on Friday, prompting outrage from conservationists. The granary, which was at No. 16, Lane 11, Hangzhou S Rd Sec 1 in Taipei, belonged to Taiwan Takushoku Corp during the colonial era, conservationist Chang Wan-lin (張琬琳) said, adding that she and others had been collecting information to reapply to have the building protected as a historical structure. During the colonial era, the granary served the area from Monga (艋舺) to what is now Songshan District (松山) in the north, she said. “Back then the eastern part
SEEING THE POSITIVE: A majority of respondents in Taiwan said that they favored Trump because they think Taiwan-US ties would improve with him Among eight Asia-Pacific countries and regions, only Taiwan prefers US President Donald Trump over his challenger, former US vice president Joe Biden, in the upcoming US presidential election, a survey released on Thursday showed. According to the poll published by UK-based market research firm YouGov, 42 percent of Taiwanese favor Trump in the Nov. 3 election, while 30 percent back Biden and 28 percent have no opinion. In contrast, respondents in Malaysia favor Biden over Trump 62 percent to 9 percent, and in Singapore by 66 percent to 12 percent, the survey showed. Biden also led Trump in Australia (60 percent to 21
TROUBLEMAKER: The missiles, capable of striking up to 2,000km away, would likely be used to deter other nations from coming to Taiwan’s aid, a legislator said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly deployed advanced hypersonic missiles along China’s southeast coast, which Taiwan’s missile defense system might have difficulty intercepting, an analyst said yesterday. Citing an unnamed military source, the South China Morning Post said that the missile bases on the coasts of China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces have been upgraded and are stocked with DF-17 missiles, equipped with hypersonic glide vehicles. “The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “The
Hong Kong air traffic controllers turning away a Taiwanese flight last week might have been China’s first move in a broader campaign to restrict Taiwan’s air access to its outlying islands, a retired air force general said on Saturday. The government needs to establish a response plan in the event that aircraft are denied entry to Flight Information Regions (FIRs) en route to Kinmen and Matsu, among others islands, retired lieutenant general Chang Yen-ting (張延廷) said. The Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior, as well as the Straits Exchange Foundation and Mainland Affairs Council, must