Crew from a Taiwanese film company spent hours filming former members of general Claire Lee Chennault’s Flying Tigers and his granddaughter in the US on Tuesday for a documentary commissioned by Academia Historica that could have a strong pro-China flavor.
Nell Calloway, director of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum and Chennault’s granddaughter, as well as several local members of the Flying Tigers — the famous air wing created by Chennault during World War II — will feature in the documentary.
After Japan’s surrender, Chennault, an ally of former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), created the CIA’s clandestine Civil Air Transport (CAT) and Air America, which flew missions into China to drop agents and do reconnaissance against the communists. CAT also provided support for anti-communist forces in northern Burma (now known as Myanmar) and Tibet against Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) Chinese Communist Party troops.
On Tuesday, a group from SKYEYE Film Production spent hours filming in Monroe, Louisiana, for the documentary, which is to be completed by the end of this year.
According to the Monroe News Star, the documentary will be used by Academia Historica, which will distribute the film for “educational purposes.”
Every year, Academia Historica selects an individual who has contributed to the Republic of China and honors that person through exhibits and a documentary, the Star quoted Luke Cheng, SKYEYE’s producer assistant, as saying.
The Taipei Times has learned that Academia Historica, through a bidding process, commissioned the making of the documentary to CtiTV, a media arm of the Want Want China Times Group, which is known for its pro-China views and whose chairman, Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), has made his fortune there.
Speaking with the Times on condition of anonymity last night, an official at Academia Historica denied the documentary would be used for educational purposes, and said it would be treated “like any other release” — a release that is likely to emphasize opposition to Japan while playing down Chennault’s anti-communism.
According to its Facebook page, SKYEYE, also a Want Want China Times Group subsidiary, was founded in June 2009 to produce documentaries that trace historical events in Taiwan and across the Taiwan Strait. Its mission statement says that in spite of growing cross-strait economic exchanges, cross-strait relations will be better strengthened through cultural exchanges, as people from both sides of the Strait are descedents of the Chinese culture.
Its objective, it says, is to boost cross-strait ties and development, and to use footage from both sides to “eternalize the longstanding Chinese culture.”
Cheng told the Star that Chennault had helped China build its air force and he “helped us during World War II and during the invasion from Japan.”
Taiwan was part of Japan at the time.
“In my country, all the Chinese remember General Chennault,” he was quoted as saying.
Calloway said she had never imagined the small museum in Monroe “would be sought out by Chinese groups looking to preserve their own history,” the Star wrote, adding that the filmmakers’ desire to travel to Monroe and visit the museum “shows the Chinese people want to continue to tell that story.”
“This is just another indication of the Chinese and their appreciation of history,” she added.
“I think he would be very proud to know he is the reason we are coming back together with the Chinese people,” Calloway said, speaking of her grandfather.
‘FAILED TACTICS’: A lawmaker said Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s success at boosting its ties internationally have boosted identification as Taiwanese Self-identification as “Taiwanese and Chinese,” or solely as “Chinese,” has dropped to record lows, while 63.3 percent of the public regard themselves as Taiwanese, a survey released on Tuesday by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center showed. Respondents identifying as Taiwanese and Chinese dropped to 31.4 percent, while those identifying solely as Chinese fell to 2.7 percent, the survey showed. The results reflect changes in attitudes since 1994 among Taiwanese toward independence and unification with China, as well as self-identification trends since 1992, commenters said. Support for independence was 25.8 percent, while about 5 percent of respondents said that they want the nation
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
‘STILL UNDER CONTROL’: The center also reported the first fatality involving the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, a woman in her 70s who died on Wednesday The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 30 domestic COVID-19 cases, three imported cases and four deaths. Of the local cases, 15 were men and 15 were women, with the onset of symptoms reported between Saturday and Wednesday, the center said. Taipei and New Taipei City recorded 11 cases each, Taoyuan had seven cases and Hsinchu City had one, it said. Twenty-four of the local cases had known sources of infection, five had unclear links with confirmed cases and one was under investigation, it said. Despite the relatively high number of cases yesterday, the COVID-19 situation “is still under control,” Minister of Health