Thursday, June 16, 2005


Racist comments about Taiwan

Once again the racist editors of the Taipei Times has let an unsigned editorial comment propagate hateful racial messages on Taiwan.
The Sino-Japanese relationship has deteriorated lately as a result of Japanese textbooks -- which critics say whitewash its war record last century -- and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. Now, the resulting Chinese nationalism has also infected unification proponents in Taiwan. Afraid of antagonizing China, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has decided to postpone a visit by Tokyo Mayor Shintaro Ishihara that was meant to promote Japanese tourist visits to Taipei.

Unless the author has been ill informed Taiwan is really the Republic of China. Chinese Nationalism has always been part of the ROC. In fact, many Hoklos on Taiwan consider themselves to be Chinese.

In addition the action of Mayor Ma are not about displeasing PRC. South Korea and PRC have both officially complained to Japan about their history books, in addition to RIC complaints.

Mayor Ma postponed the visit could have also been attributed to recent flare ups between Japanese Coast Guards and Taiwan fishing boats over disputed territory over Diaoyutai.
Ma is not the only one influenced by Chinese nationalism. It has now affected independent Legislator May Chin (高金素梅) as well. The difference is that Chin opposes both Japan and Taiwanese independence under the cover of her Aboriginal status. She has now led a group of descendants of Aboriginal soldiers who served in the Japanese army to Japan to demand that the names of Aboriginal soldiers be removed from the Yasukuni Shrine.

The author once again is confused. Chinese nationalism is very much part of Taiwan society. It is Taiwan Independence and Taiwan Identity, which is relatively new in Taiwan.
By the terms of the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, these Taiwanese soldiers -- as well as their fellow Han servicemen -- became Japanese. They died on the battlefield for Japan, and the Japanese government, treating them as the emperor's warriors, included them in the reverence paid at the shrine. There is nothing wrong with that.

If the aboriginal Taiwanese and Han servicemen were pressed into service as second-class Japanese citizens, perhaps it is also the rights of their descendents to decide who should and who should not worship them.
There is something wrong if one cannot protect the dignity of one's ancestors. If one has an objection of having an ancestor being associated with known War Criminals, it should not be an issue to have the name of one’s ancestors removed.
Chin's appeals are also understandable. Since Taiwan already has become an independent country, these Taiwanese soldiers in the Japanese army are no longer second-rate colonial citizens of the Japanese empire. Their souls already have a motherland. If their descendants demand that the Japanese government remove their names from the Yasukuni Shrine and return them to their old homeland, the Japanese should not put up obstacles, but help them achieve their wishes.

The last part of the paragraph makes sense. The first part of the paragraph is in some sort of quasi denial. The aboriginal Taiwanese names are forever enshrined in a monument dedicated to memorial of their servitude to the Japanese Empire.
May Chin's visit to Japan is controversial in Taiwan because everyone here knows that she is simply a pro-unification politician who often hides beneath the cloak of her Aboriginal status. It was director Ang Lee's film The Wedding Banquet that raised her to stardom. The daughter of an Aboriginal mother and Mainlander father, she had always been unwilling to reveal that she was half Aboriginal, and few people knew her background. That changed after the government relaxed the conditions for recognition of Aboriginal decent, allowing it to flow either from the maternal or the paternal line. She took her mother's maiden name to create a double-barreled surname, entered a campaign for the legislature as a recognized Aborigine and got elected with a large majority.

What does May’s past career and political position on the Strait Issue have anything to do with Japan’s WWII war crimes and treatment of Aboriginal Taiwanese? The fact of the matter is she is of aboriginal descent, she objects to fact Aboriginals were pressed into servitude to serve in the Japanese military, and their names are now enshrined with War Criminals.
Since May Chin's father is a Mainlander, it's not surprising that she never fails to echo the pan-blue camp's political arguments, but she does this as though she is representing the Aboriginal community. Of course, it's not politically correct to interpret May Chin's actions based on her ethnic background. But in Taiwan, this can often prove quite a objective standard. The question is whether May Chin is qualified to speak for the Aboriginal community.

Not only is it not politically correct to question someone’s motivation based on ethnic heritage. It is just plain racist. Is the author trying to justify racism on Taiwan?
The absurdity of the situation is that many Aborigines are unaware that their ethnic identity is in danger of being usurped. For example, the Paiwan and Rukai tribes in Pingtung take the hundred-pace snake as their totem. The offspring of Mainlander veterans and Paiwan and Rukai women often opt for Aboriginal status, but when they return home for tribal festivals, the hundred-pace snake has been replaced by the Chinese dragon in their ceremonial regalia.

The absurdity of this comment is that everyone on Taiwan has gone through Sinification for thousands of years. Waves of Han Chinese immigrated to Taiwan and brought over Chinese culture for thousands of years. Only recent politics have tried to vilify the most recent wave of Chinese immigrants due to the lost of the mainland to the CCP.
It is worrying to see that the totem of the Aboriginal people is being replaced by a Chinese symbol. This makes us think of Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan's recent remark that Shanghai women should marry foreigners to help spread Chinese culture around the world. That Chinese are able to advocate interracial marriage as a tool of cultural conquest is really quite frightening.

This is the most Sino-phobic paragraph I have read in awhile. A-mei a famous Chinese singer of aboriginal descent has no problems with being Sinicized, all her album are for the most part in Mandarin.
As for the Jackie Chan comment, ever heard of “yellow fever” where non-Asian males have a fetish for Asian females. It is the most common fetish in North American concerning inter-racial relationship. It is not as if Jackie Chan is promoting a phenomenon that doesn’t exist. He is just promoting the trend as being positive for Chinese culture.

Once again this editorial is a prime example on the racist mindset of Taiwan Independence.

There is a double standard being applied. He implies that it is okay for Japan to treat Taiwanese aboriginals during the colonial period brought on by an Unfair Treaty, but it is not okay for Sinicization to occur on Taiwan over thousands of years of Han immigration, let alone through ROC take over after Japanese surrender in 1945.

In addition, the author criticizes aboriginal right to protest Japan’s encroachment on their dignity. But is deafening silent on the most recent news of Hoklo Taiwanese problems with Japanese Coast Guards over fishing rights in disputed territories over Diaoyutai.

Does the author believe only Hoklo Taiwanese have to right to protest Japan encroachment on Taiwan dignity? And that mixed individual of Aboriginal and WSR descent are really 3rd class citizens on Taiwan.


I couldn't agree more on your last paragraph.
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