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Thread: Beijingfs wrath finds little echo in Taiwan

  1. #1
    Regular Member Wang's Avatar
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    Beijingfs wrath finds little echo in Taiwan

    Beijing’s wrath finds little echo in Taiwan
    By Mure Dickie
    Published: February 9 2006 00:22 | Last updated: February 9 2006 00:22


    When Japan’s foreign minister suggested recently that Taiwan’s high educational standards were a positive legacy of Tokyo’s 1895-1945 colonial rule, the reaction from China was fast and furious.

    Japanese control over the island “made Taiwan people suffer enslavement”, thundered a Beijing official as Chinese internet users flooded chatrooms to denounce what they saw as foreign minister Taro Aso’s attempt to justify Japan’s imperialism.

    Such passions found little echo in Taiwan, however, where the public and government appeared largely untroubled by Mr Aso’s remarks. James Huang, Taiwanese foreign minister, offered the mildest of rebukes, suggesting Tokyo should avoid “creating controversy”.

    The sharply contrasting reactions from Taipei and Beijing highlight a gulf in historical perceptions that lies near the heart of one of the world’s most complex and potentially dangerous political faultlines.

    Many in Taiwan are unmoved by expressions of anger towards Japan from Chinese officials and a mainland public that feels Tokyo has not made amends for its imperial past.

    Frank Lin, a Taipei insurance company representative whose parents went to an elite teacher training school set up by the Japanese, says there is no denying the colonialists created a “very good” educational foundation for Taiwan.

    “The mainland reaction is too extreme,” says Mr Lin, 63. “It is an expression of nationalism – and nationalism and reality are different things.”

    Evidence of enthusiasm for things Japanese is easy to find in Taiwan. Many elderly Taiwanese express nostalgia for the more orderly days of the colonial period. Japanese imports and food are highly popular with consumers of all ages.

    China’s Tsingtao Brewery has even used kimono-clad actors singing Japanese songs to promote its beer in Taiwan – a strategy that would be seen as arrant treachery on the mainland, where memories remain fresh of the death and destruction caused by Japan’s brutal 1931-45 invasion.

    But Tokyo played a very different role in Taiwan, which it wrested from weak Chinese control after victory in the 1895 Sino-Japanese war. In the following half century, Japanese governors laid many of the foundations of a modern economy in Taiwan, raising literacy levels, building essential infrastructure and establishing modern agriculture.

    That is not to say Taiwanese uniformly approve of Japanese colonialism. Few are unaware of the violence used by imperial forces to suppress challenges to their control, especially from Taiwan’s aboriginal population.

    Under Japanese rule, Taiwanese suffered economic and political discrimination: opportunities for higher education, for example, were largely limited to relatively safe studies such as medicine or agricultural science.

    The colonial development of Taiwan was also clearly intended to make it a subordinate part of the Japanese economy. “The Japanese increased literacy rates and built agriculture . . . [but] they did this for their own purposes,” says Mr Lin.

    Such nuanced views have little appeal for Beijing, which denounced Mr Aso’s claim to take the credit for Taiwanese education success as “overtly glorifying” an “evil aspect of the Japanese militaristic invasion”.

    The vehemence of the Chinese reaction reflects in part a determination to play down differences in experiences between the Communist mainland and the democratic island over which it claims sovereignty.

    But Beijing’s line also aims to paper over a key reason why many Taiwanese feel relatively positive towards Japanese colonial control: their belief that rule by Chinese from the mainland was worse.

    Many older Taiwanese contrast the discipline and order of Japanese colonialists with the arrogance and unpredictability of the troops and officials of the Chinese Kuomintang government that took control of the island following Tokyo’s 1945 surrender.

    Bloody suppression of dissent followed the resumption of Chinese rule and, when KMT leaders fled to Taiwan in 1949, they brought a whole ruling class of mainlanders who often looked down on the locals.

    “You can say that Taiwanese saw the Japanese as dogs; but at least a dog will protect your property . . . a pig just makes a mess,” says one Taipei resident. “Many older people have good feelings towards the Japanese but not towards mainlanders.”

    Such sentiment fuels desires for formal Taiwanese independence, which Beijing says would be cause for war. But China’s military threat against Taiwan makes many on the island feel more sympathetic towards Japan.

    The mildness of the Taiwanese reaction to Mr Aso’s comments reflects a sense that Japan is a potential protector against mainland aggression, says Philip Yang, a political scientist at National Taiwan University.

    Such feelings were strengthened last year when Tokyo agreed with Washington that peace in the Taiwan Strait was a shared security goal. “It’s easy for a lot of people in Taiwan to feel that Japan is on our side in saying no to Chinese oppression or the China threat,” Prof Yang says.


    The article is here.
    pa Republic of Taiwan.
    Freedom for Taiwan.

  2. #2
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    Good find.

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    Regular Member 82riceballs's Avatar
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    interesting article

    beijing is such a hypocrite. beijing's angry abt jp which has done something beneficial to taiwan while beijing itself has never done anything but make taiwan miserable.

  4. #4
    jiaoliu
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    Your view is too one-sided

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    Regular Member 龙's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 82riceballs View Post
    beijing is such a hypocrite. beijing's angry abt jp which has done something beneficial to taiwan while beijing itself has never done anything but make taiwan miserable.
    NUTs!
    Hegemonism!
    The USA is such a hypocrite. What it is doing now has little positive effect on other countries..but a lot of misery..
    What are Chinese doing to solve TAIWAN-Secession has noting to do with other
    country,including Japan and USA.....
    So please stay quiet,when chinese are angry with other countries' interference and defaming...
    Some Japanese and many Americans always want to get "extra" benefits from TAIWAN-Secession...so there are those words above...Remember,we chinese are no longer a race can be easily bullied,we will do anything to defend every inch of our motherland and any interest of our people....So, please do not be amazed at what Beijing is doing,as described above...
    Last edited by 龙; Jun 13, 2007 at 17:33. Reason: logic mistake
    -=远强汉,虽远K诛=-

  6. #6
    Regular Member 82riceballs's Avatar
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    "hegemony" nice word!! i had to look it up =)
    anyways, why can't beijing just stay quiet? Taiwan has nothing to do with China except they speak (somewhat) the same language (only b/c of Nationalists) and have (somewhat) similar culture. plus, japanese colonization wasn't all that bad. before they came, the taiwanese already on the island peed on the streets. after they came, sanitation standards were all improved. infrastructure and the like were improved greatly.

    plus, what Taro Aso said did not criticize or "defame" China at all. in my opinion, China should just stick to themselves and not mind other people's business. how is getting angry going to help China anyways? Beijing might as well use that time to improve China's infrastructure (e.g. healthcare, the lives of those underage, underpaid workers, etc).

    i'm not quite amazed at what beijing did- it's pretty much expected. Beijing-Tokyo relations were always not good; it's not surprising that beijing would get apoplectic over a few statements justifying Japanese colonization.

    one final thought: maybe japanese and americans are getting some "extra" benefits of taiwan-secession; but i believe it is in taiwan's best interests to declare formal independence. if china goes as far as to declare war, it is their loss. china-taiwan trading relations are very close; i.e. #1 on each other's lists of trading partners. it would be detrimental for china to bomb taiwan.

    thanks for your thoughts 包龙星, I enjoyed talking to you =)

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