Taiwan Gets Support from Down Under

  Previous  |  Next  

Thursday April 17, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

On Saturday April 12, two Australians addressed the Taipei Breakfast Club on salient Taiwan issues. First was 26 year old, Dr. Lily Wang, CEO of the Australian Taiwanese WHO for Taiwan Action Association. Lily, who had returned to Taiwan from Australia to vote in the presidential elections spoke of the problems that the 23 million people in democratic Taiwan and that the rest of the world face because Taiwan is denied any representation (observer or otherwise) in WHO and other world organizations. Why? The answer is simple China would rather let the world play Russian roulette with disease and epidemics so that China can maintain its unfounded claim to the island nation. Taiwan is in her words, the hole in the net of global disease defense through which any and all things can get through. Unfortunately the rest of the world allows itself to be held hostage to the blackmail efforts of China which does not protect its own citizens from its cover-ups let alone worry about the citizens of Taiwan.

Lily went on to point out how she became aware of China's duplicity and lack of sincere concern from an early age. China even demands that it have the right to give the name under which Taiwan participates in world organizations. Word power games are more important to China than world health. And at another time I will address the banal and idiotic name of Chinese Taipei that China insultingly foists on the 23 million free people of Taiwan in such matters like the Olympics etc.

Bruce Jacobs, Professor at Monash University, followed Lily and commented that though Political Science is his background, political scientists tend to be come historians as they grow older if for no other reason than that they have seen a lot of history. In staking such a claim to speak on Taiwan, Bruce pointed out that he had been coming to Taiwan and doing research here for forty years as it went from a far right, anti-communist one-party dictatorship to a democracy. The separate histories of China and of Taiwan confirmed to him that Taiwan was not a part of China. Unlike China of course, Taiwan had never been conquered and become part of the Mongol Empire of the Yuan Dynasty. Taiwan continued separate under the Ming Dynasty of China. Later, again Taiwan unlike China had not been conquered (completely) and become part of the Manchu Empire of the Qing Dynasty.

In the Twentieth Century, Taiwan had first been under Japan and then under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). In this, Jacobs made five points of similarity.

  1. Under both Japan and the KMT, Taiwanese were treated as second class citizens.

  2. Both Japan and the KMT killed many Taiwanese in their early rule.

  3. In the first 25 years of rule by the Japanese and KMT, Taiwan experienced high levels of repression.

  4. After that, Taiwan went through a period of liberalization (the Taisho democracy period of Japan and the post 1970 involvement of Taiwanese in the Chiang Ching-kuo government.)

  5. Finally, there was a second period of repression (Japan--World War II and the post Kaohsiung Incident from the KMT). It proved to be an informative morning for everyone.