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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 11/23/09

Taiwan: Search for a Non-Chinese Identity

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Author 8526
Message Roger C. S. Lin
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Over the past year, native Taiwanese people have expressed enormous dissatisfaction with the policies of Republic of China (ROC) President Ma Ying-jeou, especially his initiatives to achieve closer Taiwanese integration with China. Many local groups are now striving to find ways to have more native Taiwanese input in the formation of central government actions. They would also like to see Taiwan assert itself more forcefully on the international stage, and to develop an "international personality" completely separate from China.

In the past, most local Taiwanese activists have channeled their energies into winning local elections, in order to attempt to bring about change through the government bureaucracy. However, even when the Democratic Progressive Party's Chen Shui-bian served as ROC President from 2000 to 2008, little progress was seen in removing the overwhelming Chinese influence from local party politics. That "Chinese influence" stresses that the best scenario for Taiwan's future is in full political integration with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Contrastingly, most local Taiwanese would prefer that Taiwan remain politically separate from mainland China.

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Taiwan has regular elections for local and central government officials, and most international observers maintain that Taiwan is already a very democratic society. However, what these observers typically characterize as Taiwan's "flourishing democracy" has not helped the island make any advances in achieving a greater degree of self-rule, and this is a problem which perplexes most native Taiwanese people. Developing successful strategies to deal with this problem has proven elusive to date.

However, a new consensus on the recognition of one key element of this problem has emerged in the local Taiwanese media over the past few months. It has been derived by carefully stripping away the "Chinese propaganda" from official published accounts of Taiwan history from the late 1930s to the present. Under this more neutral and balanced view, an important fact emerges, namely the Republic of China on Taiwan is not a legitimate government for the Taiwanese people, it is merely a government in exile.

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The Blindspots of a Chinese World View

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Dr. Roger C. S. Lin has a Ph.D. in international law from Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan. In cooperation with his associate Richard W. Hartzell, he has done extensive research into military jurisdiction under the US Constitution, the laws of war, (more...)
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