民國週報 (MinGuo ZhouBao)

This is something that will mostly be of interest to our Chinese speaking readers: MinGuo ZhouBao (民國週報) is a newspaper project targeted at mainland Chinese who currently live in Western countries for work or study. MinGuo ZhouBao attempts to educate them about the crimes committed by the CPP, the lack of democracy in the PRC territories and the freedom and prosperity the San-Min Doctrine offers to all Chinese (not only on Taiwan). Living abroad, these mainlanders can educate themselves about topics off limit in their home provinces.

The lack of censorship on the internet, the availability of social platforms as Facebook enable those who wish to alter the political and social situation in mainland China to reach out to those who can make the change: mainland Chinese.

This first issue of MinGuo ZhouBao features the Tiananmen Square Massacre (六四屠殺) of 1989 and some interesting quotations by Chairman Mao (otherwise known as the man who murdered 80 million of his compatriots).

Even if you cannot read (simplified) Chinese, maybe share the link of this first MinGuo ZhouBao issue with your mainland friends or print some copies and pass them out on campus.

Taiwan really is the better China

As the Taipei Times reports, two mainland compatriots attempted an illegal entry into Kinmen (小金門), a sea passage of only a few kilometers, to join the Republic of China Army and Kuomintang respectively.

This, on one hand being an enormous moral defeat for the Beijing regime, is a compliment to Taiwan’s democracy and freedom. The desperate attempt of these two men surnamed 王 and 江 to escape from communist mainland China highlights the dire conditions in the PRC. What did these men endure to come all the way from Hunan and Hebei Province, leave their families behind and bring nothing more than 50 RMB (about 200 NT$ / € 5.00)? Their desire to join the R.O.C. Army and Kuomintang sure says a lot about the regime in Beijing.

Now is the time for Taiwan’s democracy to welcome these two mainland compatriots and show the world the difference between communism in Beijing and freedom in Taipei. If it was up to the DPP, mainland dissidents could not expect any support though and the people of Kinmen had been surrendered to the PRC regime long ago.

Happy Birthday, Republic of China !

Apparently the Republic of China (R.O.C.) is still alive – despite claims (mostly by foreigners) she does not exist anymore and has been superseded by . Those who went to Ketagalan Blvd. on January 1st could feel the joy and pride of the Taiwan people for the state they led into prosperity, wealth and democracy in the last 60 years. The Republic of China of 民國 100 has arrived in the first world – the Chinese nation and Western democracy are compatible – without the events on Taiwan an unprovable claim! Therefore: happy birthday and 中華民國 萬歲 !

The Luck of ’45

These days it seems fashionable to call the retrocession of Formosa to China – which in August 1945 was WWII victor and United Nations founding state Republic of China – an injustice to the Taiwanese people.

What injustice exactly?

What was Taiwan before Retrocession Day (台灣光復) ? A free and independent nation? Hardly. Taiwan was a colony of the Japanese Empire (1). Unfree and ruled by a military junta of aristocrats hailing from Tokyo (2), Formosa was the first colonial endeavor before Korea in 1910  and Manchuko in 1932.

Brave Capt. Awata trying to murder yet another Taiwanese

How was the Empire of Japan governed? You might have guessed it –  neither democratic nor constitutional: Japan was an absolute monarchy (3). Unsurprisingly, as actual Japanese citizens had not many political or civil rights in the late 19th century when compared to their contemporaries in the United States, the French Republic or Switzerland, colonial subjects in Taiwan or Korea later on had even less rights.

But how did Taiwan even become a Japanese colony? Were the aboriginal tribes fed up with the discrimination they suffered under Qing rule? Were the Chinese living on Taiwan no longer willing to pay taxes to Beijing or simply wanted independence, yet due to unlucky circumstances were invaded by Japan?

No – Qing China lost the First Sino-Japanese War and in the late 19th century cashing in reparations became fashionable. It is often said China was more than willing to simply give away Taiwan to the Japanese Empire – yet this is not true. Li HongZhang, a Qing statesman and one of the first Chinese to receive the Royal Victorian Order, had to assure Empress Dowager CiXi that “birds do not sing and flowers are not fragrant on the island of Taiwan. The men and women are inofficious and are not passionate either”, an infamous quote by the QianLong Emperor. Only after Li HongZhang had maligned Taiwan in such a manner, the Empress would sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki.

Formosa Republic - doesn't stop Lee Teng-hui to look back fondly on the "good 'ol days".

And even after the invasion of Taiwan in 1895 it didn’t seem like the Taiwanese were exactly thrilled to be subjects of the Emperor: 14,000 people lost their lives in resisting the invasion, another 14,000 people lost their lives in numerous uprisings (Ta-pa-ni, Wushe, …). Keep in mind the total population of Taiwan in the late 19th century ranged only between 2.5 and 3.5 million.

The Treaty of Shimonoseki was eventually reversed in the 1952 Treaty of Taipei and other uneven bilateral treaties as the ones between Korea and the Empire of Japan have also been declared invalid after WWII (4).
It actually seems surreal any nation would willingly cede even the smallest piece of land. Yet this doesn’t stop certain people from believing the Chinese Empress Dowager sat together for some tea with the Japanese Emperor and casually gave him Taiwan as a gift for nothing in return.

Let us now move on to 1945.

The Empire of Japan lost a war she started by enslaving half of East Asia and attacking the formerly semi-neutral United States of America.

What if these "comfort women" were your grandmothers?

The Empire of Japan raped Nanjing and raped Taiwanese (and Korean, Filipino, mainland Chinese) comfort women (5) while at the same time recruiting young Taiwanese men into the Imperial Army like Lee Teng-hui. Talk about schizophrenia.

Per Cairo Declaration and reaffirmed in the Potsdam Declaration, the Republic of China accepted Japan’s instrument of surrender and gained back “all territories Japan has stolen from China, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores”.

Thus Taiwan became a part of what the majority of nations worldwide considered China: the Republic of China.

What if the R.O.C. had lost the civil war in the mainland theater in 1944 and not 1949? With only one China left and no rival government to support, Taiwan would have become just another province of Red China. Did the PRC make the transition to democracy and a multi-party system (yet) ? No. Instead the comrades in Beijing had the military shoot on their youth.

...meanwhile in Beijing

I can’t remember the Kuomintang had soldiers march against the Wild Lily movement of 1990 in front of Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

Student Protest in Taipei

The localization of R.O.C. politics, military and civil service was a logical consequence of a lost war on the mainland. Eventually the mainlanders would marry locals and most adults on Taiwan were not born on the mainland anymore. One might even say, President Ma is the last of his generation.

For the Taiwan people, being left as the only full province under R.O.C. administration has been a blessing though: even in the harsh times of martial law one could feel safe of a communist takeover. Having the United States as an ally and profiting from post war subsidies made the Taiwan Wonder possible.

While on the mainland democracy seems to be a dream far away, the state philosophy of the Republic of China is able to accommodate political competition as long as the Three Principles of the People are safeguarded.

Before calling the R.O.C. a “foreign occupation”, people (on Taiwan) should reflect on the choices of 1945 and be thankful to live in not only one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but also one of the most stable democracies of Asia. Former President Chen Shui-bian is a prime example how well the Republic of China’s democracy and constitutionality work out on many levels.

Sources:

(1) Minutes from the Conference on Wartime China: Regional Regimes and Conditions 1937-1945, Harvard University Press, Cambridge USA .

(2) The Imperial Japanese Navy, Nishida, Japan

(3) Chronological Table No. 5 Dec. 1, 1946 – June 23 1947 , National Diet Library, Japan

(4) The Normalization of Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Jan., 1967)

(5) Japan’s Responsibility Toward Comfort Women Survivors, Sarah C. Soh, Japan Policy Research Center, Jesuit University of San Francisco, California, USA

 

FREE TAIWAN, an independent news blog.

Taiwanese for the Republic of China

The Japanese, who seized Formosa after their first war on China 50 years ago, ruthlessly exploited its land and people. — TIME Magazine, June 1946

The question always asked by pan-Green secessionists is “Who asked the Republic of China to occupy Taiwan? Who invited the Kuomintang to rule over Taiwan?”

These people need a lesson in the history of their own country, their own nation and state:

The Republic of China (中華民國) was founded in 1911 as the legal successor to the Chinese Empire under Qing rule (大清國). During this time, Formosa, or Taiwan (台灣) as it was commonly referred to back then, was under the colonial occupation of the Japanese Empire. This dreadful status was due to one of the many unequal treaties imposed on the Chinese by foreign imperialist powers.

In the case of Formosa, until 1895 a Chinese province, the Qing government was coerced in signing the Treaty of Shimonoseki as the only way to end the First Sino-Japanese-War. The Japanese annexation of Taiwan would shortly be followed by the conquest of Korea in 1910. The Korean Emperor ceded his land to the Japanese in a similarly involuntary manner as the Chinese Emperor did 15 years before him.

At the time of the Japanese annexation of Taiwan Province, 98% of the population were Han-Chinese, all had ancestry on the mainland, mostly from Fujian Province, except for the remaining 2% who were of Polynesian heritage.

An early revolutionary calendar depicting Dr. Sun Yat-Sen

While initial resistance against the Japanese imperialists on Taiwan (“Taihoku”) was quickly muzzled through violent intervention, the outbreak of the Xinhai Revolution (辛亥革命) on the mainland in 1911, which led to the establishment of the Republic of China under the spiritual leadership of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (孫中山) and the implementation of the Three Principles of the People (三民主義) sparked four uprisings in the Japanese possession. The Taiwanese, almost entirely ethnic Chinese had enough of being ruled by an emperor and were one in spirit with their brothers and sisters in China proper. Needless to say, all efforts were again thwarted by the brutal Japanese colonial troops. Underground chapters of the Kuomintang were set up in Taiwan and continued to preserve Chinese culture while the Japanese employed a policy of desinization.

While Taiwan was overall economically profiting from the Japanese occupation, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen was succeeded by his protege and brother-in-law Chiang Kai-Shek (蔣中正) on the mainland. As the policy of desinization in Taiwan continued the citizens arranged their lives according to the situation, riots became less.

In 1937, Japan again was the aggressor and initiated the Second Sino-Japanese War. This time however, the National Revolutionary Army with her commander in chief Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek fought bravely with, first completely self-reliant and after the attack on Pearl Harbor with assistance of the Allied Forces.

As Japan lost the War in 1945, Taiwan was to be given back to the Chinese. This was stipulated in the Instrument of Surrender, which referred back to the Potsdam and Cairo declaration. In the same legal documents the re-establishment of Korean sovereignty is outlined as well. Whoever disputes the legality of the retrocession of Taiwan ought to be shamed by the Korean People as their independence from Japan originates from the very same document.

Victorious, yet weakened from the war effort, the government of the Republic of China held open and free general elections in 1946 and Chiang Kai-Shek became President. However, at the same time communist counter-revolutionaries led by Mao Ze-Dong (毛澤東) betrayed Generalissimo Chiang and the entire Chinese Nation by staging another outbreak of the Civil War.

The victorious National Revolutionary Army

As the Civil War was lost by the Kuomintang and the Republic of China government in 1949 due to several reasons –as well as grave mistakes in governance and national policy – Chiang Kai-Shek evacuated to Taiwan Province. With him came around 3,000,000 intellectuals, artists, soldiers, revolutionaries, writers and scientists as well as the treasures of the Forbidden City and the gold reserves of the Republic of China.

In light of the growing tensions between the free and democratic Western aligned states and the communist, USSR-led Easter bloc, Mao Ze-Dong and his CCP henchmen established the so called “People’s Republic of China” on the mainland and aimed to crush the last bit of Republican resistance on Taiwan.

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, President of the Republic of China

What would have happened to the Taiwan people if Zhonghua President Chiang Kai-Shek would not have defended them so selflessly? The Taiwan people would have been treated as collaborators of the Japanese and been harshly punished. They would have been subject to the Cultural Revolution. Taiwanese would have been forced to fight as “volunteers” in the Korean War.

There was never a chance for Taiwanese independence at the end of World War II. The Taiwan people were Chinese as people were in any other Province. They were happy to be freed from the Japanese occupation – an occupation which forced their sons to fight against Chinese compatriots on the mainland and their daughters to give themselves to Japanese soldiers as so called “comfort women”.

The Republic of China has safeguarded Taiwanese interests, sovereignty and self-reliance since 60 years, is a full democracy since 20 years and continues to demonstrate to the world the ability of the great Chinese People to live in freedom and democracy. The Republic of China continues to champion for human rights in Tibet and accept dissidents from the mainland who flee the PRC authorities. The Taiwan people can be proud of what they accomplished hand in hand with their newly arrived mainland brothers and sisters. After enormous sacrifices in all ethnic groups of Taiwan it is a time for reconciliation.

Scene from the Cultural Revolution. Welcome to the PRC.

Legal Taiwan independence does not reconcile the different factions of the nation – it splits them even more and adds to an already existing divide that leaves a thin crack in the collective soul and memory. Legal Taiwan independence is Hoklo chauvinism and cultural betrayal. Being Taiwanese and Chinese is not mutually exclusive but adds to each other.

Long live the Republic of China !

Long live the Three Principles of the People!

Long live Dr. Sun, father of all Chinese !