Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Let go of the past, it's the future that matters

Various swords at a temple in Tainan
If the only thing that Taiwan’s supporters can summon to protect Taiwan are dusty archival documents, then this nation’s prospects are indeed bleak 

Given Taiwan’s idiosyncratic international situation, it is often — and understandably — tempting to turn to the past for clarity and proof in pronouncements made by political leaders, or written in official documents, that Taiwan is not part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as Beijing claims. 

Over the years, many ardent supporters of Taiwan have unearthed a variety of documents to demonstrate that Taiwan was never a part of what is now known as China, or the PRC. Some have made the case, and not unconvincingly, that Taiwan could not be considered to have ever been part of China since the height of the “mainland’s” influence occurred at a time when the latter was itself a Manchu colony. 

Others have turned to historical documents to make the case that after Japan’s defeat in World War II, Taiwan became a protectorate of the UN, part of the US’ territory, or that its status remained in limbo, that it was never officially “returned” to the Republic of China (ROC) government, let alone communist China. 

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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