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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Opinion: ‘I’m part of a dying Taiwanese race’

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Part of that is because I’m in Taiwan, where I was born and raised, while my dad is in New Zealand, where my family moved in the 1990s. There’s nothing I can do about university travel restrictions. Translation prevented me from going to him.

But I also went to the cemetery feeling like a member of a dying breed.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has recently begun. Picture The young Ukrainians who went to war are always on my mind when I search for the place where my grandparents’ ashes are buried. I can’t help thinking that these Ukrainian teenagers are now doing exactly what my grandparents did when they were that age: in 1937, when news of the Japanese invasion of China reached the villages. their respective, both my grandfather and a grandmother have left. hometown to enlist in the Army of the Republic of China (ROC).
The Russian invasion created a wave of soul search in Taiwan. Just as Ukraine faces a much larger and stronger neighbor seeking to absorb, so Taiwan faces the People’s Republic of China (PRC) claiming the island as its own. me.

If war broke out, Taiwanese wondered, would they be as brave as the Ukrainians were? Will they fight for their homeland tenaciously?

Families like mine also think about our forefathers’ service legacy that made us who we are. My grandparents’ choice to volunteer during World War II resulted in them siding with the Kuomintang or Kuomintang (KMT) government against the Communists in the ensuing Chinese Civil War. The victory of the Communists and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on mainland China in 1949 led to their emigration, essentially refugees, to Taiwan under the auspices of the Communists. KMT government is currently living in exile.

So my family became part of an ethnic group in Taiwan known as “waishengren,” which literally means “out-of-province people.” This term is in contrast to “benshengren”, “people from this province”, which refers to people who are descended from Chinese settlers until 1895when China ceded Taiwan to Japan at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War before restoring it in 1945.

But waishengren’s identity is on the verge of fading. The death of my father, like that of my grandparents a few years earlier, has brought us much closer to extinction.

The waishengren have always been a minority in Taiwan: estimates suggest they are only equal to twelfth% of the people of Taiwan. After the 1949 exodus, however, they dominated the ROC government, mostly members of the military or KMT officials and their families.
The Kuomintang then ran a the dictatorship until managing the gradual transition to full democracy during the 1980s and 1990s.
Nice weather The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was persecuted is in power, and the KMT is the largest opposition party. More representative of the majority of benshengren who feel less attached to the land of their distant ancestors, the DPP is seen as supported de jure’s independence from China. Western media seem to sympathize with this end of the Taiwanese political spectrum.

On the contrary, my father once said to me: “Son, don’t forget we are Chinese.” For true believers like him, the Republic of China should be the legitimate government of all of China, and we are its rightful heirs. Tragically for him the Republican dream died in 1949. Too late in history, there was no realistic chance of reviving it.

Demographics do not belong to my father. As the 1949 generation mostly died out and with the aging of the second generation waishengren, young people naturally became less and less attached to China. The continuation of the People’s Republic of China authoritarian course while Taiwanese are proud of their democracy.
An opinion survey published this week of the Electoral Research Center, National Chengchi University, shows that 63.7% of Taiwanese now only identify as Taiwanese, up from 17.6% in 1992. Only 2.4% now identify only as Taiwanese. identified as Chinese, down from 25.5% in the same time frame. And 30.4% today identify as both Taiwanese and Chinese.

And, little by little, the DPP government is building a Taiwanese identity that is distinct from the Chinese.

Particularly irritating to waishengren is the DPP’s policy of “de-sinicization” in education. A new curriculum, launched in 2019, removes millennia of Chinese literature and history. The Chinese history reclassification textbook as part of “East Asian history” rather than the history of our own country. It ignores entire eras like the Three Kingdoms and doesn’t mention historical figures that used to be completely basic knowledge.
Anecdotes about youth ignorance have shocked waishengren parents. Referring to public debate, a Taiwanese writer recent report that her teenage daughter and her classmates don’t know Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic.
The US stepped up the game as China circumnavigated the Pacific
Another controversy broke out about the daughter of Terry Gou, one of Taiwan’s most famous businessmen, who is said to be unaware of the national hero Yue Fei of the Song Dynasty. A household name many generations ago and traditionally considered service model for the countryYue Fei was probably on my grandparents’ mind when they set off.

I really want the Taiwanese government to reverse the denuclearization process, but I’m not holding my breath. Over time, with younger generations increasingly being educated by new morons, the kind of waishengren that insist on their Chinese cultural identity will cease to exist. Kind of waishengren like my family.

The waishengren pride themselves on the bravery and patriotism of their parents and grandparents, as the Americans call the name “The Greatest Generation” has stormed the beaches of Normandy, as the British say a proud of their grandparents, who served in the Battle of Britain, as today’s Ukrainians are proud of their brave defenders.

There was once a dream called the Republic of China. It was a dream my grandparents prepared for their ultimate devotion.

It remains to be seen whether, when jostled, the builders of today’s fledgling Taiwan are prepared to make sacrifices for their cause. It remains to be seen whether the Taiwanese will stick together in the event of war, as some of them may still love the lost Republic while others strive to create a New Republic.

My father always remembers the legacy left by my grandparents. I, too, will always keep that in mind – even if our memories don’t live on in the end. We will fight the death of light.

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Teja
Teja
I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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