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Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Discrimination Is The Single Seed of Conflict

Michael over The View from Taiwan wrote in his recent article Taiwan the Toddler, describing that some of the international media treat Taiwan as a kid who can't make a right decision.

In essence, "being treated like a kid" is the same as "being treated like a secondary citizen." It bares the characteristics of master's domination over slaves: you deserve only the life of a slave; you are incapable of making the right decision; every important decision you make will have to be approved by your master.

If you ever try to imagine the mindsets behind all those irrational behaviors of pan-blue in recent years, you would have found the exact same pattern of thinking. President Chen came from the local Taiwanese grass-root movement but not from the elite level of pro-China class, so whatever he did must be wrong, whatever he said must be nut. In pan-blue's eyes it's really not what Chen said or did went wrong. To them what's wrong is the fact "Chen being the president". After all, how can a "slave class" Taiwanese possibly have the right and ability to lead the more superior "master class" pro-china elites?

And if you trace this discriminating mindset even further, you would have found that Chinese started discriminating Taiwanese before KMT escaped to Taiwan in 1947. The study on this "discrimination" could stack a truck load. Deep down, "discriminating against Taiwanese" is the real single seed of conflict for all the current turmoil in Taiwan.

The road of democracy in Taiwan is therefore not only a road of anti-authoritarian, but a road of anti-discrimination and anti-colonization as well. The only final solution to reach a real peaceful Taiwanese society is to eradicate the discriminating mindset of "Chinese is superior than Taiwanese".

Sadly enough, this "discrimination against Taiwanese" is rarely mentioned in current Taiwan political theater. Not only pan-blues refuse to admit it, but also pan-greens are not aware of it. Only when both sides are brave enough to recognize it and admit it, can there be a chance that this discrimination mindset be eradicated and the seed of hatred be eliminated.

Foreign media obviously share this "colonizer superiority over Taiwanese" with pan bluers just that it's on an international level.

Update (9/19/07):

In response to mashhood's request in his comment, I quickly compiled a list to show where my theory in this post came from. This by no means is a complete version. I believe readers can spot more with open eyes.

1) First of all before KMT took over Taiwan from Japanese hand, KMT government in China already decided that they wanted to "keep the structure of colonizational government in Taiwan and use that as the tool to rule Taiwanese." Therefore there was that "Taiwan 長官公署" after KMT arrived. To my knowledge, never in China history was such a government organization setup in China territory. It is a symbol of colonist and indicates that KMT has decided to "treat Taiwanese as colonized" even before they came.

Ref: 李筱峰『台灣史100件大事(下)』p. 6~7

2) When Chinese started to come to Taiwan, they described Taiwanese using the term "奴化" (slaverized?) and have to be "re-educated".

Ref: 李筱峰『解讀二二八』 p.99~100

3) The looting of resources by KMT back to China before KMT lost China. It ruined the Taiwan society and directly led to 228 killings. This looting was based on a mindset that Taiwanese don't deserve a good living, which, from my point of view, is the only explanation for how could they possibly justify their stealing/robbing/killing acts.

Ref: The looting of Taiwan resources and sending them back to China should be available easily.

4) After KMT occupied Taiwan, Taiwanese were almost excluded from the government's middle and high positions. It's another sign that Chinese don't treat Taiwanese equally.

Ref: 李筱峰『解讀二二八』 p.36~39

5) During the martial law period, whenever Taiwanese characters appeared in TV programs, they were portrayed as low class, dirty, no education, criminal ... KMT intentionally infused the impression of "Taiwanese are low class people" into people's minds.

6) The voting trends of pan-blue supporters -- no matter how good a Taiwanese politicians is, he/she has no right to lead us.

7) The unreasonable hatred against President Chen. As what I mentioned in the post, it's not what ah-bian did or say, but "being a Taiwanese" itself is what they opposed.

8) Many pan-blue supporters, even highly educated, still believe that if not for KMT Taiwan will not be able to enjoy such a developed and democratic society now. They totally ignored or denied the fact that before KMT came, Taiwan was already a much more advanced civil society than China, and Taiwanese then were far more experienced than Chinese in terms of running a country democratically. This "Taiwan would have been worse without Chinese coming" mentality is a deeply rooted discrimination against Taiwanese.

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At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Mashhood said...


can you give some other historical examples of discrimination against taiwanese?

Is it mentioned elsewhere in the literature?

thank you

At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Mashhood said...



At 11:40 AM, Blogger channing said...

The notion that Taiwan was more developed than mainland China by 1949 may be true, but Japan's rigorous policies promoted this, until 1945 of course. The theory that Taiwan would have been better off without the KMT is hypothetical at best--unproven and impossible to prove. It is as hypothetical as the theory that Taiwan's modern development is all thanks to the KMT's policies.


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