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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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Proof Positive

President Ma Ying-jeou confirmed yesterday what many Taiwanese suspect. That he is not a 'Taiwanese' President but rather a 'Chinese' one. So much for democratisation and sovereignty:
When asked about his thoughts on Wen’s description of Taiwan as “China’s brother,” Ma said people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have the same roots, so the description “was not wrong.”

“But in Taiwan, the relationship between the government and the mainland operates under the constitution of the Republic of China,” he said. “Like I always say, the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the Chinese nation.”
To say that Taiwanese belong to the Chinese nation and are 'little brothers' of Chinese is not only insulting to Taiwan's democracy and sovereignty but utterly obtuse to the majority of public opinion that regards the Taiwanese as belonging to the Taiwanese nation. Ultimately, I argue that the people belong to their environment and themselves. If they did in practice, perhaps we wouldn't have so many contrived power conflicts over borders and national identity.

3 Comments:

At 11:37 PM, Blogger 阿牛 said...

Ma used the phrase Zhonghua Minzu (中華民族) here, not "the Chinese nation" in the sense of Zhongguo-ren (中國人). This is a long standing practice on his part since the day of his inauguration.

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2010/new/mar/24/today-p1.htm

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger Ben Goren said...

Thanks for the clarification A-gu. (中華民族) is what I suspected he meant when I read the news and you are right he's been consistent in his use of it. Nevertheless, conflating Taiwanese within the (中華民族) implies that the PRC and its citizens are also members, including ex-patriot Chinese spread around the globe. Geographically, its main content paints Taiwan and China as a coterminous political / cultural unit.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Unforunately pointing out the subtle distinctions between Zhonghua Minzu and Zhonggua-ren is a complete and utter waste of time and is at best in all reality academic dithering. As from first hand experience there is no differentiation between the two terms in the minds of almost all P.R.C nationals. Meaning that Ma use of the term Zhonghua Minzu will be exploited by the P.R.C state media just the same as if he had said Zhongguo-ren.

Such meandering abstract sublteties does nothing but deliver Taiwan closer and closer to the strangle hold of the C.C.P.

 

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