As far as I can remember, Chinese is a sensitive word in Taiwan, no matter it means culture or ethnic group. Despite the fact that some Taiwanese were traced back to China, while indigenous people were the origin of Maori in Australia and some people in Pacific island; being a normal Taiwanese was never an easy thing for us. The recent article from Economist just published that Taiwan is the most dangerous place on Earth because of Chinese superpower politics. I do agree with it, but people here seem to be easy and do not mind at all. Speaking of Chinese power, it can be traced back to the Ching dynasty in China or the Chiang Kai-Shek who retreated to Taiwan 72 years ago with KMT political party that is still exerting their power on this island.
It may not be surprised to see monuments of certain great people in other countries; however, students in Taiwan can see monuments of Chiang Kai-Shek and Sun Yat-Sen on their campus. 1987 was the year that announced to cancel the curfew which had been held for almost 38 years. Teachers taught our parents to be Chinese with many lessons, including the language, geography, history, etc., and forbade locals to speak our mother tongue. Few local elders even chose to speak Chinese without learning any local languages, so they could have supremacy among others back to their age.
Chinese power is notorious for thoughts control, so students in school could not say anything bad that may link to China. Students needed to study the background of Chiang Kai-Shek without asking too much, and Sun Yat-Sen was considered as national father for Republic of China. Sun Yat-Sen is a Chinese man who fought for democracy for China, but ended up memorizing in Taiwan.
The mainstream of media was controlled by Chinese party, and many local elders had experience of brainwashing by state apparatus. Even though more and more media sprout up with Taiwanese perspectives, some elders who have been brainwashed for almost his life refusing to accept the new concepts. The media intended to tell our parents that people who speak Taiwanese were inferior, making Taiwanese to feel bad for their families.
Businessmen in China
It may be difficult for others to believe that some of businessmen from Taiwan are staying in China for expanding their markets, due to the reason that China is targeting the island with thousands of missiles. If Chiang Kai-Shek did not retreat to this island, we are not able to speak Mandarin Chinese now, and the chances of doing business in China may be less. Most companies built in Taiwan are small and medium-sized, making locals unable to rebel against the government and that is the result which emperor Chiang wanted. It seems that some businessmen here do not fear they will lose the country; on the contrary, they fear they won’t be able to make any money in China. Many tragedies happen on and on for those businessmen that are rooted in China, and there are nothing we can do to help them from Taiwan.
The government now is operated by Taiwanese party, which was built to fight against Chinese party in the first place. Our government keeps emphasizing our sovereignty to this world, despite that we are still ruled by the Chinese constitution. People are proud of saying that we are a democratic country now without further considering our politics and societies. Taiwanese are afraid of discussing politics in the public, and do not have strong ability to organize the big and powerful political party. Even the Taiwanese party was first organized by Chinese who retreated with emperor Chiang but unwilling to support their brutal ruling. Politics is just not our thing. But don’t get me wrong, there are more and more locals start to join the political party which may be good for us.
The Chinese would rather surrender to the communist party, rather than give their power to the locals because in their blood and culture that teaches them to despise the slaves, which happens to be Taiwanese. It might be harsh to say something like this, because few of local Chinese are supporting the Taiwanese party and they are willing to be with us. Things related with China won’t be easy to settle down even in the legislature. From the police to the national security bureau, Chinese gang can get the upper hand and no one could able to change that. Also, the fifth column is prevalent and contagious among Taiwan society without any precise bill passed to stop them.
Everyone wants to get out of it, but no one is exception. It is an unusual thing to emphasize our identity in our own island, making people feel like the island is still under control of outsiders.