DISCLAIMER, and some thoughts about Taiwan
In the post below, I quoted someone who had very specific views about the cross-straits issue. Those are not my views. I mean, by quoting them here, I was not in anyway endorsing them. My opinion on this issue is not all that important. I'm not a politician on either side--green or blue, Taiwanese or Chinese--nor can I vote here. Instead, what I find interesting for me, as well as for my potential and actual readers, is to allow people here to speak. No, I don't mean guest posters (though that is a possibility), but direct quotes, sort of like actualities but without the voice.
My goal here--or at least one of them--is to put my finger on the pulse of this society. What are people here thinking and doing and liking and hating and wanting, etc...? What are the trends? What is the historical picture? What is the political struggle? What did someone say to me in the cafe or while cutting my hair or at the hotsprings? I'll tell you.
That's not to say that this site is not also about me (or my view, my realizations, my perspective,etc.); just that when I quote someone, it is not by necessity my view, unless, of course, I say: "Totally far out man! That was a wicked cool idea!" Yes, that probably means I endorse the idea.
To be frank, more often than not, I hear people express the desire for Taiwan to be admitted into the U.N. Being human and somewhat easily influenced by my surroundings, I am swayed by this view--partly because I hear the desire expressed so often, but also because I have a developing awareness of Taiwan's history, and know that Taiwan wasn't in the orbit of the Chinese state until sometime in the 17th century. Okay, you got me, yes, geographically speaking, it was in the orbit.
Over the next few centuries, the island gradually became culturally Chinese, if not always politically Chinese, but Austronesian cultures are still visible on the island, particularly outside Taipei.
But it is not just about the past, but the present as well, and how the past and present infuse each other. How are people thinking now, and how is their present thinking informed by the past? My speculation is that Taiwanese would now have a much different impression of their relation to China if they had fared better under KMT rule. Many people--as far as I can tell--welcomed Chinese rule, and hoped for a better life than they had under the Japanese. Instead, they soon discovered they were treated as second-class citizens. There are reasons why people are skeptical about Beijing's willingness to liberate them.
Well, I initially meant this to be a short post, so I'll stop hear. Stay tuned for more on the developing saga, as the picture continues to emerge.