Naturally, all this annoying independence of thought and behavior brings out the inner Borg of the thugs across the Strait. It. must. be. assimilated.
Cai Wu, the highest-ranking mainland official to visit the island in 12 years, said on Sunday details of the plan have not been finalised but suggested building on a sweeping trade pact the two sides forged earlier this year.To go with economic integration and financial integration, China is essentially proposing cultural integration -- assimilation. Taiwan News put it well today:
"For instance, I'm wondering if it is possible to sign an agreement patterning after the ECFA (Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement)... it is still under discussion," Cai said during a press conference while touring Taipei's National Palace Museum.
Cai will attend a seminar in Taipei on Monday, according to its organisers, the Shen Chun-chih Culture Foundation, a non-profit Taipei-based body focused on cultural exchanges with the mainland.
In the wake of the signing of a controversial "Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement," the authoritarian People's Republic of China has launched drives to push President Ma Ying-jeou's rightist Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government to accept political negotiations and help promote "cultural unification" under a "Chinese national identity.""Chinese race nation" is Han chauvinist code that Ma uses as well -- see his inaugural speech. The common ground that enables the KMT and CCP to overcome whatever minor inclinations they may have not to cooperate is this race-based vision of the Chinese nation. It is in direct opposition to the formal DPP goal of a national citizenship independent of ethnic considerations in a constitutionally defined independent and democratic republic.
While Ma appears committed to delay political talks until after the crucial Nov. 27 municipal mayoral elections, the KMT government seems to have fewer qualms about cooperating with the Chinese Communist Party - ruled PRC's intention to subordinate Taiwan culture under the reactionary umbrella of "Chinese national culture."
This agenda was showcased yesterday in the second KMT-CCP "Cross-Strait Cultural Forum" held yesterday in Taipei under the theme of "seizing the opening and creating a new situation."
National Cultural Association Secretary-General and former premier Liu Chao-hsuan set the tone by reaffirming that "Chinese culture is the common denominator between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," followed by Council for Cultural Affairs Minister Emile Sheng's parroting of Ma's denigrating definition of Taiwan culture as "Chinese culture with unique Taiwanese characteristics."
Platitudes aside, the main course of the conference was PRC Culture Minister Cai Wu's upfront demand for the rapid signing of a "cross-strait culture cooperation agreement" under the ECFA umbrella in order to establish an "institutional mechanism" to promote "comprehensive cooperation" in fields including resource integration, financing, talent cultivation, content creation and global marketing and even participation in the "re-examination of culture policies and regulations."
Statements by Cai and other PRC delegates showed that Beijing's short-term objective is to appropriate the fruits of Taiwan's higher development in cultural creative industries, including artistic creation, techniques, commercialization and marketing, and turn our cultural assets into "local content" for the PRC to market globally as "Chinese culture."
Besides predicting that "cross-cultural industry will become a new economic growth point and provide a pillar industry for the national economy," a term which surely did not refer to Taiwan, Cai settled any doubts about the ultimate purpose of "cross-strait cultural cooperation" with a resounding call to "commonly plan for the great revival of the Chinese race nation!"
Taiwan News argues that Taiwan's distinctive historical, political, and cultural experience is a wellspring of its creative power. In PRC hands this distinctiveness would be -- as Ma himself puts it -- "Chinese culture with unique Taiwanese characteristics" -- assimilated. The latter half of Ma's formulation would be instantly lost under a PRC rubric, since distinctiveness must be carefully mediated by Chineseness in the PRC cultural lexicon, to fence in the unruly habit of other ethnicities to develop their own identities.
The PRC program is clearly aimed, as Taiwan News observes, at subsuming Taiwan's cultural industries under the rubric of China and eliminating a potentially important source of Taiwanese "difference." Not to mention -- as always -- the practical goal of eliminating Taiwanese industries where they compete with Chinese firms. Elimination of "Taiwan" as a "brand" is also a key goal; media reports suggest that things with the "Taiwan" label on them are popular in China and that what Taiwan sells is its distinctive culture -- accessible, yet different.
How that must annoy the CCP in Beijing.
- Fake chips from China threaten all sorts of devices
- The Formosa Foundation ad on Youtube
- Can we stop with this rhetoric? "The Chinese" are not a subspecies, whatever you may think of how they treat animals. Or anything else.
- China Times editorial on Taiwan's structural problems and Ma not doing anything for the poor.
- First phase of wetland purchase in Changhua done.
- Way cool: scientists have argued for years that the Amazon jungle was inhabited by millions prior to European contact and is the result of human creation and construction. Now the evidence is overwhelming. See also Charles Mann's 1491 which will completely change the way you think about the history of the Americas.
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