Monday, January 20, 2014

Contested History, again

A cha hua, camellia blossom.

This week saw two struggles over Taiwan history. The first took place at National Chengkung Universty, where the students voted to name a square after Deng Nan-jung, the pro-democracy and free speech advocate. J Michael Cole had excellent coverage last week. The Taipei Times editorialized the other day:
While the university administrator’s move to dismiss the vote betrayed the spirit of democracy, the arguments of history professor Wang Wen-hsia (王文霞) in expressing her opposition to the naming of the plaza underestimated Deng’s efforts and ignored the importance of the power transition in Taiwan’s democratic development. Wang had described Deng’s self-immolation as a radical way to cope with challenges in life, and compared him to Islamist bombers who “end their lives and put others’ lives in danger when things did not go their way.”
I suspect there's a sly reference here in "putting other's lives in danger" -- it's a claim of KMT propaganda attacks on Deng that he put his young daughter in danger when he burned himself to death, thus showing he had no morals (commenter below). Deng's widow ripped Wang in an interview. Wang spewed the usual denials and backtracking, but the students had uploaded both transcripts and video to the internet. No escape.

The other is more attacks on Taiwan history via textbook changes by the Ma Administration. A DPP legislator criticized them:
According to Cheng, during a public hearing held by the Ministry of Education’s National Academy for Educational Research in Taipei on Friday, Fo Guang University professor Hsieh Ta-ning (謝大寧), who is also a member of the curriculum outlines adjustment task force headed by National Taiwan University professor Wang Hsiao-po (王曉波), said that the adjustments mainly focused on changing incorrect words in the curriculum, making information presented by the curriculum more complete, and making sure that the content was in accordance with the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution.
The article points out that Hsieh Ta-ning is also the head of Chinese Integration Association. Heh.
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Anonymous said...

The nod to a China centered ideological slant always comes from behind the wall of "the constitution".

This is a device Ma uses very effectively to mask his intentions.

Anonymous said...

I think the "putting other's lives in danger" is because when he set fire to his office it was full of staff and they had to flee.