I was inspired by the discovery of what might be the skeletons of African slaves in the Spanish cemetery in Keelung. Relecting on Taiwan's diverse ethnic roots, I noted in my latest Taiwan News piece:
I often reflect on these facts when I read some reporter describing the people of Taiwan as “ethnic Chinese” or when people refer to themselves as having "Taiwanese blood." These ideas are vapid political constructs whose intent is overtly nationalistic: to claim a people is “ethnic Chinese” is to veer dangerously close to arguing that Beijing should be annexing them. Or when people write about Taiwan’s “deep historical links to China”, actually less than four centuries old, but ignore Taiwan’s thousands of years of historical links to Austronesian peoples and trade and emigration networks that spanned half the globe, from Madagascar to New Zealand and Hawaii.These rich historical connections can be used by Tsai and the DPP to posit another kind of rhetoric of identity for Taiwan, one rooted in its Austronesian roots, that can link it to the nations that are the focus of its southbound policy.
Previous Taiwan News commentaries are gathered on this page.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!