Taiwan has been blessed many times

Taiwan has been blessed many times

This is what a Taiwanese columnist says.  The colonial Dutch ruled Formosa from 1624 to 1662.  Koxinga and his Kingdom of Tungning ruled Formosa from 1661 to 1683 in preparation to “resist the Ching (Manchu dynasty) and reestablish the Ming dynasty”.  The Manchu dynasty eventually ruled Taiwan until 1895 when it was defeated by the Japanese and ceded Taiwan to imperial Japan as a colony.  Imperial Japan ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945.  The Japanese built Taiwan’s first train stations and railroads.  The Nationalist government of the Republic of China took over Taiwan after Japan’s defeat in WWII in 1945 and withdrew from the Chinese mainland in 1949.  The Kuomintang i.e., the Nationalist Party ruled Taiwan by martial law from 1949 to 1987, and with the March 16-22 1990 Wild Lilly Student Movement and sit-in protest, full democratization of Taiwan was ushered in.

Taiwan enjoyed a peaceful existence under colonial Dutch rule while on the Chinese mainland, the Ming dynasty was overthrown by the invading Manchus in 1644.  Taiwan prospered under the Koxinga dynasty as the Kingdom of Tungning from 1661 to 1683.  From that time on until 1895, Taiwan remained a remote territory of the Manchu dynasty, and there was not much development.  During imperial Japanese colonial rule, Taiwan began its industrialization, and the imperial Japanese colonists mined minerals, produced sugar and developed logging on Taiwan.  As an imperial Japanese colony, Taiwan was spared the devastation of war while the Chinese mainland fought its Eight Year War of Resistance against Japan from 1937 to 1945.  Because of the Japanese concession in Shanghai, the city was spared while Nanking and Chungking were bombed, and the people of Nanking were massacred and raped by the Japanese imperial soldiers, referred to by historians as the Rape of Nanking.  The Nationalist Kuomintang government governed Taiwan as the Republic of China, or Free China opposing the Chinese Communist rule on the Chinese mainland that established the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.  Anti-Communism and Cold War confrontation with Taiwan under 38 years of martial law (1949-1987), made Taiwan one of the four Asian Economic dragons, and the Wild Lilly Student protest (March 16-22, 1990) ushered in full democratization and allowed “Taiwanization” to develop and prosper.   In contrast on the Chinese mainland, the people suffered through the anti-Confucianism campaigns, the anti-rightists purges, the great famine, the Great Leap Forward, the Red Guard movement and the Cultural Revolution that destroyed Chinese culture, and the current anti-corruption campaign and censorship.  On January 16, 2016, the free people of Taiwan elected their first female president while the people of Hong Kong are still struggling to gain the right to vote for their own administrator.

Indeed, Taiwan has been blessed many times while Hong Kong was cursed on July 1, 1997.  Whether the new Democratic Progressive Party government of president-elect Tsai Ing-wen is a blessing or a curse remains to be seen come May 20, 2016, inauguration day.



About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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