Thursday, 17 January 2008

What kind of Taiwanese are you? 你是哪種台灣人?

Politicians have taken to task defining what being "Taiwanese" is. There are two major parties on this island - Kuomingtang (pro-unification) and Democratic Progressive Party (pro-independence). Each has their own definition of the Taiwanese. So as far as politicians are concerned, there seem to be two types of Taiwanese - pro-unification Taiwanese and pro-independence Taiwanese.


However, if you ask a pro-unification Taiwanese would they like to hold a PRC passport and would they like the communists to rule Taiwan, they would say "hell no." And if you ask a pro-independence Taiwanese if they'd like to stand up to China and say, "we are a separate country from you," they would not agree, for fear of being fired upon.


According to my senior reporter colleague, she says 70% of Taiwanese are middle of the road on the matter. They would rather keep going on as is and not worry about the issue. They don't want to go to either extreme. They don't want to bear any costs. They don't want to cause any antagonism. Apparently, non-confrontational is the common trait here.


What is declaring independence anyway? Taiwan operates itself as a separate nation, with its own economy and its own government. Yes, Taiwan loses out on being a part of the WHO and UN, but the difference that is left is very little. It's like a separate couple. The only thing that stands in the way of saying they are not together is a divorce paper. To some, it makes no difference. And to others, it makes all the difference in the world.


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