They tried this on the mainland too, where they called it the Cultural Revolution
[Chen Mingxi, a 25-year- old Taiwanese graduate student] says the current government went too far when it changed the national exam to include questions on what some students considered aracana of Taiwan's indigenous history, like the one that asked them to name the original language of the Sinkan manuscript, a bible of one of Taiwan's aboriginal tribes.I'm appalled. One of the things I love about Taiwan is that it's a glimpse of how Chinese culture and society might have developed had it not been raped by the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
"We grew up believing that our language is Mandarin and that our history is China's history," he said. "Then some activists just erased China from our past. They want to tear us apart."
William Lo, the leader of Taiwan's Presbyterians, has told the church's 230,000 followers that [DPP presidential candidate] Mr. Chen [Shui-Bian] is the "candidate who is closer to the Christian faith." Mr. Lo's family migrated from China nearly 300 years ago, but he says he has no more connection to China than descendants of Mayflower immigrants in America have to England.As opposed to his connection to a Levantine Jew 2000 years ago or a bunch of Scottish Calvinists 400 years ago? It's bad enough that American politicians pander to evangelical Christians. Now Taiwanese politicians are too?
When Taiwanese (as opposed to Chinese) identity became popular in the late 1990s, I thought it was a healthy development, an acknowledgement of the de facto state of affairs compared with the KMT adherence to a "One China" policy. Chen Shui-Bian's election in 2000 was the first peaceful democratic transition of power in the 5000-year history of the Chinese people, a moment of which the Chinese people could truly and justly be proud.
But President Chen has taken Taiwanese identity beyond a healthy acknowledgement of reality well into cynical demagoguery.