Taiwan Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said in parliament yesterday that Taiwan stands ready to defend itself. His remarks come on the back of an assessment by a US commander that mainland China may take Taiwan by force in the next six years, and the US and Japan’s joint statement on the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Chuang Hui Liang reports.
Chao Shao-kang, chairman of the China Broadcasting Corporation and a former luminary of the Kuomintang (KMT), declared recently that he was returning to politics and would contest the party chairmanship in July and the presidential election in 2024. His high-profile return reminds Taiwan watchers of former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu — another KMT prodigal son who made good before his star fizzled out at the 2020 presidential elections. Will Chao walk in Han’s path and more importantly, can the KMT be rejuvenated with this breath of fresh air?
In today’s era, we get instant gratification through a swipe of the phone or a flick of the switch. Could we have done what Tang dynasty wife Wang Baochuan did and waited 18 long years — without phone, wifi or video apps — for her husband Xue Pinggui to return home? Taiwanese art historian Chiang Hsun knows his army wife mother could. It was she who taught him about “Baochuan vegetables”: the stubborn weed of Taiwanese purslane that won’t be stamped out; the pure love that asks for neither company nor reward.
What was behind the web of complicated relations between the US, the Kuomintang (KMT) in Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing in the 1950s? What impacts do these complex relationships and interlinked issues have on the present? Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao gives a pictorial overview of the situation.
Deng Qingbo observes that despite sharing the same language and ethnicity as the mainland Chinese, the Taiwanese have been quicker to imbibe Japanese culture than Chinese culture per se. He sees that mainland China has a lot of catching up to do if it is to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese and reclaim some of the admiration it once enjoyed in areas such as civilisational development, culture, and literature.
What is the teaching of Chinese history without recounting the drama of the Three Kingdoms or the antics of concubine Yang Guifei? As Taiwan adjusts its history textbooks and skims over or even leaves out large chunks of China’s history, what exactly is it losing?
Academics Zhou Wenxing and Wang Weinan observe the hard truth that Taiwan is often used as a strategic card to be played in the US’s relationship with China. While Biden seems to be the safer pair of hands on Taiwan policy, if Trump gets re-elected, Taiwan may be entering a game of high risk but high returns. Either way, Taiwan will have to watch for which way the political vane turns, as the winds moving them are rarely in their control.
Taiwan's former President Lee Teng-hui, a controversial figure in the eyes of many, presided over Taiwan at a time when it was undergoing political and economic reforms. Whatever the controversy he courted for being pro-Japan or pro-independence, there is little doubt that he left his mark on Taiwan’s politics. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shows us Lee's various sides through this pictorial journey of his life.
Han Dongping says looking back in history, one should not underestimate the tenacity of the CCP in achieving its aims. At the same time, no matter how determined each actor is, whether it is the CCP, Taiwan or the US, outcomes may not go as intended, and Taiwan may unwittingly be steered towards an end that no one wishes to see.