Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ROC celebrates centennial year

Taiwan just enjoyed the 100 years celebration of the R.o.C. With Dr. Sun Ya tsen a Hakka and Christian as its founder it is time to reflect some of the easily forgotten historical facts which for us missionary build the outside framework of our daily work. The China Post newspaper took the time to publish of few of them.

The Republic of China (R.O.C.) celebrated its 100th anniversary yesterday with rare jet fighter flyovers and sky diving shows featuring military paratroopers, as well as an equally rare and straightforward National Day speech in which President Ma Ying-jeou celebrated the R.O.C.'s history, its time in Taiwan and called on mainland China to “face the fact” of the R.O.C.'s existence “not in the past tense, but in the present.” 
    Ma's comment came one day after mainland Chinese President Hu Jintao called for China-Taiwan reunification by peaceful means in the mainland's celebration of the centennial Xinhai Revolution with the deliberate omission of the R.O.C., which was founded as a result of the historical event.“ In commemorating the Xinhai Revolution, one also must not deliberately cut out certain parts of history, but must bring to light the actual facts of history and face the existence of the Republic of China head-on,”
    Ma said. “The Republic of China's existence is referred to not in the past tense, but in the present. For the Republic has continued to flourish in Taiwan for more than six decades.” In a rare straightforward manner, the president directed his speech at Beijing, describing it as a reminder to mainland authorities that in commemorating Double Tenth Day, “it must not be forgotten that the aspiration of our founding father Dr. Sun Yat-sen was to establish a free and democratic nation with equitable distribution of wealth.” “The mainland ought to courageously move in that direction,” Ma pointed out.

Taiwan and the mainland engaged in a soft power tug-of-war to the claim of legitimate successor of Dr. Sun, the leader of Chinese anti-imperial revolutionaries deemed founding father of democratic China by both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Through its celebration of the Xinhai centennial, and in several recent articles in its state-owned newspaper, the mainland has attempted to justify itself as the rightful continuation of the Chinese democratic process started by the Xinhai Revolution disregarding the fact that it is still an authoritarian country and that Sun founded the R.O.C.
The R.o.C.'s 20 million people sacrifice ended the Japanese colonial rule

Also rare was Ma's frank and direct description of the R.O.C.'s relationship with Taiwan as basically partners in the same boat. “It was the sacrifice of 20 million soldiers and civilians of the Republic during the war of resistance against Japan that enabled Taiwan to end Japan's colonial rule,” Ma said.
“And had it not been for the retrocession of Taiwan from Japan to the Republic, the setbacks encountered by R.O.C. armed forces in the civil war against the Communists in mainland China might have spelled the death of the Republic more than six decades ago,” he concluded.
Seldom has this president, or any president in the past, highlighted the mutual dependency of the R.O.C. and Taiwan as directly and simply as Ma did yesterday. The president's comment also came to indicate a new phase of national recognition in Taiwan after the often divisive national identification debates in the past decade. Main opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen made a major shift in stance in which she said the pro-independence party is willing to recognize the R.O.C.'s identity as a local government, that Taiwan is the R.O.C. and vice versa.
Ma offered his doctrine on R.O.C./Taiwan relations in a sentence in the speech that was repeated in Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese and Hakka — “The Republic of China is our nation, and Taiwan is our home.”
He aimed to reconcile the two identities by elevating the R.O.C. into an ideal that is currently embedded in Taiwan's land and people. “'The Republic of China' is more than the name of a nation; it also stands for a free and democratic way of life,” he said.
New Prospects
Ma credited freedom, democracy, the ingenuity of the Taiwanese people and the government's viable diplomacy for Taiwan's achievements. He pointed out that the nation successfully weathered the global financial crisis in the past three years and that Taiwan signed 15 agreements with mainland China, all conforming to “the principles of parity, dignity, and reciprocity while putting Taiwan first.”
The president also pointed out that Taiwan ranked its best score ever of 6th in overall competitiveness by the 2011 World Competitiveness Yearbook released by Switzerland's International Institute for Management Development and that the nation has increased the number of nations granting visa-free privileges to Taiwanese passport holders from 54 before he came into office to 124.
The president pointed out that Taiwan “will seek to further consolidate ties with our diplomatic partners while building high-level trust between this country and nations with which we lack formal diplomatic relations,” and vowed to maintain “our defense capabilities and develop a crack fighting force that meets Taiwan's defensive needs.”
The president concluded his speech with on a rare personal note, highlighting his own relation to Taiwan and the opportunities the democratic R.O.C. offered him. “Sixty years ago in October of 1951, at a time of great turmoil, my parents brought their family, including one-year-old me, from Hong Kong to Taiwan, seeking a life of freedom and tranquility,” Ma recalled.
“Never could they have imagined that more than 50 years later, their son would have the opportunity to become the R.O.C. president.”

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