Monday, May 18, 2009

International Media convention on describing the China-Taiwan historical relations causes confusion

If you read here an update on James Van Der Beek, the star of the upcoming movie Formosa Betrayed, you can begin to understand why so many around the world are still confused about Taiwan's situation.

Undoubtedly, the reason the reporter stated "30,000 Taiwanese were killed in a revolt against their Communist Chinese rulers" is because the international media repeat ad nauseum the false statement that Taiwan and China split amidst a civil war in 1949. So someone who keeps reading that in every single news story about China-Taiwan relations will hear about a 228 massacre and assume that it occurred during the "Chinese Civil War" and assume that the Communists killed the Taiwanese then and that the Taiwanese were revolting against their rule, thereby created a civil war.

You see, to state "Taiwan and China split amidst a civil war in 1949" is to cause people to think about a situation like Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger rebels. But this whole perspective is completely incorrect.

A better analogy would be the Nazis versus the Soviets and the innocent bystanders who got caught in the cross-fire. The fascists in China fought against the communists in China in a civil war. Taiwan had no part in it. The fascists lost the war, probably because they were more corrupt in their governance of the territory in China they controlled. These fascists are the "Chinese Nationalist Party" regime of Chiang Kai-shek. They were evacuated by the American navy to Taiwan, a Japanese colonial territory left over from World War II, and there these fascist Chinese exiles then proceeded to seize power, murdering any potential Taiwanese opposition. In the 228 Massacre they killed tens of thousands of Taiwanese. They set themselves up as a very oppressive (think Stalin-Hitler-Mao-Pinochet type) elitist authoritarian regime ruling Taiwan with violence while effectively presenting a face of a supposedly democratic "Free China" to the rest of the world.

Instead of lazily continuing to repeat the fictional propaganda out of China (that the two sides supposedly "split amidst a civil war"), the international media must come up with a new convention to actually accurately reflect the historical reality.


Joshua Samuel Brown said...

I've gone ahead and left my own comment on the article in question. Yes, shit like that drives me crazy, especially because it appears in print so often.

Tim Maddog said...

I've added a comment, too. And a question. And a request for a correction.

Let's keep our eyes on it.

Tim Maddog

Jennifer said...

thank God for blogs like yours that expose the truth.. my mom went down to the protest last week when 2 ppl got injured by the police. it's hard for me to read up on this in the news here in taiwan/new york. please keep blogging!

Joel said...

Dear Jennifer,

If you'd like to read more, take a look at Taiwan Democracy Movement blog.