Taiwanese Shouldn’t Sacrifice Identity
When Britain’s lease on Hong Kong ended in 1997, former president Jiang Zemin referred to the province’s reunification with China as a ‘one country, two systems’ government.
Eight years later, China faces another situation with the once-connected Taiwan, except this time, an effort to reunify will prove to be more difficult than it was with the handover of Hong Kong.
China has recently drafted an eyebrow-raising antisecession law that threatens to use force against Taiwan if it attempts to declare independence.
Taiwan became separate from mainland China in 1949 after Chiang Kai Shek fled from Mao Ze Dong’s Communist Party in China.
Although Taiwan would most likely further strengthen China’s effort of becoming the world’s next economic powerhouse, using force to regain Taiwan would cause major economic and social implications to the latter.
Even though Chinese officials claim that force will be a last resort to regain control of the island of 23 million people, the very prospect of invading Taiwan is already causing social turmoil.
Some Taiwanese have mixed emotions over the possibility of a reunification with mainland China. Their most common reason against reunification is the merging of cultural identities. With the Lunar New Year celebrations, the cultural ambiance of the Taiwanese Lantern Festival was heavily impacted by non-Taiwanese cultures. Considering the political relationship between China and Japan, the very presence of Japanese cultural influence was surprising considering the political history of the two countries.
However, the ambience promoted a welcoming atmosphere for Japanese culture. According to some Taiwanese locals, the main reason for the cultural influence was to foster good relations with Japan should China resort to using force to regain Taiwan. Taiwan could then rely on its neighboring island ally for support.
As in the United States, cultural and ethnic categories are becoming more rigid when various terms are used to describe one specific ethnic group. As the younger generation, our desire to be identified within a particular group