History textbook changes draw criticisms
The China Post staff
A newly revised history textbook for high-school students has drawn criticisms from opposition parties, reflecting the perennial political debate on how to view Taiwan’s identity and teach the island’s history.
The title of the national history textbook for second-grade high-school students to be used in the new semester after the winter vacation has been changed to “China History” from the traditional “National History.”
In this new textbook, terms like “our country,” “this country” and “the mainland” have all been changed to “China” to indicate Taiwan is separate from and not part of China.
Founding Father Sun Yat-sen of the Republic of China also loses the venerable title as the founder of the nation.
The 1911 Wuhan Uprising that toppled the imperial Ching (Manchu) Dynasty will now be called a “chishi” (disturbance or riot) instead of “chiyi” (righteous uprising) as it was referred to in history textbooks used in the past 60 years here.
All these and other changes were made in accordance with the guidelines of a reviewing board whose members were appointed by Education Minister Tu Cheng-sheng.
They said if Tu does not want to call Sun the nation’s founding father, he should formally declare independence-leaning former President Lee Teng-hui or incumbent President Chen Shui-bian the “founder of Taiwan” — if he really has the guts to do so.
They also lambasted the attempt to twist historical facts by branding the Japanese occupation and colonization of Taiwan during the five decades ended in 1945 as “the Japanese administration period.”
Analysts said the new history book represents another “desinization” measures taken by President Chen to remove the word “China” from the names of public places and enterprises.This will only create more confusion for the future generations of people living in Taiwan.
Taiwan citizens and political groups remain divided on the island’s identity and status, with some advocating for an independent nation from China and others pushing for its reunification with China once it embraces democracy, although most people want to maintain the status quo for now.
The textbook changes could spark another strong reaction from Beijing, which has viewed self-ruled Taiwan as sovereign territory since the end of the Chinese civil war in mainland China in 1949 and has vowed to bring the island back under mainland rule, by force if necessary.
Many in Taiwan feared that the history textbook could come under another revision in case the DPP becomes the opposition party, creating more confusion for students.
First, Chen Shuibian is caught stealing taxpayer money for personal gain, next they fight like schoolgirls in the Legislature, and now they promote revisionist history for public consumption. This is just as bad as those “Corean” nationalists hawking textbooks that claimed they were cultural relatives to Turks and Indian, that ancient Korea ruled everything from the Korean peninsula all the way up to Northern China, and even had the nerve to claim they invented Chinese characters.
Now this has gone too far in Taiwan Province with their crazy idea that Sun Yat-Sun is not the father of the Republic of China, that the 1911 revolution was a Chinese riot and Japanese colonial rule is now known as a benevolent “administration”. It is one thing to draw on personal conviction to identity as a separate ethnic group and nationality, but it is completely immoral to push the Taidu agenda on young, naive and impressionable children in this country. The DPP have also set a dangerous precendent of revising textbooks and history based on party ideology. Although many uniformed liberals, and overseas Taiwanese claim that Taiwan is hitting great strides in freedom, their province is still deeply flawed and their newly found freedoms can be easily corrupted as seen by Chen Shuibian misappropriation of state funds.
First Chen Shuibian abolishes the Unification Council, which was there to promote ties between China and Taiwan Province. Then, he perverts October 10 (Double Ten Day) by transforming it from a celebration of the founding of a Chinese Republic to a Taiwan Pride day, alienating large sections of the population and signalling the demise of the Republic of China. Now, there is a drastic overhaul of textbooks that claim China has always been a foreign country whose internal turmoils shaped the history of a foreign country called Taiwan. On the other hand, this book suggests that Japan is the benevolent coloniser that helped Taiwan evolve into a democratic and progressive “country”, which is not the full story. The worst part about the textbook revision is that it will be adopted by a majority of Taiwanese public schools, unlike those revised textbooks that were approved in Japan.
Well, it’s been nice knowing the Republic of China, a historical state that is now at the mercy of the pan-Green extremists…All that is needed is a new Constitution and it’s all over for Taiwan Province and the Republic of China.