The Battle for Taiwan’s Past

Even the question, “Is Taiwan Chinese?,” is deceptive. Does Chinese mean 中国, part of China, or 中华, culturally Chinese?  Recently I noted how the Olympics has dealt with the question. The question is debated in Taiwan, too.


Michael Turton (an anti-KMT, anti-CCP blogger) has two posts which addresses some of the ways the question is coming up nowadays. First, he has a post on The 2/28 Incident, part of the so-called White Terror. According to Taiwanese Nationalists, the 2/28 and the White Terror were part of an invasion of Taiwan by a foreign country at the beginning of the Cold War — an invasion which was then frozen for sixty years. According to the KMT, however, it was a regrettable, sad, but necessary effort to route out Communists and Communist-sympathizers from the last free province of China.  The CCP itself would criticize the KMT for attacking Communists, but note that the KMT’s defense of a  “government of the people” (民族主義) was as patriotic to the Chinese people as the American Civil War was patriotic to the American people.

Likewise, Turton descries naming controversy of the Chiang Kaishek Memorial Hall. Was Chiang a foreigner who grabbed an island occupied by Japan after America liberated it, a hero who kept China’s traditional of Constitutional government alive against impossible odds, or a misguided patriot whose heroic efforts to fight warlordism was undermined by his own paranoia and the corruption of those around him?

These days, the latter two questions both feed into a Chinese nationalist narrative that serves the interests of the KMT (a right-wing, corrupt, pro-market, authoritarian party that rules Taiwan democratically) and the CCP (a right-wing, corrupt, pro-market, authoritarian party that rules China through a collective dictatorship).

As I said, Russia is a Central Asian State

Russis is an economically unfree state in Central Asia

Putinism by stages: 1 is through Khordokovsky’s arrest the oil baron in late 2003, and involves Putin as determined technocrat; 2 is the Bonapartist elevation of Putin to czar; and now stage 3 sees Putin morph into a Chavez-like figure where the chief piranha now turns on the plutocrats–a sad return to Soviet-era logic on economic control.Will it work economically? God no, as The Economist points out. Putin will survive for quite a while, as oil inches back up, but in terms of demographics and innovation and an economy beyond natural resources, Russia will become a bigger but less interesting version of Kazakhstan. Actually, Kazakhstan is starting to look a lot better.

via Wither Russia? Back to its historical comfort zone Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog.

To anyone reading this blog, this is old news.