This summer, I have been living in Singapore, a country that is somewhat similar to Taiwan; It shouldn’t be too surprising as Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea were known as the four asian tigers, four areas where economic growth boomed after World War II. Like Taiwan, Singapore has a majority Chinese population, is fairly advanced, clean, and ahead of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Singapore’s diversity got me thinking; If Singaporeans consider themselves Singaporeans first, and acknowledge their ethnic backgrounds second, it shouldn’t be wrong for Taiwanese to do the same. Ever since 1949, There have been tensions between China, and “breakaway province” Taiwan, or more specifically, between the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party. In the 2000’s, Taiwan government entered an isolation period with China due to the new DDP party. 2008 marked a turning point for the Kuomintang. As times changed, the KMT and CCP found they had the mutual goal of reunifying China. It was simply that they disagreed on who would control.
Well, what about the Taiwanese people? Yes, you could argue that they have roots in China, so therefore, the people are a part of China and Chinese culture. I’m sure many Taiwanese acknowledge that they have Chinese roots. Does that mean that they consider themselves Chinese citizens? Taiwan is an island of rich cultural background, with the portugese, dutch, Chinese, and Japanese influence. While I am all for better relations between Taiwan and China, it seems inherently wrong for either KMT or CCP to claim Taiwan as a part of China when there’s more to its history than simple Chinese influence. However, in the end, whether Taiwan gets reunified or not, it is most important that the people do not think in terms of ethnicity, but as people of a country.