|Taiwanese voters in the Jan. 14 presidential election|
Some political commentators from the pan-green camp were recently angered by remarks by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), which they interpreted as saying that Taiwan’s democratic way of life was a “Chinese democracy,” arguing instead that it was a “Taiwanese democracy.”
Many of Ma’s detractors seem to regard the president’s comments on the subject as part of his administration’s attempts to Sinicize Taiwan, to the detriment of its identity as distinct from China.
While a case can be made about the Ma government’s tendency to overemphasize the Chinese “bloodlines,” “history” and “culture” that are part of the mix of Taiwanese identity, those who see Ma’s efforts as a dangerous attempt at rewriting history should in turn be wary of making claims that depart from reality. Arguing that democracy in Taiwan is “Taiwan’s democracy,” it must be said, does exactly that.
My op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.