ESWN: The Taiwan That You May Not Know About

From The EastSouthWestNorth blog: The appearance of an article in a mainland Chinese newspaper has caused quite a stir. Here are the factors that made this simple event so significant.

First, the newspaper is the Chinese Youth Daily, an organ of the Chinese Communist Youth League and therefore an article of this nature must have received official blessing from higher up. The editor-in-chief of Chinese Youth Daily would not dare to publish this without the approval of his superiors at the Chinese Youth League; in turn, they would not have dared to approve this without the approval of someone in the State Council. The buck must have stopped at a very high level.

Second, the author is Lung Ying-tai, one of the top public intellectuals brought up in Taiwan, educated in the United States and Germany and presently affiliated with Hong Kong University. She had been named as one of the top 50 public intellectuals of the Chinese world, and then promptly attacked by official Chinese media for being unduly influential. In the past, she has gone to China and delivered speeches, but this is the first time that she got a national platform.

Third, the topic of the article is Taiwan and its mainstream values of democracy and freedom. This article goes a long way to explaining that the overall reluctance of the people of Taiwan for immediate re-unification has little or nothing to do with any independence movement but much more with a lifestyle that has democracy and freedom ingrained in every aspect of daily life. The appearance of this article may be interpreted as a relaxation of media control about discussion on the Taiwan issue. How shall the government or people in mainland China respond to what Lung Ying-tai is saying?

June 1, 2005 5:17 PM
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