At this time more than ever, we must declare our solidarity with the Republic of China (Taiwan) as it commemorates its 110th National Day.
It is really unfortunate and distressing that mainland China should choose this time to mount its threats to invade Taiwan and declare its ownership of the island with its 23 million people, its exemplary democracy and its innovative and stellar manufacturing expertise.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC or mainland China)’s obvious reach for world domination, has made it the nightmare of Tibet and Hong Kong and it is believed that it may be the future economic slave master of many African and Caribbean states. We have learnt very little of the history of these two nations from our colonial history books.
AS A YOUTH, I would often hear the name Chiang Kai-shek and usually the awe with which it was said made me think he was one of the super heroes like Superman or Batman or some action figure from Krypton. Later I would come to know that he was a real life hero way over there in China.
In fact, he was once the legitimate head of mainland China and his legitimacy as the leader of China continued for many years even after he fled to Taiwan.
Historians describe what happened thus:
“In 1946, a year after Japan’s surrender, civil war broke out in China between KMT (the Kuomintang Nationalist Party – Chiang’s Party) and Communist forces. With the Communist victory in mainland China in 1949, Mao declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Upon his defeat, Chiang fled with the remnants of his Nationalist government to Taiwan, which had been turned over to the Nationalist government after the defeat of Japan according to terms agreed upon in Cairo in 1943. Backed by American aid, Chiang launched Taiwan on the path of economic modernization, and in 1955 the United States signed an agreement guaranteeing Taiwan’s defense. Many countries continued to recognize Chiang’s government in exile as the legitimate Chinese government, and it would control China’s seat in the United Nations until Chiang’s death.”
In this context, one can therefore understand the pride of the people of Taiwan, the drive to excel, their determination to continue on the road of advancement, and to take their rightful place among the nations of the world.
Countries in the West easily sided with Chiang Kai-shek. He was seen as the embodiment of a “new” China struggling to adapt politically and culturally to the 20th century. He was widely pictured as “the indomitable” and as “a bulwark against Communism in Asia”. Chiang was the visible symbol of China; a member, with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, of the Big Four; his nation’s supreme commander in World War II; and the principal architect of a domestic policy that aimed, however unsuccessfully, at internal stability.
The West was able to relate to this leader who fought the Communists, who became a Christian (Methodist protestant) and whose wife was able to address the American Congress.
Historian Alden Whitman in giving an account of his life gave this opinion: “Chiang’s official international stature began to erode seriously in the early nineteen-sixties, when support for the admission of the People’s Republic of China to UN gained an increasing number of votes with each session of the General Assembly.
From 1972 onward, however, Taiwan’s preferred status (especially in relation to the United States) was threatened by improving U.S.-China relations. In 1979, four years after Chiang died, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established full relations with the People’s Republic of China.
Mainland China – the People’s Republic of China – seeks to further isolate Taiwan by insisting that its allies must declare their belief in a “One China policy”. To this day therefore, Chiang’s setting up Taiwan as ‘temporary’ headquarters for China’s legitimate government is being repeatedly frustrated.”
However, the Memorial Hall of Chiang Kai-shek bears testimony to the sequence of events so that all nationals of Taiwan would come to know exactly what brought about this estrangement between the two Chinas and why Taiwan with its 23 million people and global progress is being unfairly kept outside the United Nations. Time will tell how this will be resolved.
DEDICATED TO THE TAIWANESE EMBASSY IN ST. KITTS & NEVIS
Because of Taiwan
We are much further on
Look at what they have done…
A first-class cricket stadium,
And another – where athletes run.
Community centres dot the landscape
ICT equipment to help us educate
Our youth; encouragement in agriculture
Food crops and fruits
Resettlement cheques helping to boost
Transition in the country
A fishing vessel to transform
The fishers’ lagging industry
Gifts great and gifts small
Garbage trucks and vehicles
In answer to our call,
Because of your generosity
Properly outfits officers on duty
And Students go to study in Taipei…
This country of 23 million
Has done so much for our nation
That on your National day
It behooves us to say
Thanks for your contribution.
We rise in salutation
To honour your industrious nation
We raise a toast to your country
Who, in spite of tragedy
Still comes to our aid.
We hope that our friendship
Will forever be strong…
That the People’s Republic and the UN
Soon admit they were wrong
And now help you take your place
Among the great nations of this human race.
WE SALUTE YOU!