ไต้หวันเป็นประชาธิปไตยได้อย่างไร? | How did Taiwan become a democracy?

ไต้หวันเป็นประชาธิปไตยได้อย่างไร? | How did Taiwan become a democracy?


Hello! The global development of democracy is such an interesting topic. As democracy is in fact not initially a part of human nature. Actually, humans and animals were not so different in terms of instinct. The stronger is the winner. Violence and aggression are sort of fundamental nature of human beings. In this clip, I’m going to analyze the dissolution of military dictatorship, and the rise of democracy in one of the remarkable countries. The purpose of this clip is to pass on the knowledge, and not to compare with any other countries. The country we’re going to discuss is Taiwan or the Republic of China. Before we jump in, let’s do a poll. Do you know in which direction of Thailand is Taiwan located? West? East? Or South? Please choose your answer. It was when I visited Taiwan that the question popped up in my head. Why Taiwan is so civilized? There are hi-speed trains and subways. When I was young, Taiwan and Thailand were comparable. But It’s been quite a while. It’s surprising to realize that Taiwan did not become a full democracy with presidential election until1996, or just 23 years ago. I thought it would have been 70-80 years ago, like in Thailand. How was the situation before Taiwan turned to democracy? Taiwan had been under martial law of military dictatorship for more than 38 years. (1949-1987) The longest martial law imposed in history, only second to Syria . Oh my god! 40 years under the martial law? How could Taiwanese tolerate it? I have no idea. Why didn’t they become resentful? In those days, the military dictatorship violently suppressed the opposition. After the military government had controlled Taiwan after Japanese colonial rule, the 28th February incident took place in 1947. There were suppression and massacre of an anti-government uprising. The number of deaths is still not clear, it was estimated to be 5,000 or up to 28,000. The incident was regarded as the beginning of political dissidents suppression, or the “White terror”, which was claimed to be communist suppression. It ‘s known as “white Terror” because it aimed to suppress those who were labeled as “Red” or Communists. The White Terror period lasted almost 40 years. Some were arrested or carried off. Around 140,000 Taiwanese were imprisoned during this period. 3,000- 4,000 were executed for being communists. At that time, the charge of “Communism” was normally used as a weapon against political dissidents. It justified all actions taken against them Now let’s talk about the arguments through which the dictators justified their power. First, we need to understand the conflicts between Taiwan and China, which has been continued until today. It lies in “One-China” policy. They fight over who is the real legitimate ruler of China. The dispute is reflected in the name of the countries. Have you ever been confused about the name of these two countries? Which is which? Is it Taiwan or Republic of China? And why the other is called Mainland China, or the People’s Republic of China. How confusing! Not sure who copied who here. To know about One-China policy, we need to explore Chinese history. I will explain in a nutshell. After watching this clip, I suggest studying it in detail, whether from books or any other sources. It would be more fun. My recommend! In 1911 a revolution in China led to the overthrow of Qing Dynasty, causing the downfall of the Empire. The military seized the power and later joined with the Kuomintang party. Following the establishment of the Republic of China ruled by military dictatorship in the attempt to unify China. Eh? the Republic of China? the same name as Taiwan. But at that time it was not Taiwan. It was not until the end of the World War II, after Japan surrendered The island of Taiwan or Formosa Island, which Japan had taken from China were unified under the Republic of China. Here’s the point. Taiwan had been ruled by Japan for 50 years. At that time the official languages of Taiwan were Taiwanese Hokkien and Japanese. Japanese education was introduced to the Taiwanese. Nowadays most of Taiwanese elderly still speak Japanese. Many Taiwanese have both Chinese and Japanese names. Japanese culture totally assimilated into Taiwan, and Taiwan was completely under Japanese colonial rule. Let’s get back to the post-war period. After world war II a new conflict occurred. The spread of Communism led to numerous wars. In China the dispute between Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government and Mao Zedong’s Communist Party broke into civil war. Mao’s strategy was so convincing that most of the peasants, the majority of Chinese population, followed him. The tactic was “encircling the cities from the rural areas”, and by getting support from the peasants, the Communist party finally won. Chiang Kai-shek and Kuomintang party retreated to Taiwan and set up a government-in-exile. About 2 million officers, Nationalist soldiers and supporters fled to the Island of Taiwan, while there were 2 million natives living there, resulting in chaos. They were in conflict because the mainlanders claimed that they were “real Chinese”, elites and ruling class. Mainlanders took Taiwan as a temporary place to reside. For them, China was their homeland, they didn’t want to live in Taiwan permanently. Before that, Taiwanese had excellent quality of life and enjoyed many privileges. But after Kuomintang gained power in Taiwan, the natives had lost their privileges to the mainlanders. After being a Japanese colony for 50 years, they still had to deal with new colonial oppression. The conflict spread and became violence. There were brutal suppression of those who were accused of being Communists, followed by declaration of Martial Law. While Mao Zedong, winner of the civil war, had turned Mainland China into Communist regime, and established People’s Republic of China. At this point two Chinas emerged: China in Taiwan, and Communist Mainland China. Both claimed to own each other. “You are mine” “No!” “You are mine’’ It was such a turbulent time. Don’t’ forget that it was at the scale of country, not just a matter of few people. In the first stage, the international community recognized Taiwan over the People’s Republic of China. The reason was not complicated. It’s simply because of fear of Communism. Moreover, Taiwan became a permanent member of the Security Council. What an extra recognition! Now let me introduce a new character, The USA. In 1970s USA was suffering from Vietnam War. They had been in battles for many years yet the war seemed to continue. USA wanted to end the war and withdraw the troops. But doing this can be assumed as “Defeat to the communists” What’s the solution then? Here comes a man who served a National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon His name is Henry Kissinger. He had a clue that Chinese Communist Party and Soviet Union were being at odds over policy, ideology and conflict of interest. So Henry Kissinger decided to make one of the greatest changes in US foreign policy. This monumental event was the opening of diplomatic relations with Communist China The image of Nixon warmly shaking hands with Mao Zedong is the symbol of closer political relationship The result was USA was allowed to withdraw the troops from Vietnam and Communist China was continued fighting in Vietnam War. China supported Communist Party of Kampuchea to fight in Vietnam War. While Vietnam got support from Soviet It’s called proxy war, Which had been continued through the period of Cold War. The reason was Mao Zedong’s Chinese communists disliked Soviet Union, even though they are both Communism. Moreover, Soviet was supporting Vietnam so Vietnam was considered China’s enemy. This is a concept of Cold War and Proxy war. US troops finally returned home, and communism did not spread further. Because they fought each other. That’s it. The stronger reason was USA agreed to recognize People’s Republic of China Instead of Republic of China Taiwan has already fallen of favor. In 1971 United Nations recognized the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representative of China, and removed Taiwan from the United Nations. Taiwan got dumped and was kicked to the curb. So Taiwan had been desperately trying to regain self esteem after such a bad experience. Taiwan headed towards, turned away from past and tried to reclaim her dignity, or else the country would not be able to survive. Communism suppression and claiming to be real Chinese were out-of- date strategy. Here’s the point of no return. They need to accept it and move on. To rebuild the nation and get away from China who was becoming a superpower. Taiwan had to improve economic efficiency to expand trade partners. especially USA. Democracy was needed. The change did not occur suddenly. The Kuomintang began to give up authoritarian rule, as people demanding independence and democracy. Some prefer to call it “a gradual process”, while some might see it as “a prolonged process”. It ‘s subjective. Chiang Kai-shek was succeeded after his death in 1975 by his son, Chiang Ching-kuo, Who had claimed that though he was a mainlander, He’s the president of Taiwan. It means he wouldn’t follow “One-China” policy and would give up the idea of returning to the Mainland China. He also promised not to continue political power succession, and announced that the next President must not come from Chiang’s family. He prioritized economic development over military. Moreover, since people were allowed to set up political parties, there were opposition parties such as Democratic Progressive Party or the DPP Finally the Martial Law was lifted in 1987 after it had been imposed for many years. Power succession was indeed given up. After Chiang Ching Kuo died, Lee Teng-hui succeeded him as President in 1990, Under social pressure for democratic change. Thousands of students demonstrated for democratic reforms, creating an enthusiastic atmosphere. Lee Teng-hui kept his promise: National Assembly elections were finally held in Taiwan in 1996. Lee himself led the Kuomintang to win a second term in power in this election. Although, it was an old power politics line, the Election process was handled in a fair and transparent manner. Taiwan finally became a democratic nation. Do you know why Lee Teng Hui pledged his commitment to full democracy in Taiwan even though he had been authoritarian? He was compared to a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He had been a pro-democracy for a long time. I think he must be good at blending in. Lee Teng Hui was a native Taiwanese And the first President of Taiwan who is not a Mainlander. He went to study in Japan, and was in service in the Imperial Japanese Army In fact, Lee has never been a big fan of “One-China” Policy. A few years ago he gave an interview to Japanese press, in which he referred to Japan as “the motherland of Taiwan”. Such a terrible mistake! It’s somehow strange that he continued to work with Kuomintang. He won the favor of Chiang Ching Kuo and finally succeeded him as President Lee Teng Hui’s strategy was to consolidate power by including progressive figures in the party and eliminating conservative members who adopt One-China Policy. The new-generation progressives who graduated from abroad were in his favor. After serving as president for two terms, Lee resigned as chairman of Kuomintang and set up a new party, which strongly advocates for Taiwan independence, like the DPP. Lee came to be regarded as statesman who established democracy in Taiwan This is a real statesman. Anyway, the question is Lee is really a pro-democracy or he just couldn’t cope with social movement pressure? It’s worth thinking. From then, Taiwan Politics has become a battle for Kuomintang, which still adheres to One-China policy, and the DPP, the opposition party that advocates for Taiwan independence. In 2000, the DDP won the presidential election
for the first time. Also, Tsai Ing-wen, the current Taiwan President is a member of the DPP. She supports the idea of Taiwan independence without fear of Chinese government. That’s the whole story. How’s Taiwan’s democracy in your opinion? Though Chiang Kai-shek was considered a brutal dictator, there is the enormous “Chiang Kai-shek memorial hall” in Taiwan. He has been regarded as father of the Republic of China. While for some group of people Chiang Kai-shek glorification is condemned There is often news of people trying to smash Chiang’s monuments down to show that they haven’t forgot his cruelty. What do you think about that? Please leave your comments here. And do you think in which way did Taiwan gain democracy? It’s gradual struggles of people for years? or It’s because the dictators were not stubborn? or it’s both? Let’s think about it. Anyway, the good news is Taiwan won the fight for democracy even there’s little chance. Since 1990s, Taiwan has been in rapid development as we’ve seen. What about our country? What we’ve got since 1990s? Before ending, I have another poll. In your opinion, what was the cause of Taiwan democratization? 1. It was the plan of the dictators 2. The dictators were forced by public pressure. 3. The dictators were forced by foreign pressure. Please choose your answer. If you would like to follow more clips from SpokeDark, please like and share. And don’t forget to subscribe to the SpokeDark channel. Let’s click Click