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Examination of such so-called cultural policies will reveal the kind of culture the state intents to build, and also help us understand how certain social and cultural changes came about. However, did the course of national culture-building change accordingly? This article looks at how the political parties have constructed Taiwanese culture and identity since the s.
This hit local culture very hard.
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The use of local dialects was forbidden in schools and public places 9 , Taiwanese traditional xiqu and folk arts were seen as crude and backward, and Taiwanese history was almost entirely absent from textbooks In other words, all things Chinese were associated with sophistication, beauty and grandeur, while all things Taiwanese were regarded as vulgar, stupid and coarse. There were many reasons for this change: the impact of international isolation, domestic demand for political reform, the end of the Cultural Revolution, and most of all, a cultural awakening in Taiwan.
The KMT was forced to adopt a more localised and open approach. For the first time, indigenous culture and heritage were promoted alongside Chinese culture, even though a China-centric mentality still dominated the political scene.
Martial law in Taiwan - Wikipedia
This changing course of cultural policy was not merely a political gesture, but a significant move shifting the cultural emphasis gradually from traditional China to contemporary Taiwan The emphasis in cultural policy shifted from traditional Chinese to contemporary Taiwanese. However, it was the rise of Lee Teng-hui that had the greatest influence in reconstructing Taiwan's political culture.
Since the early s, Lee started to openly promote Taiwanisation. We are both Chinese and Taiwanese. There is no ethnic difference We should be able to have an equal footing and equal opportunities. The ancestral differences between Taiwan-born baby-boomers became blurred. He emphasised that his future state policy would "reinforce the superior status of Taiwan as the centre of new Zhongyuan " It was designed by anthropologist Chen Chi-nan 18 , to be a mechanism to build Taiwanese consciousness and a new identity. Its ultimate goal was to encourage local people to care for their own environment, to make their own decisions, and to create community consciousness and a sense of belonging and pride.
Symbolically, this movement was the beginning of the official gesture to sever connections with the Chinese-centric identity that the KMT had promoted previously.
In addition, the long-awaited education reform began around the same time. Education in Taiwan has always been conservative and slow to respond to social change, because it played a role as the final stronghold where the ruling power could construct ideologies and reproduce its values The KMT started both the standardised textbook system and nine-year compulsory education in , in the attempt to control ideological construction.
It was not until that the standard textbook system was finally abolished in the elementary schools, and in junior and senior high schools Since then, Taiwanese teachers have finally been given the freedom to choose textbooks and have a say in how their teaching is conducted. For example, the MOE had rejected several proposals to set up Taiwanese literature departments in universities.
Soon after Lee Teng-hui won the first Presidential election in , the tide turned. However, it was attacked for being full of errors and over-politicised. Some criticised the content as selective and partial, some condemned the deliberate omission of Japanese colonial suppression, some identified an editorial prejudice against aborigines and women, and some suspected an attempt at de-sinification qu Zhongguo hua In spite of the controversy, the new subject was implemented.
Since then, the MOE has not only approved the establishment of many Departments of Taiwanese Literature 25 , but has also aggressively encouraged their development in order to cope with the pressing need to supply teachers to teach Local Studies xiangtu jiaoxue , a new compulsory subject Cultural policy in the s, such as the Community Construction Movement, took up the role of promoting Taiwanese culture, fostering a sense of Taiwanese awareness, and promoting a new set of values.
As a result, rebuilding a long-ignored indigenous culture became a common concern. The discourse of Taiwanese subjectivity was forming, and a new Taiwanese identity was emerging. By the late s, the trend of Taiwanisation was accepted as politically correct. In , the DPP won the Presidential election, because of what it represented—a Taiwanese awareness and subjectivity that had become increasingly popular.
An era of Taiwanisation finally got into full swing. This is an attempt designed to speed up the process of Challenge and ensure its completion It is obvious that the DPP government is aiming high.
Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature
The ten new major construction plans clearly set up the task of building a Homeland in Taiwan, to construct a land of innovation and to preserve its natural beauty. However, the hidden agenda here is not just about becoming one of the global top three, but is in fact aimed at transforming Taiwan into a competitive, advanced, high-tech and culturally unique land, different in every way to China. On the whole, the emphases on community construction and indigenisation remain unchanged between the two regimes.
That said, the DPP cultural policy has three unique tendencies: an emphasis on the economic value of culture industries, the theorisation of Taiwanese subjectivity, and branding Taiwan as a cultural product. The Yinge pottery museum, Taipei county, opened in Instead of concentrating on high culture as the KMT used to do, the DPP has shifted its focus to creative industries including: design, tourism, popular music, film, fashion and digital industries , and stresses the added values they can bring.
A new discourse has been created. However, the focus then was mainly on consolidating local communities and creating a sense of pride. Since , this has shifted to boosting domestic tourism and stressing the economic benefits of culture.
Cultural tourism appears to provide all the answers: updating the social fabric of an agricultural society and transforming traditional farming practices into service-oriented industries. For the DPP government, cultural tourism is a win-win policy—the Taiwanese learn to appreciate the long-ignored beauty of their homeland, and at the same time, their consumption also benefits local economies and regenerates depressed areas Such development would be, she believed, mutually beneficial for both urban and rural lives, and helpful for the revival of the local economy.
This programme encouraged private investment in setting up local cultural houses for performances and exhibitions. Bringing together the artists, local historians, the tourism industry, agricultural industry, and town planning staff, the programme had a holistic approach. Before the s little recognition was given to local arts and culture. However, the major emphasis of DPP cultural investment was placed on constructing buildings, not culture; and on creative industries, not creativity.
The DPP government seems to be more concerned about environmental issues and cultural development, and hence, a more sophisticated and visionary government compared to the KMT with its constant emphasis on economic growth. Environmental groups are now protesting about the lack of environmental impact assessments. It seems that when the economy is at stake, the ideal of building a green island can be easily sacrificed. In other words, the environmental issue is, for the DPP, second to economic growth.
Why Taiwan ended one-party rule and embraced democracy
KMT culture construction seemed to be schizophrenic, being torn between public demands, the pressure from the opposition and the reactionary strains within the party. The scale of these digitisation projects is astonishing. More than sixty digital archives projects have been initiated and are under construction 46 , and several virtual research centres also created Furthermore, a large portion of foreign aid would also be diverted to scholarships for foreign students to study in Taiwan In , a brand new education system, the Nine Grade Curriculum Alignment for Elementary and Junior High Education 50 , was launched, integrating the curriculum of elementary and junior-high schools.
Instead, the content covering Taiwan has been distributed across a range of subjects It will only become optional when students reach junior high school level. The MOE claimed that this new curriculum endeavoured to remove politicised content and avoid ideological baggage. However, the new history curriculum was severely criticised specifically for being over-politicised. The new high school history curriculum proposed to draw a historical line in The first year concentrates on domestic history, including Taiwanese history prehistory to contemporary Taiwan in the first term, and Ancient Chinese history prehistory to the early Ming dynasty in the second term.
The theme of the second year is modern world history. Chinese history since including the latter part of the Ming dynasty, the entire Qing dynasty and the early history of the Republic of China until , was classified as part of contemporary world history. This principle emphasised Taiwanese subjectivity, positioning Taiwan at the centre in order to understand its surrounding world and to interpret history. Tu rejected speculation that his theory acted as a vehicle for de-sinification However, the debate continues and the new history curriculum is still in the process of consultation and modification.
When Tu Cheng-sheng was appointed Minister of Education in May , he announced that the new curriculum would be implemented as planned from the academic year Two series of maps of Taiwan were launched in , and successfully challenged the conventional way of seeing Taiwan. Through these [new] maps, Taiwanese subjectivity Mapping Taiwan is another way of asserting Taiwanese subjectivity and articulating a national narrative. For example, wording in the new passport has changed 60 ; the issuing bank and the design of new banknotes were changed 61 ; the discourse about the origin of Taiwanese aborigines has been reconstructed 62 ; a plan to relocate capital from Taipei to Kaohsiung was aired 63 ; national holidays are frequently changed Editorial Reviews.
Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0—— —4. Martial Law to Market Law. By Sung-Sheng Yvonne Chang. With monumental. By Yvonne ChangSung-Sheng. New York: Columbia University Press. Ann Carver and Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang. New York: Columbia University Press, x, pp.