Chapter Five: Democratic Transition Before 2000

在文檔中 臺灣民眾國家認同的發展:1895年到2000年 - 政大學術集成 (頁 42-59)

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Chapter Five: Democratic Transition Before 2000

5.1 Social Identity

Identity can be heavily shaped by the social environment in which it develops, but it can also be flexible and background specific. Therefore, when factors in the environment change such as the alteration of the political or economic form of the state, there is a prospective change in identity to occur. There are two types of identity change:

assimilation and differentiation. According to Tsai, “assimilation involves observing, learning from and adopting of social behaviors of specific groups in order to diminish cultural differences and the salience of social cleavages.”, this was adapted in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial rule; and “Differentiation involves the formation of a new and distinct groups through fission or proliferation, and at the same time, the weakening or transformation of the original group identification and the creation of a new social cleavage” (Tsai, 2007: 4). The development of a distinct “Taiwanese identity” during the KMT rule is the latter type of identity change. Taiwan bared witness to the KMT’s White Terror and to brutal political repression against those of local Taiwanese background (Indigenous, Hoklos, and Hakkas), creating the distinctive identities between them and the Mainlanders. The KMT’s effort to halt this identity consciousness by the local Taiwanese took a turn to prohibit political opposition during which it became the longest period of rule under martial law in the world.

Identity-related debates such as the one seen in Taiwan often are said to be of a political nature. Such political implications in identity debates cannot be denied, but often lie within the social aspects of identity evolution, “most political parties grow from social groups, representing a section of interest” (Tsai and Cheng, 2004: 1). Social changes can be revealed in various dimensions of society including population structure, cultural conditions, social movements, values systems and life styles, appealing to the construction of other identities; the most important of these: national identification. The evolution of Taiwanese national identity is mainly influenced or shaped by the social aspects related to the cross-strait relations, beginning from 1945. As stated above, differentiation as a type of identity change started to take place during the KMT’s

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government settlement in Taiwan, ever since “Taiwan’s special historical, cultural, economic and political conditions have generated a special pattern of transformation in social solidarity” (Chen, 2001: 61) creating an “us” versus “them” consciousness.

The 1950’s was an essential time in Taiwan, this period marked the divide across the Taiwan Straits as Taiwanese national identity was forcefully rooted into the “concept of “One China”, and the ruling regimes on both sides [of the strait] regarded themselves as the only legal representative of China, labeling the other as a rebel group or as an illegitimate regime” (Tsai, 2007: 5). Throughout this time period, Taiwan also began to see transformations in industrialization, modernization and urbanization, affecting a new social order as an industrial society entering a new economical stage. Taiwan during 1960’s began to make noticeable economic growth, “from 1960 to 1980 Taiwan made significant economic achievements via export-oriented small or medium sized enterprises, and changed its status to a newly industrialized country” (Chen, 2001: 62). Such transformation of economic and political structures had a great effect on changes in the means of a collective social identity.

Apart from the economic and political changes that occurred in Taiwan during KMT ruling, other elements that we should look upon are how Taiwan’s historical background plays a role into the change of social identity. Historically, Taiwan was (before KMT arrival) and immigrant society. These social groups based their identity on blood relationships, “shared ethnicity (co-origin) or co-dialect of immigrants from the mainland performed an important role in connecting individuals” (Chen, 1991: 91). Such blood relations became a vigorous principal for Han settlers and their social identifications, this characterization of the immigrant society in Taiwan created a different experience and pattern of social unanimity.

With the aim of understanding historical continuity of social structures in Taiwan, the principles of social unanimity in the traditional Taiwanese society should be portrayed by observing the social organization during the KMT authoritarian regime and how such principles persisted throughout this period. As stated by Chen the basic principles of social organization follow the structural functional theories following the

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perspective that “the sequence of a social evolution in the principles of social organization begins with blood relationships, changes to local relationships and finally shifts towards social functional relationships” (Chen, 2001: 63). Nevertheless, Taiwan does not follow this sequence of evolution. Taiwanese society is different in regards to social unanimity and the modes of social organization. Although, ethnicity or co-origin was crucial in influencing social integration among Taiwanese in the early Qing dynasty period, it was largely replaced after 1895 by co-residence with the Japanese society. In addition, “the worship of ancestors from mainland China was gradually replaced by worship of the first generation of immigrants to Taiwan” (Chen, 2001:64). These two changes moved Taiwanese society from an immigrant society to a native society. Going back on the theory of social evolution, Taiwan’s society evolved from a co-origin to blood relationships and finally to local relations.

Economic growth and political change under the KMT also had a great impact on socialization in Taiwan. One of those evolutions began with political socialization through literature and education, “children acquire basic values, concepts and behavioral norms which shape their future actions” (Martin, 1975: 243). Due to martial law many topics such as the 2-28 event and other events were prohibited and considered a taboo.

These topics were unable to be mentioned in schools and not found in school text books until after the lifting of martial law. We can assume that the changes in social unanimity are engendered by economic and political aspects as well as social structures but the most notable structural changes in Taiwan occurred after 1987 in both economic and political systems.

5.2 Political Identity

Upon arrival of the KMT to Taiwan, the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek planned to re-take the Mainland by military force, they did not plan to stay in Taiwan for long. By 1958, the KMT government “realized that the possibility of returning to China by military means was very slim...the KMT regime unrelentingly claimed that it was the only legitimate government in China” (Wang, 2014: 1). The KMT government claimed that Taiwan was “Free China”, while the exile may not have been

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completely negative (for example, finding refuge in another country), it brought about intense, continued mental suffering characterized by an unpleasant sense of living in a

“median” state for the Mainlanders, they fell into a state of being caught between adjusting oneself to a new home and retaining one’s faith in the possibility of returning to one’s old home. The Mainlanders dominated Taiwan’s politics and society for more than half a century. Politics and culture under KMT authoritarian rule was infused with the abovementioned exile mentality.

Identity is a concept that incorporates the geography, common history, and spoken languages, socio-cultural differences among ethnic groups, and stated values and positions of political parties. Such variables dictate how people identify themselves and how the society identifies as a collective, along these lines Taiwanese identity can be defined as a collective consciousness or awareness that Taiwanese people are bound by their past history and life experiences. Taiwanese identity can be defined as “multi-dimensional and multi-layered collective identity; its defining factors differ from time to time and from space to space” (Tsai, 2007: 2). Taiwanese identity was restricted for a long time under martial law by the KMT’s authoritarian political system but identity politics or political identity evolution rose gradually since martial law was lifted in 1987.

The feeling of having a national identity did not fully emerge until before the lifting of martial law in 1971, in which the eviction of Taiwan from having a seat in the United Nations took place. “In October 1971, United Nations General Assembly resolution 2758 designated the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of all China” (Klintworth, 1994: 284).This event created a stronger dislike towards mainland China (PRC) who replaced Taiwan in the United Nations as the true

“China”. During this time “most of the countries in the world which Taiwan had previously enjoyed diplomatic ties cut them… and were pursuant to establishing relations with Beijing” (Dittmer, 2004:477). This change in international recognition led for the people of Taiwan to feel isolated from the international society “as Taiwan became diplomatically isolated, the desire of both the government and the population to protect Taiwan’s national sovereignty inspired both national unity and democratization” (Copper, 2009: 110) therefore creating a greater sense of national consciousness within the

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Taiwanese community “thus began the suspended identity crisis” (Dittmer, 2004: 478) as a form to obtain some type of security or recognition leading the Taiwanese community to begin to have a stronger sense of National Identity. Even though the government in Taiwan and the Nationalist party were hurt by the loss of diplomatic ties, they still had the support of the United States and the economic and cultural relations with the other countries were salvaged. In 1975 Chiang Kai-shek’s death opened a new era which ended the “hope of ruling a unified China” (Copper, 2009: 50).

The lifting of martial law was proclaimed by president Chiang Ching-kuo who based his rule on making changes in the KMT party, allowing Taiwanese to the party and government, as well as fixing corruption issues by launching “anti-corruption campaign”

(Copper, 2009: 50). During 1979 the Taiwan Relations Act was passed by the US Congress, restoring relations with Taiwan, “it included a defense provision that provided Taiwan US security guarantees” (Copper, 2009: 51). In 1980 Chiang Ching-kuo held an unprecedented election as a way to bring forth a democracy consciousness. It was not until 1986, that major change towards democratization occurred; such changes were getting rid of marital law which had been put into effect by Chiang Kai-shek since 1949,

“restructuring of parliament, and allowing new political parties to be formed” (Copper, 2009: 52). When democratic experiments began in the 1980’s after KMT authoritarianism, the political barriers were lifted, nevertheless, political parties exploited identity issues to mobilize popular support. Nevertheless, Taiwan was able to have their first two party system ever held in a Chinese nation due to this political changes.

The new formed opposition party called the Democratic Progressive Party (from here after the DPP) competed against the ruling Nationalist party for seats in the Legislative as well as the National Assembly. The Nationalist Party still being the ruling party demonstrated that it could lead Taiwan towards “democratic notion” (Copper, 2009:

52). Chiang Ching-kuo wanting to political modernize Taiwan, and to find a solution towards the ethnic issues (discussed before) abolished martial law and “announced that none of his relatives would hold a position of political prominence after his death”

(Copper, 2009: 50). After his death in 1988 as promised, his vice president Lee Teng-hui took over the presidency. Lee Teng-hui took place in the presidency in Taiwan after

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Ching-kuo’s death, but it was not until 1990 that he was elected as president by the National Assembly.

It was not until 1995 that the U.S finally allowed Lee to visit Cornell University

“in May 1995, then-US President Bill Clinton had to succumb to pressure from US Congress, which was much more in tune with Taiwan and its democracy” (Bellocchi, 2010: 8) throughout this visit Lee gave a speech praising Taiwan’s process as democracy and its achievements, but the PRC did not view as such. “They perceived Lee’s visit as a challenge to their goals of reining in and eventually absorbing Taiwan. They began the first missile crisis in the summer of 1995; to be followed in March 1996 by more missile firings designed to intimidate Taiwan’s electorate ahead of its first presidential elections”

(Bellocchi, 2010: 9) instead of intimidating Lee it had the opposite effect because the U.S took action towards these threats and Lee was still elected president until 2000.

5.3 Cultural Identity

Taiwan has had a divided along the aspects of ethnicity and nationality. When Taiwan was under the KMT’s authoritarian regime ethnicity became an important rallying point for political mobilization. Ethnic identity and ethnic relations have been sources of conflict throughout Taiwan’s history,

“the first ethnic divide appeared between “mainlanders” those who came to the island from various parts of the mainland after the end of WWII, including almost all members of the KMT and the military, and “native Taiwanese”, those who had lived in the island while it was still a Japanese colony, and who usually could trace their ancestry on the island back two hundred years or more” (Tsai, 2007: 9).

The differences in their historical, life experiences, backgrounds, and spoken languages created communication misunderstandings. The native Taiwanese saw the mainlanders as intruders who took over the dominant role in Taiwan’s politics and economics, mainlanders felt that native Taiwanese were too deeply influenced by Japanese culture and too detached from their motherland.

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In Taiwan, “provincial issues” are often identified with political meaning, but

“provincial issues” have multi-faceted meanings which include conflicts between political power and political restructuring, and sometimes they have relevance with the economic and ethno-cultural spheres. For decades, Taiwan was ruled by an authoritarian party-state system which had great effect in shaping the way the islands cultural and economic cleavages mapped onto political issues. Inequalities regarding economic and educational opportunities were in many cases the result of power concentration among mainlanders, “even though the “native” Taiwanese made up a majority of the population, mainlanders enjoyed many privileges that effectively relegated most native Taiwanese to a marginal role in the island’s economics and most significantly in politics” (Tsai, 2007:

10). Such marginalization began to change the native Taiwanese’ appeal from seeking equal participation to redefining their self-identity and national identity along with strengthening ethnic identity in Taiwan.

Cultural identity is derived from kinship, history, cultural heritage, regionalities, ethnicity, and ideologies. In general, socio-cultural differences among the four groups is the mother tongue, whether to speak Chinese or Taiwanese. Politically, the difference between native Taiwanese and the mainlanders can be accounted by historical experiences. In the aftermath of the White Terror, many ethnic Hoklo, Hakka, and Aborigines became hostile toward the new intruders (the mainlanders), making this incident “a critical moment in the evolution of ethnic identity in Taiwan- a portion of the island’s inhabitants for the first time began to think of themselves as “Taiwanese” first, rather than Japanese or Chinese” (Lee, 2000: 13). During the KMT’s long reign Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo encouraged the Hoklo and Hakka to turn back to a more “Chinese” identity this would be achieved “mostly through education and other government policies that promoted traditional Chinese cultural practices and traditions and enforced the use of Mandarin in all official state business” (Tsai, 2007: 14). The KMT government implemented a policy toward the aborigine groups where they will follow culture assimilation with the Han majority using government funds to make the aborigine regard themselves as Chinese.

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During the KMT’s authoritarian regime as above-mentioned, most members of the ruling class were mainlanders who were given positions in government and given economic and political privileges that were not given to the local Taiwanese (Hoklos, Hakkas, and Aborigine). Such policies created a greater divide between the mainlanders and the rest of the ethnic groups reinforcing the “Mainlander-Taiwanese” ethnic cleavage which already existed. Conversely, we begin to see this conflict between the ethnic groups diminish during the 1950’s and 1970’s as there was gradual social integration, interaction and intermarriage. Many of the population who arrived with the KMT government were military men, as this group aged, native aboriginal women were bought as wives for them. This began a new generation of intermarriage children being born for aborigine women and mainlanders.

In the 1970’s , opposition movements began to rise, “a number of prominent political activists outside the KMT started to appeal to the so-called “native Taiwanese”

to develop Taiwanese consciousness, the Zhongli Incident in 1978 and the Formosan Incident further stimulated and accelerated the formation of such consciousness” (Tsai and Cheng, 2004: 5). Latter in the 1980’s, ethnic identity in Taiwan began to change due to the political reform that came about after the lifting of martial law. During this time, the formation of an opposition group (the DPP) promoted efforts towards a Taiwanese identity, “the opposition’s efforts to promote “Taiwanization” in the political power structure and in the island’s culture” (Tsai, 2007: 15). After Chiang Ching-kuo’s death, Lee Teng-hui took over to the Republic of China’s presidency and during his time he pushed for both democratization and localization of Taiwan.

Lee was the first to incorporate ethnic Taiwanese into the islands political and economic elite, “he re-organized the power structure of the Executive Yuan, the party (the KMT) and the Legislature and National Assembly...many native Taiwanese were put in important positions in government offices” (Tsai, 2007: 15). Lee’s presidency pushed policies and actions that emphasized Taiwanese culture and Taiwanese consciousness with the purpose of distinguishing the Taiwanese identity from the Chinese identity.

Some of these efforts were seen through the change in the increase use of Taiwanese as the native language rather than Mandarin. Due to these policies ethnic identity in Taiwan

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changed drastically during Lee’s term more and more people identified themselves as Taiwanese, the majority of people living in Taiwan shifted from Chinese to Taiwanese.

Due to these dramatic changes, ethnic differences between the three groups are more similar. All the same, even the ethnic identity divide with the mainlanders seems to have become narrower. Although, it seems like the policies promoting localization have helped decrease the ethnic identity divide among the different ethnic groups, it has aggravated political conflicts with China.

5.4 Summary

In the period of democratic transition before 2000, there was a great shift in not only one of the identities but within the three identities. After the lifting of martial law we can perceive a social differentiation as the local Taiwanese began to form a new and distinct group identity impacted by the political liberalization which this time period represents. We are also able to see a great shift in the cultural identity during this period simultaneously with the social and political identities.

The democratic movement encouraged the ethnic divide that had existed over decades in Taiwan to become more integrated. Mainlanders began to identify more and more to the local Taiwanese and the new generations began to see themselves as more culturally akin. During this period of democratic transition the three identities evolved even faster than in the previous two periods due to this new social and political opening in Taiwan.

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Chapter 6: Conclusion

This thesis explores the interconnection of social, political, and cultural identities needed for the development of national identity, with focus on Taiwan as the case study.

As a result of conducting a qualitative analysis in the form of a socio-historical approach on the milestones in Taiwan’s history which have been said by scholars to lead towards a development in national identity. We observed the changes through historical events

As a result of conducting a qualitative analysis in the form of a socio-historical approach on the milestones in Taiwan’s history which have been said by scholars to lead towards a development in national identity. We observed the changes through historical events

在文檔中 臺灣民眾國家認同的發展:1895年到2000年 - 政大學術集成 (頁 42-59)