Young must not be fooled with false history
Students in Taiwan have the right to receive history education that is correct and should not be manipulated by political forces as tools for their agenda. Taiwan’s education authority has adjusted the content of some textbooks in order to right some misreadings of the island’s history, such as altering “Japanese governance” to “Japanese colonization” and “(Chinese) takeover of Taiwan” as “liberation of Taiwan.”
However, the move has met opposition from the Democratic Progress Party and some organizations, and some high school students were incited to protest outside the education authority’s office, despite not knowing the difference between the old textbooks and the new.
The protestors’ misperception of history and lack of national identity, a great danger to Taiwan, are the result of the “Taiwan independence” propaganda spread by former leaders Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian from 1988 to 2008.
Lee and Chen practiced a de-Sinicization policy and distorted historical facts in textbooks by beautifying the Japanese colonization of the island and defaming the mainland. For instance, they changed Japanese colonization into Japanese governance and Taiwan’s day of liberation into “day of suffering”.
The Taiwan government of the time, led by Chen, also separated “Taiwan history” from Chinese history, and several textbooks even claimed that some Taiwan women “volunteered” to become comfort women for Japanese troops.
In doing so, they caused some in Taiwan to have misunderstanding about the true history of the island: especially young, innocent students, as demonstrated by the protesting high school students.
However, the majority of students and the public support the correction of the textbooks and have expressed disagreement with the protest.
Many academics and parents have called on the ill-intentioned parties to stop inciting young people to serve their own election and political interests.
The latest adjustment to textbooks was made after strong appeals by the island’s people, and for academic and historical accuracy.
The education authority has a responsibility to pass on the true history to the young generation and help them form a correct national identity.
Students can determine right and wrong through their own learning and rational thinking instead of the backhanded influence of some politicians.
Certain parties must stop politicizing the issue and manipulating the students. The protesting students must also sober up and think whether their acts are beneficial to the island.
Last month Lee Teng-hui, initiator of Taiwan’s de-Sinicization move, declared that the Diaoyu Islands, an inherent Chinese territory affiliated to Taiwan, belong to Japan. Howcan the Taiwan students be fooled by supporting the moves of one who is giving away part of their homeland ?