The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

China’s of­fi­cial com­mu­nist news­pa­per, the Peo­ple’s Daily, on Tues­day joined a heated de­bate in Tai­wan over the fact that fewer and fewer peo­ple in demo­cratic Tai­wan want to be re­garded as “Chi­nese.”

In a story head­lined “Last year’s poll in­di­cates only 4 per­cent of peo­ple in Tai­wan think of them­selves as Chi­nese,” the news­pa­per warned readers that a grow­ing sen­ti­ment of sep­a­ratism in Tai­wan is poi­son­ing peo­ple and the chief in­sti­ga­tor is Tai­wan’s new text­books, which were re­vised un­der pre­vi­ous pro-in­de­pen­dence Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party ad­min­is­tra­tions.

Last week, Tai­wan’s for­mer premier and re­tired Gen­eral Hau Pei-tsun, who be­longs to the main­land-friendly in­cum­bent Kuom­intang party, ig­nited a fierce de­bate in Tai­wan af­ter pub­lish­ing an op-ed in the Chi­nese-lan­guage United Daily News in which he crit­i­cized Tai­wan’s cur­rent his­tory text­books as “too Tai­wan-cen­tric.”

Mr. Hau said a his­tory text­book that his grand­daugh­ter is us­ing “en­dan­gers the found­ing spirit of the Repub­lic of China and car­ries a strong ide­o­log­i­cal tilt to­ward ‘one coun­try on each side of the Tai­wan Strait,’ ” which is a Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party plat­form that de­nies Tai­wan is part of China and says Tai­wanese are not Chi­nese.

China con­sid­ers Tai­wan a “sacro­sanct is­land of the moth­er­land” sub­ject to be taken over by force if nec­es­sary.

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