Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Taipei Times' front page story today, Chen comes out in support of anthem, immediately caught my eye. I just had to read on, thinking that OMG, could it be that President Chen has gotten some guts and said something supporting a newly proposed anthem?!

As I read on, my hopes were dashed. Well actually, I wasn't holding my breath. A few months earlier I'd heard that the proposed name change for China airlines was going to be Mandarin airlines. Not having the word China in the name of the nation's state-owned airline will certainly minimize confusion over Taiwan's status, but it's not that much of an improvement.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary mandarin means: 1. a) a public official in the Chinese Empire of any of nine superior grades, b) a pedantic official, bureaucrat, c) a person of position and influence often in intellectual or literary circles; especially an elder and often traditionalist or reactionary member of such a circle. Mandarin with a capital M means: a) form of spoken Chinese used by the court and the official classes of the Empire b) the group of closely related Chinese dialects that are spoken in about four fifths of the country and have a standard variety centering about Beijing.

Turns out that in today's article, President Chen was complaining that people, namely government officials, don't sing the national anthem out loud. Well get a clue! Might it be because it is a relic from the Kuo Ming Tang's one party authoritarian rule?! The "anthem" when written, was the anthem of the Kuo Ming Tang Party which was basically synonymous with the Republic of China. Problem is that when the KMT fled from China to Taiwan in the 1940s, after being defeated by the Chinese Communists, they brought this and the Republic of China framework with them to Taiwan.

Who knows? Maybe singing the ROC national anthem so many times has effectively brainwashed President Chen Shui-bian.

This is going to be the hot topic of debate on all the evening talk shows for about a week and then all will be forgotten, nothing will have changed and everything will be "back to normal" as it should be.


  • At 5/27/2006 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whether he supports the national anthem or KMT party anthem is trivial. What matters is when is he going to step down as the farcical president that he is?


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