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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times New movie documents denim-clad revolutionist

New movie documents denim-clad revolutionist

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In 2000, Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was elected president. Before that, Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), a Taiwanese and a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), pushed through a quiet revolution during his 12 years as president.In Taiwan’s history of political changes, revolution has been praised for not being bloody. While this is a good thing, there is also a fragile side to it.

Revolution does not necessarily demand bloodshed, but reforming the system is more important than reform within the system. It requires structural changes and the creation of new values. Taiwan has entered an era when public office is won through election, but if the elections are only intended as a way to maintain the fragmented, empty remainders of the Republic of China (ROC), then China, “the other,” will fall into the trap of reform. Normalizing the state that exists in Taiwan is a kind of revolution.

From 2000 to 2008, Chen served two presidential terms as the DPP won back-to-back elections, but in the end, they were nothing more than a caretaker government for the KMT, and it was followed by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the restoration to power of the KMT. Not only did that event bring an end to the efforts to rebuild Taiwan, it also took the nation back in time. During Ma’s tenure, the ROC’s status — both as a country and not — has developed into a lie, while China is becoming ever more strident in its demands to annex Taiwan.

For Taiwan to be recognized as a country while named the Republic of China requires a revolutionary change. The 23 million people living in Taiwan should cast off all the conflicts remaining from the Chinese Civil War between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and write a new constitution and build a solidly sovereign nation. This is the dream of a new nation that people who still live the dream of the ROC and Taiwanese all want and strive for.

After the 228 Incident, which began on Feb. 27, 1947, the Taiwanese independence movement began to take shape. It developed overseas with a political goal to develop a culture of calling on the participation of all Taiwanese, regardless of when they arrived here, in the construction of a shared community of free people.

Within this movement, Su Beng (史明) has shared unique visions. The political, economic and national visions in his book Taiwan’s 400-Year History (台灣人四百年史), the perseverance of his long life and his unselfishness are not just matters of history, they are a reality. Chen Lih-kuei (陳麗貴) directed The Revolutionist (革命進行式), a documentary about Su that was released yesterday. The film is of great documentary value and it is also dramatic in its description of Su’s life.

With his revolutionary sentiment, his leftist leanings, his closeness to the grassroots and his mass appeal, Su, always wearing a denim jacket, has used his life to build a revolutionary vantage point. On Feb. 18 last year, members of the Sunflower movement paid him their respects. The Revolutionist will move and enlighten the people of this country and put Taiwan on the right path, moving in the right direction.

Lee Min-yung is a poet.

Translated by Perry Svensson


Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2015/02/27



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Newsflash

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is suffering from “severe” depression and requires psychiatric treatment, Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) said yesterday.

Chen, serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison term on corruption charges, was treated at Taoyuan General Hospital last month after he developed urinary problems and was later transferred to Taipei Veterans for a comprehensive check-up, authorities said.