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By A-Chin Hsiau

Drawing on quite a lot of chinese language ancient and modern texts, Contemporary Taiwanese Cultural Nationalism addresses various matters together with nationalist literature; language ideology; the crafting of a countrywide historical past; the impression of jap colonialism and the more and more strained courting among China and Taiwan. This publication is vital interpreting for all students of the background, tradition and politics of Taiwan.

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Extra resources for Contemporary Taiwanese Cultural Nationalism (Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia)

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On the one hand, they represented the Taiwanese as a part of the Han nation or “Chinese people” (Chung-hua min-tsu) that were suffering from colonial control and were longing for emancipation. On the other hand, the Chinese nation was also juxtaposed with the “Taiwanese nation” (T’ai-wan min-tsu), which was in turn lumped with colonized oriental peoples such as the Koreans, the Filipinos, and the Indians. It seemed that the Taiwanese and the Chinese were conceptualized as two distinct nations despite their common racial and cultural backgrounds.

Coined in the Party’s 1928 “Political Thesis” had clearly voiced its political commitment (Hsiao and Sullivan 1979:455; 1983:270–1; Lu 1989: 67–70; TGGPA [1939] 1989c: 35). In brief, as far as national identity is concerned, the reformists viewed the Taiwanese as a part of the Han nation. For them, Taiwanese culture differed from Han/Chinese culture mainly in its “backwardness;” the former was not unlike the latter in nature despite its local flavor. By contrast, most radical activists saw the Taiwanese as a weak and small nation separate from the Chinese nation.

The vernacular was officially and popularly recognized as the “national language” (Chow 1960:271–9). The achievement of the new literature movement in China greatly impressed Ch’en Hsin. As to the principle of identification between the written and spoken language, however, Ch’en noted a difficult situation in Taiwan: the major local language, Hoklo, lacked its own writing system and the language could not be completely signified by traditional Chinese characters. Generally speaking, Ch’en Hsin’s argument indicated the direction of the public discussion about literary reform in Taiwan in the early 1920s, though his pioneering article drew little attention.

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