Identity Issue of Taiwan 台灣的認同問題

(附中文) When applying for the loan for students studying abroad from Taipei municipal government, I surprisingly found that students studying in China could not apply for the loan. If we are two independent countries, then why not?


【Republic of China = Taiwan? People’s Republic of China = China? 】

There are countless ridiculous things about the identity issue happening in the day-to-day life of Taiwanese.

For me, it is the map in our textbooks circling the whole China as part of Taiwan. It is the polite smiles I wear when Chinese clients claim that Taiwan is part of China in professional meetings. It is the critical decision of writing “Republic of China (the official name of Taiwan)” or “Taiwan” whenever I fill in my nationality in VISA application forms.


台灣人的生活日常中存在著數不盡的荒謬,在在考驗著我們的國家認同。國中課本上畫著秋海棠的中華民國地圖;面對中國客戶宣稱台灣是中國的一部分時,臉上保持的禮貌微笑;每次寫簽證申請表格時,在國籍欄寫中華民國或台灣的猶豫… 這些衝突如此真實地存在著我的生活,根本不僅僅是CNN的新聞頭條。而你說台灣只是美國的籌碼,我困惑地想著:「我們不一直都是嗎…?!」

The conflicts are definitely not just about the call between Trump and Tsai or about the U.S. underwater drone. Using Taiwan as a bargaining chip? That’s not news…

【Always Seek for International Recognition】

From indigenous tribes, the first wave of Chinese immigration, Japanese colonization, the second wave of Chinese immigration to the current situation, the complicated history made Taiwanese optimistic, persistent but lost. In decades, we have worked so hard to learn democracy, human rights and justice, and had great achievements in various dimensions to become a progressive country. However, we still struggle in finding our positions, in explaining who we are and in believing in ourselves.

For example, in the gay marriage issue, some people said that “by passing the regulation, we will become the first country to support gay marriage in Asia.” Not until then did I realize how hard Taiwanese tried to seek for international recognition in every. single. topic.


從原住民族、第一波中國移民、日本殖民統制、第二波中國移民到所謂要維持的「現狀」,複雜的歷史造就了台灣人的樂觀、堅毅… 和失落。在數十年內,我們努力地學習民主、人權、正義,並且在許多方面都有了相當成就、成為一個進步的國家。然而,我們總在尋找定位、嘗試解釋自己、甚至不斷地自我懷疑。

還記得在爭取同性婚姻的論述中,有人提到「如果通過同性婚姻相關法案,台灣會成為亞洲第一個支持同性婚姻的國家」– 當時我才真正意識到,台灣人如此強烈地希望在每個議題上尋求國際認同…

The Movie: “The Moment”

From the lens of the Taiwanese film industry, I found that it was the combination of confusion and persistence that drove the transformation of Taiwan for the past half century. For the future, there is really no shortcut. We need to work extremely hard to understand the global politics and economics and try our best to put Taiwan back to the stage, or we will be left behind forever.

Like most Taiwanese, I worried about the future of this island and constantly feel insecure. If available, I really hope we can embrace dreams and loneliness bravely, and fly to the sky elegantly, as Hsiao-Hsien Hou and Ang Lee did in the film industry.





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