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China Times: A correct historical perspective

2010/12/17 13:34:22

Academia Historica Director Lin Man-houng resigned Wednesday overa controversial online poll to select the 100 most influentialfigures in the history of the Republic of China, designed as part ofthe celebrations of the ROC's 100th founding anniversary in 2011.

It would be meaningful if this incident could help us establish acorrect historical perspective on the ROC and consolidate consensuson the national identity.

As the institution responsible for compiling the country'shistorical data, Academia Historica needs to judge historical factsand define the country's status in history. Holding an online poll isnot a serious method of doing this.

The survey sparked controversy mainly because the late Chinesecommunist leader Deng Xiaoping was polled in the top spot in themilitary category. But Deng's historical status lies in hiscontributions to the reform and openness of the People's Republic ofChina, which is unrelated to the ROC. Although he fought in theBattle of Da Bie Shan against the Kuomintang during the civil war inChina, Deng was not even on the list of the top 10 Chinese communistmilitary leaders.

Lin's resignation deserves our approval. We hope her successorwill learn a lesson from the incident. (Editorial abstract -- Dec.17, 2010)

(By Y.F. Low)