According to information provided by legislators, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has recently begun to study the possibility of changing certain terminologies used in history textbooks for senior high school students.
Among the changes under consideration is referring to the People's Republic of China as "communist China," "mainland China" or "the mainland," instead of "China." In the context of politics and international relations, textbooks should avoid using "Taiwan" in place of the country's official name "the Republic of China," according to the proposed changes.
In addition, textbooks should not mention the argument that there is "a lack of consensus on Taiwan's international status" as based on the Treaty of San Francisco signed in 1951. When discussing Taiwan's cultural diversity, the textbooks should emphasize the principal status of "Chinese culture."
Whereas the MOE stresses the need to "return to the Constitution" when compiling textbooks, we believe it should stick to the facts. We should not teach our children to lie.
Since the PRC was admitted to the United Nations in 1971, it has been generally recognized by the world as the sole legitimate government representing "China." How can we deny this?
President Ma Ying-jeou identified himself as "Taiwanese" during the run-up to the presidential election and has described himself as "president of Taiwan" when dealing with the United States. Why should our textbooks avoid the mention of "Taiwan"?
No matter what, we cannot erase the history of the Treaty of San Francisco, which renounced Japan's rights to Taiwan but did not say that Taiwan was to be returned to the ROC.
The emphasis of "Chinese culture" is a joke. Other immigrant countries such as the United States and Canada, for example, have never emphasized "the principal status of English culture" in their textbooks. (Editorial abstract -- June 14, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)