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Jul 3, 2008

Ma leads cadets in servicemen's doctrine

If you missed this, you shouldn't have:

Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers yesterday blasted President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for leading graduating cadets in chanting the servicemen's doctrine. It was originally derived from a 1936 speech - written in classic literary Chinese - by the late President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and was suspended by the DPP government in 2003....

DPP lawmaker Pan Meng-an described the practice of reciting Chiang's servicemen doctrines as being very similar to the customs of the warlord, saying that having soldiers memorize Chiang's servicemen's doctrine was no different than having the People's Libaration Army recite Mao Zedong's Little Red Book.

I found the full text of this serviceman's doctrine, (Liberty Times printed it today as a graphic) and it drones on and on about "our" Zhonghua Minzu occupies so much land in China and has such and such a population, we have to carry out the Three People's Principles and be loyal to the Guomin Zhengfu (國民政府), which historically refers to a temporary government during the struggle against the Northern Warlords but which is also quite clearly referencing the KMT, etc... In short, it is racist, party-centric and hopelessly outdated for Taiwan.

As Taipei Times notes:
One passage in the directives’ preface — which is not recited as part of the 10 directives — illustrates just how out of date the directives have become, Chai said.

It reads: “We Chinese people, who have been building our country to today, have existed for 5,000 years, and a 400 million-strong peaceful and outstanding people has converged on a land of more than 11 million square kilometers.”
See the primer on Zhonghua Minzu: this term is geographical and political, not merely some general ethnic reference.


Eli said...

Another interesting post. I'm interested in your take on the distinction between Zhonghua Taipei v. Zhongguo Taipei. I have a couple of comments and questions about this on Michael's recent post about an Edward Wong article that attempts to explain the distinction.

阿牛 said...

"according to the Treaty of Shimonoseki signed by Japan and the Qing court of China, Taiwan was ceded to Japan.

Japan legally gave up its claim to Taiwan when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect in 1952. Since then, some have claimed that Taiwan is a sovereign nation, while others claim that its status is uncertain."