每年10月10日的中華民國國慶日,都會引起台灣民眾對「身分」問題的討論,例如台灣人是否願意與中華民國密切認同,以及現任總統蔡英文與民進黨希望與1949年之前的中華民國歷史有多緊密的連結。從蔡英文總統提到的「72年」看來,民進黨的政策似乎是,中華民國歷史只與1949年之後的台灣有關。蔡英文兩次由選民選舉產生,她當然有政治本錢持這種觀點。

作為台灣政治的外國觀察者,我很好奇其他外國專家如何描述今年的雙十慶祝活動。我觀察到的是,對於雙十紀念什麼和不紀念什麼仍然存在很多困惑。事實上,雙十是1911年10月10日開始的辛亥革命紀念日,後來這一天被定為中華民國國慶日,不是中華民國的生日;如果中華民國有生日,那一天應該是1912年1月1日,孫中山宣誓就任中華民國臨時大總統,宣布中華民國正式成立那一天。

我在推特上看到了很多外國記者、學者和政界人士關於雙十的有趣推文。

儘管中華民國和台灣都沒有在10月10日慶祝「生日」,但《華盛頓郵報》的編輯卡塔莉娜(Katerina Ang)在推特上寫道「祝生日快樂,誰說中國人無法實現民主?」。

曾任台灣傅爾布萊特研究員、台灣大學訪問學者、現為哈佛大學費正清中國研究中心博士後研究員的南樂 (Lev Nachman)在推特上表示,在波士頓舉行的雙十國慶酒會上,他「聽到大多數人說著廣東話,有很多層面需要花時間了解」。其實,說廣東話的人可能會去美國參加雙十活動的原因,不應該是要學者來「解讀」的。在美國舉行的雙十招待會上,可能有歷史上支持中華民國(也可能反對台獨)的中國移民的後代,可能會說包括粵語在內幾種方言的華裔社區領袖,甚至更多最近來美國的香港人,台灣政府正在試圖與他們建立友誼。

美國保守聯盟(該組織在中國問題以外的政策觀點與民進黨有很大不同)的執行副主席施耐德(Dan Schneider)在推特上發布了一張自己與蕭美琴在雙橡園國慶酒會的合影,寫道:蔡總統和蕭代表「對世界和平和台灣主權至關重要」。蔡總統在台灣很受歡迎,但她被美國人視為對世界和平至關重要,台灣人可能會很驚訝。

這一切都顯示,當談到台灣在世界上的角色時,台灣人應該做更多的事情來創造他們想讓世界知道的信息,而不是讓台灣政府或外國人來做這件事。

What Foreigners Tweet About Double 10 May Surprise You

By Ross Darrell Feingold

Former Asia Chairman Republicans Abroad

Twitter: @RossFeingold

Every year the National Day of the Republic of China on October 10 results in discussion in Taiwan about “identity” issues such as whether people in Taiwan wish to identify closely with the Republic of China and how closely the current government of President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party wishes to associate itself with the Republic of China’s history prior to 1949. From President Tsai Ing-wen’s reference to “72 years” it appears that the Democratic Progressive Party policy is that the Republic of China’s history is for the most part only relevant to Taiwan starting from 1949. As Tsai is twice elected by the voters she certainly has the political capital to take such a view.

As a foreign observer of Taiwan’s politics I was interested in how other foreign experts described this year’s Double 10 festivities. What I observed is there remains much confusion about what Double 10 commemorates and what it does not. In reality Double 10 is the anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution (辛亥革命) that began on October 10 1911 and this day later came to be celebrated as the national day of the Republic of China. It is not the “birthday” of the Republic of China; if the Republic of China has a birthday the day would be January 1 1912 when Sun Yat-sen was sworn in as the provisional president of the Republic of China and declared the official establishment of the Republic of China.

On Twitter I observed many interesting tweets about Double 10 by foreign journalists scholars and political personalities.

Katerina Ang an editor at The Washington Post wrote on Twitter “Happy birthday to the living riposte to the notion that Chinese people can’t do democracy” even though neither the Republic of China nor Taiwan celebrated a “birthday” on October 10.

Lev Nachman a former Fulbright Research Fellow in Taiwan and Visiting Fellow at National Taiwan University who is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Fairbank Center for China Studies tweeted about a Double 10 reception in Boston and wrote that he is “hearing most people speak Cantonese. A lot of layers to unpack”. Actually reasons why Cantonese speakers might attend a Double 10 event in the United States should not require a scholar to “unpack”. Double 10 receptions in the United States might be attended by descendants of earlier generations of Chinese immigrants who historically supported the Republic of China (and might also oppose Taiwan independence) Chinese-American community leaders who might speak several dialects including Cantonese or even more recent Hong Kong arrivals in the United States whose friendship the Taiwan government is seeking.

Dan Schneider the Executive Vice President of the American Conservative Union (an organization whose policy views other than on China issues differ significantly from Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party) posted a photo of himself on Twitter with Representative Hsiao Bi-khim at the Twin Oaks reception in Washington DC with the words that President Tsai and Representative Hsiao “are critical to world peace and Taiwan’s sovereignty”. President Tsai is popular in Taiwan though Taiwan people might be surprised to learn she is viewed by Americans as critical to world peace.

All this shows that when it comes to what Taiwan’s role is in the world Taiwan people should do more to create the message they want the world to know rather than allow this to be done by Taiwan’s government or by foreigners.

※以上言論不代表旺中媒體集團立場※

#Taiwan #China #10 #Republic #Double