When did Taiwan come under Chinese rule?
Now let me first say that I am NOT trying to argue one way or the other as to how much legitimacy there is to mainland China's claim to Taiwan. I simply don't want to go there, and I am sure CPod doesn't want us to either, so please let's not take it there.
That said, I would like to have some points clarified. When did Taiwan first have anything that could remotely be called a Chinese government ruling it? I have been reading a history of China from the view of the PRC, and it says this: "Taiwan has been an inseparable part of China since ancient times." But at the same time, if one looks at the wikipedia article, it seems to indicate that the first Chinese government wasn't formed until Koxinga established the Kingdom of Tungning in 1662, and Taiwan didn't fall under the Qing dynasty's rule until 1683.
So what I am getting at is, what exactly does the PRC mean by "inseparable part of China since ancent times"?
A) There were other Chinese settlements there long before the Kingdom of Tungning.
B) Han Chinese 'might' have known of its existence since the Three Kingdoms period, and since no other strong centralized government claimed it, it would naturally fall under China's territory.
C) The Chinese concept of ancient is different then Westerners. 400ish years ago would be considered ancient to the typical Chinese person. (I have heard some Chinese call things only 150 years old or so 'ancient.')
D) None of the above (and probably best to leave it at that, if you get my drift).
danchaoAugust 10, 2010, 07:31 AM
I kind of take claims to land ownership with a grain of salt. Every piece of land, at some time or another, belonged to someone else.
Yes, no. Fundamentally, your reasoning is sound, but there are different shades of gray. For example, we would find it hard to accept any argument that the French government does not have the natural right to rule the people of France. The US, on the other hand, is on land that was first occupied by Native Americans, and some of it is on land that could be argued should belong to Mexico. It would be easier to make a case that the US government is not the rightful ruler of the land. (By the way, I'm not making any claim that the US government doesn't have the right to the land it rules. I'm just saying the case is grayer.)
In the case of Taiwan, it does matter as the stronger the argument, the more willing people inside and outside of China will stand behind it, and therefore more likely the tide of history will sweep it toward China. Of course this is only one piece of the puzzle, though.
Very true. It is not a matter of legitimacy or reasoning or right, but a matter of power. The Basques want to be independent of Spain, half of the northern irish want to be independent of british rule, many scotts people want scotland to be independent of england, and I'm still waiting for the People's Republic of Barnsley to appear on the international stage. There are many other examples. What's right and wrong in politics ? Nothing - it's a matter of power, issuing, in the final analysis, from the barrel of a gun.
Now who said that, I wonder ? :-)
Well Captain Thunderbolt, when you become President of the People's Republic of Barnsley, I'll lead a revolt and Pennine Barnsley will secede to become the People's Republic of Penistone,which will no doubt overshadow you on the international stage. 警惕 ！
tvanAugust 10, 2010, 03:17 PM
@xiaophil, I would say that the best date for when Taiwan came under Chinese rule is the 1683 date you give above. It is interesting to note that, this means that Taiwan was a part of China (i.e. Fujian province) from 1683 to 1895 or around 215 years; certainly not a short period of time, but hardly ancient.
As an aside, after World War II the Nationalist government did not actually occupy Taiwan in force until their defeat was impending. In fact, the largest military force for about five years was Japanese. When the mainlanders did come over, the result was 228/二二八.
Interestingly enough, there used to be a post on this site concerning 228, but it seems to have been deleted. Is it considered a sensitive subject in China/CPod?
In Chinese historical science, the term “古代” is usually used for the era before 1840, when the first Opium War happened. For the record, “近代” indicates "1840-1949", and “现代” is used for the era after 1949, when the PRC was established. There is no era called “中世” (the Middle Ages) in Chinese history.
I think the definitions of “古代/古时/古时代” are rather ambiguous when they are used by ordinary people. For the record, in Chinese phonology, there are mainly four time divisions as follows,
Old Chinese 上古音 ～ 6th century
Middle Chinese 中古音 6th ～ 10/12th the century
Recent Modern Chinese 近代音 10/12th ～ 19th century
Modern Chinese 现代音 19th century ～
You have confirmed what I suspected--saying "since ancient times" has a lot more powerful effect in English than in Chinese. I wonder what typical Chinese people think when they hear "Taiwan has been an inseparable part of China since ancient times." Do they think the (apparent) truth, as in a few hundred years, or do they let their imagination go wild and think thousands of years. Probably this can only be speculated upon.
By the way, if I may be so bold, any thoughts on the Kingdom of Tungning? The founder, Koxinga, apparently was half Japanese. I think the wikipedia article mentions that he might be regarded as somewhat of a hero in Japan. Not sure if that is true in modern Japan.
The guy is a hero in a classical Japanese puppet play, which was very popular when it was staged in the 18th century, but I'm afraid that most modern Japanese don't know about him. Incidentally, what is the definition of "ancient" in modern English? How "old" is that?
sebastianAugust 10, 2010, 04:11 PM
So what I am getting at is, what exactly does the PRC mean by "inseparable part of China since ancient times"?
Well, I am not sure about Taiwan, but the usual logic applied by the PRC seems to be something like this:
Whenever an ancient object from China is found somewhere (such as a rice bowl that might have been discarded by fishermen or travelers), then the area where the object has been found is automatically considered to be "Chinese since ancient times".
changyeAugust 10, 2010, 11:36 PM
I would like to know when Spratly Islands came under Chinese rule. Is the region "inseparable part of China since ancent times", too?
According to Wiki, "Ancient Chinese maps record the "Thousand Li Stretch of Sands"; Qianli Changsha (千里長沙) and the "Ten-Thousand Li of Stone Pools"; Wanli Shitang (萬里石塘), which China today claims refers to the Spratly Islands."
So, I guess under that definition, if it's on a Chinese map, it's part of China.