Michael Richardson of the Boston Progressive Examiner recently conducted this cyber-interview with Su Beng.
Examiner Exclusive: Interview with Taiwanese historian Su Beng on future of island
April 25, 10:38 AM
By Michael Richardson
Su Beng's classic political history of Taiwan, titled Taiwan's 400 Year History, recognizes that there has been continual resistance to colonial rule during the 400 years covered in his book and that has been the focus of his work.
Su Beng is the first native Formosan to publish a history of Taiwan and his book, available in Chinese, Japanese, and English, is still considered a landmark work in the history of the island.
Su Beng's contribution to the literature of Taiwan followed his days as a revolutionary activist who sought to overthrow the Republic of China in-exile and his own exile to Japan during decades of ROC imposed martial law.
Fortunate to have escaped the secret police of Chiang Kai-shek and avoided execution or imprisonment, Su Beng began writing on Taiwan from his noodle shop in Japan. These days the revered author lives a quiet life and rarely grants interviews. My recent examination of the political status of Taiwan and subsequent review of Su Beng's book gained me an exclusive cyber-interview.
What is your opinion of the latest "two systems" version of the "one China" policy?
"Taiwan and China have experienced different histories and social structures; the 'two system' policy is the first step toward unification which is definitely not the right trend for Taiwan's future."
What is your opinion of the Ma Ying-jeou administration?
"The Ma Ying-Jeou regime considers maintaining political power and economic interest as his highest priority, so he does his best to keep close contact with the CCP."
What is your opinion of the United States current role in Taiwan affairs?
"For the benefits of both Taiwan and the US, the United States has an obligation to support Taiwan when there is a tension or even war between Taiwan and China."
What can American citizens do to help Taiwan?
"I highly wish common American citizens can realize clearly that Taiwan and China are different nations. And I hope that the United States government can help Taiwan to not be merged (unified) by CCP's political and military power."
What can Taiwanese people do to help get self-determination?
"Taiwanese must emphasize self-defense and the will to self-determination, and the people of Taiwan shall work harder to move toward this goal politically."
Is there any important information in the Chinese edition of your book that was excluded from the English edition that readers should know?
a. How KMT governs Taiwan by the “military spy” system.
b. How ex-president Chiang Ching-kuo ( president Chiang Kai-shek’s son) governed Taiwan by the above “military spy” system.
c. From 1951~1965, the US supported Taiwan 4 billion USD. This was very important for Taiwan’s economic kick-off.
d. The actual colonial fighting with KMT regime in the past 50 years by Taiwanese people. (Taiwanese were not just satisfied with economical improvement, but also fought for political rights)
e. The international political status change of Taiwan after World War II.
f. The influence of US, China, and Japan on Taiwan.
g. CCP’s historical development and the policy on Taiwan.
h. How ex-president Lee Deng-Hui governed Taiwan.
Future interviews with Su Beng will explore the missing history cited above and his escape from the Chinese to Japan after his plot to overthrow Chiang Kai-shek was discovered.