Taiwan independence advocate Su Beng hospitalized in Japan is too ill to travel to face ROC jail

Michael Richardson of the Boston Progressive Examiner has written about Su Beng's condition.

I had a few points of clarification regarding Su Beng's book "Taiwan's 400 Year History" and I've included my comments below.

Taiwan independence advocate Su Beng hospitalized in Japan is too ill to travel to face ROC jail
November 21, 10:38 AM
By Michael Richardson

Su Beng, the 91 year-old elder of the Taiwan independence movement, is in a Japanese medical facility too ill to return to Taiwan to face nine months in prison for a 2005 protest. Su Beng must undergo dialysis treatment or face death from kidney failure. Doctors are contemplating moving Su Beng from his treatment center to a larger hospital because of his frail condition and oppose any travel to Taiwan unless in a special aircraft equipped with life support equipment.

Su Beng had travelled from Taiwan to Japan in October to reopen his noodle restaurant which has been closed for renovation. Also in October, Su Beng's appeal of a nine-month jail sentence for a 2005 Taipei protest was denied and he must face imprisonment or pay a hefty fine.

The Republic of China in-exile [ROC] Supreme Court ironically denied Su Beng's appeal on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples' Republic of China. The independence activist had been arrested for an April 2005 protest against Kuomintang [KMT] leader Lian Chan's visit to China.

Su Beng, author of Taiwan's 400 Year History, was the first native-born Taiwanese to write a history of the four centuries of colonial rule in Taiwan. The classic history book has been translated and is now available in Japanese, Chinese and English. The book was written from Su Beng's noodle shop in Japan during his long exile from the island under the martial law period of Taiwan.

Su Beng had plotted the overthrow of KMT dictator Chiang Kai-shek after the defeated Chinese Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949. In the early 1950's Su Beng's revolutionary plans were discovered and he had to flee the island to Japan or face certain execution.

After martial law was lifted in the late 1980's Su Beng eventually returned to Taiwan where he renewed his independence efforts. Speaking, writing and leading protests filled the aging advocate's time. Although the passing years have slowed Su Beng down they have not quieted his voice or ended his tireless advocacy for Taiwan independence.

A constant irritant to the ROC government that rules the island, Su Beng has continued to lead marches, plan protests, write essays and seek to motivate others to liberate Taiwan from the Chinese government imposed on the island by the United States following World War II. Although the KMT-controlled media infrequently mentions Su Beng his many years of effort have made him a popular word-of-mouth folk hero in Taiwan.

Su Beng's long life has spanned the Japanese colonial period, the Chinese civil war where he fought with the Communists, and his decades of Taiwan independence advocacy at a time when he was considered by KMT leaders to be a traitor.


Here are my comments on Mr. Richardson's article:

Dear Michael,

I'd like to offer some clarification regarding the Japanese, Chinese and English versions of Su Beng's book "Taiwan's 400 Year History."

In this article, you mention that, "The classic history book has been translated and is now available in Japanese, Chinese and English."

Actually, Su Beng wrote the first version of "Taiwan's 400 Year History" in Japanese and it was published in 1962. Several years later, he wrote a more comprehensive Chinese language version which was published in 1980. The condensed English version of "Taiwan's 400 Year History" was published in 1986.

To read more on Su Beng visit: www.aboutsubeng.blogspot.com