Written By Yi-Yu Lai. ince the early 1980s, the PCT (The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan) intentionally organized groups visiting several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, because they attempted to strengthen and magnify their overseas missionary work in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, they not only collaborated with a Taiwanese pastor Jun-Nan Li (李俊男), who started to serve in the City of Cagayan de Oro since 1978, but also made contacts with the UCCP (United Church of Christ in the Philippines). At first, those Taiwanese people were all set to introduce their preaching works to the Filipinos during their first visit of 1983. However, they serendipitously found that the Philippine Indigenous resistance experiences might become a possible alternative to address their church land issue in Taiwan.
Written by Yi-Yu Lai. n the late summer of 1986, a small group of Indigenous people from the PCT (The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan) led a delegation through the Philippines’ Cordillera region. As a delegation that attempted to study minority rights, those people not merely approached Negrito, Bontoc, and Ifugao communities to learn local issues, but also visited several grassroots organizations such as the CPA (Cordillera Peoples Alliance). Although it was not the first time the PCT arranged the Philippines’ tour, their visit’s timing was noteworthy. While martial law was still imposed in Taiwan, people in the Philippines just overthrew the Marcos dictatorship through the People Power Revolution at the beginning of that year
Written by Chinghui Liao. Hunting traditions are common across many indigenous communities in Taiwan, and maintaining food security has been an important cultural practice for thousands of years. Recently, however, certain endangered animal species have faced greater risk due to commercial hunting. These cases often involve indigenous communities, and this has made the issue difficult to resolve. In order to protect a functioning and biodiverse ecosystem, the “wildlife conservation law” regulates hunting behaviour and limits legal practise to only specific indigenous ceremonies.
Written by Ji-Ping Lin. Although ethnic integration had played a crucial role in promoting ethnic harmony, ethnic relations in Taiwan was typified by hates” outweighing “loves.” Nevertheless, such a situation changes in the late 1980s and the 1990s. Indeed, Taiwan’s political, socioeconomic, and cultural systems began experiencing several fundamental transitions; a transition from authoritarian to democratic polity, from a planned economy to globalised one, and from close to open and multi-culturalism society.
Written by Chieh-chi Hsieh. When the impact of COVID-19 was at its height in Asia this April, the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, publicly accused Taiwan of continuously attacking him with racist slurs for months. Although these accusations have been proven to be false, with the ongoing Black Live Matters campaign taking place, it does give a good opportunity to reflect on whether racism exists in Taiwan. More importantly, how this contributes to the formation of Taiwan’s identity in the contemporary epoch.
Written by Brian Hioe. Over the past four years, it has become a refrain of the Tsai administration to tout Taiwan’s increasing diversity. Namely, given increased immigration to Taiwan from Southeast Asia, one in ten children in Taiwan has a foreign parent. This is a fact that Tsai and members of her administration have taken to frequently citing, often during occasions in which Taiwan is visible on the international stage.
Written by Tzu-Ming Liu. Due to Taiwan’s geographical location and geological properties, the country is particularly at risk of the impact of climate change. Some apparent phenomena of climate change are that the frequencies of extreme precipitation events. Furthermore, extreme typhoon intensity is increasing. These phenomena have caused giant landslides, extensive landscape changes, and severe casualties across Taiwan. Many of the giant landslides occurred on the lands inhabited by indigenous peoples, and thus they suffer from the most adverse impacts of climate change. Indigenous peoples are, but not the only, climate victims.
Written by Daniel Davies. On June 3rd, 2020 Taiwan Sugar Corporation CEO, Chen Zao-yi, travelled south to Pingtung County for the most recent talks surrounding a proposed 230-hectare solar farm project at Xinchi Farm in Wanluan Township. The green-energy project, which is to be built alongside the No.185 County Road, has been at the centre of sustained protests by local residents due to the planned felling of Taiwan’s largest planted forest. The site of the development is within the 10,815-hectare forest planted in 2002 by the Taiwan Sugar Corporation, using 5.2 billions of dollars of state subsidies, after the contraction of the sugar industry caused by Taiwan joining the WTO.
Written by Ming-sho Ho. Upon winning the re-election in January 2020, Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party government is set to realise the goal of abolishing nuclear energy by 2025. At the same time, they wish to raise the proportion of green energy in the electricity mix to twenty per cent. While the dream of “nuclear-free homeland” has been championed by Taiwan’s environmentalists for more than three decades, the top-down push for renewable energy has unexpectedly met some opposition from the same camp.
Written by Kuing, GuoTing Lin. Music is in full blossom in Taiwan, as evidenced by the vibrant contemporary Taiwanese music being produced by its indigenous musicians, which has spurred a rich cultural dialogue surrounding their production. Thus, in 2019 a diverse indigenous subjectivity has begun to enter the Taiwanese pop music market through new albums. Hence, it is worth exploring how this phenomenon differed from previous eras when albums were dominated by indigenous languages, and what this new phenomenon offers regarding a reflection of indigenous cultural consciousness.
Written by Julian Chih-Wei yang. Chen Kuo-Cheng (陳國城) – better known by his nom de plume Wuhe (舞鶴, literally ‘Dancing Crane’) – is a Taiwanese novelist renowned for his experimental, modernist style. His magnus opus, ‘The Life That Remains’ (餘生/Yusheng – officially translated as the ‘Remains of Life’), comprises only one single paragraph that is over two hundred pages long.
Written by Daniel Davis. In next year’s legislative elections both the KMT and DPP are hoping to secure a majority, but after the shock results of 2018 and the growing number of small parties, every seat seems to be contested. The seats held by indigenous legislators, traditionally seen as iron votes for the KMT and pan-blue parties, have also become an open contest and could play a pivotal role in the outcome of the elections.