Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Forbidden Nation: The History of Taiwan

I haven't gotten this book yet, but I plan to order it soon after I read the review by Bradley Winterton in Taipei Time. The author is Jonathan Manthorpe. A few extracts from the review might give you a quick reason why this book is worth reading:

The handover of Taiwan to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) by the international community in 1945 was, Manthorpe argues, in essence illegal. This is probably this book's most original point. "China's claim to own Taiwan and its citizens is based on historically frail arguments and outdated legal concepts," he writes.


Nonetheless, this book' s funda-mental position is strongly and unambiguously pro-Taiwanese. "The only people who have established sovereignty over Taiwan are the Taiwanese, no one else ... They do not see why they should be expected to give up their current well-established independence, based on democracy and a vibrant market economy, as a pre-condition for talks with a despotic and repressive regime that has little evident political legitimacy beyond the use of force on its own people ... They have only recently extricated themselves from the coils of the corrupt and dictatorial one-party [KMT] state, and see no reason to jump into the arms of another one, the Communist Party of China."

This book is definitely beneficial if you want to know about Taiwan.


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