Ballots in the Hands of the Youth(3)

Published: 2007-06-14

EO: The crisis you mention possibly occurring in Taiwan-- what aspect would that be in??

Lin: the break up of the family unit into smaller units to the point where many people now don't even want to start their own small families. Traditional respect of the elderly and their teachings, the five cardinal Confucian relationships, filial piety, and good parenting, are all gradually being overlooked. Look at Taiwan’s constant family violence, with parents abusing their children and children bullying their parents. If these can't be solved with education or other hard work, it's a huge problem for the entire ethnic population.

EO: How do you interpret the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan's "De-sinicize, Indigenize" way of going about things??

Lin: Each ruler has the right to rule... [and] the right to take people down whatever road the see fit... But the core of the problem is that after you and I go "de-sinicize", what will we get after all? Don’t forget that everything the ruler does should be in order to protect the welfare of their citizens, and when the whole world is studying Chinese, why would we want to give it up?

Before, why did Taiwan want to study English? Because the US and UK and other English-speaking countries were the world's strongest, and in order to make money they studied English. Only in this way they could be competitive on the world stage. But now that everyone is learning Chinese, to tell people to not go and study Chinese, isn’t that contradictory?

Furthermore, while you’re “de-sinicizing” and “indigenizing”, what are you supposed study? I still don’t know. If you make Taiwanese students study more Taiwanese history than Chinese history, more Taiwanese geography than Chinese geography, fine. But what’s the curriculum going to be? If you haven't prepared a program and "indigenization" still doesn't have a concrete advocacy and foundation, then that isn't a direction. It's just a war of feelings. When a direction has obviously not emerged, and you’re simply rejecting certain views, you're not being constructive. You’re being deconstructive. That has no benefit for the people.

EO: Taiwan's democracy has been around for many years, and people have been targeting it with increasing criticism-- namely, that Taiwanese society is polarized, or that democracy has fractured society. How do you feel about this??

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