Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Let’s Return Taiwan to Germany

Let’s Return Taiwan to Germany

—a satire—

by Rolf-Peter Wille

Oh Taiwan, my beloved land, where I have lived peacefully for many happy years! It is with sorrow and sadness that I confess to you the dark secret of my sojourn. Bitter tears are drowning my sweet slumber in your bosom, and the reason? Oh Taiwan! Not yet have you been reunited with, not yet returned to your rightful owner—Germany. Taiwan, as historians and scholars will confirm, was created by the VOC, the Dutch East India Company, and the Dutch—who doubts it—belonged to the old German Empire.

Philosophy, wisdom, Mother Nature, and—last not least—common sense tell us, that everything has an origin and an owner, belongs to something else, and if lost—quite naturally—must be returned. The wheel belongs to the car, the wife to the husband and the nose to the face. If things are cut off or separated, great care has to be taken that the severed limb be reattached to its genuine body. Imagine the wheel pasted onto the face, the nose onto the car! The result, verily, should be deemed most unagreeable.

Taiwan, feeling quite lonely and hanging dangerously in the air, should quickly be restored to her rightful owner in such a manner as the International community readily agrees upon. Unfortunately though, that some confusion reigns in scholarly circles as to whom she should be returned, is common knowledge by know. If we take an impartial and scientific look at the historical list of pretenders, we shall quickly find the VOC, the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or Dutch East India Company, to be the true mother of this land. The Dutch were the first to unite those savage Formosan headhunters and pacify them by the ageless methods of missions and massacres. Most importantly, they imported guest workers from Fujian, and those diligent Chinese—as Dutch governor Nicholas Verburg put it—were "the only bees on Formosa that gave honey". No doubt: The germination of Taiwan’s social integration and economic preeminence was originally stimulated by the VOC and Taiwan should be returned to it. Moreover, a transfer from ROC to VOC proves convenient as just a single letter needs to be changed.

If, speaking figuratively, Holland is the mother of Formosa, then Germany is her dear father. The Netherlands, as a matter of fact, belonged to the "Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicæ", the old German Empire. Since ancient times, the Netherlands have always been the sacred territory of Germany, an inalienable part, so to say, split out in modern times. Ludwig van Beethoven, the grandson of a Flemish musician, is still a German composer. The Dutch language is practically a German dialect and a German with a bad cold will automatically speak Dutch. But let us carefully and objectively contemplate the reign of all the former owners of Taiwan and refute their respective claims to the island.

After the VOC, Formosa (Taiwan) was owned by Koxinga and descendants, by the Manchu emperors of the great Qing Empire, by the Meiji and Showa emperors of Japan, by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and descendants, as well as by some recent contenders. Koxinga, the pirate who stole Formosa from the Dutch, is slumbering in his grave and his Kingdom of Tungning has perished a long time ago. Taiwan cannot be returned to a dead man. His grandson, Zheng Keshuang, surrendered Formosa to the Qing without a fight, thus proving beyond any doubt, that he did not care for his possession.

The Qing sent corrupt, degraded mandarins to the west coast of Taiwan, squeezed her people and repressed about 159 uprisings. Emperor Kangxi planned to abandon this "ball of mud". Claims have been made that Taiwan, having been an annexed prefecture of Fujian province, be returned to China, because it "belonged to the Chinese Empire"; and historically unsound they are: China had been conquered by the Manchu. The great Qing Empire was a "Han-Man-Meng-Hui-Zang" one; besides China proper it contained Manchuria, Mongolia, Muslim areas and Tibet. The emperor was Manchu. All subjects of the Qing Empire, including Taiwanese, were the emperor’s children. If the father is Manchu so are his children. Unfortunately Taiwan cannot be returned to Manchuria. The ancient Kingdom of Manchuria, as well as the great Qing Empire, have all ceased to exist. Maybe Taiwan could be returned to Lang Lang, the great Manchurian pianist.

Unlike the Kingdom of Tungning, or the Kingdom of Manchuria, Japan still exists. Should Taiwan be returned to Japan? This, I believe, will be quite unnecessary. Every child knows, that Japan’s main interest today is business and in this regard she has never relinquished the island: Taiwan’s pianos are Yamahas, her cars Toyotas. Politically Japan has renounced all territorial rights to the island.

Taiwan, still a province of the Republic of China, can obviously not be reunited with the ROC; no separation, no return; and it is more than superfluous, I believe, to consider a return to the PRC or the USA who have not possessed a square inch of Taiwan for even a single second; no ownership, no return. Equally nonsensical are claims that Formosa be returned to the aboriginals. These backward people—they had not even managed to pollute the island—were always just a part of the wild mountains and jungles and are automatically owned by whoever owns Taiwan. Who, in his right mind, would think of returning America to the Indians?

The weak cases of all these contenders confirm without doubt that Taiwan should be returned to the VOC and Germany. The VOC created Taiwan and cooked the soup that was drunk by usurping successors. As the VOC was Dutch and the Dutch German, Taiwan should be returned to Germany as soon as possible. The fact that Taiwanese like beer and pig knuckle proves scientifically that German blood flows through their veins.

It is true, I admit, that in my distant childhood I may have been German. Nevertheless, I trust the fair reader will not suspect any partiality on my part, as I have undertaken my scholarly research entirely in the service of truth and science. Yet, soundly again shall I sleep when Taiwan is—finally—returned to Germany.

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