We Are Not the Same: Imagining Taiwan as an Independent Country by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan

Authors

RYCHETSKÁ Magdaléna

Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description The paper describes the social and political activism of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) and explores how the church promote Taiwanese national identity as independent from mainland China. Since the period of martial law in Taiwan (1949–1987), the PCT has focused on the uniqueness of the Taiwanese people and their difference from the Chinese of the mainland. The research explores how the rethoric of the church has changed in last two years. The study is based on analysis of the online self-representation of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan as concentrated on the official webpage and on the Facebook page of the church. At the end of 2018, the church was involved in anti-Chinese protests, and in 2019 the church reacted to the New Year’s speech of the Chinese president Xi Jinping by appealing for independence for Taiwan and rejecting the ‘blood metaphor’ employed by Xi. The church called upon the world to acknowledge the uniqueness of the Taiwanese people. The article shows that the church highlights aboriginal people as part of Taiwanese identity, which enabled it to construct a Taiwanese identity that is distinct from Chinese identity. By promoting civic national identity, the church claims that Taiwanese identity and Chinese national identity are not one and the same thing, a narrative which supports the church’s call to recognize Taiwan as an independent country that is not part of the PRC.
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