Epilogue: Bentuhua—An Endeavor for Normalizing a Would-Be Nation-State?
In Taiwan’s closely fought presidential election held in March 2004, incumbent President Chen Shuibian陳水扁 and his running-mate Lü Xiulian (Annette Lu) 吕秀蓮 of the Democratic Progressive Party defeated their rivals, Chinese Nationalist Party Chairman Lian Zhan 蓮戰 and his vice presidential candidate People First Party (Qinmin dang 親民黨) Chairman Song Chuyu 宋楚瑜. (James Soong). This result represents a further consolidation of the indigenization of Taiwan’s politics. As many commentators have stated, the reelection of President Chen confirmed the continued ascendancy of Taiwan-centered consciousness,1 or the Taiwanese people’s sense of national identity, and this will lead to Taiwan’s moving further away from China. As stated in the introduction, the purpose of this book is to make a timely contribution to analyzing what is arguably the single most important aspect of cultural and political change in Taiwan over the past quarter-century: the trend toward indigenization. This epilogue discusses in more detail several issues raised in individual chapters. These issues include the significance of Taiwan’s unique historical trajectory as a driving force for indigenization; the relationship between globalization and the trend toward indigenization; the reactions and discontent caused by this trend; and the future of indigenization.
KeywordsNational Identity Collective Memory Democratic Progressive Party Cultural Indigenization Japanese Colonialism
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