taiwan history 101

Yesterday, J and I walked in the drizzle to pay a visit to Dr Sun at his memorial hall. Well, Dr Sun is my hero. Ok, there's the bit about him having 2 wives which I don't quite agree with. He married Soong Ching Ling, while still married to Lu Muzhen - his wife from an arranged marriage. Plus all his rumoured lovers all over Asia. Sigh. That aside, he led the democratic movement in China, coordinating the resources of Chinese from all over Asia and even America. In Singapore, he supposedly stayed at a villa in the Bendemeer area called Wan Qing Yuan during his 8 visits to Singapore.

UncleSunNme KICX1073
Click for larger view of these Expressions of lurve!

Today 31st Oct is the birthday of the other key figure in Taiwan history - Chiang Kai Shek. He holds the other memorial hall in Taiwan, and I think it's actually the grander looking one. As for Sun Yet-sen, I am *proud* to say that we share the same birthday (different year of course)!

To celebrate General Chiang's birthday, J and I took the subway to 淡水 (Dan Shui, literally "fresh water"), a coastal town that used to be Taipei's largest fishing port. It was a 30min ride, so in my boredom I subjected J to this little quiz on Taiwanese history. Hehe, so how well do you know Taiwan's history? Try this little quiz :)

1. When did large groups of Chinese from Fujian Province start to settle in Taiwan?
(a) 1400s
(b) 1600s
(c) 1800s

2. Other than the Fujian immigrants, which is the next largest ethnic group from China to settle in Taiwan?
(a) Shanghainese
(b) Hakka
(c) Teochew

3. Which of the 3 is not an aborginal tribe, considered the "true" indigenous people og Taiwan?
(a) Ami
(b) Alishan
(c) Ashin

4. Which European colonial power was the first to "discover" Taiwan?
(a) Dutch
(b) Portuguese
(c) Spanish

5. During which dynasty did the Chinese officially place Taiwan under its jurisdiction?
(a) Qing
(b) Ming
(c) Tang

6. The Chinese ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Taiwanese intellectuals were against the Treaty and declared Taiwan a sovereign nation, calling it the...
(a) People's Republic of Taiwan
(b) Independent Republic of Taiwan
(c) Taiwan Democratic Republic

7. The Japanese successfully subdued Taiwan with its modern weaponry, leaving some 10,000 Taiwanese soldiers and civilians dead. For how long did Japan occupy Taiwan?
(a) 20 years
(b) 35 years
(c) 50 years

8. The Taiwanese recognise which of these men as their 国父 (Founding father)?
(a) Sun Yet Sen
(b) Chiang Kai Shek
(c) Lee Teng Hui

9. The Taiwanese still recognise the calendar marked to the day the Republic of China was established, with Sun Yet Sen as the first President. They refer to it as MinGuo YearXXX. When did this calendar start?
(a) Jan 1, 1911
(b) Jan 1, 1921
(c) Jan 1, 1931

10. In what year did Chiang Kai Shek flee to Taiwan, resulting in a mass exodus of Nationalist soldiers, Kuomingtang supporters, artists, intellectuals etc?
(a) 1950
(b) 1949
(c) 1948

11. Chiang Kai Shek had thought he could rebuild his army in Taiwan and return to China. But we all know that didn't happen. He instituted quite a lot of reforms, but still, his rule was known to be harsh towards dissenters. In the 50s especially, folks who spoke against the Government were treated severely. That period is commonly known as...
(a) The Red Terror
(b) The Green Terror
(c) The White Terror
I don't actually know WHY or how this name came about. Anyone?

12. Who is the first Taiwan born President of Taiwan?
(a) Chiang Kai Shek
(b) Lee Teng Hui
(c) Chen Shui Bian

13. Until 1971, Taiwan held a seat in the UN Security Council before the People's Repubic of China was admitted instead. In 1980, Taiwan was expelled from 2 other world bodies. Which of these was Taiwan not expelled from?
(a) NATO
(b) IMF
(c) WB

Well, even if you didn't get these answers right (like J!), you will probably have gotten the picture that Taiwan's history is pretty tumultous. Everyone's wanted this green isle, and the unruly-ness and independence of Taiwan today has been there for a long time.

1a, 2b, 3c, 4a, 5a, 6c, 7C, 8a, 9b, 10b, 11c, 12b,13a


orangeclouds said…
Gross I only got 6 correct.

I have to say Y., you're really funny man! :) Interesting how some of our preoccupations seem to be intersecting.
Tym said…
Thank you for the history lesson!
ampulets said…
tym, oc- haha, i didn't know half of the stuff too. All of that came from the Lonely Planet guide I was reading on the train.

But i have a soft spot for Taiwan. I hope they don't ever become another PRC territory.
Anonymous said…
i got 7 correct!!i pass!! yeah!!bleh.

if i got qn 3 wrong, ought to be qiang1 bi4. haha.

thks for e entertaining quiz=)

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