The Sunflower Student Movement Of Taiwan


While the practice is much less common right now, it was once accepted that countries that were strong would prove their strength by acquire countries that were too weak to defend themselves. This would be done to acquire access to more fields, more cattle, better watering holes, deposits of precious minerals or sometimes in response to some insult that was perceived. It would often involve serious amounts of bloodshed followed by embarrassing requirements for members of the subjugated people although occasionally it was much more civilized. Nowadays, the colonization most likely to occur is economic. This essay outlines how this process led to Taiwan's Sunflower movement.

The Relationship with China

Despite its proximity to mainland China, Taiwan has spent the majority of its recorded history under the rule of non-Chinese authorities. AT the time of the country's civil war in the mid 1940's, it was considered part of the Fuji-an province so when the non-communist forces retreated there, it was to become a new nation, the Republic of China as opposed to Mainland China or the People's Republic of China. This is fairly difficult to keep straight which is why the area is more commonly referred to as Taiwan.

The Genesis of the Movement

Since the separation took place there has been a sort of uneasy truce between the two China's. This became somewhat less frosty in 2014 when Taiwanese officials agreed to certain trade agreements with the mainland. The appreciation for these terms was very one sided from the beginning. They were seen as giving more control to the mainland and making life harder for Taiwanese businesses and citizens. This was unacceptable to the student population. They engaged in a series of protests using the sunflower as a symbol for their belief in their ability to triumph.

Parallels with Tibet

On the other side of the mainland is Tibet, another country that has been colonized in modern times. Its most revered religious leaders are not allowed to live in peace and the people are not allowed to rule themselves. This is eerily similar to what might happen to Taiwan if its citizens are not vigilant.

There are many examples of one country attempting to assert its will over others in modern times. This may simply be on of the more negative elements of human nature that pops up constantly.

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