A Tinted Politics of Memory: Anniversaries Caught between Political Camps in Taiwan in 2017
Global Politics Review
Vol. 4, no. 1 (April 2018): 67-77.
GPR ID: 2464-9929_v04_i01_p067
Received: February 7, 2018. Accepted: March 28, 2018. Published: April 30, 2018.
ABSTRACT: Thirty years after Taiwan lifted martial law in 1987, Taiwanese society today is open to a re-evaluation of its authoritarian past. Following the beginning of the Tsai presidency in 2016, Taiwan’s quest for a national identity has become more perceivable in its memory culture. The year 2017 marked the 70th anniversary of the February 28 Incident as well as the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Sino–Japanese War. Questions of whether and how to commemorate the 1937 Marco Polo Bridge Incident, as well as the search for historical equivalences are overshadowed by the two large political camps and their respective allies. Third parties such as the CCP or Japan also offer conflicting narratives and seek to influence Taiwan’s historiography, which will ultimately shape Taiwan’s future. More than just vying for the prerogative of the interpretation of memory, these issues also led to a more fundamental question: What should be considered Taiwanese history?
Keywords: Taiwan, February 28 Incident, Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Politics of Commemoration, National Identity, Chthonic, Tsai Ing-wen.