ROC documentaries capture century of Taiwan’s history

By Grace Soong,The China Post

To celebrate the centennial of the Republic of China (R.O.C.), the Government Information Office (GIO) released a series of videos that document the history of the nation, the hardship it had gone through, and the benefits it has received on its hundredth birthday, yesterday. The purpose of creating the video series, according to GIO Minister Philip Yang (楊永明), is so that the “sense of cultural honorship” would echo in the hearts of those who love Taiwan, that of locals and foreign friends alike.

The first democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, the R.O.C. was founded in 1911, built on the sacrifices of its founders and martyrs. The series of videos — addressing the nation’s founding, cross-strait relations, Taiwan’s economic and political development, the local Taiwanese culture that has evolved over the past century, and the vitality of Taiwanese society — are aimed at sharing what the R.O.C. has experienced and created with all those who care about Taiwan. The videos will be broadcast on the Discovery Channel in the future. The video premiered yesterday was “The Past and Present Across the Taiwan Strait.” The R.O.C., established in China 1911, was forced to retreat to Taiwan in 1949 due to the ongoing Chinese Civil War, which had broken out in 1927.

After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) established the People’s Republic of China (PRC), interactions across the Taiwan Straight diminished to armed forces only. It was not until 1987 that Taiwan’s government lifted martial law, which had, by then, been implemented for 38 years.

Over the past 24 years, interactions between the R.O.C. and the PRC have gradually increased, with the signing of the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), in 2010 marking a historical step taken by both sides since the split.

From stories behind Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary views on democracy, on which the Qing Dynasty was overthrown and the R.O.C.’s political structure had evolved, to first-hand reflections on the nation’s growth and the “Taiwan experience,” the videos reveal how Taiwan came to be what it is this day.