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PostAustronesians in Taiwan (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 03/26/14 5:27 am)
The Crimea crisis brings to mind the somewhat analogous situation in Taiwan. When Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang (nationalist but very corrupt) were driven out of mainland China by Mao Zedong and the communists, they took over the island of Formosa and conducted a little-known genocide of Austronesian people, natives of Formosa. No one bothered to look at what happened to the original people of the islands we now call Taiwan.
Contrary to some claims, Austronesians did not come from China:
I dug up this old e-mail to Prof. Hilton regarding China, Taiwan and the Austronesians. I had forwarded to Prof. Hilton an e-mail of a friend who spent 20 years in Taiwan as a missionary.
His findings were that the original people from Formosa (now Taiwan) are of Malay stock like Filipinos, Malaysians, Indonesians, Maoris, Micronesians, Polynesians, Melanesians and Hawaiians.
The same idea is posted at Wikipedia.
From: Bienvenido Macario email@example.com,
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2004
To: Hilton@stanford.edu , firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Formosa (Taiwan) aborigines
Before the first wave of Chinese arrived there were (and still are) nine tribes. The Amis are the main one.
"More than 4,000 years ago farmers from mainland China, believed to be the ancestors of current Taiwanese aborigines, settled on Taiwan. Their languages belong to the Austronesian language family, which also includes the Malayo-Polynesian languages spanning a huge area from Madagascar to Easter Island. The aboriginal languages on Taiwan show much greater diversity than the rest of Austronesia put together, leading linguists to propose Taiwan as the Urheimat of the family, from which seafaring peoples dispersed across southeast Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans."
Austronesians came from the Pacific islands, not from China. This is just another attempt by China to claim everything they could in Asia and the Pacific. Austronesians come from as far as Easter Island, Madagascar, New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Formosa and Central Vietnam.
JE comments: On the prehistory of Taiwan, Wikipedia presently claims that the first settlers were Austronesians some 8000 years ago (see link, above). If I understand correctly, Bienvenido Macario quotes from the 2004 version of Wikipedia, which claimed the original settlers were Chinese four millennia later. This distinction has geopolitical significance today, as Taiwan continues to grapple with its confused identity. If Taiwan were to declare its "independence," not only would this enrage the Mainland, it would also give the long-marginalized indigenous Taiwanese a legitimate claim to hegemony on the island.
I confess to knowing next to nothing about the native Formosans. Does anyone in WAISworld have first-hand experience with these people?