My former Iloilo Chinese school opposes Taiwan

By Alex P. Vidal

“The Chinese people have only family and clan groups; there is no national spirit. Consequently, in spite of four hundred million people gathered together in one China, we are, in fact, but a sheet of loose sand.”—Sun Yat-sen

MY former Chinese laoshi (teacher) Tee Sian used to tell us Taiwan democracy “is not good” for our school in Iloilo City founded by the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Iloilo.

In 1952, he said, several “innocent” teachers from our school were detained and deported to People’s Republic of China on suspicion they were communists influencing the local students.

I was too young to decipher my laoshi’s anti-democractic angst and agitation toward Taiwan, which officially is known as Republic of China.

But I could vividly remember having participated in a brief campus parade only days after Mao Zedong’ death on September 9, 1976.

We were made to chant Mandarin and Cantonese slogans and songs that extolled the person of Chairman Mao, regarded as one of the most important and influential leaders in the 20th century and as a political intellect, theorist, military strategist, poet, and visionary credited and praised for driving imperialism out of China, having unified China and for ending the previous decades of civil war.

As a grown up in the early 80s, I realized our school leaned toward the country with a rich culture and history that dated back in the Shang dynasty, the first historically confirmed dynasty that supposedly began when the Shang overthrew the Xia sometime around 1760 BCE.

It also became clear to me that our school was opposed to Taiwanese independence since the school authorities also believed that Taiwan and mainland China comprise two portions of a single country’s territory.


The island, which has elected its new president in the January 13, 2024 Taiwanese General Elections, is roughly 100 miles from the coast of south-east China and has been home to various indigenous tribes for centuries.

Historical sources suggest it first came under the full control of a Chinese empire in the 17th Century. According to BBC, it became a Japanese colony in 1895, after the Qing empire lost the first Sino

Japanese war. Then in 1945, after Japan lost World War Two, China took the island but now a nationalist government, led by General Chiang Kai-shek, was in power.

This was at the height of a decades-long conflict between Chiang’s forces and Mao Zedong’s Communist Party.

When the communists won in 1949, Chiang and what was left of the nationalist party, known as the Kuomintang or KMT, fled to Taiwan, where they ruled for several decades. They called this the Republic of China, a name Taiwan has retained.

And the rest is a long history our limited space here can’t tackle further.


Below is the statement of the United States (US) Department of State in the aftermath of the Taiwanese General Election on January 13, 2024:

The United States congratulates Dr. Lai Ching-te on his victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. We also congratulate the Taiwan people for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system and electoral process.

The United States is committed to maintaining cross-Strait peace and stability, and the peaceful resolution of differences, free from coercion and pressure.

The partnership between the American people and the people on Taiwan, rooted in democratic values, continues to broaden and deepen across economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties.

We look forward to working with Dr. Lai and Taiwan’s leaders of all parties to advance our shared interests and values, and to further our longstanding unofficial relationship, consistent with the U.S. one China policy as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.

We are confident that Taiwan will continue to serve as an example for all who strive for freedom, democracy, and prosperity.


POMEGRANATE JUICE IS HEALTHIER THAN THE FRUIT ITSELF. Most of the fruit’s antioxidants are found in the inedible rind of the fruit–but the rind is typically used to create the juice. Pomegranate juice helps protect the heart and prevent arthritis and gingivitis. Let’s choose pure pomegranate juice with no added sugars or fillers (such as apple or pear juice).

POMADED AND ADORNED. It was considered elegant for aristocratic ladies of the 16th century to let their pubic hair grow as long as possible so it could be pomaded and adorned with bows and ribbon.

OBSCENE. Condoms are considered obscene material in Wisconsin and have to be hidden behind a pharmacist’s counter.

MATING SESSION. Somebody actually timed a rattlesnake’s mating session that lasted 22.75 hours.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)