China Writes ROC History, Would the ROC Write PRC History?
Saturday September 17, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.
In a strange and bizarre move, it was recently revealed that the Beijing-based Chinese Acadmy of Social Sciences (CASS) published a 36-volume history of the Republic of China (ROC). The question naturally comes, why would the People's Republic of China (PRC) write a history of its enemy in the Chinese Civil War when that war still continues at least in the sense that the ROC still exists though it was driven from the mainland; further there is a country, Taiwan, that still bears the name of the ROC and carries the weight of its outdated Constitution.
One is tempted to think of Mark Twain's comment on the report of his death in saying that it is greatly exaggerated.
Without seeing the work, one naturally questions does this 36 volume history end with the 1949 victory of the PRC? How does it interpret the ROC coming to Taiwan and ruling it by Martial Law until 1987? If the PRC considers Taiwan as part of the PRC, how does it interpret the reality that Taiwan still bears the name ROC?
There are many unanswered questions here starting with the basic premise, how can any nation or group write a valid history of its enemy? As the questioning continues, is it just as unfathomable for the ROC to give its history of the PRC taking it through the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward etc.?
And finally, what about Taiwan? What would be said if any Taiwanese scholar considered writing a history of the ROC or the PRC? Perhaps a Taiwan history of either the ROC and/or the PRC would have its own illuminating and awakening side.