On the Periphery: Politics, Alcohol and Anger












Taiwan’s history began not 5,000 years ago on the mainland but with the Australasian tribes that already inhabited Taiwan when Chinese migrants began arriving 400 years ago, said the president. (CIDCM, 2004).

Before the Han Chinese immigration began in the mid-1600s, Taiwan was inhabited by people belonging to the Austrolesian race. Taiwan's aborigines are believed to have come from the Malay archipelago in different waves about 6,000 years ago at the earliest and less than 1,000 years ago at the latest. (Vost)

One Taiwanese person told me that Taiwanese people do not like to speak about politics in public, they are not used to it. Well this may be the Taipei classes.

In Lanyu, one inhabitant, who was angry from the moment he walked through the door of this old kitchen - turned around and told me with some gusto that 'the Taiwanese President gave nothing to the inhabitants of the island - save some beautiful names'. He dropped a piece of fish on the floor and stamped on it several times with his foot.

Small islands with a couple of hundred defenceless people are a great place to store nuclear waste. The Taiwanese government have been storing nuclear waster on Lanyu since 1980.

According to campaigners, the leakage of nuclear waste from over 30,000 rusty barrels that are stored on the island is thought to be the main cause of both a high cancer death rate and the birth of over 50 physically handicapped children.


James Johnson - December 2006




The Taiwanese - a people set adrift




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