Talk:List of Taiwanese people

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Is it really nessecary to single out mainlanders? I figure you're either Taiwanese or you're not. It's not as if List of people from California marks people by ethnicity. If you want to avoid the whole POV issue might I also suggest renaming this "List of people from Taiwan"?-Loren 08:50, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Some Mainlanders do not consider themselves Taiwanese while other Mainlanders do, while some people consider Mainlanders to be Taiwanese while other people don't. The question of Taiwanese identity gets ambiguous here. You can be Taiwanese when it is socially / politically advantagious by saying you've lived in Taiwan your entire life, or you can take out your old ROC ID card/passport and claim to be Hunanese/Shandonese/etc. because your parents were Hunanese/Shandonese/etc. Some of these people on this list arent necessarily "from Taiwan" since they fled to Taiwan. I always thought that to be "from" somewhere you had to "go" somewhere first. --Jiang 07:41, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I totally agree with Loren. It is not for us to decide how they identify themselves. If they are on Taiwan, just include them. This equates to a type of discrimination.Maowang 00:30, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

It's not about excluding them on the list, but noting that these may or may not identify or be identified as Taiwanese. It is not up to us to decide that they are Taiwanese. Somehow, I get the feeling that not many people call Chiang Kai-shek a Taiwanese person.--Jiang 02:42, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

That is exactly my point too. Just conversely. Maowang 10:17, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I am still feeling uneasy about the asterisk. I think we don't have the authority to define which individual is a Taiwanese person. Many mainlanders feel a sense of "anxiety" over not being allowed to be called Taiwanese...a sort of "mark of Cain" issue makeing them "homeless", "marginalized" and "unauthentic". This anxiety is a major source of the heated ethnic tension that often boi9ls over in Taiwan between Taiwanese ethnonationalists and Chinese Nationalists. Does the asterisk serve to project one author's opinion over a stranger's identity or their right to be identified as Taiwanese? Are we perpetuating prejudice? Maybe the issue is too complex for Wikipedia to mess with NPOV and should be left as an "unresolved theory". Is the place of birth essential to being a Taiwanese person? It sounds like the old I.D. cards with the province of origin, which was often used to discriminate Maowang 13:59, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

I can't think of any good reason (other than political) to single out Mainlanders or their children as "special". Maowang 08:07, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

We are not the ones creating this "mark of Cain" on waishengren in Taiwan. It's a simple reflection of how things have been in the past. How are we in a position to claim that these people have a "right" to be Taiwanese? By limiting the asterik to birthplace, we overemphasize how these people have been accepted as "Taiwanese" and have self-identified as "Taiwanese".
We've included them on the list. That's enough to ask. This is less of an issue for people who are still alive, but some people on the list died before the late 1990s or even well before then--Jiang 19:37, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not trying to exclude people from the list, but include more. I changed the sentence on the page from "Mainlanders" to People not born in Taiwan. The current list has (*) next to some people who were born on Taiwan to "Mainlander" parents, others only look at the Father or use the person's identification with a particular ideology as a mark of being "Mainlander" and thus worthy of an asterisk. The current wording will eliminate the prejudice. Now we need to go through and make sure all the asterisks are correct.

Stick with place of birth rather than Mainlander identity. That is my point.Maowang 00:51, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

place of birth is not that important. Lien Chan was born in China but he's a Taiwanese. Ma Ying-jeou was born in Hong Kong and generally he's not regarded as a Taiwanese. Please do not categorically change something you think looks better but does not apply to reality in Taiwan. I don't want to go through the changes you made to the list but perhaps you can change them back. Or make two footnotes, one for people generally regarded as "mainlanders" and one for people not born in Taiwan. The two are not mutually exclusive but they're different. Blueshirts 03:28, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Bad idea Blueshirts. Who regards who as Mainlander? You? Me? Jiang? The asterisk is plain bad. Place of birth avoids politics.Maowang 04:05, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Mainlanders are people whose parents (or even grandparents) who came to Taiwan after 1945. It's not my idea. The system's been there for the past sixty years. It's recently changed to place of birth, but this still does not resolve the mainlander-taiwanese issue. If you follow what's going on in the news and hear what politicians have been saying (though some of them have regretted it), especially nearing election times, you'll know what I'm talking about. Covering up this issue by "place of birth" is really not doing justice to the whole mainlander-taiwanese dilemma. Blueshirts 04:11, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but using your own subjective opinion on how far back one needs to go to be Taiwanese just doesn't make logical sense. What you refer to is an essentialized construction. We need a test that can be applied evenly. Yes, there are people who call themselves or are identified as mainlanders by some people...who are they and what authority do we have to decide how they identify. Self identification is a very personal issue and I will not pretend to know if a person who has a KMT soldier for a father and an Atayal mother is a Mainlander or an Aborigine. The four ethnic groups are a recent invention. The mainlander-Taiwanese "dilemma" has a lot to do with this type of belief in an indelible, unchanging label. Sorry...it doesn't hold up to empirical studies or theoretical research. The only way we can make an asterisk is a fair and confident way is by POB, which is not subject to our own biased impressions of what we think they should be. POB is free from the baggage and does not contribute to the anxiety of homelessness or inauthenticity, nor play into ethnonationalist debates.Maowang 04:21, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

So if I read what you are saying...it is the "just one drop"argument and people who's ancestors came from China after 1945 are not Taiwanese...no matter how long they remain in Taiwan and people who's ancestors have been on Taiwan longer are more authentic and thus...the Mainlanders should be marked and what?...In the case of mixing the result is a Mainlander? Maowang 04:26, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

The proper way to phrase it is not that "Waishengren are not Taiwanren" but that "Under the KMT system of emphasizing provincial identities, waishengren were encouraged to identify with their province of ancestry rather than with Taiwan." We can't proclaim "Waishengren are not Taiwanren" as fact but we can put it in context. It's not an endorsement of the statement.
I think the solution to the problem is to have a brief (1 paragraph) *sourced* definition of "waishengren" at the top to explain the asterik. Proclaiming prejudice in the system and pointing flaws in its categorization as a means to sweep it under the rug constitutes original research. Unfortunately (yes, I also think it's unfortunate given where things are at the moment), this is an issue that has not disappeared from Taiwanese society and will not for anytime soon. It's not up to us to exclude things we don't like. Just because zhonghua minzu was invented only in the last century does not mean we should go around deleting references to it in Wikipedia.--Jiang 04:34, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't really understand why you keep presenting this issue as "my" idea. Have you lived in Taiwan before? Do you read Taiwanese newspapers? Are you keeping tabs on what's going on for the past sixty years? As I said it's not my idea and my definition of who "benshenren" and "waishenren" are. If you can read Chinese, go read the article on waishenren on Chinese wiki, it has some nice detail on who's and who's not. Some politician from the green camp has accused mainlanders of being the "fifth column" of China and there's a huge furor over it. When asked why Kaohsiung had so many problems, the grandson (who's deeply green) of Chiang Kai-shek's ghost writer Chen Bulei said "there're too many mainlanders"). These accusations came from only a couple years ago. The issue is real, even if you try to sugarcoat with with buzzwords or whatever, and it's not "my" idea. And the term "Taiwanese" here means "this province person", not "person from Taiwan". Blueshirts 04:37, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

The difinition of Waishengren is found in several articles... the problem is identifying individuals. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.134.80.78 (talk)

Believe me... I am well acquainted and very well read on this subject. Are you a Mainlander? Why or Why not? It is a matter of how the individual wishes to identify. Like choosing a team to root for. C'mon, make it neutral. P.S. I hope you don't try to authenticate or intimidate an editor by their experience on Taiwan. The old "You're not from Taiwan, so you can't have an opinion" dog doesn't hunt. So if you are ever in Taichung...look me up. I have a load of reading for you.Maowang 08:05, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

What you think is npov doesn't translate to reality in Taiwan. Are you a foreigner living in Taiwan teaching english or doing some cultural studies? Blueshirts 15:39, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Let me ask this in a more direct way... Why are "Mainlanders" preferential for special designation over Aborigines or Hakka or Hoklo Speakers? This shows a prejudice. Prejudice is POV. If you are not going to stick with the place of birth then you should come up with a system for marking each person based on their claimed identity and a mix of symbols to show they feel mixed. You also need to find a way to determine their claimed identity. Maybe emperical research? You can't just go barging in rooting for the Mainlanders because you feel they are "oppressed", not unlike the Aborigines.

Problems on this page:

Koo Chen-fu:Born and raised in Taiwan to an old land owning family. Tony Wu: American Citizen with a Taiwanese Father Teresa Teng: Mainlander parent, born in Taiwan (Sings in Taiyu.

Maowang 00:32, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

It's not just about self-identification. I (not really speaking for myself) am a waishengren because my government has been telling me that I'm a guangdongren on my official papers from when I was born to ten years ago, my parents and grandparents always identify as guangdongren and never call themselves taiwanren, and my school teachers also identified my as waishengren and avoided calling me or the entire class taiwanren. And why am I a guangdongren even though neither I nor my parents have lived in guangdong, and of my grandparents, only my paternal grandfather is from guangdong? This is what the government and society accepts as the proper way of defining origins - straight through the patriline. I can claim to be taiwanren, and people will accept this claim nowadays, but my grandparents never will. Who is right? What if I want to claim to be Japanese based on spiritual affinity even though I've never lived there?
We can specify ambiguity in the definition. The important part is noting that these people *may* not be identified as Taiwanese, as inclusion on this list implies.--Jiang 01:47, 16 May 2007 (UTC)


The way one person applies it may be different that anyone else. It is being on the safe side to stick with place of birth and not create an identity for another individual where it may not exist. The ID cards have ceased to mark "province of origin" as being tied to the former KMT goal of "retaking the mainland". There are too many variables for us to consider with our limited knowledge of these people. Seeing as many of these people are still alive, it also becomes confounded with the rules for biography. Identities change. Period. Identities are fluid. Ma Ying Jiu calls himself a Taiwanren, his opponents call him a Waishengren. Soong Chu yu has called himself both Taiwanren ans Waishengren. The latest data from academic surveys shows a large shift in identification from Chinese or both Chinese and Taiwanese to just Taiwanese. Is there a protocol that can be applied evenly for determining who identifies as what? I guess you could find references, but not for everyone you propose in Waishengren. Short of asking the living, I can't think of any other way to make an (*) than based on place of birth. Place of birth is politically neutral. It also avoids the danger of getting this topic locked into a political debate of provincialism vs. nationalism. Save the distinctions for other pages.Maowang 02:31, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The definition we provide can account for the imprecision and fluidity inherent in categorization. No one proposed to proclaim these people to be "not Taiwanese." They can be regarded as Taiwanese, or they can not. In depends on context and situation. The term "waishengren" is not disputed and used by politicians across the political spectrum. The controversy is over whether waishengren can be taiwanren at the same time. People don't dispute whether Ma Ying-jeou is a waishengren, but they criticize bringing his waishengren status up as a means to discredit his perceived loyalty to Taiwan.
My problem with using place of birth as the only identifier is that it takes the POV that everyone born in Taiwan is Taiwanese. This has been gaining ground but is still not the consensus.--Jiang 04:35, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we can, in an objective manner, identify who is what (other than POB). Then there are the other groups who may want an identifier. This all requires us to surmise what they might be. We'd just be creating our own labels for these people, which is not supported by Wikipedia policy (original research). It would be better to leave Mainlander to a general category. Maybe a note in the nop that the list is made up of people who are associated with Taiwan from a variety of backgrounds; Mainlander, Aboriginal, Hakka, Hoklo and foreign born...etc.Maowang 00:34, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Just search the literature for definitions of waishengren to identify the waishengren on the list. I don't see other groups whose identity as Taiwanren are disputed.--Jiang 04:47, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

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