Joshua Yang Profile picture
In the attempt to decolonise #Taiwan & amplify its voice at the same time. Also 🇦🇺🇨🇭, democracy, language justice & Indigenous history. PhD student @ETH
Nov 26, 2021 8 tweets 2 min read
I caught up w/ a 3rd-gen Chinese-Taiwanese school friend who returned to Taiwan recently. After a decade of studying & working in Shanghai, he believes that it's time to leave China for his own safety. His view went from pro-China to extremely anti-CCP over the past few years. 1/ Back in high school, his Waishengren (post-49 Chinese-Taiwanese) backgrounds did set him apart. His parents have great family connections in China & they have settled in Shanghai for business. Despite being good friends, we'd have arguments on TW's status & Taiwanese history. 2/
Oct 10, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
For those wondering why it's the Japanese transliteration 亞細亞 (アジア) & not the commonly used term 亞洲, it is indeed a Taiwanese cultural reference that traces back to the Japanese era. 亞細亞的孤兒 is a Japanese-language novel that reflects on the complex TW identity. 1/ Published in 1946, Orphan of Asia depicts a Taiwanese student who got caught in conflicting identities. Feeling marginalised & abandoned, the protagonist disappears w a mental breakdown. It's a powerful depiction of the psychological impact of colonialism. toolkit.culture.tw/en/literaturei…
Oct 9, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
In Taiwan, the difference in collective memory has contributed to the diverse attitudes towards ROC symbolisms. While some Taiwanese despise the flag, in the Yunnan-Chinese-Taiwanese community in Taoyuan, ~30,000s of ROC flags are set up each year for national day celebration. 1/ The village in the 龍岡 Longgang area traces its root to the Yunnan KMT troops that were retreated to northern Thailand & Burma in the 50s. As their history has been closely tied to the expelled ROC, it is understandable that some ppl have a sentimental attachment to the flag. 2/
Sep 29, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Language loss is not only a loss of cultural autonomy, but a loss in connections. The past ROC language policy has robbed my grandma of meaningful connections w/ her own Mandarin-speaking grandkids. She sits at the dining table but she doesn't understand their conversations. 1/ Like a lot of working-class Taiwanese in the 50s, my grandma migrated to Taipei from the south in search of better opportunities for her family. Even though they settled in Taipei, she never had the chance to learn Mandarin due to her age, social circle & economic hardship. 2/
Sep 27, 2020 12 tweets 4 min read
Suniuo, or Teruo Nakamura, a Taiwanese Indigenous man, is the longest-lasting holdout of the Imperial Japanese forces. He survived in the jungles of Indonesia in complete isolation for 31 years. He returned to ROC-controlled Taiwan in 1974 & struggled to fit into his homeland. 1/ Born in 1919, Suniuo, a member of the Amis, was a young sumo & baseball enthusiast from the East coast of Japanese Taiwan. He was enlisted in the Takasago Unit (高砂義勇軍) & was stationed in Morotai island of Indonesia before it was overrun by the US-Australian troop in 1944. 2/
Aug 30, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
My grandma passed away in Taiwan last night. I have been trying to go & visit her but the travel ban in place has made leaving Australia difficult. The COVID19-era is particularly rough when this happens. It's hard to articulate my feelings but I'd share one of her stories. 1/ Image She was born in Tainan under Japanese rule. she had a comfortable childhood before WW2. From a moderately well-off city family, she had a fairly Japanised upbringing. She was given a Japanese name & education. She went by her Japanese nickname 梅 (u-me) throughout her life. 2/
Aug 28, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
There is potentially more to this story. According to China Times, five HK asylum-seekers allegedly were rescued by Taiwan coast guard in July. They were quarantined & provided shelter in Kaohsiung. This leaked information is apparently highly-classified.
chinatimes.com/newspapers/202… These five HK asylum-seekers include 21y 文家健 & 24y 吳仲謙, both have been indicted for protest-related activities. According to the report, the Tsai admin keeps this info confidential because the asylum-seekers could be further persecuted due to the HK national security law.
Aug 28, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
For those who don't understand how China can be a colonial power, the Uyghur region of Xinjiang literally means "Colony" or "New Dominion" in Chinese. The Manchu Qing Empire conquered Xinjiang, Tibet, Mongolia & Taiwan throughout the 17-19th century, doubling the size of "China". All this became even more problematic when the Han-centric successors ROC/PRC decided to "pretend to be a nation-state" (Pyle, 1990). While decolonisation discourse thrives in other parts of the world, the Chinese continental & settler colonisation remains largely unchallenged.
Aug 23, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
This is absolutely true. Most Chinese-Australians & international students from China & HK I've met express similar concerns. Some are scared to speak out against the Beijing narrative as they think Australia lack of a real understanding of CCP & wouldn't stand up for them. Ex: Chinese students defended Aus as a friendly place on SBS & that got them horrible online abuses from Chinese netizens calling them "Han-race traitors". So these voices get shut down. Chinese citizens that think differently often don't feel safe here.
sbs.com.au/language/engli…
Aug 8, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
World's Indigenous Peoples Day is coming up & here's a lovely video from the Hawaiki Project, which connects indigenous people along the Polynesian migration pathway from Taiwan to Aotearoa (New Zealand). The linguistic connection is also fascinating 1/6
In Polynesian mythology, the words of Savaii, Savaiki, Avaiki, Havaii, and Hawaiki, are often used in the legends as the ancestral homeland of the Polynesians. Savaiʻi is the largest island in Samoa. It is likely Hawai'i also share the same origin. 2/6
facebook.com/HawaikiNuiLtd/ Image
Jul 17, 2020 11 tweets 3 min read
This is how colonial education could leave a long-lasting effect on how people think. In the Taiwanese context, a whole post-war generation went through a forced Sinicisation campaign before the lifting of martial law in 1987. Taiwan is still battling with the consequence.
1/ We visited the Tainan Art Museum earlier this year. We were also reminded of how the massacre took the lives of numerous Taiwanese intellectuals. My mum commented that it's tragic that it was "our own people" that inflicted such misery on the Taiwanese people. I was shook. 2/
Jul 2, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Interesting how "White people" is actually "Dutch" in a few languages across the Asia-Pacific.

In Australian Kriol & Yolngu, "Balanda" was used by Macassan traders to describe the Hollanders. In Taiwanese Paiwan & Puyuma, "Balaka" was adopted to describe the Dutch from Malacca. And "Ang-mo" (redheads) is commonly used by Hokkien diaspora (Singapore, Malaysia) because of the Hokkian contact with the Dutch "City of the Red-Haired" (âng-mô͘-siâⁿ) in 17th century Taiwan. In politically incorrect Australian: "Ranga-town". Hope the Dutch were ok with that.
Jun 29, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
It was the US who, without consulting the people, proposed to give Taiwan to ROC-China in exchange for China's support in WW2. That followed by decades of ROC colonisation, dictatorship & bloodshed in Taiwan. And now Freeman wants to repeat that in the name of US peacekeeping? Image The undetermined status of Taiwan is a direct result of 20th century American & Chinese imperialism, thinking that superpowers could decide the fate of millions for their own security benefits. And if we don't talk about Taiwan, the same tragedy would happen to the people again. Image
May 14, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
This dissociation of the #Taiwanese identity for political supports also happened in the 2019 Federal election in Australia. Labor's #TaiwaneseAustralian Candidate Yang (Not me) claimed to become "the first Chinese-Australian woman in Parliament".

abc.net.au/news/2019-04-1… This seems to mirror the idea of "the persistent pressure to soften identities and avoid confrontation" described in @catielila's "Andrew Yang is #TaiwaneseAmerican". Sadly, this might be the reality for Taiwanese diaspora in political participation.

popula.com/2019/12/18/and…
May 7, 2020 9 tweets 6 min read
Okay, let's try to put the Taiwanese diaspora in Australia on the map for #APIAHM (yeah we like to be included whatever the US is doing). Just some personal observations. Brisbane, Queensland hosts the largest Taiwanese community in Australia. It's like the California here. (1) If he/she is from Brisbane, it is also likely that the family came from Kaoshiung. Absurd but people say it's the similar climate. The Taiwanese community, along with the HK migrants, were some of the earlier non-white migrants after the abolishment of White Australia policy. (2)
Apr 28, 2020 8 tweets 3 min read
I've always wondered, how did friendliness & generosity get ingrained into the "#Taiwanese DNA"? What makes Taiwanese people nicer than, say, people from other East Asian countries? Here are a few potential theories that popped into my mind this morning: (thread) (1) The necessity of cooperation & reconciliation in a multi-cultural settler society & new-world frontier. This is comparable to #Australia where settlers came together, put their old-world conflicts (ex. Irish vs English) & hierarchy behind, to build a more egalitarian society.
Apr 25, 2020 11 tweets 10 min read
Little known WW2 history for #AnzacDay: Formosan civilians (from now #Taiwan) were considered 'Japanese enemy aliens' & were interned in #Australia during WW2. More Formosan soldiers were captured in POW camps in New Guinea, & later Manus Islands. My great uncle died in one. (1) ImageImageImage In the Loveday camp alone, there were 600 Formosan civilians. In addition to the hardship and lack of freedom, "Formosan internees were bullied for not signing allegiance to the emperor (Japan)". Tbh smart move considering you're in an Australian camp. (2)
abc.net.au/radionational/… ImageImage
Apr 18, 2020 17 tweets 9 min read
As it is obvious that the #Taiwanisation of #ROC drastically accelerated recently, it is probably a good time to share some songs that reflects on the ever-changing #Taiwan Identity & imagine what constitutes a decolonised #TaiwanAnthem that could better represent the people. 1921: 'Taiwanese Cultural Association Theme Song' (臺灣文化協會會歌).
Written by Chiúⁿ Ūi-súi (蔣渭水), a leading figure in Taiwan's resistance movement at the time. It emphasises on the pan-Asian identity「我等都是亞細亞黃色的人種」