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President Ma Ying-jeou recently declared in the Ma-Xi meeting that people on both sides of the strait are Chinese, descendants of the Yellow emperor (炎黃子孫), and we should cooperate to revitalize the Chinese nation (中華). However, this seems to be confusing for the Taiwanese aborigines because they are not these descendants. The public claim hurt the aborigines for they are forced to adopt the identity of the Chinese nation, worsening the relationship between different ethnic groups in Taiwan.

Regarding this, aboriginal groups, including the Indigenous Ministry Committee of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, the Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan, the Indigenous Youth Front and the Association of Indigenous College in Taiwan, held a press conference arguing Taiwanese aborigines are not descendants of the Yellow Emperor. They said the Ma-Xi meeting was not sanctioned, so President Ma could not represent the Taiwanese people, or even Taiwanese aborigines, and declare that people on both sides of the strait are all part of the Chinese nation.

Taiwan Indigenous Television reports, Amis legislator Zheng Tian-cai says, every Taiwanese president has been the same; if they cannot mention “the Republic of China” in important international conferences, they say “the Chinese nation,” which leaves room for interpretation. But if they only mention “the descendant of the Yellow Emperor,” there is no space left for explanation.

Liberty Times reports, President of Yu-Shan Theological College and representative of Tayal National Assembly Buxing Dali says they are the owners of Taiwan and not one drop of blood from China runs through their veins. He hopes President Ma can respect aborigines.

Representative of Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples’ Policy Pasang says that aborigines, ethnic groups and all Taiwanese people were sacrificed by Ma to gain recognition from Xi. This could lead to a civil war between the supporters for China and the indigenous advocates. It might also repeat the tragedy of ethnic conflicts in the twentieth century.

The Aborigines Independence Research Institute points out that the leader of the Republic of China has directly invaded the sovereignty of Taiwan, which the aborigines also have ownership of. Due to historical facts, Taiwanese aborigines are also subject to the sovereignty of Taiwan. In this perspective, it’s understandable how Ma advocating the “1992 Consensus” and “One China policy” is changing the subject.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang