Some “divisive” friends I met here at BU

china-featI come from a country that involves with, and has, arguably, some of the most contentious issues in the world––China. We have some historical remnant problems that need to be dealt with quickly, or, to be more precise, should have been dealt with yesterday; in this case particular, I am talking about the Mainland-Taiwan dilemma. Most people (here in the United States) would probably be more inclined to refer it as China-Taiwan dilemma, and I personally feel offended by that because it implies that Taiwan is an independent country, which is not.

At the new students reception party last week, I met this lovely women who has an absolutely great personality, and she comes from Taiwan, for the argument’s sake, we will call her X. We started talking about a professor whose last name is Wu, I naturally asked: “he is Chinese right?” To which she responded: “no, he is Taiwanese” I will leave the rest of the argument we had that evening to your imagination, however, we did not get feisty about it because both of us agreed that such was too sensitive a topic and we wanted to be friends, and by the way, we are. She has this belief that while Taiwan is not an independent country, but it definitely is not a province of China. I found it hard to rebut because Taiwan, just like Hong Kong and Macau, has its own government that distinguishes from the Central Government of Mainland, so technically and politically speaking, it is not a province of the Central Government.

Afterwards I met some other friends who also come from Taiwan and share the same belief as X does. We get along very well, the fact that we have different ideas does not affect our friendship. Later I came up with an analogy that might seem apropos in this situation: Mainland and Taiwan are like lion and tiger, they are very much different, I agree; but at the end of the day, they are still felines. I fully understand that the way people perceive this dilemma is too intricate to have everyone aligned in a short span of time, especially with other parties of interest––which I assume pretty much everyone knows who they are––at play. But I do hope that one day these “divisive friends” of mine will say: “I come from Taiwan and I am proud to be a Chinese.”

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