Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ABC Wednesday: I is for Invaluable Friendship

This Invaluable Friendship is referred to the friendship between "The Republic of China (ROC)" and "The United States". We know what the US is but for the ROC, it is much more complicated. In 1911, a revolution overthrew "Ching", the last dynasty in China and ended the 5000 years of dynastic rule of China. A new republic was formed, The Republic of China. ROC was an ally with the US during the World War II and a signatory for the founding of the United Nation. Immediately after the end of WWII, a civil war between Communists supported by Russia and Nationalists supported by the US erupted which led to the defeat of the Nationalist government in the mainland China. The Chinese communists took over the power in China and formed "The People's Republic of China (PRC)". The nationalist government of ROC retreated to Taiwan.

The Korean War and Vietnam War following suit and ROC maintained as a strong ally during the cold war with the US. The formal relationship ended finally with Henry Kissinger's secret mission to China for President Nixon and the recognition of PRC as the legitimate government of China by the US. ROC withdrew from the United Nation in 1971 and its formal diplomatic relationship with the US ended in 1978. The US relationship with ROC, now also more popularly known as Taiwan, has been governed by the "Taiwan Relation Act".

Both our parents followed the nationalist government from mainland China to Taiwan. We all grew up in Taiwan under the shadow of Cold War and the threat from PRC. The US was a major support to Taiwan throughout that period of difficult time. We went to the US for our graduate studies and eventually became US citizens and now we have been back to Taiwan again. Our experience is a small cosmos of the US-ROC relationship.

The building we shown here was the former residence of the US ambassadors for Taiwan. Six US ambassadors lived here. It is the last remaining free standing house in this part of central Taipei. I have to Photoshop the first picture a bit to remove the high-rise buildings surrounding it.

The building ran into disuse and deteriorated after the withdrew of US ambassador from Taiwan. Eventually the TSMC Education and Culture Foundation sponsored a restoration of the building. Many of you may see TSMC in your mutual fund portfolio. The founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) was born in mainland China, educated in Harvard and MIT. He attained his highest position as global VP for Texas Instrument in the US. He came back to Taiwan to head the Industrial Technology Research Institute and founded the TSMC, now the world largest semiconductor manufacturer. He is another product of US-ROC friendship.

The building is now operated by Taiwan Film and Culture Society and is know as SPOT-Taipei film House. It consists of a cinema, a book store, a coffee shop, an exhibition gallery, a wine lounge and a multi-media conference room.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.


Sylvia K said...

What a fascinating and interesting post! I was aware of much of the history of the ROC, but not nearly all of it. Thanks for all the history and information, I really enjoyed reading it. And your photos are marvelous as always!

Have a great day/night!


Tumblewords: said...

Interesting post - I love the history lesson from your experience. Gorgeous photos!

uncleawang said...

Interesting 'I '.Thanks for sharing.As always wonderful photos.

magiceye said...

thank you for the invaluably interesting information

Tabib said...

Beautiful building and very informative post. Thanks.

Q said...

Thank you for the history very interesting.

Roger Owen Green said...

I've long been interested in the history of China, esp the stuff in the 1st half of the 20th Century. I'm old enough to remember the stuff in the 1970s and beyond. Good post.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Interesting post about Taiwan. It has a complicated history indeed.

J said...

Interesting (and admirably concise) bit of history there. I'm actually considering moving to Taipei - my cousin lived there and really enjoyed it.


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