Skip to main content

The Armed Forces Museum of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

A couple of days ago I was walking from Ximending to Taipei Main Station when suddenly I came across a number of ... cannons and bombshells - an unusual sight in the middle of the city. I took a closer look at them and, after reading an explanation label, I realised I was standing in front of the Armed Forces Museum (AFM; Chinese: 國軍歷史文物館, literally: Museum of the Historical Relics of the National Army).





This museum is an interesting example of Nationalist ideology as practiced in Taiwan. Its five showrooms illustrate the history of the ROC army from the foundation of the Whampoa Academy in China's Guangdong Province in 1924 to the present: 1) Establishment of the Whampoa Army and China's reunification after the Northern Expedition; 2) The 8-Year War of Resistance against Japan; 3) Counterinsurgency Campaign (i.e., the Chinese Civil War between the Guomindang and the Communists) and the battle of the Taiwan Strait; 4) The modernised R.O.C Armed Forces; 5) Arms showroom. The cannons and bombshells outside of the museums are actually 'trophies of war' that the ROC armed forces took from the Japanese in World War II, as well as weapons used by the Chinese during the conflict. 

German-made torpedoes, 1897



The following video, issued by the Armed Forces to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Whampoa Academy, seems to me to show the still existing Leninist and Nationalist ideological elements of the ROC army.



Somebody once told me that I give too much space on this blog to Guomindang ideology and Sunyatsenism. However, my position should not be misunderstood. I am indeed interested in Nationalist ideology, but in the same way in which a Westerner in the 19th century might have been interested in, for instance, Qing Dynasty China or Meiji Japan. I am fascinated by the history of Republican China, and I believe it is of historical significance to observe how the institutions and ideology of Nationalist China have evolved and are evolving in Taiwan. After all, no one knows what will happen to this state called Republic of China in the future, whether  it will survive for a long time to come, or whether it will cease to exist - either annexed by the PRC or transformed into a Republic of Taiwan. In this case, future generations might wonder how the ROC was like - just as I, for example, wonder how Hong Kong used to be under British rule and how it has changed, or how Qing Dynasty China used to be. As foreign observers, we have the privilege to live in this state and society and record our personal thoughts, experiences and point of view. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taipei Walking Tours - A Guide To Taipei In 6 Days

Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Asia. With about 10.74 million tourists in 2017, it lags behind Asian neighbours like Thailand (35 million), Hong Kong (58 million), Japan (28.7 million), or Indonesia (14 million).
Nevertheless, Taiwan is a great place to visit due to its amazing food, fascinating history, traditional Chinese culture, friendly atmosphere, safety, and natural attractions. Moreover, Taiwan has a very convenient visa policy. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European Union members, can travel to Taiwan without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days. You can literally buy a plane ticket and go to Taiwan without doing any paperwork.    
If you travel to Taiwan, your first destination will probably be the capital and largest city: Taipei.




Taipei is the political and economic centre of the island, with lots of attractions ranging from modern skyscrapers and shopping centres to night markets, colonial Japanese architect…

Will The Huawei Case Finally Awaken Democrats To The China Threat And The Danger Of Faux Free Trade Rhetoric?

On January 28 the Department of Justice of the United States unsealed two cases against Huawei, China's largest telecommunications company, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. 
Huawei has been accused of trying to steal trade secrets, committing bank fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements and violating sanctions against Iran. One indictment claims that Huawei attempted to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile by promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information.
Huawei is not a company like any other. Over the years it has benefited enormously from the support of the Chinese Communist regime. The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, joined China's army during the Cultural Revolution. In 1978 he also joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
In the early years Huawei's sources of capital were high-interest loans (20%-30%) from Chinese state-owned enterprises. Ren also secured soft loans from the local government of Shenzhen thanks to his personal co…

Chinese Dissident Zhang Jilin Detained By Police In Chongqing After Calling On Xi Jinping To Resign

Chinese dissident Zhang Jilin (张吉林) has been detained by police in the city of Chongqing after publicly saying that President Xi Jinping should be removed from office.
According to Taiwan-based Apple Daily, on January 17 Zhang talked about China's current affairs on a WeChat group. His ideas received praise from the group members, and he later told friends that he wanted to give a public speech based on the thoughts he had expressed online.
Other dissidents urged him to be careful, but he insisted that he had "the right to free speech." On January 19 Zhang went to Guanyinqiao Square, in the city of Chongqing, and delivered a speech about China's political situation, calling on Xi Jinping to be removed from office.
"I think it's time for Xi Jinping to be removed from office," Zhang told a crowd according to an audio recording. "The Chinese Communist Party will not do anything to the people. If you don't believe me, look, I have been giving a speech…