chapter  6
A Cold War industry
Pages 16

Those of us who study the Nationalist state on Taiwan often fail to distinguish between the KMT’s anti-communism and its policies of Sinification. Indeed, in many studies of Taiwanese political history (e.g., Roy 2003: 96), these two quite different principles have been assumed to represent two sides of the same authoritarian coin. The KMT presented itself as the legitimate guardian of grande patrie Chinese culture on Taiwan. It positioned itself in contrast to ‘New China’ and the iconoclasm of Chinese communism and also in contrast to expressions of ‘local’ culture. Indeed, a direct line has often been surmised between Nationalist distrust of cultural expression in dialects on the mainland – illustrated with reference to Nationalist bans on Cantonese cinema in the mid-Republican period (Fu 2003: 59) – and restrictions on the broadcast of local dialects in Taiwan in the post-1949 period. In the KMT mindset (at least, as many studies would have us believe), communism and ‘local identity’ were equally pernicious and were to be dealt with in an equally brutal manner.1