Understanding the History of Taiwan through Dr. Jerome Keating Ep 97

5 October 2020

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:


Dr. Jerome Keating has been living in Taiwan for over 30 years. Initially he came over to Taiwan to work on the MRT. He has written several books about Taiwan. We invited him on to the podcast to talk about this latest book, Taiwan The Struggle Gains Focus. Dr. Keating also reflected on how Taiwan has changed in the past 30 years, and we discussed things past and present including Taiwan’s complicated international status, amendment of the constitution, changing the official name of Taiwan (which is the Republic of China) and redesigning the passport and flag of Taiwan.


In part two of our interview, Dr. Keating will talk about his other writings, what he plans to write next, and how the owners of a popular New York-based Taiwanese American restaurant sought his advice before opening their restaurant.


CORRECTION: At the 14:40-minute in the interview, Dr. Keating remarks, “We are 75 years at the end of World War I.” What he meant to say is that, “We are 75 years at the end of World War II.”


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:


  • What motivated Dr. Keating to write his latest book, Taiwan The Struggle Gains Focus
  • Who the book was intended for and who Dr. Keating writes for
  • How Taiwan has changed in the last 30 years
  • The semi-martial-like atmosphere of Taiwan when Dr. Keating arrived in 1988
  • Keating’s first book Island in the Stream and what motivated him to write it
  • What intrigues Dr. Keating about Taiwan as a subject matter
  • How the San Francisco Peace Treaty (signed in 1951) left Taiwan in a limbo status
  • How the US position on Taiwan 75 years after World War II is still undecided
  • The circumstances surrounding “Taiwan” aka the Republic of China losing its seat in the United Nations in 1971, which included a proposal to have 2 Chinas in the United Nations
  • The Republic of China and People’s Republic of China’s claims on China
  • How Taiwan has never had a seat in the United Nations
  • The Republic of China framework and constitution that Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang brought to Taiwan
  • Keating’s thoughts on amending Taiwan’s constitution
  • Changing the official name and flag that represent Taiwan
  • Submissions for the new Taiwan passport cover design
  • The Taiwan Civil Government wanting to make Taiwan the 51st state of the United States
  • How Dr. Keating sees Taiwan’s future



Related Links:


Dr. Jerome Keating’s website: http://jeromekeating.com


Dr. Jerome Keating’s books:


Taiwan The Struggle Gains Focus: http://www.smcbook.com.tw/smc/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=61651&search=Taiwan+The+Struggle+Gains+Focus



Island in the Stream: http://www.smcbook.com.tw/smc/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=55&search=island+in+the+stream



Taiwan, the Struggles of a Democracy


Taiwan, the Search for Identity


The Mapping of Taiwan, Desired Economies, Coveted Geographies


The Paradigms that Guide Our Lives and Drive Our Souls



Ma Ying-jeou (former President of Taiwan): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Ying-jeou


The Sunflower Movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_Student_Movement


Submissions for the new Taiwan passport cover design: https://taiwanpassport.tw/publish_page/international_standard/page=1


The winning design for Taiwan’s new passport cover: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/03/taiwan-demotes-republic-of-china-reference-on-new-passports?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&fbclid=IwAR1Kr3MQb9g2-xXto_udk7Sbez0v5gSTFvxqeT0eZOscdvfxywHhukTmAxE


San Francisco Peace Treaty: http://www.taiwandocuments.org/sanfrancisco01.htm


About the Taiwan Civil Government: https://international.thenewslens.com/article/85225


Trigg Brown and Josh Ku of Win Son: Taiwanese Restaurant in NYC Ep 60

Professor Andrew Morris: The Relationship Between Taiwan Baseball and its History Ep 96

Sunflower Movement: Reflecting Back from the Civil Unrest of 2020 Ep 78

  • Anthony R says:

    Great article. Highly informative, entertaining, and full of history I never knew existed. Dr. Jerome Keating is a true historian and an expert in his field.

  • RAD-Jet says:

    Superb trip back in time with a deep examination of Taiwan’s history from Japan’s rule, through the White Terror Era, moving on through Marshall Law, and to present day democracy. Dr. Keating ‘s analysis is on point.

  • KR says:

    Sensational podcast! In less than one hour, I now understand (most of) Taiwan’s history!

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