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Tim Chng Documents the Overseas Taiwan Independence Movement on Wikipedia Ep 159

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

Tim Chng is one of the founders of ITASA (Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association), and we’ve known each other since those college days. He is currently documenting the overseas Taiwan Independence Movement on Wikipedia.

I thought I’d invite him on to Talking Taiwan to talk about some of the media attention that Taiwan’s been getting lately, and the project he’s started to document the contributions of WUFI (World United Formosans for Independence) and overseas Taiwanese to the fight for Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.

After a non-Taiwanese friend of mine texted me asking about who Enes Kanter was and why he was speaking up about Taiwan, I realized that it would be a good idea to do an episode about this and other celebrities who have shed light on Taiwan- for good and bad.

Enes Kanter, a basketball player for the NBA’s Boston Celtics, has called for boycotting the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and caused quite a stir by tweeting and speaking out about Taiwan being a free and democratic country, and not a part of China. Twitter was all abuzz over this.

I had seen Tim weighing in on the Twitter discussion about Enes, so I thought it would be fun to invite him on to Talking Taiwan to share his thoughts on all of this.

I knew that we’d have an interesting conversation. We talked about Enes, John Oliver, John Cena and even Peng Shuai, the Chinese women’s tennis player whose safety and whereabouts have been in question ever since her post on a Chinese social media platform (Weibo) about being sexually assaulted by a retired Chinese Communist party leader was deleted.

Tim also talked about what motivated him to start documenting the Taiwan independence movement on Wikipedia, and how in a broader sense it is about recognizing the role of Taiwan’s diaspora in the fight for Taiwan’s freedom and democracy during the White Terror era.

If you’re interested in helping Tim with this project you can do so simply by creating a login on Wikipedia, which as Tim said is really quite easy to do, and you can start editing and adding to the Wikipedia pages about WUFI or the Taiwan independence movement.

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

  • The background of Enes Kanter NBA’s Celtics team, has spoken up for Taiwan
  • How Enes Kanter and his family has been blacklisted by the Turkish government
  • How Enes’ father went to prison for speaking up against Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
  • Taiwan’s blacklist
  • Comparing the struggles and conflict that the Uyghers, and people of Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan’s have with China
  • Badiucao, the artist who created the art and designs for Enes Kanter’s sneakers that called for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Stand With Taiwan sneakers
  • The perception that Taiwan’s democracy was a direct result of Chiang Ching-kuo lifting martial law in Taiwan
  • How the father (Dr. Kang-lu Wang) of one of ITASA’s founders (Alvin Wang) was assassinated by the Kuomintang (KMT)
  • What led Tim to start his project to document the Taiwan independence movement, especially the resistance movement amongst overseas Taiwanese
  • How the resistance movement of overseas Taiwanese in the 1950s-1980s is not taught in history books and hasn’t been well documented
  • Documenting WUFI (World United Formosans for Independence) on Wikipedia
  • How difficult it was to get media coverage on Taiwan in the 1950s-1980s
  • How New Bloom was contacted and consulted by John Oliver’s team for his segment about Taiwan
  • How Taiwan needs allies and support as it stands up to China
  • What is problematic about what Enes Kanter is saying about China
  • Tsai Ing-wen’s public statement thanking Enes Kanter for his support
  • Whether or not the U.S. really cares about Taiwan’s self-determination or freedom
  • The KMT’s network of overseas student spies during the martial law era
  • How organizers of the first ITASA conference at Yale University received an anonymous intimidating letter
  • How no one from Yale University was able to attend the Love Boat program in the year following the Yale ITASA conference
  • How Tim and his family were blacklisted and not allowed to return to Taiwan
  • What inspired many WUFI members and overseas Taiwan independence activists to stand up for Taiwan and to attempt to free Taiwan from authoritarian rule
  • How Peter Huang who attempted to assassinate Chiang Ching-kuo was a WUFI member
  • How many overseas Taiwanese students were inspired by the Cuban revolution
  • How within WUFI there were members who were KMT spies
  • The founding of WUFI in 1971 and how it united organizations in Japan, Europe, the United States, and Canada
  • How WUFI members were responsible much of the U.S. media coverage on Taiwan
  • The Taiwanese American Association of America (TAA), the grassroots arm of WUFI
  • Fundraising efforts for the Taiwanese political drama Island Nation 2
  • What motivated Chiang Ching-kuo to lift martial law in Taiwan
  • Tim’s criticism of John Oliver’s segment on Taiwan
  • John Oliver’s criticism of John Cena, the pro wrestler and actor who apologized to China after calling Taiwan a country
  • What happened to Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and what may have motivated her to speak about how she was sexually assaulted by Zhang Gaoli, a former high-ranking government official and member of the Chinese Communist Party
  • The support that Peng Shuai has gotten from other professional tennis players
  • The Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) reaction to Peng Shuai’s statement about being sexually assaulted and her subsequent disappearance
  • The pressure by the WTA and countries like Finland to cancel on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
  • Myanmar and the Free Burma movement
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative
  • Lithuania’s support of Taiwan
  • Tim’s call for others to help contribute his Wikipedia project documenting the contributions of overseas Taiwanese (from all over the globe) to Taiwan’s democratization and independence movement
  • WUFI’s 2021 paper calendar commemorating WUFI’s 50thanniversary
  • How Professor Chen Wen-chen was part of the WUFI network
  • The Taiwan History Facebook group
  • The importance of documenting the stories of Taiwan’s diaspora who fought for Taiwan’s freedom and democracy

Related Links:

Tim Chng on Twitter: https://twitter.com/chngthengteng


The Wikipedia page for WUFI (World United Formosans for Independence): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_United_Formosans_for_Independence


Photos of WUFI that Tim has posted on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=tchng&set=a.10165912539250013


The Taiwan History Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/811812725675036


ITASA (Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association): https://itasa.org/


Enes Kanter’s tweet boycotting the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Freedom Shoes with the words “No Beijing 2022” “Move the Games” “No Rights No Games” on them


Enes Kanter’s Tweet stating that Taiwan is a free and democratic country: https://twitter.com/EnesKanter/status/1458466864334528514?s=20


Enes Kanter on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eneskanter11/


Enes Kanter on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EnesFreedom


“Who are the Uyghurs and why is China being accused of genocide?” (an article from the BBC News): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-22278037


A Wikipedia post about the Uyghurs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghurs


Badiucao on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/badiucao/


Badiucao on Twitter: https://twitter.com/badiucao


“My Father, Dr. Kang-lu Wang” by Alvin Wang (from TaiwaneseAmericanHistory.org): http://taiwaneseamericanhistory.org/blog/mystories34/


“Transitional Justice Awaits: Taiwan’s 72 Years of Healing” (an article from Ketagalan Media that mentions the death of Dr. Kang-lu Wang and the 72nd anniversary of the 228 massacre): https://ketagalanmedia.com/2019/02/28/transitional-justice-awaits-taiwans-72-years-healing/


Brian Hioe on Twitter: https://twitter.com/brianhioe


New Bloom: https://newbloommag.net/



Taiwan: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): https://youtu.be/9Y18-07g39g


“Taiwan ally Honduras poised to elect pro-China candidate” (An article from the Taiwan News): https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4342927


Tsai Ing-wen’s public statement thanking Enes Kanter for his support: https://twitter.com/iingwen/status/1459364677402591240?s=20


“Commission outlines past KMT spying on students” (an article from the Taipei Times): http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2019/05/20/2003715465


Peter Huang https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Huang


Taiwanese American Association of America (TAA): https://www.taa-usa.org/


Taiwanese Canadian Association (TCA): https://tca-canada.ca/


The Kaohsiung Incident aka the Formosa Incident (1979): https://www.taiwandc.org/hst-1979.htm


Henry Liu: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Liu


Island Nation’s (the Taiwanese political drama series) YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxGyAsGkYR8X4pAU5kDQy3A


The 228 incident aka The 228 massacre: https://www.taiwandc.org/228-intr.htm


“Peng Shuai accused a retired Chinese Communist Party leader of sexual assault. Here’s what you need to know” (an article from CNN): https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/19/tennis/peng-shuai-china-explainer-intl-hnk/index.html


The Tweet by the China-state affiliated media Twitter account with an email that Peng had supposedly sent to the chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association: https://bit.ly/3xxkFkv


China’s Belt and Road Initiative: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_and_Road_Initiative


“How A Chinese-Built Highway Drove Montenegro Deep Into Debt” (an article from NPR): https://www.npr.org/2021/06/28/1010832606/road-deal-with-china-is-blamed-for-catapulting-montenegro-into-historic-debt


An article about Lithuania’s support of Taiwan, “Taiwan Angers China With First Europe Office Using Its Name” (from Bloomberg): https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-20/u-s-hails-taiwan-move-to-open-first-europe-office-with-its-name?fbclid=IwAR2C1R9vUiq_47oA1Aeof9lyFQEohR_2bRTqKPFgBSpC53Z0kKcseJBrIhM


Professor Chen Wen-chen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chen_Wen-chen


Taiwan Plus (a free English-language streaming service that aims to deliver information, news, and videos that showcase what’s happening in Taiwan): https://www.taiwanplus.com/


Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA): https://fapa.org/



The testimony of a WUFI (World United Formosans for Independence) Taiwanese political prisoner, Chen Shen-chin: https://youtu.be/b0z–4AohMc


Chiang Ching-kuo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Ching-kuo


Kuomintang (KMT): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuomintang


DPP (Democratic Progressive Party): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Progressive_Party


Love Boat Study Tour Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Boat_(study_tour)


Love Boat Taiwan: Interview with Asian American Studies Professor and Filmmaker Valerie Soe Ep 66: https://talkingtaiwan.com/love-boat-taiwan-interview-asian-american-studies-professor-film-maker-valerie-soe-ep-66/

Christina Hu Talks About Documentary Filmmaking and her Blacklist Short Film Series Ep 151: https://talkingtaiwan.com/christina-hu-talks-about-documentary-filmmaking-and-her-blacklist-short-film-series-ep-151/

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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