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

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

Few contemporaries are more qualified than Dr. Jerome Keating on understanding the history of Taiwan. He 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:

Dr. Jerome Keating’s books:

Taiwan The Struggle Gains Focus:

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):

The Sunflower Movement:

Submissions for the new Taiwan passport cover design:

The winning design for Taiwan’s new passport cover:

San Francisco Peace Treaty:

About the Taiwan Civil Government:

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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You may also like:

  • 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.

  • 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.

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