TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Chang An-lo (張安樂), the leader of a small pro-unification party who is better known as "White Wolf" (白狼), a nickname from his days as a top figure in Taiwan’s organized crime, declared at an Amis-style festival on Saturday that Taiwan's indigenous people are ethnically Chinese and Confucian in belief, reported Liberty Times.
At a time when many of Taiwanese indigenous tribes celebrate their traditional "harvest festival" (豐年祭), White Wolf's Chinese Unity Promotion Party (中華統一促進黨) in Hualien organized their own take on the festival, calling it the socialist-sounding "Chinese Unity Promotion Party Era of Confucius Year 2568 Ethnic People's Harvest Festival." During the event, the host White Wolf declared that "Everyone is Chinese, aborigines are also Chinese, and aborigines are also Confucian," triggering the ire of indigenous Taiwanese legislators.
Amis TV news anchor and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator, Kolas Yotaka (谷辣斯‧尤達卡), in a post on her Facebook page titled "what is this crap?" said that in an democratic country any political party is entitled to its own ideas and they can respect each other. "However, if there is misappropriation, misuse, and abuse of another people's culture without common sense, it is unforgivable."
Wearing a Confucian robe with Amis colors and patterns, White Wolf also said at the event that Taiwanese aborigines are part of "Chinese culture" and there is no need to use the Gregorian or the Mingguo calendars (Republic of China calendar), instead they should measure years based on the birth of Confucius.
To these claims, Yotaka responded that the origins of indigenous and Chinese people in Taiwan are different.
"We are a south pacific island people, our blood lines, culture, physical appearance, and language are all different. We share the languages and culture of the peoples of Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. We are a different country than you, what is this Confucius Harvest Festival? Please don't make trouble with your united front!"
Indeed, there is a growing consensus among scholars across a broad spectrum of fields that Taiwanese indigenous people are not only Austronesian, genetically distinct from Han Chinese, but that they are the ancestors of many peoples across large swaths of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Academia Sinica scholar Liu I-chang (劉益昌) has taken this a step further by proposing that the nexus of this ancient culture 4,000 years ago was Taitung.