History of the Kuomintang cultural policy

History Of The Kuomintang Cultural Policy

History of the Kuomintang cultural policy

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During the early postwar period (1945–1960) the Kuomintang (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party) suppressed localism and barred Taiwanese from cosmopolitan life except in the spheres of science and technology. The authoritarian KMT dominated public cultural space and Chinese nationalist networks became a part of cultural institutions, leaving little resource for cultural autonomy to grow.

Under the early KMT, Taiwan was realigned from a Japanese imperial center to a Chinese nationalist center, under the influence of KMT and American geo-political interests. Although American cultural activities were modest, they played a significant role in Taiwan’s developing cultural scene. The KMT claimed a loss of morale led to “losing the Mainland” and thus the state issued a series of ideological reforms aimed to "retake the mainland", which became the major state cultural program or the time, The immediate preoccupation with losing China diverted long term investment in the humanities and social sciences. On another level, the state’s main objective was to “sinicize” the Taiwanese by teaching them Mandarin Chinese and Nationalist ideology through compulsory primary education.

By the late 1940s the KMT had eliminated dissent for its cultural policies. When Taiwanese had resumed the cultural activities,...
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