Thursday, February 22, 2007
Fact or fiction?
When I first "discovered" Su Beng I heard many tall tales about him.
I heard that he'd spent many years in China involved with the Chinese Communists- perhaps he'd even participated in the Long March. He'd had a vasectomy before the age of thirty, presumably because when he'd decided to commit himself to the life of a revolutionary, he realized that he couldn't bring any children into the world because his revolutionary activities would always come first.
Some have viewed him as violent and radical. In the 1950's he established the Taiwan Army Corps and was later wanted for plotting to assassinate Chiang Kai-shek. He was also the first to document and write a book about Taiwan's History. After the Chinese version of Taiwan's 400 Years of History was published in 1980, Su Beng traveled around the world promoting Taiwan independence movements amongst overseas Taiwanese. When he made contact with some relatives in Canada, his relatives, unsure of his motivations, didn't even know whether they should receive him or not. Having spent many years in China, most assumed that he was a Red Communist. In the end, the relatives reluctantly received Su Beng and ended up buying several copies of Taiwan's 400 Years of History for the sum of US$100 each.
To many, Su Beng may have seemed like a loose cannon. He is definitely a man who walks to a different drum. When I heard these tales, I knew that I just had to know more.