the following is a list of things many chinese/taiwanese hold sacred and assume to be true, and therefore fall under the wrath of my righteous keyboard:
1. the chinese are one people- let's see, the miao, hui, manchu,tujia, yi,mongol,buyei, dong,yao, oh yeah and han, the largest (claimed) ethnic group.there are probably over 100 different groups.how many chinese people are actually Han is up for debate.
2. the name "zhong guoh" means "middle kingdom" - wrong! it means a conglomeration of all the peoples living in that land. it was not meant to denote that the ancient chinese thought of themselves as being the center of the earth (a favorite myth of chinese nationalist/ sino-centrists to further instill feelings of racial superiority in chinese people).
3. chinese culture is one, unbroken, enlightened culture- chinese culture is fragmented by many dynasties, two of which were foriegn (mongols and manchu). some of the dynasties would be considered very englightened, while others were backwards and cruel. and that line is not drawn between foriegn and "han" dynasties. there were a large number of extremely stupid "han" rulers.
4. chinese writing is one continuous line of evolution to what it is now- false. there were other lineages of writing systems,but they died out, and we have (fortunately) the one we do now.
5. the chinese were more enlightened than the westerners- until 500 years ago. then they fell behind. and that falling behind has EVERYTHING to do with their own backwardness. time to put the blame where it belongs.and many things still practiced in chinese culture are cruel by modern standards. if these cruel practices are any hint, it is doubtful that the chinese were ever all that enlightened.
6. to be Chinese means to be Tao or Buddhist- buddhism came to china about 2000 years ago. tao was invented about 2500 years ago. if you want to claim chinese culture as being 5000 years old, stop condemning 3000 years of people before Tao and Buddha to being "not chinese", by your definition.
there are (since the 600AD for Christianity), chinese christians,chinese muslisms, and chinese jews with a long history/lineage. there are also "crypto" groups who hid their religion under the guise of buddhism/taoism. it is believed a large part of gwan ying/pusa iconology is really the Virgin Mary.
7.chinese culture developed on its own- another nationalistic wet dream. Bu Dai Xi,the famous taiwan puppets,actually orignated in Turkey. the oldest mummies in china were in fact Causcasian, and had in their possession accupuncture needles, long before the birth of Hua Tou , the supposed inventor of chinese medicine. the romans and greeks knew where china was. the silk road ran (and still does) to the West for thousands of years.
8.the chinese invented gunpowder and paper and that proves that they are a superior race- any group of people as large as the chinese is bound to have some geniuses. that doesn't mean the whole race is smart, just as some white guys sending a man to the moon doesn't make Caucasians superior. their culture,maybe. but not race.
so where does this leave you, if you are a chinese/taiwanese? be proud of your culture, but forget the rants of the chinese nationalists on both sides of the taiwan strait and amongst the chinese disporia who want to lead you astray. keep the useful things from chinese culture, and discard the rest. live a western life. you'll be happier.