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Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan; Interview with Chen Chu, Part 1 of 3

Part of Stories of East and South East Asia.

Warning: this record contains description of violence, abuse, human-rights abuses that may be disturbing to viewers. Interview with Chen Chu. Question 1. Could you describe for us how hard it was to learn a new language, China literature and geography in elementary school? Question 2. And could you describe for us the kinds of activities that you did in the Youth Corps? Question 3. You said you didn't participate in the more militarist parts of the Youth Corps, but did you ever march in the National Day Parades? or take part in any of those kinds of organized activities? When we look at the film, they seem quite paramilitary, and I wondered if you thought they were, then? military in Youth Corps. Question 4. I'd like to ask you to talk a bit about working for Kuo Yu-hsin, how it opened your eyes to the repression of human rights in Taiwan.... Question 5. What did it mean to be a part of the Tangwei, the opposition in the 1970s? What were the risks during the White Terror? Question 6. You told us that when Chiang Kai-shek died you were happy about his death because, you said, "to want a tyrant to die is not easy." Could you explain what you meant by that? Bo Yang, PMM? Question 7. One more question, before we get to the events of 1978 and 1979: could you describe for us the excitement you felt in reading the works of "homeland literature" for the first time? What was it about these authors that "spoke" to you? Question 10. Now, moving on to 1979, what were the goals of the magazine Melida? Question 11. You told us last time that Melida was a way of forming a party without actually calling it that, isn't that right?...Why take chance? Question 11. Repeat. Question 12. Could you describe for us the day of the Kaohsiung rally -- briefly? Question 14. Could you describe for us being arrested some days later, how you saw the soldiers surround the building where you were living, upstairs from Lin Yi-hsiung's?

License Clip
Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan

Interview with Chen Chu, Part 1 of 3

Program Description

Weaving personal testimonies with rare archival film, this documentary examines the forces that have shaped the past and present of the tiny island 90 miles off the shores of China -- forces that continue to make Taiwan vulnerable to major power confrontations in the near future. The rare footage -- carefully stored and preserved over the years in a major film archive in Taiwan -- is a critical element of this program, which begins in 1895 as the Sino-Japanese war was ending in victory for Japan.



Asset Type

Raw Footage

Media Type


Peoples of East Asia
Military Forces and Armaments
Legal System - Human Rights Law
Politics and Government
Protest and Public Advocacy
Global Affairs
Vecchione, Judith (Producer)
Wren, Deborah (Narrator)
Chu, Chen (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan; Interview with Chen Chu, Part 1 of 3,” GBH Archives, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan; Interview with Chen Chu, Part 1 of 3.” GBH Archives. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan; Interview with Chen Chu, Part 1 of 3. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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