As residents of Taiwan react to the historic meeting, emigrants from the country are expressing their own views.
CCTV’s Jim Spellman spoke with two Taiwanese-Americans to learn more about their story and what they think of this cross-Strait contact.
Taiwanese-Americans react to historic meeting of leadersAs residents of Taiwan react to the historic meeting, emigrants from the country are expressing their own views.
Corinna and Edward Shen own the Seven Seas Chinese restaurant outside Washington, D.C.
They both came to the U.S. from Taiwan in the 1970s, married, started a family and opened their restaurant.
But their parents led very different lives on the Chinese Mainland.
“During the war with Japanese in 1938, they were both recruited from China ROC government,” Corinna said.
They served in the BIS – The Bureau of Investigation and Statistics, – the secret police of the Kuomintang. She still has her mother’s BIS identification card.
“They were underground agents, spied on both the Japanese and the communists.”
Edward’s father was a general in the Republic of China Army, fighting alongside Kuomintang leader, Chiang Kai-Shek.
In 1949, both families fled to Taiwan.
Corinna’s father became a police officer and her mother led a woman’s group, but the Chinese Mainland still had a place in their hearts, especially for Corinna’s mother.
“She would sit on the end of her bed, pounding her bed, calling for her mother she was so homesick.”
Though both families supported the ROC, they yearned for change.
“My father always thinks there should be one China,” Edward said.
So when China’s president Xi and Taiwan’s leader Ma finally met and shook hands it was a powerful moment for the Shens.
“Last night, I went to bed with anxiety and this morning I woke up and started watching media coverage and its just that highly symbolic 81 second handshake.(very excited) I felt peace,” Corinna said.
“I think it’s a good start that at least we have something started after what 60 years 66 years,” Edward said.
For the Shens, their life is in the United States, but in their hearts they are still and will always be Chinese.
“I was born and grew up and was educated in Taiwan and my feeling is that I admire both leaders wisdom. And I am so proud of their peace mission,(wipes away tears) so I am a believer that unity is strength,” Corinna said.