Echoes of the Military State

On my way to work today, I walked past Heping High School. There was a school assembly. The students sat in the field in the middle of the track, in the sun. (It is 34 deg C now, and no doubt hotter in the sun.) A man made a speech through a megaphone. There were some teachers standing on the periphery, and a man in a blue security guard’s uniform walking among the rows of sitting students.

Maybe there was no auditorium for the students to gather in. Maybe the officer was concerned as to whether the students would suffer heatstroke.

To me, though, it looked as if the students were being indoctrinated and presented for military inspection. When I described the scene to a coworker of mine, he said the officer was likely a Xiaojing – a school guard – essentially a member of the army posted to the school.

It was not long ago that Taiwan was a police state. It was a publicly discussed a few years ago, as to whether to do away with the Xiaojing system, but it since passed out of discussion, with no change in the status quo.

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