Twenty years after a failed 2047 Chinese invasion of Taiwan, a historian records five unique perspectives on the war and its aftermath, producing a multiple-narrative that favors the truth of individual experience over officially sanctioned fact.
In 2067, twenty years after China’s failed invasion of Taiwan, a historian embarks on an ambitious project to chronicle life during and after the war. Yet, even decades later, the fog of war hangs heavy over Taiwan, leaving the survivors with conflicting memories and feelings concerning the Taiwan Strait War. Faced with these contradictions, the historian interviews five individuals, and reconstructs their experiences of the war and its aftermath. The result is a multi-layered historical document that favors individual experience over official facts, and frequently runs counter to commonly accepted beliefs concerning the war.
The first account is the memoir of the last surviving member of the Taiwan People’s Liberation Front, the Taiwanese who were secretly preparing to welcome the communist invaders, and who ended up captured when they believed the disinformation propagated by their own side. In “When Will You Return” a former elite soldier of the invading People’s Liberation Army (PLA) adjusts to life in Taiwan, while secretly trying to uncover the truth behind the assassination mission he undertook during the war. “Last Day of a Private Art Museum” follows an employee at a rehabilitation center who experiences the war through the paintings of a taciturn patient. “News from the South” is the story of intelligence officers from opposite sides of the Taiwan Strait exchanging information ahead of the invasion. The final account describes the establishment of Chenan Temple for the purpose to attend to the spirits of the victims of a PLA massacre, but goes on to describe the hauntings and other supernatural incidents that are frequently observed at the temple.
Impeccably researched, and freely mixing elements of reportage, future history, and military/espionage fiction, Secret Testimony confronts a question that hangs over the citizens of Taiwan, and is currently making headlines around the world: will China invade Taiwan? This collection of wartime “memories” is deeply intertwined with the defining issues of Taiwan’s political status and identity, while also holding a mirror to contemporary sentiments and the current dilemmas in cross-strait relations. As such, Secret Testimony is a nuanced and boldly imagined multiple-narrative that will appeal to fans of speculative and military/espionage fiction, as well as readers interested more generally in strategic and political affairs in the Taiwan Strait.