"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Behind the China Post's curtain

... lies a big conflict of interest

The Friday edition of the China Post bears the front page headline "Taiwan economy needs stronger bite: AmCham." [UPDATE: Here's a new link to the China Post article.] The article has the AmCham "calling for the need to relieve political wrangling, resolve regulatory morass, and to improve cross-strait as well as U.S. trade relations in order to boost Taiwan's economy." The article quotes the group's president Jane Hwang as saying that "Taiwan appears to be falling behind the other three 'aging' Asian Tigers in economic competitiveness,'" and has its executive director Richard Vuylsteke citing "the high turnover of government officials over the last seven years as a major deterrent to the country's economy."

"[T]he last seven years"? Notice how that coincides precisely with Chen Shui-bian's presidency while entirely avoiding any mention of his name.

The article's vaguely-stated goal is the opening of trade between Taiwan and its missle-pointing neighbor China, which the Taiwanese consider to be a hegemonistic bully bent on economically terrorizing the world into submission via its "one China" policy. Take a look at how the China Post blurs that goal:
Vuylsteke called for the government to get rid of negative import list of products from China, not just to help foreign investment, but also to create jobs for locals.
This flies in the face of the fact that many local jobs have been lost because of Taiwanese factories moving to China, where the labor is cheaper and safety standards much less stringent. It also ignores the fact that China is currently Taiwan's largest export market.

But there are even darker secrets hiding behind the China Post's crimson curtain.

Full disclosure
Welcome back, my friends,
to the show that never ends.
It's so sad you must attend.
Come inside, come inside.

The China Post article is hiding something that you'd never notice unless you've done the kind of research I've been doing for the past several years. AmCham's staff has yet another "Jane" -- one who has recently been employed as a pro-blue propaganda pusher by none other than the China Post.

That would be Jane Rickards.

That's right. Rickards has written articles for the China Post such as these:
* Lu fires parting shots as acting DPP chair (January 26, 2006)
   [Promulgating the meme that the DPP is too divided to win any elections.]
* U.S. urges cross-strait stability (February 24, 2006)
   [Note the AmCham banner on the podium in the image which accompanies the article.]
* President could have met U.S. officials in Alaska (May 5, 2006)
   ["Stupid Chen," she seems to be saying. "Why didn't he just kneel?"]
* U.S. visitor issues Chen administration one of the bluntest warnings (May 26, 2006)
* Chen's Address May Stir Up Ethnic Tensions (June 22, 2006)
   [One of the pan-blues' favorite memes.]
* Talks called for on visit by Beijing policy maker (August 4, 2006)
   [As if there was a snowball's chance in hell of Chen Yunlin visiting Taiwan.]
See also Michael Turton's takes on Rickards, whom he says is "not what anyone would call an unbiased source" and whose writing he calls "appallingly slanted."

AmCham in Taipei describes themselves as a "non-partisan business organization." After reading the above information, does that ring true, or does it ring as hollow as a bass drum.

Pay close attention to those behind the curtain. Pay very close attention.

* On Friday, May 25, 2007, Jerome F. Keating, Ph.D. expressed his own consternation at the CP's continued contortion of history. Read that to see what else is hiding behind their increasingly ragged curtain.
* On Tuesday, May 29, 2007, Ocean Voice Radio (海洋之聲) -- an "underground" pro-green/pro-Taiwan radio station operating in a vast sea of legal and illegal pan-blue/pro-China media -- was shut down [English Google translation] by the pan-blue dominated National Communications Commission (NCC), a group which has ironically been proclaimed unconstitutional. Think they'll send 200 police to the offices of the China Post? (I don't either.)
* In today's Taipei Times, Johnny Neihu revealed the hidden conflict of interest behind a recent sordid tale in the United Daily News involving sex with a West Point cadet who was visiting Taiwan as an exchange student. Turns out that the "damsel in distress" was a friend of the reporter who wrote the story. Isn't that special? Yo, NCC?

UPDATE: The Sunday June 3, 2007 issue of the Taipei Times has an excellent editorial cartoon mocking AmCham in Taipei president Jane Hwang's actual quote of "Just do it."

Places where needles are hard to find: , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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