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

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What "provokes" the Chinese?

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) included
Although Taiwan is frequently painted by intermational news media as "provoking" China, it's becoming more and more apparent that the thing that pisses off China the most is plain old reality.

Clarification: Michael Turton has previously blogged about being provoked as a "policy choice" by Beijing. The post you're reading now is about specific overreactions by Chinese. [/clarification]

Let's take a look at some examples, shall we?

Wouldn't you know it? There's been yet another flag flap resulting from a Taiwanese victory (3rd place!) at an international competition. This most recent one has resulted in the DPP demanding an apology from Beijing -- a demand which I say is long overdue.

Today's Taipei Times has the details in an article titled "MOFA decries Chinese attack in Seattle":
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday lambasted Chinese players at the World Cyber Games in Seattle for roughing up Taiwanese contestants, saying that violence could only increase Taiwan's aversion toward Beijing.

Phoebe Yeh (葉非比), acting deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, said China's suppression of Taiwan had reached an "eccentric" level, with the international community witnessing the profanity and violence of Chinese players at the event.

She cautioned Taiwanese to remain alert when encountering Chinese competitors at international events.

Players are advised to contact the ministry's representative offices for assistance, she said.

Yeh said that Taiwanese player Liu You-chen (劉祐辰) won the bronze medal in the grand final of Project Gotham Racing 3 and displayed the Republic of China (ROC) flag during the award ceremony.

More than 10 Chinese gamers and Chinese media employees scrambled toward the stage to grab the flag, she said.

After the ceremony, Chinese players confronted the Taiwanese contestants, requesting that they surrender Liu and calling Taiwanese players "sons of bitches," the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) reported.

The report said that Chinese players struck at the Taiwanese and tried to prevent them from taking their vehicle back to their hotel. Seattle police were called in to maintain order while the ministry's representative office in Seattle sent personnel to provide assistance.
Geez! "[V]iolence could only increase Taiwan's aversion toward Beijing." Who'd have thunk it?

Here's a South African source of the same news which, translating the Liberty Times a bit more literally, reports that "Chinese gamers yelled insults, saying the Taiwan side was 'given birth by dogs.'" Seeing how the Chinese often refer to Taiwanese as their "fellow countrymen" (同胞), that would be highly ironic. (And here's the original Liberty Times article and one from the pro-blue United Daily News which oddly reports the "mainland" players calling the Taiwanese players "Chinese pigs." WTF?!)

An article in today's Taipei Times titled "Map outrage piques artist's curiosity about Taiwan" reveals how the louder China's whining gets, the more detrimental the intended results are:
Chinese friends' repeated claims that "Taiwan is part of China" in response to her creation of a map of China that did not include Taiwan, is what encouraged visiting artist Susan Stockwell to come and see for herself.


Stockwell, who has done extensive international work, created a paper map of China during her last residency in Nanjing, China. The response from her friends was unexpected, she said, as almost all of them said that she had left out Taiwan, although none of them mentioned Macau or Hong Kong, neither of which were on the map.

Her friends told Stockwell over and over again that Taiwan was a part of China, which made her very angry, she said.

The Royal College of Art graduate said she had learned a little about China-Taiwan relations before, but the reaction to her map dramatically boosted her curiosity. [...]
I bet Stockwell's "Chinese friends" are all letting out a simultaneous "Oops!" right about now.

Naaaaaah! It's more likely that they're cooking up yet another scheme which will blow up in their own faces. (And I think the Taipei Times description of a "paper map" is inaccurate.)

Art for provoking China's sake?
I'm guessing this is Stockwell's "provocative" map
Click the image to go to Stockwell's web site

Words, or lack thereof
Today's pan-blue media news reports are all whining about President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) saying "Taiwan" (台灣) but not saying "ROC" (中華民國). A caller to a talk show (穿透台灣政局大解碼) on SET (三立新聞) at around 3:25 PM today described the pan-blue whining by saying that it makes the KMT look "as if their parents just died" (如喪考妣). I would say that's an understatement.

On the same show, the otherwise apathetic KMT legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) repeatedly scolded the other guests (Wu Kuo-tung [吳國棟] and Hsu Kuo-yung [徐國勇]) for "having only Taiwan in their hearts." So what?! The exact opposite could be said of Fai.

It's not only about Taiwan
Whether it's lead paint in toys, poison in toothpaste, contaminated pet food, their "look the other way" attitude about Burma, or just the occasional accuracy that finds its way into media reports, China always seems to find a way to shirk any responsibility and to blame those who point out their evils. That's what appeasement brings about, and until the world stops doing it, we'll have to endure a lot of gnashing of teeth when it comes to dealing with China. When Mattel apologizes to China, smart people are likely to boycott Mattel for life. That's the way you do it.

I'm sure you can think of many more examples on your own. With the Olympics coming up next August, now is the time to use that as leverage against this international bully. Don't wait until it's too late to speak the truth.

Rhymes and reasons: , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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