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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chinese students in Taiwan say it's bad to hate the Beijing butchers

People who don't know much about freedom of speech

On Thursday, December 24, 2009, Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹) gave a speech at Taichung's Providence University (靜宜大學). The day before his speech, flyers advertising the speech had been distributed all around the campus, but by the day of the event, they had either disappeared or been ripped up.

What kind of person or people do you think would have had a reason to do that sort of thing?

Ten Chinese students showed up to attend the speech, seven of whom sat right up front. Although they were a minority in the audience, they took up much of the discussion time with long, rambling, and hostile questions.

Free speech is something their own government won't permit, but while in Taiwan, these Chinese students used that freedom to disparage Wang for hating the Beijing butchers responsible for the Tiananmen Square Massacre (天安門大屠殺) of June 4, 1989.

Here's some video from FTV News (民視新聞) about what happened:

2:44 YouTube video: "Chinese students in Taiwan say it's bad to hate the Beijing butchers"

Contemporary Monthly (當代雜誌) editor-in-chief Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒) compared the students' behavior to that of the infamous Red Guards of China's tragic "Cultural Revolution" (無產階級文化大革命) whose violent attacks against people violated its own rule that "persuasion rather than force was to be used." We've seen the same sort of violent, nationalistic behavior from Chinese at soccer games in their own country, the Olympic Torch Relay in other countries, and at a recent speech by a Taiwanese student in S. Korea who "dared" to hold up a small ROC flag. Don't fool yourself by saying that this is nothing.

Related reading:
* Wang Dan warns of PRC student activity in Taiwan:
Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹) stirred debate recently over his suspicions that Chinese students may be "conducting organized activities" on college campuses in Taiwan.

In his latest post on Facebook, Wang said he raised the matter because he wanted to remind Taiwanese that this was now taking place in their country.

Wang, who is a guest lecturer at Chengchi University's Graduate Institute of Taiwan History, gave a speech at Providence University in Taichung on Thursday titled "How to See the Real China." During the two-hour event, a group of Chinese students studying in Taiwan challenged Wang, a student leader during the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989.


They accused him of being unfair to the Chinese people because of his hatred for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).


Wang said he was not making sensational comments to scare the public, adding that student council president at University of Hong Kong, who had previously made comments to the effect that there was no such thing as a Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989, was elected following organized voting by Chinese students.

"Taiwanese should take note of these things and not be too naive," Wang said.

Liao said the 70 students who attended the speech were free to ask questions. However, few Taiwanese students were able to do so, as the Chinese students dominated the session. He said that while Wang might have been slightly intimidated by the scene, the atmosphere actually wasn't too bad.


When a Taiwanese student asked Wang about China's progress on democracy, Liao said, the student took a moment to send "his regards" to a Chinese student who had spoken before him, saying that "the student from China loves his motherland very much. I also love my motherland very much, but I do not love China."
* Wikipedia article: Red Guards (China)
The first students to call themselves "Red Guards" in China were a group of students at the Tsinghua University Middle School [...] Chairman Mao Zedong ordered that the manifesto of the Red Guards be broadcast on national radio and published in the People's Daily newspaper. This action gave the Red Guards political legitimacy, and student groups quickly began to appear across China.
* Liberty Times article (Hanzi): 王丹提警訊 在台陸生疑有組織活動 (Wang Dan warns of suspicious organized activities by Chinese students in Taiwan)

* Ben Goren's Letters from Taiwan: Chinese Nationalism and Shades of Indignation

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Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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