Monday, December 12, 2005

ESWN Translated Article on Hong Kong People vs Taiwan People in Demcoracy

ESWN has a short translation of a piece comparing Hong Kongers and Taiwanese in their political behavior.

The people of Hong Kong habitually respond to events in rational and moderate ways. They are proud of their rationality and moderation -- and they deride the people of Taiwan for being emotional and aroused so easily. I have always thought that the people of Hong Kong who have good citizen qualities and a belief in the rule of the law can definitely create a better quality democracy than Taiwan, once democracy is in place (there is no 'quality' to speak off in Taiwan democracy). This is because citizen quality and belief in the rule of the law are the two cornerstones of democracy. But after the 12/4 demonstration, I have new doubts:

"(there is no 'quality' to speak off in Taiwan democracy)." There is entirely too much jealous contempt in Hong Kong reactions to Taiwan, and not enough thoughtful contemplation. Kudos to this author for at least attempting to work through his visceral contempt. Although I have to say that Hong Kong's restraint has served it well, and that he should not give up his belief in it merely because of a single demonstration. If the Taiwanese have violently resisted the domination of the Ching, the Japanese, and the KMT, it is because Taiwan has always been far away from the oppressor but close to his agents, and the island is a pioneer society that has its own resources and its own tradition of violence and anarchy. Two completely different histories, and two completely different peoples and resource bases....

12 comments:

Sun Bin said...

i think the original author is taiwanese, not hk'er. she is the same person who wrote the 'white terror' essay.

that is why she is harsh in taiwan.
chinese tend to be harsher in themselves then on others.

oooh said...

Hmmm...I thought most people would go easy on themselves than others. Well, I guess 5000 yrs of history does make Chinese superior than others, doesn't it?

David said...

Yeah - she's Taiwanese. ESWN often translates her articles; she was also the author of the 'the taiwan you don't know about' article which was published in Chinese Youth Daily. In that she was gushingly proud of Taiwan's democracy, so I suspect her style is more exaggeration to emphasise her point.

That said her suggestion of 'no quality' in Taiwan's democracy is a joke: 'no quality' in Taiwan's politicians, maybe, but i've got great admiration for the Taiwanese electorate.

Oh, and equating DPP corruption & inefficiency with KMT & Japanese rule? Riiiight ...

Most of all though, I don't understand her main point: she seems to think the 12/4 demonstrations in HK prove HKers can't hack democracy? why?

Tim Maddog said...

Wow, an Apple Daily article that paints Taiwan in a bad light. Who woulda imagined them doing such a thing?! ;-)

Sun Bin posits:
chinese tend to be harsher in themselves then on others.

That Sun Bin -- always the logical one... NOT! Hint: Despite the fact that ESWN constantly labels Taiwan stories with a heading that reads "CHINA," "Taiwanese" is not equal "to Chinese." Learn it. Live it.

"[H]arsher [o]n themselves..."? What, like June 4, 1989? Maybe Sun Bin means the "anti-secession" law? China's attitudes toward Japan?

I guess this kind of logic is why a "pan-blue win" (or is it?) is a "triumph for democracy" and anything else is "Unfair!"

STOP_George said...

.
.
.
Moderate rationality is the external manifestation of citizen qualities and the belief in the rule of the law...

No it's not. Moderate rationality is the manifestation of a moderately sane individual. Is the author seriously suggesting that the Taiwanese don't believe in "rules of law". We may make jokes about Taiwanese drivers, but this assertion is absurd -- as is the entire piece come to think of it.

That's my "moderately rational" assessment, anyhow.

Where do they find these "writers"?
.
.
.

oooh said...

I suspect that each and every one of these writers is capable of writing a Harry Potter series. Talented news reporters aren't they? Oops, did I just say it out loud?

Michael Turton said...

There must be Chinese-language writers out there who can write searchingly about Taiwan. David? STOP_george? Know any? I think I will email someone who knows something about this, like the people who write for POTS, etc.

Sun Bin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sun Bin said...

i agree with what David said, mostly.

In my personal contact with Taiwanese people, even though they could be very extreme, excited and agitated regarding political issues, they are mostly very calm and soft in personalities.
In my experience the politicians and the general personality of the people demonstrated sort of split personality. Therefore, I do not agree with Long's view of correlating personality to how they express their political emotion.

But I believe she had more interaction with Taiwanese people than I do. So I believe she probably also use this to criticize the extremists in Taiwan (given her view in the other article).

Sun Bin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sun Bin said...

therefore, I do not follow the logic of this short essay.

When I say one is harsher on oneself is general Confuscius traditions, Confuciues teaching humbleness and applies at the individual level. I was trying to reconcile the difference in her 2 essays.

So, please, stop politicizing my comments.

p.s., I myself think there are a lot of faults of confucius teaching though.

Tim Maddog said...

Sun Bin evades:
...stop politicizing my comments

Okay, if you stop "participating" in these discussions about politics, I will gladly do so.

By the way, you didn't address my point about Taiwanese not being the same as Chinese. China's behavior towards Taiwan is not towards "themselves."

Sun Bin further trips over his own words:
Confuciues teaching humbleness and applies at the individual level.

What he wrote in the very first comment to this post was this:
that is why she is harsh in taiwan.
chinese tend to be harsher in themselves then on others.


So, what are you saying? The reporter is criticizing herself? She equals Taiwan? Taiwan is an "individual"?! Hahaha!!!

Keep talkin', Sun Bin -- I like this sh*t! ;-)