Wednesday, September 24, 2008

China Apologizes to Taiwan --UPDATED-- Nope

AP reports that China has apologized to Taiwan over the tainted milk scandal.

In Taiwan, authorities said all China-made milk products and vegetable-based proteins had to be tested before they can go back on sale.

The checks on the vegetable-based proteins show the concern over how the problem is spreading.

Taiwanese officials say at least seven Taiwanese companies have imported contaminated proteins from China. They say the proteins are made from corn or other vegetables but may be mixed with tainted milk products to improve their flavor.

China on Wednesday apologized to Taiwanese consumers.

"We feel extremely painful about the damage that the milk powder brought to people in Taiwan. Our government attaches great importance to it and is taking a series of measures to minimize the damage and influence," said Li Weiyi, a spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.

In Taiwan authorities said all products from China had to be tested? You mean they weren't regularly testing them? After revelation upon revelation of tainted this and adulterated that? There's a reason so many consumers avoid products from China whenever possible.

But don't worry: if it isn't tainted food coming from China, it's a jarring mixture of tissues, brainwashed children, ocean pollution, and nationalist expansion.

UPDATE: No apology here. As Feiren and Maddog both point out in the comments, the Chinese spokesperson did not apologize, merely expressed sympathy of an "I feel your pain" nature. AP appears to have missed badly on that one. Feiren observed:

What crappy reporting. Maybe they should consider hiring some people who can actually read Chinese and understand it. Li said that China was pained tong4xin (痛心). That is an expression of sympathy ('I feel your pain') not at apology dao4qian4(道歉). It's even weaker than 'regret' (悔意). China has not admitted any wrongdoing here.


bbk said...


Tim Maddog said...

I call "bullshit" on AP's Gillian Wong ("reporting" from Beijing). I heard Li Weiyi talking about his "痛心," but I didn't hear any form of "道歉" at all. "[A]pologies," my ass.

Wong also writes about how "the problem is spreading," but it's not. It's simply being discovered in the many places where it already exists.

Can anybody say "non-peaceful means?

Tim Maddog

Feiren said...

What crappy reporting. Maybe they should consider hiring some people who can actually read Chinese and understand it. Li said that China was pained tong4xin (痛心). That is an expression of sympathy ('I feel your pain') not at apology dao4qian4(道歉). It's even weaker than 'regret' (悔意). China has not admitted any wrongdoing here.

Michael Turton said...

thanks, BBK!

Thoth Harris said...

That Hengan tissue ad is disgusting. Now I feel defiled.

Tim Maddog said...

Just in case there are any doubters, here's a screenshot from SET News which points out the same thing I said above.

Feiren, are you sure Wong can't read/understand Chinese? I suspect she was merely following the AP tradition of inserting, er, "questionable" elements into the story whenever it comes to Taiwan and China.

Tim Maddog

STOP Ma said...

The first Taiwanese victim, perhaps...

Two-year-old girl may be first melamine victim in Taiwan


TicoExpat said...

Of course, Ma said it was the DPP's administration fault for allowing those products in -though he may have a point if the tests were not performed.

Interesting how conflicting tests are -most companies have a pieceof paper saying their stuff is safe when they bought the raw materials, then get tested, voila, sudenly they are not. Or worse, like a mayor supermarket, where the bags of poweder mil say one story and the paper trail another...

marc said...

If we can assume that Wong is a Chinese speaker, then we are seeing a COMPLETE FABRICATION -- yellow journalism at it worst-- because it's a major news service and presumably the article was RESEARCHED.

Sham on you AP! Michael, who do we contact at AP for correction?

Thomas said...

Even if China HAD apologised, that apology would be too little. Would Taiwanese consumers really accept it?

Many Taiwanese were already skeptical about the quality of Chinese food products as it was. This is like the realisation of the worst fears. Images of poor little babies have become the face of the whole Chinese milk industry. Goodness, what a PR catastrophe! This is the type of thing that takes a decade to undo.

Hong Kong has no choice but to import Chinese food. The Taiwanese at least have enough land to make going local expensive but not impossible.

Anonymous said...

that tissue commercial is disgusting.

Stone said...

This is what I grabbed (and translated) from the Chinese blog posts, one that's making the rounds now.

Chinese Achieved Complete Chemical Literary Through Food Lessons.  

We learned the importance of petroleum hydrocarbons as food additives to rice.

We were taught the essential role of rat poisons in ham.

Preserved eggs and red pepper sauce were instrumental to our first-hand experience of carcinogenic naphthalenol industrial colorant.

We learned all about formaldehyde and how it enriched the hot pot cousine.
Sulfur was what makes candy plum taste so good.

We were taught the important function of copper sulfate in dried mushrooms. 
Today, Sanlu brings us a new lesson: the chemical reactions of melamine.

Foreigners drink milk to become strong.

Chinese drink milk to develop kidney stones.

Japanese slogan: “One glass a milk makes a whole nation strong”.

中国人口号:一天一杯牛奶, 震惊一个民族
Chinese slogan: “One glass a milk scares the whole nation shitless”.

There are 3 major milk brands in China: Ellie, MengNiu and Sanlu.
What did Ellie and MengNiu really want to say to Sanlu?

Ellie: Why the fuck couldn’t you add a little less melamine to your bulk milk powder?

MengNiu: I usually only added melamine to the bulk milk powder. What the fuck did you add milk powder to melamine for?

Sanlu: Hey, it was not done on purpose, OK? The measuring funnel was malfunctioning that day. The control was off.

Alice30forever said...

LOL for your (serious) joke, Stone.
The worry is that we are only see the tip of the iceberg... What will be the next product to be called???