You can watch the event on video. I think I'll turn this one over to the pro-KMT China Post to watch The Message at work:
A dozen co-eds, who claim they are studying in European universities, badgered the MOH chief at the Intercontinental Hotel party about the title with which he is participating in the Geneva meeting of the decision-making body of the World Health Organization.As you can see, for the KMT, it all comes back to Chen Shui-bian. Whenever something goes wrong -- quick! Mention Chen Shui-bian! If the car doesn't start, A-bian took the spark plug. If the dog craps on the rug, A-bian forgot to walk him. Pan-Blue couple getting a divorce? Affair with A-bian, of course. I hear the break-up of Pangaea was due to A-bian's malign influence.....
When they confirmed Yeh was representing “Chinese Taipei,” the bevy of girls accused him of selling out Taiwan. In particular, they charged him with attending the meeting as representative from “Taiwan, province of China,” the official U.N. designation of the island state.
Chinese Taipei is taking part in the meeting as an observer for the first time.
“A traitor,” one of the girls shouted.
That drew the indignant Yeh's cry-out. “Shame on you, all,” he blurted.
By trying to insult him, Yeh said, “These self-styled college students were not only insulting themselves, but all the people of Taiwan.”
After the protesting students had been led away, Yeh called a crash press conference, where he said nobody could accuse him of selling out Taiwan, the country he risked his life to save from the devastating SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic in 2003.
And where was President Chen's son-in-law when the SARS epidemic hit Taiwan?” Yeh asked. Chao Chien-ming, an orthopedic surgeon at the Taiwan University Hospital, asked for a long leave of absence to avoid seeing patients for fear that he might be infected.
The leader of the pack was one Huang Hai-ning, aka the Taidu Spice Girl or the Taidu Beauty, according to the Liberty Times report today. The daughter of DPP politicians, originally hailing from Taichung county (she appears to have left when I arrived; this can't be a coincidence), she is studying in Paris, and drove down to Geneva to pay a call on the Health Minister. Good PR move....
J Michael pointed out that they did at least alert people to the fact that there were Taiwanese who were peeved and who were willing to risk arrest to let the world know. UPDATE: Got it totally wrong -- misunderstood the Liberty Times report. My bad guys. See comments for the corrections... I post one here:
I can translate, but don't have the time right now. The main point is that Taidu Spice Girl was extremely poised and extremely rational, and nothing like the China Post description or yours. She posed two very important questions repeatedly, the first being 1) What name is Taiwan joining the WHO under? Chinese Taipei or Province of China. The first is ugly, but the second is noxious and if used officially, would mean certain death to the international support Taiwan has built up worldwide over many years that is so crucial to its continued security. She later asks Yeh ironically to tell her what country she belongs to.The girls, who in most news reports numbered two, but in the China Post became a dozen, were arrested briefly and then released. Naturally Minister Yeh threatened legal action -- in Taiwan.
Yeh is completely off his rocker and his response in any normal situation would result in an immediate resignation. He was the one that yelled at the girl that she couldn't speak Taiwanese (she can), then says he "loves Taiwan more than her" (she says this is irrelevant and what's important are the implications for Taiwan's sovereignty). Yeh repeatedly yells at her that she is shameless, useless, an embarrassment, and tries to speak Taiwanese and English to shout her into submission. In one of the most absolutely noteworthy part of the clip, a KMT legislator tells Yeh that maybe he can speak to her and the media about their concerns in a "gentlemanly" manner.
No one accused Yeh of selling out Taiwan or was making a personal attack on Yeh. The student protesters outside were chanting "DON'T sell out Taiwan". All the language issues, the "who loves Taiwan more" issue--those were all brought up by Yeh himself in his nonsensical replies.
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