Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dalai Lamaze: Breathe Deeply and Relax

Hahaha. While everyone else is reporting all sorts of complexities about the Dalai Lama's visit, AFP is there to reassure us that China is really really really gonna do it this time -- omigawd it could delay ECFA! Everybody panic! Hard to imagine how much more delay can occur, since Ma already said it is DOA until after the December elections -- and this on a project which we heard last year was absolutely imperative and must be done ASAP to "save" Taiwan's economy.

As Reuters notes, China has canceled minor exchanges and events...although the China Daily, reporting on the "cancellations", quoted a spokesman for China Southern Airlines as saying that no celebrations were planned in the first place, since budgets were tight and cross-strait flights were now routine.

Next we hear from TIME: glib, uninformed, shallow, lecturing -- it's everything you'd expect in a TIME viewpoint on the Dalai Lama's visit. Clearly here is a writer headed for bigger and better things in the Establishment media. The TIME writer says that the fact that exchanges go on through disagreement shows that relations are good. But last week, the Economist told us that relations worsened under the DPP even though exchanges went on through the disagreements. I get so confused...

In addition to the high popularity of the Dalai Lama's visit, one unfolding story has been the "protests" linked to Chinese nationalist gangs on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. J Michael Cole blogged yesterday on it, and it was all over the news today. Taiwan News described....
Most of the protests were conducted by the pro-China Labor Party or the pro-Beijing "Alliance for the Promotion of Chinese Unification," which has been linked to former United Bamboo Gang chief Chang Pai-leh. The latter group was involved in a violent scuffle at the Taoyuan High Speed Railway Station Sunday evening.
Said one outlet:
Chang An-lo, formerly a gang leader and dubbed "White Wolf," later said that he was behind the demonstration.

"We will follow the Dalai Lama wherever he goes in Taiwan," Chang told the TVBS cable television network.
Chang An-lo is a mainlander gangster with oldtime connections to the KMT's martial law era security apparatus.

This brings me to another point, which is our media double standard. Lest anyone has forgotten, for Beijing, "being provoked" is a policy choice, not a visceral reaction. Commentators have given China points for not crapping on Ma Ying-jeou, instead restricting its bloviating to hacking on the DPP. But you can see how the wind would have blown: had China rapped Ma's knuckles, the DPP and the DL would have taken the blame for "provoking". Either the DPP provokes China (poor China, so sorely tried!), or China "shows restraint" and keeps relations warm. No matter what happens, China always wins.

Speaking of poor China, so put upon by pacifists and democracy advocates, for those of you who have always wondered, there is an answer to how many times China's feelings have been hurt since 1949, as Asia Sentinel reports:
Fang plugged into an online archive of People's Daily at Peking U that dates back to the founding in 1948 and began typing the Chinese characters for "hurt feelings" into the search data base.

The result has become his master's thesis for which he has graphed the number of times the Chinese people's feelings been officially "hurt" and what countries have done it the most.

He found a sharp distinction between the Mao era (1949-1978) when Chinese feelings were hurt only three times, and the reform era (1978-present) when a bar graph he created showed hurt feelings spiking at 11 times in 1989 and 1998 and 12 times in 2000.
...and the winner is: the US, with 27 times. U-S-A! U-S-A! Japan!
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Kaminoge said...

Actually, the Asia Sentinel article credits Japan as being the winner, having hurt the feelings of the Chinese people 58 times since 1985 (I'm assuming over textbooks, Yasukuni Shrine and statements by conservative politicians). The USA is only second-best. We've got some catching up to do!

Islander said...

According to the article, the winner is actually Japan- 58 times.

peter said...

I don't like some of the conclusions the writer of the Times article comes to. For example, that China's relationship with Taiwan has matured because China didn't blame Taiwan as a country for approving the Dalai Lama's visit but instead blamed the opposition party. Making noise every time the Dali Lama goes anywhere seems to be pretty standard practice for Beijing. Wouldn't Beijing show more maturity by not saying anything at all about the Dali Lama's visit

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a comparison for the time period 2001 to 2003. Was it more common for someone to "hurt the feelings of all Chinese people everywhere", or was it more common for Tom Daschle to be "disappointed". ~~~~

M Chen said...


I am very sick and tired of Time magazine. The foreign reporter is no better than the local one,8599,1919976,00.html. I appreciate you pointed out Chang An-Lo. And I have a smile when I read the last sentence.

Thomas said...

"Hurt feelings" ranks up there with "with Chinese characteristics", doesn't it?

An academic once suggested a great topic for a research project: Just how exceptional is China anyways?

You could write a companion book: Just how hurt are the Chinese people anyways?

Anonymous said...

MT- Where is the donation from the West that you said will pore in from around the world with DL's visit to Taiwan? Look around the world, no one else cares about Taiwanese's suffering more than our own blooded brothers and sisters in Taiwan, China and HK.

Donations in cash and materials were ALREADY poring in from China, HK and other parts of Taiwan to those affected in the South without DL's visit. Don't you say that the Chinese government "forced" their citizens to donate for Taiwan. All I saw was voluntary effort and sincere concerns for Taiwanese and a natural outporing of care. 40億台幣from China's oridnary citizens and companies so far. How much have our American protector and the West pledged? Nada before DL's visit and it's still NADA after DL visit.

I said to those Taiwanese who always look to America, Japan and the West for protection and validation- WAKE UP 醒醒吧!!! Americans, Japanese and Europeans don't care about Taiwanese. They just can't bear to see a strong Greater China and a Greater Chinese power coming togehter and they are more than happy to use Taiwanese to advnace their own agenda. But to sincerely help and care about Taiwanese in our time of neeed? Sadly to say, Americans, Japanese and the Europeans just don't care.

Michael Turton said...

Anon, until you can read English, you should probably not post on English blogs. I simply referred to the possibility of the DL bringing in donations, and certainly never said "pour in."

Michael Turton said...

Bingo, Peter.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:47

You are aware that greater concepts of "blood ties" beyond family are fictive, constructions of ideology, right? They are used by political leaders to motivate (manipulate) people into a desired political action.

There is as much a meaningful relationship of "blood ties" between Chinese and Taiwanese as there are between Taiwanese and English.