Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chosun Ilbo: Why are Taiwanese giving Teh Hate to Korea?

The Chuson Ilbo asks a sensible question: Why are Taiwanese Angry at Korea? To wit:
Various rumors spread on the Internet say Korea and China conspired to strip Taiwan of a gold medal or that Korea was behind her disqualification. Taiwanese netizens left scores of messages on the Cheong Wa Dae website on Saturday spouting profanities and disabling the site for hours.
The article points out that both President Ma and the foreign ministry have sensibly pointed out that the disqualification has nothing to do with Korea. It goes on....
Officials and athletes at the Asian Games say there are no grounds to blame Korea for the disqualification. Yang's equipment went through a preliminary inspection 10 minutes before the game began. During that detailed scan, officials ruled that she had no sensors on her equipment other than those placed on her sole and instep to signal blows to the electronic body armor. Yang passed a second inspection by a referee at the match venue.

But Edward Lee, a Korean official in charge of the computerized match system, discovered the extra sensors in her footwear just before the match began and apparently told chief referee Stephen Fernandez of the Philippines. Korean taekwondo coach Lee Dong-joo said, "The extra sensors in Yang Shuchun's footwear may not have been discovered in the second inspection because it's conducted primarily on the upper body and electronic body armor."

Taekwondo officials at the Asian Games decided that, either advertently or inadvertently, Yang had placed the extra sensors on her footwear in violation of regulations during the 10 minutes before the match. The World Taekwondo Federation in an official ruling declared Yang's disqualification legitimate.

No Korean athlete was involved in the match, and none of the referees were Korean either. The chief official was Chinese and the head of the referee board was Singaporean. "Korea had no reason to strip Taiwan of a gold medal or to conspire with China to disqualify a Taiwanese athlete," one taekwondo official said.
The article gives a couple of reasons for the bizarre Taiwanese reaction, including the decision by South Korea twenty years ago to shift recognition from Taipei to Beijing. My friend Drew remarked that another reason is the racial classifications promulgated under the ROC that still echo across the discourses of race and ethnicity, under which the Koreans were considered an inferior race. The Taipei Times also accuses "opportunistic politicians" of being behind the bigotry that underlies the Taiwanese response to Korea...
It is understandable why some opportunistic politicians would seek to deflect anger away from China and capitalize on emotional outbursts for domestic electoral gain, which the appropriation of the Yang controversy for a rally in support of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) in Taipei on Sunday undoubtedly was. However, for ordinary Taiwanese, the fact that the head of the World Taekwondo Federation is South Korean, or that one of the judges had Korean ancestry, should be of no consequence. The controversy itself, though unfair to Yang and a sad turn of events, is of little import in terms of its impact on the lives of Taiwanese.
Actually, not only is the ref a Filipino, but WTF Sec-Gen Yang Jin-suk, who is usually reported as a South Korean (as in the TT editorial) is a US citizen. Accusing them of being in some conspiracy to defraud Taiwan of a gold medal -- and Taiwan has won a number of them at this year's Asian games -- is like saying I must be mafia because my grandparents are from southern Italy. It's an argument of "blood will tell" that is totally racist. It must stop.

The Taipei Times is dead on too when it points out that Taiwanese should really be angry at China, the one nation that does treat them badly. I heartily agree -- Korea enjoys excellent relations with Taiwan and we receive large numbers of tourists from that nation every year. Taiwanese need to stop crapping on their friends like Japan and Korea and direct their feelings at the nation that most needs to change.

ADDED: Good comments below. Marc sagely notes:
It occurred to me that another matter that has been overlooked in this Yang controversy is how little attention and praise Taiwan's sports champions actually receive from the government (and hence, media).

The news today trumpeted Yang's heroic return to Taiwan. Where are the hero's welcomes for Taiwan's non-controversial championS?
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32 comments:

Rust said...

Allo:
Agree that everything is getting over the top in Taiwan in regard to this incident. Not that I don't think the disqualification was unfair, it was. Also, Michael you spelled 'the' wrong in the title. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a real issue to discuss!

"The article gives a couple of reasons for the bizarre Taiwanese reaction, including the decision by South Korea twenty years ago to shift recognition from Taipei to Beijing."

This line is standard Korean mythology, on the level of the Korean alphabet is the best designed alphabet in the world. It's repeated by most Koreans without a thought. Click-whirr...

I think if you look at the heart of things, you will see the KMT and pro-Blue commentators fanning anti-Korean sentiment to replace any anti-Chinese sentiment. _This_ is the issue that is in the mind's eye and whose opinion reflects more on the speaker than on the state of things.

Still, Koreans have had a history of blatant cheating in Taekwando and it's not surprising for people to feel that they've had enough, given how ridiculous this instance of cheating was.

Marc said...

It occurred to me that another matter that has been overlooked in this Yang controversy is how little attention and praise Taiwan's sports champions actually receive from the government (and hence, media).

The news today trumpeted Yang's heroic return to Taiwan. Where are the hero's welcomes for Taiwan's non-controversial championS?

andre said...

i'm glad to see us taiwanese standing unified but the anti-korean racist remarks and sentiments are really uncalled for. especially when people start attacking the kids at the korean school in taipei. that's just wrong.

andre said...

we should start a pool to see how long it takes for yang to go into show biz

Dixteel said...

Michael,

I agree. Actually before this incident I don't pay much attention to the bizarre hate relation of some of the Taiwanese toward Korean. I know people have various reasons etc but from my point of view those reasons are really small things and some of them are even result of fabrications (fake news from Chinese media). So I thought overall it's not a big deal, because people will learn over time.

However, in this incident, how fast some people jump to conclusion regarding the involvement of South Korea and how some go to extreme (burning Korea flag) while no one, except pan green people, say much about China, is really really alarming to me. It seems some Taiwanese for some reason really want to pick a fight with Korea whenever there is a chance, and somehow able to ignore and downplay Chinese officials' role in this...it's really quite amazing.

Now I think this hate is really a significant thing. Like what KMT did beofre when they essentially wipe out Taiwanese history around WW2 and teach Taiwanese to hate Japanese, and for quite a while, they succeeded. Actually even now a lot of people still think that it's Japanese who bomb Taiwan during WW2, and KMT continue to use Senkaku as a way to initiate confrontation with Japan.

Now China and KMT seem to have planted another seed of hate. (and in this case, even a lot of pan green people are under their influence).

My speculation is that, in the bigger scheme of thing, it's just Chinese and KMT's way of divide and conquer: isolate Taiwan from its neighbors in order to achieve annexation.

Michael Turton said...

"Start a pool on how long it takes Yang to wind up in Showbiz."

Hahahahaha. So true.

M said...

The KMT failed to teach the Taiwanese to "hate" the Japanese, what makes you think they would convince them to "hate" the Koreans?
Taiwanese dislike of Korea is more a product of envy, economic rivalry and Korean nationalist mythology than any feeling of racial superiority.

It is also worth remembering that pan-green politicians have also been quick to place the blame on Korea. Tsai Ing-wen said that Korea was "oppressing" Taiwan. Chen Chu said that Yang was "violated" by a Korean official. etc. etc.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, the DPP's leap onto this bandwagon was shameful. Both parties are guilty.

Michael Turton said...

what makes you think they would convince them to "hate" the Koreans?

It's not hate but contempt. It doesn't dominate the discourse, the way KMT discourse about Japan is dominated by its construction of history, but stuff learned in school shapes identity. But I agree, the other things are more important.

Rust said...

Dixteel:

I find you comment interesting. You talk about of pan-green people being influenced by anti-Korean propaganda, and the person that pop up in my mind is - myself. Now I am not saying I agree with all these extreme action, & in fact I disdain them. But I do feel that the Korean officials do oppress Taiwan's participation in international occasions. My memory is vague, but I recall a film festival, game contest, etc. Either that or I am just one of those misled sheep. Please tell me what you think cause I really want to know. Also...

Michael,

I am posing this cause I don't know where else should I post this! Do you think it is possible that the PRC is trying to influence the election? For more info, here...

http://pfge-pfge.blogspot.com/2010/11/blog-post_22.html

& no I am not the owner of that blog.

Dixteel said...

Actually, M, they did succeed to a certain extend, at least when I was a kid. Also, their failure there does not mean they will not succeed in the case of Korea, because Korea is a much easier target. And the reason that I point to China and KMT is because the large amount of news fabrication done by Chinese media and the spread of these fake news (without even basic validation) by pan blue media.

"Taiwanese dislike of Korea is more a product of envy, economic rivalry and Korean nationalist mythology than any feeling of racial superiority."

That is exactly what I mean. People mention to me about economic rivalry, but is that really true? If you really think about it, in terms of economic rivalry, South Korea is no more a rival than any other countries that have high tech industries. At the same time, there are economic collaboration between Korean and Taiwanese firms as well.

Yes, Korean is perhaps more nationalistic when compared to some others, but it is not empirialistic or expansionistic. In another word, it does not intend to take over others and does not really effect Taiwan in any significant way. Why would Taiwanese dislike Korea so much based on this?

But even if those are valid point, so some Taiwanese dislike Korean, but then all of sudden people just start burning Korean flag and throwing eggs at Korean schools? Those are manifestation of emotions that are more than just dislike.

And indeed, DPP (and pan Green) has fault here, too. That is why I said the seed of hate has influence the DPP as well. However, I think a lot of pan green people really notice this problem in this incident already (notably 大話新聞 and a number of bloggers). I hope the rest of pan green community realize the problem soon, too.

Dixteel said...

Hi Rust,

"But I do feel that the Korean officials do oppress Taiwan's participation in international occasions. My memory is vague, but I recall a film festival, game contest, etc."

I don't recall those events, but here is the thing, they might have happened before, but officials from DIFFERENT countries ALL oppress Taiwan's participation one time or another. This is simply due to Taiwan's international situation and China's consistent insistence that Taiwan is part of China. Did Taiwanese president ever go to APEC for example? How many countries deny Taiwan's entry into UN? Not just China. UN Secretary Moon (a Korean) did something that insult Taiwan's soveignty, but so did French ex-president Jacques Chirac.

The point is that due to Chinese propaganda and other means, officials from around the world oppresses Taiwan one way or the other, sometimes by mistake, sometimes intentionally. But Taiwanese media chooses to magnify what Korean did. That is my opinion. Plus based on my observation, Korean is not that good at diplomacy in general, and their understanding about Taiwan is really limited (even less than Japan).

This is not to say that Taiwan should pick a fight with everyone, but this is just the way things are. The only thing Taiwan can do is try to gain more allies.

TicoExpat said...

Dunno how much of this is true, but a TV news channel was saying that this debacle may impact "Chinese Taipei´s" participation in the 2012 Olympics.

If that´s the case, what a coup for PRC! Perfect trifecta! Deflect blame, create chaos for others, and then leave Taiwan out of international sports events.

This incident stinks like a dirty, well worn sock.

Don said...

Someone cheated...

a) Yang Shu-chun
b) the judges

... or someone cocked up

c) Yang
d) the judges
e) the high-tech sock guys
f) a combination of c, d and e.

Based on a very reluctant monitoring (as if life weren't meaningless enough already) of this story since it exploded into the news, I go for (f), with (a) or (b) as remote possibilities.

The anti-Korean "reaction" is sad shit. Bigotry is bigotry is bigotry.

M said...

But even if those are valid point, so some Taiwanese dislike Korean, but then all of sudden people just start burning Korean flag and throwing eggs at Korean schools? Those are manifestation of emotions that are more than just dislike.

The Taiwanese people are upset with a perceived injustice, so they have lashed out. When the US broke relations with Taiwan, there was a riot outside the embassy. In fact, there have been several anti-American disturbances in Taiwan. This doesn't mean that Taiwanese suddenly hate Americans.
Korean culture is very popular in Taiwan, and before the Yang incident I didn't hear too much bitching about Korea. On a daily basis, I would say that Taiwanese complain about China far more.

Dunno how much of this is true, but a TV news channel was saying that this debacle may impact "Chinese Taipei´s" participation in the 2012 Olympics.

That is likely complete bullshit, and wouldn't be in China's interest anyway.

Anonymous said...

But Edward Lee, a Korean official in charge of the computerized match system, discovered the extra sensors in her footwear just before the match began and apparently told chief referee Stephen Fernandez of the Philippines. Korean taekwondo coach Lee Dong-joo said, "The extra sensors in Yang Shuchun's footwear may not have been discovered in the second inspection because it's conducted primarily on the upper body and electronic body armor."


THIS IS A BLATANT LIE, please don't post lies. God I swear how stupid can you be?

Michael Turton said...


THIS IS A BLATANT LIE, please don't post lies. God I swear how stupid can you be?


Ok, so stop screaming like a three year old and show how it is a lie. Id be happy to post a refutation of the Chosun Ilbo's claims. Evidence, please?

Anonymous said...

"Ok, so stop screaming like a three year old and show how it is a lie"

I think you're stretching for evidence that the evidence is still ambiguous by resorting to ad hominem.

It is very clear now that her shoes _even with the sensors_ were legit. As you can see from video after video after photo, the sensors on her shoes were removed. You can see the sensors by her coaches chair (a ref goes to pick them up after the match is stopped) and you can see in photos of the back of her shoe that they are not there. If they are not visible, they can't even work since they need to make contact with her opponent's equipment in order to create a point.

The other source of evidence that there was cheating on the part of the officials is that the stated reason for her disqualification has changed at least three times (sorry, hard to keep track!). If you want to maintain evidence is still ambiguous, that's fine, but it's the unlikely position at this point, and I don't see how it's tenable unless you are just covering your eyes and ears off from any of the information that came in after the first 12-24 hours.

There's some discussion with references to other sources in the video here: http://www.youtube.com/taiwantalks4#p/u/5/bzm4er7yp88

Michael Turton said...

Thanks, but the video evidence does not bear on the search practices. What evidence do you have that the statement about search practices is incorrect?

Michael

Anonymous said...

Personally speaking, I came to dislike the kind of ultra nationalist + extremely conservative christian Korean nuts that run around in Taiwan. Of course, jingoism is not the best way to react towards jingoism.

bad performance Taiwan, bad performance...

Dixteel said...

M,

When the US switches diplomatic relation to China, US is obviously involved. They made their decision, and sure, some people would feel the need to throw eggs at them during that time.

In the case of Korea, it's not even clear that they are involved in this, and already its flag got burnt. And when China treated Taiwan poorly (eg Tokyo Film Festival, consistent fanatic ROC flag phobia, 2008 Olympic Baseball schedule and other incident that really insulted Taiwan and injure Taiwanese), I see no Chinese flag getting burned.

The scale of action / reaction simply do not fit.

Dixteel said...

Michael,

Another point is that from what I heard, disqualification is only for serious offense like hitting the referee, or the opponents when the match stop.

Also, like what people mentioned before, the sock is a legid model. The 2 sensors are removed before the match, and the referee feel confident enough to start the match. The organizers did not hear from Taiwanese team and immidiately disqualify Yang. Also, the Vietnamness team did not complain etc, it is 趙磊 who initiated this after the match started. All these things simply do not add up.

Another thing I heard on 大話新聞 is the Korean American guy live in the US for quite a while and open a lot of dojos. He just got the job recently and it is very likely that he does not know all the detail rules and technical stuff. So it is very likely he just says whatever 趙磊 told him. Also, his past track record is not clean, neither. He is simply a mouth piece and figure head in the press because he can speak English. All these need more investigation maybe, but something to consider.

Michael Turton said...

Dixteel, actually, the WTF rules are online.

It is clear you can be disqualified for violations of tournament rules. Article 14, rule 6, says:

"6. When a contestant intentionally refuses to comply with the Competition Rules or the referee’s order, the referee may declare the contestant loser by disqualification after one (1) minute."

None of the video evidence bears on things. not. seen. I don't know why this point is not obvious. Well, I know why, but there is no point in stating that out loud. The video evidence does not show us sensors we couldn't see (there's what appears to be a very obvious sensor above her ankle next to her left heel). No video shows the entirety of both her feet. We have no idea what was said as the referee held the socks. It doesn't tell us what the official who stopped the match said. It has nothing on anyone's deliberations.

From what I've heard and seen this is actually sounding like a refereeing fuckup and not a conspiracy, a fuckup of the kind those of us who have participated in organized sports and watched them our whole lives are very much used to.

Please go cheer your awesome medal winners. Taiwanese victors deserve your support. Not people who didn't prepare properly even if they weren't actually cheating (why did they have two different types of socks with two different types of sensors??? That's basic!!!!!). Even if this is all some weird mistake, at minimum, the coach and trainer are total fuckups and should be fired. If the equipment had been properly prepared, NOTHING would have happened and she'd have at least gotten a silver. The real lesson to be drawn here is that there is no substitute for preparation.

Lets note two other things. First, as rule 6 above clearly states, when she refused to leave the mat at the referee's order -- and when her coach entered it (see Article 14) -- she was subject to disqualification no matter what was going on with her sensors. Such unprofessional behavior is inexcusable and her coach should have intervened to remove her immediately. Second, this hard conspiracy position that the Taiwanese public has developed has now made it 100X more difficult for the WTF to admit a mistake. Maybe instead of harping on the videos, you should try to walk back your position so that it gives the WTF some room to bring her back in somehow.

Michael

Dixteel said...

But actually Michael, she did complied with the referee etc when she remove the sensors. When one follows what the organizer said, and the match start, and afterward is disqualified, just do not make any sense.

I was in the competitive sport myself and I know it's normal for judges / referee to make mistakes sometimes, but this incident...just does not seem right, based on my past experience in tournament.

Also, the how 趙磊 and others react after the incident is really weird as well because they have trouble explaining their decisions, including constant change of stories. And the insult on ATF website, and the edited footage from CCTV...all these...are just not normal for a simple mistake by the referee/judges.

Sure, perhaps Yang could do a better job preparing. But let’s not invalidate her effort. She worked hard to keep her weight at 49 kg. She performed well against her opponent, which show her preparations. Furthermore, we do not really know what is the norm in KTD community in terms of equipment etc. As for her sitting in the ring...I think that is not abnormal emotional behavior. Like I mentioned before, I rarely see events unfolding like this in tournament. It could be very shocking to anyone who received such treatment. But yes, I think Taiwanese athletes should perhaps be more mentally prepared to get poor treatment, to stay calm and cool...because this shit might happen. Especially in China. And yea, perhaps her coach etc needs to get fired, who knows.

As for other athletes...I don't know man, to me all the medals from GZ 2010 are tainted somehow. Do we really want to cheer for medals from a ridiculously rigged sport event that is GZ 2010? I think right now only the Chinese will feel good for getting the medals. So yea, they should get the reward for their effort, but I don't really feel liking cheering...because the game really sucked, man. Hopefully London 2012 turn out better.

Dixteel said...

also, this blog contains a lot of info:

http://pfge-pfge.blogspot.com/2010/11/blog-post_21.html

Include the video of the progress of the event. Also comments from the TKD commentators. Also, the pointed out, if there are problems with the equipments, the match should not have started. A chance would be given for competitors to get the equipment properly setup, that is the norm in tournament. Letting the match start after equipment check, then disqualify a competitor because of equipment...it's just really strange.

There are photo (derive from the video) that shows Yang hill and ankle etc. I cannot find them now though. And beside, the Filipino referee is with Yang when she remove sensors.

All the evidence, IMO, shows that this is more than just a simple unintentional mistake by the judge. I still think that 趙磊 is the real master mind behind this.

I guess all I can say is, look at all the info, and judge by yourself. Remember also, innocent until proven guilty, and so far the organizer and 趙磊 fail to come up with solid evidence that she intend to cheat and not complying to rules (therefore the reason for disqualification), while there are evidences that 趙磊 is guilty.

Anonymous said...

Dixteel, you're wasting your breath. Michael's made up his mind that she cheated or is otherwise has a taint of controversy. That's the problem with accusations that you can't expose as lies right away--even if you finally prove that you're innocent, the taint still lingers.

Which is exactly what's happened here. Despite the now overwhelming evidence that Yang is innocent AND that the refs perpetrated a fast one, Michael maintains his "I don't know. She looks guilty. Everyone is an idiot for defending her"-stance. The taint stains.

Anonymous said...

"Even if this is all some weird mistake, at minimum, the coach and trainer are total fuckups and should be fired. If the equipment had been properly prepared, NOTHING would have happened and she'd have at least gotten a silver."

What?? How does this make any sense unless she or her coach in collusion with her cheated? Either she cheated, or her equipment was fine.

Michael, you're not even doing your basic homework of looking into how these sensors work. HIDDEN SENSORS DON'T DO ANYTHING. They need to make contact with the opponent's equipment. That's what's so odd about the whole accusation.

To bring up this sensor error in the MIDDLE OF A MATCH and change your story about what went wrong 3 times is a sign of the ref was lying. If it was a simple oh yeah, that was a 3 point blow and not a 1 point blow, sure, that happens in sports all the time. Stopping a match and mistakenly disqualifying someone for equipment based on what? How do you inspect someone's shoes across the mat? You're being ridiculous by not comparing like things. This absolutely does not happen in this degree commonly. Refs make mistakes in judgments, yes. Refs don't disqualify people in the middle of matches for faulty equipment that there's no way they could possibly inspect by eye from that distance. The possibility of the computer readings being wrong is incorrect too because all her points were scored correctly, and in fact, she was hand-awarded an extra point because the sensors were unable to pick it up. The two head shots are hand-scored as well. Come on, let's show those research skills you normally have.

blobOfNeurons said...

Unfortunately, it seems that Vietnam is also experiencing (or, I should say, *will* experience) its own demographic troubles. The CIA World Factbook currently has Vietnam listed as producing 1.115 new males for every female.

SoCalExpat said...

One of the things that helped bring the KMT back to power is the KMT’s well advertised observation in 2008 that it was during the DPP’s watch that Korea surpassed Taiwan’s economic and technological output. That struck a raw nerve for many Taiwanese.
Don’t blame Taiwanese contempt for Koreans on the KMT. The Taiwanese have always disliked the Koreans, the KMT was just exploiting organic Taiwanese anti-Korean sentiment to the KMT’s political advantage.

vin said...

I have yet to see in newspaper editorials and letters to the editor or in comments on this post any mention of the damage wrought by by the claims of some crackpot Korean chauvinists that Confucius was Korean, Koreans invented Chinese characters, Koreans invented noodles, etc. While some or all instances of these claims my be isolated incidents that don't reflect the beliefs of most Koreans, you know the power of the Internet and of exaggeration. For several years, I've heard Taiwanese speaking in disgust about such claims. And the chorus seems to have grown in the past couple years. I've been told by Taiwanese that this is the factor driving much of their reaction to the Yang decision. Whether KMT manipulation is in play or not, people here have been primed by perceived extreme, culture-expropriating Korean chauvinism to cherish a chance to vent at South Korea.

andre said...

blobOfNeurons... not to mention a lot of their women are being married off to taiwan

vin... they've also laid claim to bubble tea! noooooooo!