Monday, July 25, 2011

Ma: Old Whine about new Blottos

To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law--though I myself am not under the law--to win over those under the law.

Here we go again.....(Taipei Times)
Since Ma was elected in 2008, the GIO and the Presidential Office have filed complaints with the El Sol de Mexico, the Wall Street Journal, CNN and The Associated Press, either saying that the president was misquoted or clarifying remarks ostensibly taken out of context.

The previous disputes took place after Ma conducted interviews in English, leading lawmakers from both camps to demand that future sessions take place in Mandarin over fears of misinterpretation to an international audience.

Conducted in Mandarin through a translator, the Yomiuri Shimbun report quoted the president as saying that he would “not rule out engaging China in political negotiations” or signing a cross-strait peace deal on the issue of unification with Beijing.

The Presidential Office transcript confirmed Ma as “not excluding” the two touchy subjects, but Government Information Office Minister Philip Yang (楊永明) maintained that the president did not talk about either the matter of unification or acceptance of the “one China” principle.
This is the common pattern -- Ma makes statements on key issues of sovereignty and policy to foreign audiences that are at odds with what he tells the home crowd. He then claims that he was misquoted.

After this has happened so many times, it should be obvious this is policy and not error. This way Ma gets to play the victim card while browbeating the foreign press, while being all things to all men. Nice.
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4 comments:

Readin said...

From Dan Bloom's review of Night Market Hero: "Enter the gangster element and plans of a Taipei construction boss to buy the land the night market is on and throw the vendors away, and you've got a good versus evil film that speaks directly to local audiences in Asia."

I get the gangster element adds some unspecified evil - but what does an attempt by a businessman to make good use of a property and the disappointment of people using the property have to do with "good versus evil"? Perhaps it is implied, but it certainly isn't clear to me, that the vendors are resorting to terrorism or other illegal means - or perhaps corrupt means such as manipulation of zoning laws, to prevent the property owner from managing his property the best way he can. Or perhaps the gangsters have family connections with the vendors and are threatening the property owner?

I think that sentence in the review needs a little more explaining.

Readin said...

I read the Dan Bloom piece that was linked to. That article had link to a Reuters story about the Chinese who had overcrowded a taxi causing a kidnapping scare: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/22/uk-taiwan-tourists-idUSLNE76L01J20110722

The article contains this line: "Taiwan has been allowing mainland tourists... The opening has led to a boom for Taiwan's economy, with the visitors spending an estimated $7 billion so far."

Does anyone know if that number is correct - the Chinese have spent $7billion? Does anyone know how that compares with spending by tourists from other countries such as Japan?

Is Taiwan experiencing an economic boom? If so, can it be clearly linked to the Chinese tourists?

The rest of the article is pretty pro-China in wording - using terms like "mainland" instead of simply China so Reuters is definitely falling down on hiding biases. Are the also wildly inaccurate here?

Lorenzo said...

I like your English writing in this post.

D said...

So did you go to the "Two Jiang Memorial Area" (in the picture accompanying this post)? I thought it was a pretty cool place. The back area (newly opened, I think) is really pretty and has some real Cold War flavor to it too. The CKS statue graveyard in front is great also.