Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Short Shorts

Today may have been the best day of the whole year. Dongji Rd, north of Dongshih.

The Taipei Times reports on some of the fallout from this silliness:
About 10 percent of Japanese tour groups with bookings to visit Taiwan have canceled their travel plans amid a territorial dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), local media reported.

Located about 185km northeast of Taiwan, the Diaoyutais — known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan — have been under Japan’s control since 1972, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.
The second sentence contains a gross error, as the islands have been Japanese since 1895. This is a CNA report, but the fact that such sentences occur, without comment or nuance, is scary. The tour groups said the cancellations were caused by fears of encounters with Chinese tourists, but the report also said that the incident where Taiwanese and Japanese ships exchange water cannon fire caused Japanese to think that China and the ROC are ganging up on Tokyo. This may be the government's intention, but I kinda doubt it. The ROC claim to the Senkakus is so faux and so disconnected from reality..... UPDATE: Yankdownunder observes:

  • Error 3: The move sparked widespread protests in China that hurt Japanese businesses. J businesses were looted and burned. That sentence like most reports is very misleading.
  • Error 4: engaged in a water-cannon altercation in waters near the Diaoyutais on Sept. 25. Wrong! not near but in Japanese waters.

One negative consequence of the Senkaku blitz by Beijing is the creeping realization by the world's media that right-wingers in China claim Okinawa, and that the Senkakus are related to the Ryukyus in Chinese minds. It was a pleasure this week to see AFP, whose reporting has at times been remarkably pro-Beijing, come out with a piece on that very topic. Its grasp of history is sketchy but it sure is nice to see...
The belief that China has a legitimate claim to the Ryukyu Islands has existed among flag-wavers in China -- and Taiwan -- for years.

But it has been given new attention by the row over the uninhabited islets, known as the Diaoyu islands in China, which claims them, and as the Senkaku chain in Japan, which controls them.
This follows a WaPo piece a few months back.

Unicorns FTAs: The Legislature's Budgetary Research Center, after ripping the government a couple of weeks ago for the lack of benefits from ECFA, came out with another study this week on the weakness of the government's FTA drive.
Efforts by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to sign free-trade agreements (FTA) with other nations has failed to show any concrete results thus far, a report from the Legislature’s Budgetary Research Center has said, adding that “it lacks clear strategic planning and negotiation mechanisms and is inefficient in forging domestic consensus.”
I am assured that the Budgetary Research Center is non-partisan, by people in the know, much like the GAO. Its reports are alas, not available online. Ma spoke on that topic recently, apparently aware of the report. Talk is cheap. Where are my FTAs?
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Ben Goren said...

I think the reason they are going with 1972 is that that was supposedly when administration of the Senkakus was transferred from the US to the Okinawa Prefecture. The problem with using that date without mentioning the historical context however is that it gives impression that Japanese administration began in 1972 rather than resumed in 1972 following a 27 year interregnum. To those unfamiliar with the history in the region this might lead them to assume that the Senkakus had been administered by either ROC or PRC before 1972, lending false legitimacy to the constructed claims of those states.

yankdownunder said...

The second sentence contains a gross error,

Error 2.
after Japan nationalized the island cluster by buying three islets from their private owner on Sept. 11 in an attempt to reinforce its sovereignty claim.

Yes Japan should have let China's friend Ishihara buy them.

Error 3.
The move sparked widespread protests in China that hurt Japanese businesses.
J businesses were looted and burned. That senetence like most reports is very misleading.

Error 4.
engaged in a water-cannon altercation in waters near the Diaoyutais on Sept. 25.
Wrong! not near but in Japanese waters.

Michael Turton said...

Exactly, Ben.

Michael Turton said...

Thanks, Yank!