Friday, November 30, 2012

=UPDATE= Ministry of Education Launches White Terror Tactics Against Next Media Student Protesters?

This is flying around Facebook and the bulletin boards in Taiwan, hotter than hot right now. The email above is said to have been circulated by the Ministry of Education (MoE). The last sentence is ambiguous to me, but apparently it reads either that the MOE is looking for lists of registered students so it can see who was absent and presumably at the protests, or else it has attached a list of such students for the schools to handle. After noting that it has been raining and cold for several days, it asks that " officials care for the health of the students..." and "each university more deeply understand and care for the students". The subtext is obvious to anyone who grew up in Taiwan, especially during the martial law era. The students are engaged in their own subversive response, but this sort of thing is also aimed at the parents. That way the parents will put pressure on the students not to engage in such activities. That also happened during the Wild Strawberry protests about the Assembly and Parade Law a couple of years ago.

The email goes out to many universities all over Taiwan. It asks "區內學校" to spread the word. "區內" appears to be a reference to "Taiwan Region." Ugh.Nope, just a reference to the districts the universities are in.

If you read Chinese, there are some hilarious comments on this popular bulletin board system. The "689" appears to be a coded reference to the number of people (in millions, 6.89) who voted for Ma Ying-jeou as well as the 689 votes by which Leung Chun-ying won the Hong Kong chief executive election.

Expect updates as new information comes in.

UPDATE: Excellent Taipei Times report showing how the students understand "concern".
On the other hand, in the context of student movements, the term “concern” is often associated with threats and attempts by schools to bar students from taking part in demonstrations.

“For example, some universities would impose stricter curfews in student dorms because they are ‘concerned’ about students’ safety at night. CGU cuts the Internet connection at dorms at midnight because the school administration is ‘concerned’ that students may stay up all night playing online games,” Chang said. “Moreover, school officials or on-campus military education officers talk to students when student newspapers publish articles critical of school or government policies, saying they only want to show their ‘concern.’”

The term “showing concern” has always had a negative connotation among students, he said.
Great work, TT.
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M said...

The 區內 just refers to the four education service districts that cover Taiwan

Michael Turton said...

Yeah, thanks. i finally figured that out.


Lorenzo said...

If you know what 689 means, you are qualified as a truely informed commentator on Taiwan's politics. Otherwise, like those 'accidental observatioal visitors' one can only write familiar canned pharases.

Anonymous said...

I chuckled when reading the TT piece about "concern," ...

If a stranger approached me in Sicily and said that he was "concerned" about my well-being, I'd promptly get myself to the nearest international airport to get out of Italy.

If the Chinese government approached me in China and said that they were "concerned" about my well-being for no apparent reason, I'd promptly get myself to the nearest international airport to get out of China.

"Concern" has its own "unique" meaning in all gangster lands.

Anonymous said...

Only in Taiwan can media regulations prevent a media company from succeeding in the market, and then when said company wishes to sell itself to another concern because they cannot make money, suddenly the populace demands the regulators to stop the transaction..

Back in the 90's, the Koo clan also kept Warner Brothers out of the Taiwanese cable market via captive regulators. I guess WB was a Chinese stalking horse too. (And now of course Taiwanese complain about not enough foreign investment...LOL.)

Maybe Taiwan should stop aping China and simply allow a free market and a free press and let the chips fall where they may. Then again, with the large number of unemployed PhD students and the anti-free market editorials I see in the Taipei Times, maybe Taiwan could be duped by China.