Looking back at his life, it seemed to him that he had been struggling all the time to dam a flood, which, whenever he had checked it, had broken through at a new place, setting him his work to do again. It was the flood of Force Majeur.
The image above is the kind of bullshit that is all over Facebook and the bulletin boards this week, a depressing cycle of stupidity and ignorance morally legitimated by nationalist posturing. The Taiwan media is awful. Most Taiwanese have no idea how their fisherman behave overseas or about any of the politics of the issue. They couldn't tell an EEZ from a hole in the ground. The government simply yanks their nationalist chains and off they go, even petitioning the White House in the best petitioning-the-emperor style in which Taiwanese conduct their foreign affairs. Stories are running around the net of Filipinos refused service (a hoax), and even a beating or two.
The government, while condemning Philippines as a bunch of irrational and backward savages...
Premier Jiang pointed out yesterday that Philippine institutions and methodologies differed greatly from ours....Piously called upon the public to show great forbearance toward Pinoys in Taiwan. AP reported that Phils fears for its workers in Taiwan and advised them to eat indoors.
Bloomberg identified the right angle with a story on how this is really sublimated frustration with the incompetence and weakness of the Ma Administration, directed outward, as well as with Taiwan's weak and ambiguous place in the world....
The 60-year-old blamed Ma Ying-jeou, whose approval rating is 14 percent, for an economy that grew at one of the slowest rates in Asia last year, sparking January protests that helped trigger the resignation of Premier Sean Chen. When a Philippine patrol boat crew killed a Taiwanese fisherman a week ago, Liu and others found an outlet for their fear of being bypassed in Asia’s recovery.Clever of the KMT to harness frustration at the President and Taiwan's international position and redirect at Manila. Just think, people can forget for a moment that wages are at late 1990s levels, that income is stagnating, that housing prices in Taipei and elsewhere are ridiculous, that income equality is getting worse, that the rich are largely untaxed, that the President is a failure in most areas of policy (unless you're rich) etc etc etc. Just need some smaller nation to bully and the national blood pressure will fall.....
“We’ve been frustrated for so long,” Liu said, adding Ma should be even tougher on the Philippines. “We’re so full of anger, so disappointed and dissatisfied with our government.”
Ma is seizing the moment to press President Benigno Aquino for a formal apology as Taiwan grocers pull Philippine goods from stores and travel agencies cancel trips, an approach that risks denting efforts to boost trade ties in Asia. His reaction may say more about Taiwan’s feeling of weakness in a region of emerging powers that don’t officially recognize its government.
...and the DPP has fallen in with this policy! They should be arguing that the apology should be accepted, that things should be resolved quietly instead of loudly (best for the fishermen!), and constantly pointing out how the KMT's policy of isolating Taiwan is backfiring here. The DPP should be pointing out that only China is benefiting from this spat (a hidden motive of the Administration?). And also how Ma is pissing off the US. This is a golden moment for the DPP to take the high road. Argh.
Meanwhile the Premier warned that the boycotts were there to stay.
After the announcement of eleven retaliatory measures against the Philippines, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) sternly declared during yesterday’s Cabinet meeting that the ROC government would wage a prolonged boycott against the Philippines.Finally, in the TT Paul Lin nails point after point, noting as many of have that the big winner is China:
Premier Jiang pointed out yesterday that Philippine institutions and methodologies differed greatly from ours. He went on to say that the recent diplomatic row over the fatal shooting incident reflected the difficulties that the two sides had been experiencing in bilateral negotiations over the past several decades, adding that the ROC government’s recent decision to adopt a tougher attitude would mark a decisive turning point in the mode of interactions between Taiwan and the Philippines.
The affair has revealed the sovereignty and human rights crises that Taiwan has found itself in with Ma at the helm and, unless things improve soon, these crises will only deepen. Since Taiwan’s sovereignty status problems are leading to human rights violations, the nation needs to reach out to the international community — in particular the US, which is “returning to Asia” — if it wants to turn things around. The US’ return to the region should not be only in a military sense, it also needs to be in terms of promoting universal human rights. This situation is more than just a standoff between two countries: It is a standoff between two opposing sets of values. However, since Ma took office and announced his “diplomatic truce” policy, Taiwan has had to keep silent in the international community.Thanks to commenter RC on the first post on this for the link to this blog which analyzes the mess. It has an account of the story that rings true. I haven't checked it yet. But one point he makes is that the fishing boats were able to meet up with Taiwan CGA boats to escort them. Do the math. This means they had to have been chased for some period of time, enough to time for the CGA boats to come out to meet them. Which supports the Phils story of a long chase.....
I'm going to read The Once and Future King again. Are humans always doomed to behave like idiots? Is it forever going to be the case that a little dose of nationalism is going to induce amnesia about the incompetence of the government and the media?
UPDATE: Maddog flipped me the Taiwan government information. Bullet holes in the front are exit holes.
Port (stern section):
Port (bow section):
Deduced bullet trajectories (diagram):
… all found via this page:
I'm certainly not saying you should trust this government's version of the events, but do look at those images. The holes near the bow — note that there are only two — are marked as "exit" holes.
and this comment:
"Stories are running around the net of Filipinos refused service (a hoax)"
Why do you think the stories of Filipinos being refused service are a hoax? We've heard multiple stories from our local Filipino worker community here in Nanzih District, Kaohshiung. And there are newspaper reports of signs being put up at establishments in Changhua.
It actually looks more to me like there's an informal movement on Facebook to discredit the stories by repeating the "where's the evidence" line.
Evan, there was one particular tale of a Filipino who had waited an hour until some kind Taiwanese woman saved him. Hoax, apparently. Thanks for the pointers. Have images of the signs in Changhua?
- Hegemonic warfare watch: Chinese general says Okinawa belongs to China.
- History: British WWII bombing of Formosa, part 3. This blog is fantastic.
- ETRC rounds up a few stats on Taiwan's sluggish recovery.
- Surfing Southeast Taiwan
- Confucius Institutes: Uni in Sydney kow-tows to China, blocks Dalai Lama visit.
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