Friday, June 13, 2014

Facebook Stories

Looks like the DPP has decided to support Ko in Taipei against Sean Lien. Taoyuan is looking more interesting by the minute, lots of stuff on the blog tomorrow, stay tuned. Meanwhile....

Taiwan joke I heard the other day:

Q: How do you know the person standing in front of you is Chinese?
A: They keep trying to persuade you that YOU are Chinese....

A friend posted this to her Facebook:

Taiwan's Invisibility

A medical researcher at X University mentioned it's getting harder for Taiwanese to participate in international conferences. The pharmaceutical companies used to pay for Taiwanese scholars to attend, but now they pay mostly for mainland Chinese.

At the last conference she attended, her nationality was listed as "Taiwan, Province of China" and this was even on her name tag! In the past, asking conference organizers to correct it might get a positive response. These days the organizers get angry!

I suggested she get the message across in a more personal way, by talking to people face-to-face: When meeting someone at the conference, shake their hand, and point to your name tag, smiling brightly, and say, "I'm (name)--and by the way, Taiwan is NOT part of China!" Laugh a bit, then immediately return to a conference-related topic.

China can bully you internationally, but no one can stop you from speaking your least, not here.

When you chat with mainland tourists, if you don't say anything about it, they really do go home thinking you're okay with Taiwan as part of China, just like one big family!

Instead, would you dare to say, "We like people from mainland China, but we don't want to have the same government," and then tell them why?

Because Taiwanese are so quiet, so humble, and prefer to avoid conflict, most mainland Chinese actually have NO IDEA that Taiwanese people might not be happy to be part of China. I'm told it can be quite a shock when they find out.

Isn't it possible to remain gentle without becoming...invisible?
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Marc said...

The big pharmas in Taiwan are paying for this only for PR. Increasingly, the government and hospitals are using generics (presumably to hold down on costs since the medical insurance scheme here is in the red), and the slice of the profit pie for pharmas is getting thinner and thinner. They used to hire me to give workshops to doctors, too, but I haven't been offered anything like that for a while.

Anonymous said...

The text of "Taiwan's Invisibility" is self-contradicting; thus, self-defeating.

Throughout the whole text, the author takes extra care to use "mainland China" to refer to "China" as a country, "mainland tourists" to refer to "Chinese tourists" and "mainland Chinese" for "Chinese."

If she cannot bring herself to call China outright as "China" and call Chinese as "Chinese", she cannot demand other people to do that for her.

She does deserve to be labelled as a person from "part of China".

Anonymous said...

The surprise of my night was seeing Shen Fu-hsiung on my TV showing everyone his personal copy of "Capital in the 21st Century". I'm happy to see someone try to get Piketty's ideas into Taiwanese airspace, but if he really wants to prevent the dystopia the man warns about, instead of trying to prove his loyalty to the DPP by running against its own choice as an independent, he should be out in Taoyuan stumping for Cheng to stop the mass expropriation there.

Anonymous said...

No, no--"mainland China" is quite a useful term. There's also Hainan, maybe Hong Kong...

At least that's how things look from here in mainland Taiwan.

Mike Fagan said...

" I'm happy to see someone try to get Piketty's ideas into Taiwanese airspace..."

The problem with Piketty's thesis - aside from the data issues - is that r>g can only last for so long. Extrapolation is not the same thing as knowledge. At some point diminishing returns will kick in, as Matthew Rognlie argues here (pdf).