It is my contention that one of the Ma Administration's central foreign policy tendencies is to irritate relations with Japan and the United States whenever possible. This policy was thrown into harsh relief this week by twin actions in Tokyo and Beijing. First, a misprinted name in a Tokyo National Palace Museum exhibition caused an uproar in the Presidential Office in Taiwan... (FocusTaiwan):
Controversy erupted when some posters advertising the exhibition were found to refer to the NPM as simply "Palace Museum, Taipei" an apparent violation of the agreement between Taiwan and Japan that the museum's full name must be used in all publicity materials.The Taiwan government said that there was no room for negotiation and the exhibition would be canceled if things weren't corrected. Petty politics at its best. Meanwhile last week Beijing forwarded a document to the UN claiming Taiwan and Penghu. The Taipei Times editorialized bluntly:
According to the Presidential Office, President Ma Ying-jeou has instructed the NPM to demand the Tokyo museum correct the situation, and the government's stance has been conveyed to Tokyo by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
When Beijing, at a UN tribunal over tensions concerning sovereignty in the South China Sea, included Taiwan and Penghu as part of its territorial claims, nobody in the government reacted or uttered a single word in response. When pressed about this by the media, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) merely said: “We protested this 55 years ago.”An exhibition leaves out a word, the Presidential Office goes on the warpath. China claims Taiwan and Penghu? Silence. No doubt the silence was one part agreement that Taiwan is part of China -- a stance which the Administration avoids reminding the public of and one part avoidance of reminding the public why Taiwan isn't a UN state. When the coming generation comes of age, the UN issue is going to be revisited, with a vengeance....
UPDATE: FocusTaiwan latest...
Ben Goren of Letters from Taiwan observes in a private communication:
"The posters in question, which have been spotted at train stations and parks in Tokyo, were prepared by a media sponsor group comprising major media outlets including NHK, the Asahi Shimbun and other TV stations and newspapers. Meanwhile, official posters and brochures prepared by the Tokyo National Museum refer to the Taipei museum by its official name." - so why is the Ma govt complaining to Tokyo and not the media group in question? like you said, easy to pick a fight with a friend than stand up to a bully._______________________
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