Wednesday, June 29, 2016

In Which Cole again makes a point others have been making for years

High on the Bogusness Index: this sign in Fengyuan says this is the Fengyuan Boulevard Bike Route. Notice any dedicated infrastructure? Me neither. But you know this is on a government promotion material, somewhere. This is simply a big road that cyclists regularly use to get where they want. The government had nothing to do with it. 

J Michael Cole observes at News Lens that the media is always predicting China's anger, which helps China...
So keen have international media and alarmist experts been to create an atmosphere of conflict in the Taiwan Strait that Beijing rarely has to say anything anymore — they’re doing the job on its behalf. All Beijing needs to do is to give media an occasional push, to send a well-timed signal, for the scribes to escalate the rhetoric and foster a sense of alarm.
Of course, over the years, many of us have made this exact point. In fact a decade ago, Johnny Neihu, who stopped writing, got heavily into gambling, and now lives a dissolute life somewhere in the warrens of Taipei, wrote as if that trope were already old:
In other travesties, this week saw a particularly egregious trotting out of the "in a move likely to anger China" saw.

You've seen it before: it's the stock phrase the wires insert to build anticipation on cross-strait tensions, which more often than not fail to materialize, and instead only serves to coddle the hypernationalist sensitivities of the bullying Chicoms across the Strait.
In 2010, I observed in a long analysis:
Finally, wouldn't it be a good idea to wait and see what Beijing actually does, rather than propagandizing for its policy of using "anger" to manage its relations with foreign countries and to impact foreign media reporting?
There are others. Cole's piece could have been strengthened considerably if he had pointed out that he sat within a long stream of writing on this, that this trope is old and it is high time it disappeared. Cole even notes at the beginning that we have "traveled back in time"...
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Anonymous said...

When has Cole ever made a substantive point that someone else hadn't already made elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Safely said from the cover of anonymity.

Anonymous said...

Well anon for one thing Cole saw the sunflower movement coming well before most people did.