Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The dark, ugly side of Taiwanese life

In Taiwan there are many illegal factories, gravel mining operations, and stone quarries. They make money for the county governments and for their owners, but they make life hell for the ordinary people living next door to them. A net-friend of mine has been fighting a running battle with an illegal operation next door to him for a while now. In the latest round of reprisals for his complaints to the authorities about their pollution and general illegality, they dumped creosote over his house, as the images above show.

Fortunately, this last round of attacks on his property have brought out the media, which may result in changes, at least for as long as the media spotlight is on him. Along with a warning from the local precinct captain to be careful.

The reason that so many illegal operations exist is because of the exact situation my friend faces. For ages local administrators and police have ignored his complaints. In the face of clear illegality, the authorities do nothing -- indeed, they scold complainers. So Taiwanese do not complain.

But worse awaits. Aware that they can act with impunity, illegal operations engage in reprisals against those who might resist. This double whammy of government collusion and open reprisal is a major cause of environmental destruction and resource depletion in Taiwan. For those on its edges, it sucks.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a jungle out there, and thuggish groups are a law unto themselves

Andrew Fathy said...

I'm glad you made us aware of this problem but there are no witness accounts or examples. The article seems incomplete somewhat.