Friday, July 04, 2008

Communist Bandits are Here!

Plenty of fun in the papers today with the arrival of 750 tourists from China. On Chinese aircraft, since their government will not allow them to take Taiwanese aircraft. Just another example of the generosity and good faith of Beijing....

A playful commenter in the Liberty Times argued that "Sun Moon Lake" (er yue tan2) was going to become "Sun Moon Spit" (tan2). It's a commonplace among locals that the Chinese are going to spit and litter their way across the island, and give everyone strange, dreadful diseases.

The Liberty Times featured pics of a betel nut girl that were on all the networks yesterday. The Nantou county government, concerned that Chinese tourists may discover that Taiwanese girls have secondary sex characteristics, has ordered that the betel nut babes dress more demurely. I think the Nantou government is just trying to spare the feelings of the poor Chinese by preventing them from finding out that Taiwanese girls are hotter than Chinese girls.

The story below shows a picture of a shopowner whose placard announces in black and yellow:

Somebody tell Chiang Kai Shek!
The Chinese Bandits have landed!

The sign in his shop window announces that he does not serve Communist bandits. Doesn't he know that Communist bandits are our friends? Oceania is at war with Eastasia, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia...

The international media has been very interested in the Falun Gongers and the Chinese encountering each other in Taiwan. Jon Adams reports in IHT:

Outside a popular tourist site in Taipei on a baking-hot morning recently, Gao Mingzhu, 56, a visitor from Beijing, took a break in the shade and posed as his tour group companion took a picture.

A few meters away 10 members of Falun Gong, the spiritual group outlawed as an "evil cult" in China, were greeting the newly arrived Chinese tourists and trying to pass out promotional flyers and newspaper articles.

Gao shook his head disapprovingly. "They're cheating people," he said.

But when one of the Falun Gong members, Jou Chi-ying, 68, approached, Gao turned all smiles. Indeed, after some initial uneasiness, the scene quickly became something of a cross-Strait love fest.

"See, we in the Republic of China are so polite to visitors, there's nothing to be afraid of," said Jou, using Taiwan's formal name.

"Taiwan is great," responded Gao. "We're all one family - we share the same ancestors, and the same heart."

So went another encounter between fervent Falun Gong practitioners and cautious mainland visitors. The tourists are guests in the self-governing island that China's Communist government claims as its own, faced with members of a sect that has been banned on the mainland since 1999, but who can speak and gather freely in democratic Taiwan.

Adams also notes commonplace:

Hopes run high in Taiwan that the sharp increase in mainland tourists will help lift the island's lackluster economy.

Can we stop saying "lackluster economy"? We sizzled along at over 6% growth the first five months of the year. The economy is doing fine. Income stagnation is the problem, and I hope the international media will use "perceived lackluster economy" instead of reifying KMT economic propaganda into a fact. I'm also curious about whether it is true that "hopes run high." People might say that in public, but I haven't heard anyone express that opinion privately.


Anonymous said...

ya, if they mean we share the same Adam and Eva, that I can accept. Same "chinese" ancestor? They try to hypnotize themselves that way. By studying my origin, I am so surprised how we were cheated by KMT that we are Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Instead of 日月潭 (ri4yue4tan2) it will become 日月潭 (ri4yue4tan2).

The pronunciation is the same but with different characters.

Mark said...

That's a pretty offensive "playful commenter". The people coming on the cross-straight flights are upper-class tourists, not spitting peasants. It's as the Liberty Times writer feels that a PRC passport holder is automatically a filthy subhuman. Sadly, I've heard similar commentary from Taiwanese media about people coming from any poorer place in Asia, be it India, Vietnam, Indonesia... ugh. What ugly prejudice.

Your title of this post sums it up completely.

skiingkow said...

A-gu had a post saying that his wife heard that 3 of the tourists are now missing. Any verification on that?

Tommy said...

Well, Mark, while I agree with you, I have seen far too many upper-middle-class Chinese men AND women spit before. I would be tempted to use the same humour myself.

Richard said...

"The Nantou county government, concerned that Chinese tourists may discover that Taiwanese girls have secondary sex characteristics, has ordered that the betel nut babes dress more demurely."

Secondary sex characteristics.... ??? What's that supposed to mean.

Anonymous said...


I don't know if you watch TV in Taiwan. The tourists from China, rich or not, using the cultural standards of Taiwan, fit into what is perceived as lower class or impolite, whether it is the loudness of the talking, the spitting, not waiting in line, the throwing cigarette butts everywhere (yes, it's done by Taiwanese too, but the average person's response here is "no class").

I would agree that it's sort of shortsighted in a sense to judge someone by your own cultural standards (99.9% of the world does this), but you see that this isn't matter of that the observations aren't true. Think about this, everyone else doesn't wait in line--even if you're rich, why would you know about waiting in line? The air is heavy polluted anywhere that rich people live (the developed areas of China), and that makes for a hell of a lot of spit. The population with tuberculosis is also huge. Spitting more often and more openly than the average Taiwanese--it's simply a fact about the Chinese population at this point in time, and yes, even the rich.

maoman said...

Hi Michael,

I tried to click through the picture, but the url is funky. Where can I see the original photo?

Michael Turton said...

Sorry guys but that's as good as the newspaper photo gets. Shouldn've take a screenshot off the TV if you wanted pics of half-nekkid betel girls!


Michael Turton said...

Stop Ma, 3 tourists skipped out of a hotel in Chungli, according to Johnny Neihu yesterday. No doubt they went mad with boredom in exciting Chungli.

skiingkow said...

No doubt they went mad with boredom in exciting Chungli.

LOL! Do these tourist have to wear pink at all times, too? It would make it more difficult to escape if that were the case, I guess. LOL!

And what is with that fire-hose shower that they received at the airport? I know it was supposed to be symbolic of dusting-off a friend that has been far away (Did they hose down the passengers inside the airport, too?) I initially thought that the plane had passed through a cloud of radioactivity or something.

Anonymous said...

hey mark,
does the taiwanese health insurance system cover humor transplant ops? Lighten up dude!

Anonymous said...

About Spiting:

Well that a very good thing to get money for german cities. (Cologne colect around 20 Euros + 40 for cigaret back) Another thing was some of them stoped on german highways to make pipi-stop. (thats an act of suicide on german Autobahn)

about Chinese tourists. i think that a point is somewhere else. i see that Taiwanese do not see themselfes as "mainland chinese". Even if they acsept own "chinesiness". Thats a point where taiwans chinese begin to think about themselfes being own nation. (aboriginals is another thing) Being own nation means they cant be bound to China as another province. maybe as a state in a federation. But thats not what China wants or is capable to acsept.

Ruth Ferez said...

I've just found your blog. wow!