Thursday, October 23, 2008

Daily links, Oct 23, 2008

What waits on the blogs today?
  • Mark F. goes to the Taichung Jazz Festival

  • The Melamine from China mess goes on and on. Now it is rising agents in local breads. Japan and Korea discovered it in processed egg products from China as well. Key point: don't buy Chinese if you want a long healthy life. The Taiwan Dream Foundation covers the melamine issue in an excellent post.

  • Zhang Mingquing incident from Brian Dunn who says it can be an excuse for invading Taiwan. And this Singapore analyst thinks it will hurt the stock market. Get a grip, folks. B@Taiwan turns a skeptical eye on the media. Fili talks about our fellow NCKU student who protested Zhang.

  • Notes from the decline of civilization: An interview from the producer of Taiwan's first slasher film, and Burger King poised for growth here.

  • Guam to be caught up in Taiwan war?

  • Boy Scouts and ham radio in Taiwan way back when.

  • Lao Ren Cha on voting absentee in Virginia from Taiwan, "province of China".

  • The Wild East on the bicycling boom.

  • Barking Deer with useful information on hiking maps.

  • Islaformosa on the bloggerfest on the 19th.

  • Mark Harrison on the Australian Taiwan Studies network.

  • Are linguists irrelevant to society? Johan appears to think so.

  • Stocks and politics takes stock of the first five months of the Ma mess

  • MEDIA: Ma announces there will be no war for the next four years. Remember, Ma has that weaseling legal training...there might be a "police action" or "suppression of rebellion" but there won't be a war. After all, war can only happen between sovereign states. Yes, there's a Florida State University football player named Taiwan. Taiwan fighter jet crash results in grounding of all jets for a couple of days -- and a helicopter goes down too. In case you missed it, here is the new CRS report on Taiwan-US relations. Richard Bush and the Chinese Ambassador speak at Oklahoma University on Taiwan. 7 Chinese tour operators cancel their visit to Taiwan over Zhang incident. A Chinese dissident warns Taiwan that China wants to reel it in. Taiwan to get 180 JAVELIN missiles from US. Taipei can plead in French court over struggle over consulate in French Polynesia between Beijing and Taipei. Another piece on the Yonaguni Islands and Taiwan. DPP's Tsai says China has no right to discipline Taiwan official. The CFR has a piece on China's food and drug safety, saying that production may have outpaced its ability to police industry. Earth to CFR: it's always been that way.

    MEDIA NONSENSE: The Financial Times completely blew it on the incident in Tainan.
    China’s second-highest ranking negotiator on Taiwanese issues was pushed to the ground and punched by protesters in Taiwan on Tuesday, just weeks before a historic meeting between the two sides was expected to take place.
    It is arguable whether he was pushed, but there is no question: he wasn't punched.

    MEDIA GREATNESS: The Financial Times completely scored on the incident in Tainan.
    Mr Ma has sought to buttress Taiwan's position as a self-governing state, while avoiding moves towards formal independence and improving relations with Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the island even though it has never been ruled by China.
    What? Referring to the status of Taiwan using the true state of affairs as a descriptor? How did that ever happen!

    EVENTS: Two big ones, and both on the 25th. First, the March in Taipei. Routes and meeting points are here:

    For a large version of this map, click here.

    Second, Michael K alias The Bushman is having Blogtoberfest in Hukuo on the 25th. Directions and details on his blog. I'll probably attend both the march and the Bushman's party, look forward to seeing you there.


    Anonymous said...

    Here is a quirky Taiwan history ebay find I came across last night. A guy in China is selling a 32 piece collection of rare 1950s Taiwan cigarette packs.

    It kinda makes you think about the 1947 incident that started the KMT white terror massacre. Probably some of the brands are the same as what that women was selling. Note: if interested, you have to check this link out quickly as it may go offline at anytime. The images are decent quality and worth saving. A few of the packs have to do with anti communism.

    Anonymous said...

    Taiwan has never been ruled by the PRC, but it has been ruled before by China. Currently, it is ruled by "a China", though one that few people believe in.

    Anonymous said...

    Taiwan was never completely ruled by any China. The Qing Dynasty treated it as a colony and administered it, but when Japanese sailors were shipwrecked on Taiwan and killed by Aboriginals on the east coast, the Qing Dynasty claimed it was out of their jurisdiction. And as a matter of fact, yeah, they did not have any control over the Aboriginals.

    So even if you wanted to use some kind of silly iridescent claim that once a part of some China always a part of China as a part of the argument, it'd only include the western coastal plains of Taiwan, plus maybe a couple of outposts on the east coast.

    Anyways, what was given up in a war over a hundred years ago was given up. Should we "reunify" Ireland and the UK? Should we "reunify" Spain and all Latin American countries? Should we redestroy Israel, since it wasn't even around 100 years ago? How about that highly illegal, highly treasonous war of independence you Yankees fought? Why should we return to one point in time and not another?

    And by the way, there are these things called people that live in Taiwan that have these things called thoughts and opinions about what they want to do.

    Tommy said...

    "The CFR has a piece on China's food and drug safety, saying that production may have outpaced its ability to police industry."

    [Taihanasie blinks twice with wide eyes]: MAY...?

    Oh, and Michael, both of the FT links lead to the same article... the bad one. Even the one on the previous post leads to the article about the Zhang being "attacked and punched". Could someone in FT have retracted the old article and replaced it with a more China-friendly version? I saw the one that was there earlier and this is not what is there now.

    skiingkow said...


    A Canadian journalist does pretty good (not perfect) in THIS article as well:

    The Chinese Communist Party has claimed Taiwan since 1949 when Mao Zedong defeated the Nationalist forces and Chiang Kai-shek and his followers fled to the island.</strong


    Raj said...

    FYI the Javelin anti-tank missiles were part of the $6.5 billion order - the article is merely repeating that.

    cfimages said...

    There's also the Daniel Pearl Day concert at Taipei Artist Village. No. 7, Beiping E. Rd., Taipei

    It's a great cause, some great bands and, based on last years event, will be full of great people. Highly recommended - it's probably the best thing you can do in Taiwan this weekend.

    Jenna Cody said...

    My Chinese teacher (granted, she's quite pro-KMT and doesn't understand why I hang out with Dadaocheng rifraff) says it was pretty evident that Zhang was not only pushed and punched, but hit in the back of the head and had his car attacked after he got into it.

    Whichever story is true, I can't applaud the methods even though I agree with the sentiment. Punching and old dude visiting a temple for a personal, spiritual purpose is NOT the way to build a case that Taiwan is a more civically developed country than China. Which it is, but it sure doesn't show right now!

    Anonymous said...

    "Punching and old dude visiting a temple for a personal, spiritual purpose is NOT the way to build a case that Taiwan is a more civically developed country than China."
    He wasn't even pushed to the ground and definitely was not punched. However, he was backpedaling due to the crowd surging around him which led to the fall.
    Yes, it's certainly an idiotic way to air grievances, but it seems to be the blue crowd that is most concerned about the image that Taiwan is more advanced and civilized than China since that's been their motto for years.
    Unfortunately, the way the gov't is rushing full speed ahead with the 'learn to love China' campaign is causing some public frustration to fester. There's bound to be more where that came from in the future.

    Anonymous said...


    Your teacher is an idiot. If he purposely punched the guy and pushed him to the ground, what is he doing helping him up right away? Watch the videos. Also, you see that he starts falling when Wang Ting-yu's back is turned towards him. Some news channels tried to show angles where they don't show him with his backed turned, but it's also very clear that he's picking him up afterwards.

    In any case, absolutely there were not punches. That's just a complete fabrication without an visual imagery that could even be distorted to be that.

    Jenna Cody said...

    How do you know he wasn't punched? I've seen that a few times, and nobody's provided any evidence of what actually my position on that is a firm "I have no idea, I wasn't there and I've seen nothing convincing on either side".

    Viewing Taiwan as the more civilized, developed country need not be a purely 'blue' trait. One can feel that way AND support Taiwanese independence, Taiwanese identity and a harder line on China. It's not either-or.

    Anonymous said...

    Whichever story is true, I can't applaud the methods even though I agree with the sentiment. Punching and old dude visiting a temple for a personal, spiritual purpose--

    Sorry but i think you fogot that you are talking about THE chinese communist, who not belive into such backward things like relligion and personal purpose. So nope.. he was there to give kudos to KMT nationalists and chinazis. aka for the "political show". He reaped what he and his goverment sow..

    Tommy said...

    Anyone who has really seen the video can see he was not punched. It is clear enough to tell that at least. The punching is a fabrication, Jenna.

    Now assuming what you say is right, and it really is not possible to tell whether he was punched or not, then why are several media outlets, including FT, now saying he was punched? I am not arguing with you on this point, Jenna. I am just wondering aloud why the media can't stick to what they know.

    As for the editing of this FT story, I am pretty sure some pressure was applied somewhere. The writers of the two versions are the same two people. They didn't just do an about face overnight. And I did notice that once the bad version was up as the final version, there just happened to be an image of Hu Jintao doing something related to the economy on the main page of Anyone else notice that? Coincidence?

    Anonymous said...

    Jenna, there has been zero visual evidence of him being punched even though there was a trail of cameras following. It looks like it's possible he was pushed.

    Your logic is a little crazy. I have no evidence that you're a serial killer, but I have no evidence you're not either.

    I don't agree with being so up close with the protests. I am against physical violence unless it means defending against a Chinese invasion. But I disagree with accusations that have no evidence when there were plenty of cameras around to witness.

    Tommy said...

    Jenna, out of curiosity I would like to know what school you go to. In the past, I had lessons with a very unprofessional blue supporter at a Chinese buxiban in Taipei. She would take every opportunity to diss Chen when she could, and then she would digress about stupid topics for the next 30 minutes. If you were lucky, you got 30 minutes of work from the book.

    Jenna Cody said...

    Hey, I never said I liked Zhang's politics. I hate the Chinese government just as much as the next woman.

    Was he really there to pay respect to KMT politicians and Chinese officials? I doubt it - the Tainan Confucius temple is hardly Yasukuni Jinja.

    It would be really nice to know what the facts are regarding this incident.

    Even so - you don't go punching people. I'd love to punch George W. Bush AND Sarah Palin square in the face but given the chance, I wouldn't. Violence only makes the perpetrator look bad.

    Michael Turton said...

    Jenna, there was no punch, period. No evidence, no claims, nothing. With the same evidence, you could claim he was shot, stabbed, or tortured with tire irons.

    Either show me the evidence, or retract the claim.

    Anonymous said...

    OK Guys. There was no punching.

    But please replace Zhang with your 70-year-old grandpa, if you have any, in that film. Just imagine that gray-haired old man in great terror were your family member.
    That is inhumane to treat an old man like that just for your political agenda.
    Michael you oughtta be ashamed of yourself. I don't know what is your agenda, but I guess you've been out of states for too long and forget how we treat the elders.

    Haitien said...

    Just imagine that gray-haired old man in great terror were your family member.

    I would hope that my family members:
    a) Were not high ranking officials in the PRC Taiwan policy apparatus, on the record making numerous threatening statements towards Taiwan.

    b) Would not be foolish enough to make provocative statements while standing in front of an already irritated crowd.

    Michael Turton said...

    Just imagine that gray-haired old man in great terror were your family member.
    That is inhumane to treat an old man like that just for your political agenda.
    Michael you oughtta be ashamed of yourself. I don't know what is your agenda, but I guess you've been out of states for too long and forget how we treat the elders.

    My grandfather wouldn't threaten to kill millions because they disagreed with him politically. He wouldn't support a regime that murders its own people and invades foreign countries like Tibet and Taiwan. How do I know that? Because he left Mussolini's Italy for precisely those reasons.

    Elders deserve respect when they act respectfully. They do not deserve respect when they threaten to murder my friends and loved ones and then come here to negotiate on that basis. Zhang is no more than a thug, and deserves a thug's respect. If he gets something else, it is because Taiwanese are ever so much better than he is.

    Further, your one-sided attitude is absolutely bizarre. How come you do not demand of Zhang the same respect toward the wishes and aspirations of the people of Taiwan? How come you don't demand that Zhang respect our elderly here who are under the missiles he is using, thuggishly, to force them to accede to his demands?

    And yes, I'm happy to use any incident that will push forward my ideals of a free, independent, and democratic Taiwan. What are your highest political values?


    Anonymous said...

    "And yes, I'm happy to use any incident that will push forward my ideals of a free, independent, and democratic Taiwan. What are your highest political values?"

    If your highest political "value" is such, you should move to Gaza or West Bank where they do use violence and suicide bombers to "try" to achieve their political goals. The Palestians have gotten nowhere with their goal of nation building and are stuck in a cycle of violence and death. However, they seem to tolerate and glorify such violence. It sounds like that is where your polical agenda belongs and where you should move to.

    Michael Turton said...

    LOL. I love cowardly anonymous posters. The comparison with Gaza is completely ridiculous. Does posting anonymously cause IQs to plummet?

    It's simple, loser. I don't advocate violence, and I don't advocate non-violence. Non-violence doesn't work with the Chinese, as Tibet amply shows -- it enables westerners to feel good about you without actually accomplishing anything for you. Western support for Free Tibet is non-support. Had the Dalai Lama been a sadistic, bloody-minded war leader, all the deaths that China has caused in Tibet might actually mean something, they might well be an independent state now, and successful war might deter further Chinese adventurism. But all that went by the board, so westerners can feel good about the Dala Lama, and complain about violence when an envoy who has made a career out of threatening violence toward Taiwan trips and falls when accosted by his would-be victims.

    My heart bleeds for poor Mr. Zhang. I assume you went to prominent English-language blogs run by pro-China types, and complained about their advocacy of violence toward Taiwan, right? And told them that Hu should go to Gaza, right? What? No?


    Jenna Cody said...

    The thing is, I'm not making a claim. I said above that I'm firmly in the "I have no idea what happened" camp.

    There are just as many people who claimed he was pushed and punched - there's no evidence to say he wasn't either. Of course the people who say so are people with whom I disagree politically, but they're also generally reasonable people (in all other areas anyway).

    I do believe there is a photo floating out there of his car being attacked, but I can't find it even after being told it exists. Could well have been made up.

    That said, if this thing is getting press, there's probably a kernel of truth to it...somehow...and all it does is make the good side look bad.

    That's not deserved, for the record. But it is what's happening!

    I do retract my claim that I wouldn't punch GW Bush in the face if I had the chance, though. I think I would.

    Jenna Cody said...

    Alright alright, apparently there are videos too. I guess I'll have to go Google those on my clunky computer to see for myself.

    My Chinese teacher is an idiot politically (well, I disagree with her, at least) but she's an intelligent and reasonable lady in every other aspect. For what it's worth.

    Jenna Cody said...

    Sorry about the multiple comments...but looking at the video, you're right, I saw no punch. A few raised fists, yes.

    But that sure looked like a push to me, though a pretty gentle one that wasn't necessarily intended to make him hit the ground.

    And the guy who picked him up didn't seem to be trying to help him, it looked more like dragging to me. The guy who helped him away was a different person (so it seems).

    I also saw what looked to be a few kicks while they were chanting "Taiwan bu shi Zhongguo de!" and some guy definitely jumped on his car.

    It still doesn't sit right with me, despite agreeing completely with, err, Taiwan bu shi Zhongguo de.

    Anonymous said...

    So its still about the "attack"...

    Lets imagine the old guy was ... Chen Shuibian and instead of being pushed down was kicked in the ass really hard (I know such an event could never happen in Taiwan but please follow my arguement). Well then, what would be the natural reaction of the media in that case? Oh right, maybe its was all arranged by A-bian in order to gain popularity again.

    So much for the blue media.

    Tim Maddog said...

    From J. Michael Cole, in the Tuesday, October 28, 2008 Taipei Times:
    - - -
    The handful of protesters who “attacked” China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (張銘清) during a visit to the Confucius temple in Tainan last week were not youth on a rampage. The incident involved, in the words of Kyodo news agency’s Max Hirsch, “an elderly woman [who] swung feebly at the vehicle with her yellowed crutch.”
    - - -

    So, to all those trying to paint this as "an elderly man who was a victim of violence," STFU!

    Be sure to check out the editorial cartoons from yesterday and today on this subject.

    Tim Maddog

    Anonymous said...


    Blues react with far more violence when their "identity" is challenged and threatened than any green did in this case.

    But even with that in mind, let's work to further keep things in perspective here. Americans are far more prone to reacting to "iedological" provocations with real violence, and, in the developed world, Koreans take the cake where violent disagreement is concerned.

    The "issue" at hand here -- as framed: "violence" -- is a tempest in a teapot, and to see it as otherwise is to fall prey to classic Taiwanese navel-gazing: to see a small thing here as somehow being major; to see it as ramifying in a way it does not.

    But let's go deeper: Both sides -- blue and green -- engage in Neanderthal behavior. The difference is that some greens voice objections when their side evidences these primitive methods and displays. So when was the last time that you heard a blue -sympathizer voicing disagreement with a blue who resorted to such ways? (And contrary to "blue" media reports here, it is blues, not greens, who more often often resort to violence and threats of violence.)

    The stuff that happened with Chang was "Neanderthal light" compared to what the blues do here. But does your esteemed teacher talk about that? Does he/she talk about hating that anti-democratic Chiu-yi rammed a truck into the gates of the Kaohsiung City courthouse upon hearing the reasults of the 2004 election? Of course he/she doesn't. So: he/she is a total hypocrite, through and through -- maybe a gracious person who even treats you to meals, but a hypocrite nonetheless.

    I'd suggest you'll understand people and life much more if you don't let a little commonplace civility and graciousness color your view of who's honest -- meaning self-honest -- and who's not.

    You seem like the best kind of person, and I mean that sincerely -- a person who has her convictions and her sincere reactions, but who is flexible and who keeps her final opinions open. So what really happened here, and what does it all signify (and not signify)? I'm not being Socratic with those questions; your answers will probably be somewhat different from mine. But yes, I'm being Socratic in that I bet that, in the end, you will agree that the whole "controversy" is a crock of shit.