Friday, November 19, 2010

Updates on Taekwondo Situation

Lots of comments and links, keep'em coming. The World Taekwondo Federation dissed the ATU yesterday for that totally unprofessional statement of the other day (posted in the post two below this one):

Asked to comment on the ATU’s statement, World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) secretary-general Yang Jin-suk said at a press conference in Guangzhou yesterday that he could not speak for the ATU because it is a separate organization from the WTF.

However, the South Korean official said it was “inappropriate” for the ATU to issue such a statement.

He also expressed disapproval of the Web hacking incident.

The Web hack was hilarious but it was gone by about 9 am Taiwan time. The ATU statement said that Taiwan side was given the opportunity to explain itself to the committee but the Taiwan side denied that this occurred. Meanwhile the Taiwan government is now getting involved:
At the press conference held in Taipei yesterday, Vice Premier Sean Chen (陳?) said that a press statement posted on the Asian Taekwondo Union’s (ATU) Web site titled “Shocking Act of Deception by Chinese Taipei” was “not only a slander to the reputation of the athlete herself [Yang],” but also “defamation of the whole country and its nationals.”

Sean Chen disagreed with reporters when facing questions about the government’s weak reaction to the incident and slow response in holding a press conference to state its official stance on the matter.
Again the KMT government is taking a beating when it didn't have to -- a noisy but null response a couple of days ago might have made it look a lot stronger. It appears to have misjudged the public mood. TheDeputy Minister of the Sports Affairs Council was forced to resign after saying that Taiwan should just "swallow" the ruling. The KMT plans to borrow the Taekwondo incident for its rally tomorrow.

If only Taiwanese would get this upset about something important, like Chinese missiles or the environment or organized crime.

Another trend is vocal attacks on South Korea, which seems to be the target where many on the Blue side want to see the anger go. Fortunately while vocal attacks continue, the public does not seem to be concretely hurting that nation as tourism from here to there remains strong. There remains a strong uncurrent of feeling that the disqualification was due to the desire of China to prevent the Taiwanese player from defeating a powerful Chinese opponent. The Taipei Times ran an editorial accusing China of being behind the incident.

This affair seems to have tapped into Taiwan's latent insecurity about its place in the world as both the pro-China and pro-Taiwan parties are protesting it and the public seems solidly united about it. Facinating to watch this unfold....
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Alex said...

Hmm will be interesting to see how the KMT will (try) salvage the situation.

Anonymous said...

In the real world, China (already) has 126 gold medals. The Chinese woman who won gold in 49kg taekwondo also won gold in Beijing 2008... where she personally beat Yang (who came in 5th).

And we're to believe Beijing orchestrated this incident by disqualifying Yang (not an athlete from any other country... just Chinese Taipei), with the cooperation of officials from 4 other countries... only after she was leading 9-0?

Right. Delusional fools.

Anonymous said...

I like your statement - "If only Taiwanese would get this upset about something important, like Chinese missiles or the environment or organized crime."

It's also quite sad to have seen that many people in Taiwan have been rather indifferent to a lot more important public issues in the past few decades. Apparently, KMT's abuse on Taiwanese and its colonization on this land has taken a horrendous toll.

Dixteel said...

"This affair seems to have tapped into Taiwan's latent insecurity about its place in the world as both the pro-China and pro-Taiwan parties are protesting it and the public seems solidly united about it. Facinating to watch this unfold"

I agree it's a fascinating event, but I am not sure if it is really about insecurity of Taiwan's place in the world because practically Taiwan has no place in the world for a long time and people can live with it already. I even feel proud that Taiwan is not part of a stupid organization like UN. (Basically we are outside of the system...which sounds kind of cool in a sense).

I think the trigger is a bit more primal and lower level. It's just a sense of something is not right, and the accusation of being cheaters (and ATF's post even says the whole Taiwan team cheat for no reason) really inflame the situation.

Okami said...

Fascinating to watch? This is about as fascinating to watch as paint drying barring the fact that the wall isn't multi-colored and you aren't on hallucinogenics.

Asian country's athlete or whatever gets disqualified. Country goes into a bout of chest thumping and whinging. Nothing happens. It's like deja vu all over again.

Greg said...

Taiwanese animosity/anger towards Korean rooted in realms of athletics is common. This is because the Koreans do cheat. In 韓國國際比賽作弊紀錄 by keeps a list of Korean cheating going as far back as 1998. He presents video evidence and news clips. These episodes of South Korean cheating are not controversial. Unfortunately, SK usually gets away with it.

I might even argue that there is a culture of cheating in SK. In addition to all these cases in athletics, there are similar cases in science, too. SK still regards Hwang Woo-suk as a hero. Hwang Woo-suk was the "scientist" who faked cloning research. It's my understanding that most SK, and Hwang Woo-suk himself, are ardent that the research is legitimate.


I just skimmed through the most recent news articles covering the allegations. There is video proof showing that someone took the sensors from under the coach's chair and presented them as if she was wearing them.

Notice that the WTF has only presented a vague and inconsistent claim that Yang was cheating. They have not addressed the video or the pictures even though days have passed.

MJ Klein said...

all this stuff is well and good, but in reality, what can a Facebook protest page accomplish? i saw the video, and the referee accompanied Yang while her coach removed the sensors and placed them beside his chair. the most credible witness in this entire affair is the referee. so where is he? he is the one person who can lay this whole issue to rest by coming out and telling what he knows to be true. the video is crystal clear - there can be no mistake. what's not clear is why there is a controversy at all, and who ultimately is behind it and for what purpose.

Anonymous said...

This hysterical outburst by some ugly Taiwanese, must be caused by intake of mad cow.

Dixteel said...

This is what I mean. Korean doesn't even know what the heck is going on. And unlike Chinese population who actually went out their way to attack Taiwanese, Korean population feel they are the scapegoat. I would urge the Korean TKD community to look into this to clarify and apologize if necessary:

1. Why is 趙磊, someone who has close relation with Wu, be able to coordinate the matches in this division, which Wu is in?

2. Why is Yang disqualified after the equipment pass the test when there is no evidence that she re-attach the sensor etc?

3. Why did ATF attack the whole Taiwan team with such unprofessional one sided report of accusation?

Anonymous said...

Whatever man, anything but admitting you were totally wrong about the cheating...

Michael Turton said...

I think the trigger is a bit more primal and lower level. It's just a sense of something is not right, and the accusation of being cheaters (and ATF's post even says the whole Taiwan team cheat for no reason) really inflame the situation.

Yes, i think that's it. I'm going to blog on this later. I was discussing that while out riding today -- what's really happening is just like the Chen Shui-bian affair, only in reverse.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to read what Greg wrote and watch the youtube clip....which has been linked many times on this blog.

The facts are out, right now we're just waiting for the responses by the Organization that said they had proof that the Taiwanese athlete cheated. Funny how people forget that VIDEO records everything these days :) Video and Audio. Oh the joys of documenting truth.

No more he said she said.

Everyone needs to stop quoting bias news sources or hearsay. Unless you were at the event, you need to stop writing and first watch all video evidence and then continue to comment. You can always have your own opinion, but if your opinion is not based in fact, then you're just a dodo head, a sheep, following a sect for no reason.

Now as far as Taiwanese insecurities, I don't think it is that at all. The fact is, no one likes getting screwed. Even when it is the smallest things. Of course, the Taiwanese can complain more about Chinese missiles, but have you ever thought about why they don't? It is because will China actually fire those missiles? NO The reason is because the U.S. uses Taiwan as a chip. A chip in their hand. Of course Taiwan gets screwed sometimes by the U.S. or has to pay a lot for weapons that Taiwan doesn't need. But the fact is, until the U.S. is no longer a superpower, China will never dare to attack Taiwan. So they will threaten, they will show their feathers like a peacock, but we all know a peacock is just for show.

Now one day if China is truly ready to take the U.S.'s place as a military and global super power, then Taiwan really has to be worried, if these Chinese views of calling Taiwan or Taipei China Taipei, China Taiwan, doesn't change.

So everyone needs to broaden their horizons, read more, learn more, know more about all the countries relations before just saying, bullshit like, oh all Taiwanese hate Koreans. No of course they don't. And remember that there are tensions because of the fact that Koreans are trying to gain something for China just like Taiwan is as well behind the curtains. Everyone is, even the U.S. China has a lot of money, has a lot of power, thus has a lot of say. And now China knows it.

Anonymous said...

I suggest the post title "WTF - Updates"

Marc said...

all this stuff is well and good, but in reality, what can a Facebook protest page accomplish?

Unrelated to the Asia Games topic, but in response to the above--a concerted effort to vilify the editor of a minor US magazine, who was found to have plagiarized most of the magazine's articles, was accomplished mostly through attacking the magazine through FB. The magazine lost most of its advertisers and is now out of business.

I wouldn't underestimate the potential communication power of FB.

Back to the Asian games: Overheard on FTV tonight -- the Asian Games coordinators are thinking of pulling snooker from the roster of games next year b/c Taiwan is the champion (someone will need to corroborate this).

T.E. said...

Hi Michael,

I know you haven't come around on the whole was it or was it not cheating issue, and I think it's reasonable, though I believe many, many rational observers are clearly in the the only cheating was on the part of the officials camp.

Regardless, I think the big angle you're missing with this whole incident is that these Asian Games are an international competition taking place in China. What most people see is an injustice against an individual Taiwanese national that is seen as one of the best if not the best in her field. What they also see is that this injustice was only possible because of the explicit and implicit support of the obviously very powerful Chinese government. They feel helpless, and they want the Taiwanese government to stand up against this injustice.

Isn't the whole situation a microcosm of a trend of events of Taiwanese individuals in their dealings with Chinese where they have the implicit backing of the Chinese government?

How do Taiwanese feel when the Wu family of the Shinkong Group, one of the powerful and richest families in Taiwan, were forced out of their Beijing department store holdings by Chinese partners in some of kind government-backed legal shenanigans and left China fearing for their individual safety?

How do Taiwanese feel when the Chinese delegation to a Japanese film festival asks the Taiwanese delegation, the pinnacle of beautiful and creative in entertainment in Taiwan, to identify as a part China? And again, this is only possible with because of the powerful backing of the Chinese government and the lack of any advocacy on the part of the Taiwanese government. In the face of clear organized action by the perpetrators, Taiwanese yearn for collective defense on the part of their government.

How should Taiwanese feel when Chinese government officials come to Taiwan and then all of a sudden there's no freedom of speech and the KMT's own authoritarian flag is no where to be seen? When the very government they yearn to be protected by is working in concert with the government they feel they need to be protected against, because even "the best" of Taiwanese are helpless against it.

How should Taiwanese feel? Are they to wait until something happens to them individually?

Marc said...

For those who feel that this reaction toward Korea is mis-directed...

Let's not forget that it was Ban Ki-Moon who wouldn't receive Taiwan's application to join the UN, despite the fact that it was not his decision to make, and who asserted, incorrectly, that Taiwan is part of CCP China.

I don't get the feeling that Korea plays fair at all.

Dixteel said...


Yes, Korea is not all saint and stuff like that. Taiwan and Korea had their problems in differences in the past. But let's focus on what is happening here. At this incident, Korea is not really involved, and a lot of pan-blue media is trying to direct attention toward Korea and ignore China all together.

If they succeed, Taiwan will act like those "angry young people" of China. And Taiwan and Korea will both loss, and China will win. The impact might not be huge (because this is just a small incident, although it trigger something big in Taiwan) but letting one who is responsible get away and get into fight with someone who is not involved does not sound right to me.

Plus, if you think about it, Moon is Korean, but he is also part of the UN system. UN IMO is a f**king corrupted organization. It only exists out of necessity. Very few good men and women are in it. In that system very few will ever help Taiwan due to Chinese pressure. Even the mighty USA and more friendly country such as Japan cannot help.

Andrew said...

I think Taiwanese are just so tired of having to lose in political situations where they have no real hope of winning; so what's the point in even getting upset.

This event has focused all that pent up frustration and anger at being constantly denied its place in the world into an injustice they feel they can win.

Interesting that there's been no discussion of this on China sites like Chinasmack or EastSouthNorthWest?

Anonymous said...

Michael, I know you are a staunch DPP and Taiwan/anti-China supporter so I was heartened to see you write "If only Taiwanese would get this upset about something important, like Chinese missiles or the environment or organized crime."

Regardless of whether the Taiwan athlete was screwed or not, this wave of public and political outrage in Taiwan against S. Korea and China reeks of a sense of childishness and immaturity as a people. A deputy minister must resign over urging a reasonable response? President Ma stresses the entire government will support the athlete? The DPP accuses the gov't of being weak? Business owners stick posters on storefronts saying "No Koreans inside"? I don't think most locals are truly hateful or discriminatory against S. Koreans but I think it's truly repugnant, and unfortunately not surprising, to see Taiwanese act inappropriately in such a casual and naive manner.

Imagine if Canadians get angry over something an American did against a Canadian and start putting up "No Americans allowed"?

We may look down on people in China like when they launch protests against Japan or US (in 99 when the US "accidentally" bombed China's embassy in Serbia) and burn flags and all that, but yet supposedly more sophisticated and wealthy and democratic Taiwan acts much more childishly and stupidly?


Michael Turton said...

Interesting that there's been no discussion of this on China sites like Chinasmack or EastSouthNorthWest?

I thought that was interesting too. Yet it is only an issue here.

Dixteel said...


You really have to try to look at it from Taiwan's perspective. Let's not be so arrogant and think that somehow Canadian etc would not feel a thing when facing this type of situation because Canadian are civilized and democratic. Not everyone can stay cool all the time, even if some can.

If American in a hockey game disqualify Canadian team because their hockey sticks do not fit NHL spec when they do, you think Canadian won't be pissed? How about afterwards, American referee cannot explain the disqualification? How about afterward, North America Hockey Association post "Canadian Artful Deception Busted," you think Canadian won't be pissed? And have you not seen soccer riot in Europe? More civilzed than Taiwan? Maybe because they throw "wine" bottles, that is high class eh?

I am not trying to promote a mob, but pleasse understand that yes, people can get pissed at this type of thing.

And there is a difference between this and Chinese get pissed over that piece of rock in the pacific. Chinese fishing/spy boat slameed the Japanese coast guard. While in this case, Yang did not kick the referee in the face. China and Japan are fighting each other over a piece of rock (no victim here) while Yang is a victim. That is a difference.

Anonymous said...

something of interest:
盧彥勳:我們要將這面金牌留給自己 我們自己中國 留在中國

Taiwan tennis player Liu: We would keep this gold medal to ourselves, ourselves China, in the hands (or at the place of) of China.

Anonymous said...

'No Korean athlete was involved in the match, and none of the referees were Korean either. The chief official was Chinese and the head of the referee board was Singaporean. "Korea had no reason to strip Taiwan of a gold medal or to conspire with China to disqualify a Taiwanese athlete," one taekwondo official said.'

Michael Turton said...

Isn't the WTF Sec-Gen yang Jin-suk an American citizen?

Anonymous said...

Uh, no matter where you are, putting up signs saying "No [insert ethnicity or people from a country here] allowed" is still discriminatory and ignorant.
It's true that some countries have moments of xenophobia such as hooliganism, but that doesn't excuse what some Taiwanese have done last week. Furthermore, as is my main point, to do or say these things in such a casual matter, makes it even insidious.

The Diaoyutai incident concerns territory control of maritime waters and potential underground oil deposits. The Yang incident concerns a single athlete who may have been unfairly suspended.
Too many Taiwanese are acting as if she's a martyr who's endured some horrific ordeal, and it's got to stop. That is my main point.


bumfromkorea said...

From what I've seen from the videos, it looks like a referee fuckup and a serious miscommunication between the officials ["Did she have the sensors on? (during the match?)" "Yes, she did (before the match)" "Lemme see it... Ah, so she did have the sensors on! (during the match)" "Yes, she did. (before the match)" --> DQ]

Or maybe China was involved. I wouldn't be surprised at all.

But you know, as a Korean, this whole thing has become a proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for me. The whole "Korean cultural chauvinism" bullshit concocted by the Chinese/Taiwanese media (claiming that a professor in SNU claimed that Confucius is Korean, while it turned out that the professor named in the article doesn't even exist) was annoying enough... Not to mention the whole "blow them up like the Cheonan!" signs @ the baseball game...

So, I guess what I wanted to say is that the way Taiwan and its people have expressed themselves in the recent past is not going to help the country get more friends. Koreans didn't really have any opinions about Taiwan other than "Oh, I've been there. Nice place." Now they see Taiwan as "Oh. The country that burned our flags and called our celebrities prostitutes. That one."

Good work. Way to ostracize your country even more. If China really was behind this, they couldn't have done it without the fervent Taiwanese cooperation.