Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday shorts

Lots of stuff to comment on...

The Washington Times ran a story on the latest call for war by the Global Times, a Communist Party paper in China.....
The lead article the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times on Tuesday contained an alarming call for a declaration of war against Vietnam and Philippines, two nations that in recent weeks launched the loudest protests against China’s sweeping maritime sovereignty claims over the South China Sea.

Headlined “The Time to Use Force Has Arrived in the South China Sea; Let’s Wage Wars on the Philippines and Vietnam to Prevent More Wars,” the article was written by Long Tao, a likely pseudonym literally translated as “The Dragon’s Teaching.” The name refers to the third chapter of the famous Chinese ancient military classic “Six Secret Military Teachings” that, among other things, promotes the idea that the best way to establish military awesomeness is to kill the highest-ranked dissenters.
This is not the first time, but whether or not it was meant as a call for war, it can't help but send a signal that calling for war is ok. A longtime Taiwan observer remarked that the late Jim Lilley said once that China always telegraphs its intentions.... [article is here i think]

Mainichi reported earlier this week that Chinese were reacting angrily to Seediq Bale, the film about the aboriginal uprising against the Japanese.
On the Internet, Chinese who have read foreign reviews of the film or seen the film's advertisements have slammed it, claiming that the "culture of headhunting" the film shows the aborigines practicing is "barbaric," and calling the scenes of tribespeople's attacks on the Japanese "cruel killings."
In a private discussion my friend Jerome Keating remarked that the reason the Chinese dislike it so much is that it accurately depicts the plain historical fact that these areas were never under Qing control. The first government to control the whole island was in fact the Japanese.

In a State Dept reply to the Obama Administration official's intervention in the local election, AIT sent 5 officials to the DPP's 25th anniversary activity in Taipei this week, the TT reported.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) sent an unprecedented five officials, including AIT Director William Stanton, to the DPP’s 25th anniversary reception, Wu told reporters on the sidelines of the celebration at the W Hotel in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義).

The move represented the US’ respect for the DPP, Wu said, adding that he had never seen more than two US officials at similar events.

It appeared as though the US was trying to “balance out” the negative impact caused by a Sept. 15 article by London’s Financial Times which was seen as an attempt to influence the election in favor of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), he said.

The article quoted an unnamed Washington official — believed to be National Security Adviser Tom Donilon — as saying that DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had left US President Barack Obama’s administration with “distinct concerns” about her ability to maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait.
The US was apparently attempting to show it isn't taking sides. Great move, AIT, my heartfelt thanks.

Meanwhile, the Ma campaign continue to march forward into the past with Ma rolling out a Confucian classics-driven ad campaign:
On the eve of Confucius’ birthday on September 28, “Taiwan Go, Go, Go!,” President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign office released its fourth television advertisement, highlighting the study of the Four Books and Five Classics (四書五經), classics of Confucian teachings. The television advertisement depicts a Confucian classics reading class at a Confucius temple, a strong symbol of Confucianism, and describes Taiwan’s success in promoting the reading of Confucian classics on the Mainland in order to demonstrate Taiwan’s efforts to champion Chinese culture.

Yin Wei (殷瑋), spokesman of Ma’s re-election campaign office, stressed that “Taiwan is an exporter of universal values and also the helmsman of Chinese culture, which we need to promote to the world.
This is a rather strange topic considering that Confucianism is not all that popular -- the gov'ts attempt to re-impose Confucianism in local schools is not at all well-accepted. I think it is another clue to the ideological identity of Ma, who is a pro-China ideologue, variety ROC. Those of you inclined to doubt that might want to take a close look at his speech last year for Retrocession Day (a blatant lie itself). The text is one long wallow in ROC mythology, and nearly every paragraph contains major historical falsehoods. As the friend who sent it to me pointed out, it represents what Ma says when he is talking to like-minded people when he thinks no one else is listening.

I will end with today's words of wisdom from my students, from a paragraph about Kenting: "When you finish those activities you can clean your thing with the beautiful sunset."

I'm offline until Monday night. Have a great weekend!
Daily Links:
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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael

I'm trying to find the article on the Global Times that calls for war. Can you help me find it? I'm really, really interested in reading it. I usually like to read the actual source rather than just rely on ambiguous descriptions from a dubious newspaper.


Okami said...

China and Venezuela, thought you might like this first part of this situation:

The Confucian thing was being pushed by Beijing heavily 4-6 years ago, this is just the next step to go along with the Confucian centers they are setting up and have set up allover the world. I believe it's one of those happy coincidences that just so happen with Chinese people.

MA said...

I'm hearing from contacts on the CCP side of the planet that the PLA is increasingly moving away from the party and acting more and more unilaterally. Worry is that they'll break away altogether ...

Zhuxiu said...

Mike, does anyone one have the actual link to the Global Times story mentioned in The Washington Times? They do not provide the link, and I can find nothing on the Global Times site. I tend not to trust The Washington Times as a source without some additional sources.

Readin said...

"In a private discussion my friend Jerome Keating remarked that the reason the Chinese dislike it so much is that it accurately depicts the plain historical fact that these areas were never under Qing control. The first government to control the whole island was in fact the Japanese."

Is he saying the they don't like learning that Taiwan wasn't all Qing territory, or is he saying that they mistakenly think the aborigines were Chinese and therefore anything that makes the aborigines look bad also makes the Chinese look bad?

Michael Turton said...

I couldn't find it either. But I doubt they are making it up.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe Ma Ying-jiu is so far right. He like to pretend moderation.

Anonymous said...

One angle I think should be stressed more is the clash between official government support for Confucianism, and the principle of religious neutrality. The key question then becomes, Is Confucianism a religion? Most Chinese seem not to think so (even the Christians among them), but...what if there were objections? Could the government somehow be shamed into backtracking?

Marc said...

Is this the link everyone is looking for?

Marc said...

A translation from that link:

Anonymous said...

But I doubt they are making it up.

The Washington Times is a known far right conservative paper owned by the Moonies. Making stuff up is probably par for the course with those guys. I highly doubt the original exists.

J. Michael Cole 寇謐將 said...

Here's the link to the article. It's in Hanqiu Shibao:

Readin said...

Mr. Turton, I'm surprised you don't have a comment on J. Michael Cole's editorial "More expatriate humility, please" in the Taipei Times.

Philip L said...


These links might be of interest:

Anonymous said...

Michael, do you know anything more about Tom Donilon? Why did he make such an unauthorized move?

Tim Maddog said...

Zhuxiu, Googling [ war Philippines Vietnam] will give you this result:
- - -
Time to teach those around South China Sea a lesson
- - -

That's it.

Tim Maddog

yankdownunder said...

Richard Halloran with an excellent piece ...

The objective of the PLA is to drive US forces and interests out of East Asia, just as the Japanese intended to drive the French, British, Dutch, Portuguese and US colonialists from Asia. (Even though Japan was defeated in 1945, the European and US colonies in Asia became independent.)

US forces/interests is the same as
French, British, Dutch, Portuguese and US colonialists????

Even though Japan was defeated in 1945,...
simple racism

After the war the U.K. quickly worked to regain control of its Colonial empire territories.

Louis Mountbatten took on 35,000 Japanese troops into his command in Indonesia.

China is a huge problem but Richard Halloran comparison is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Taiwan Oyster does not appear to be an expat flick, all the cast are from USA and know little about Taiwan. I predict this film will suck and will never even get shown anywhere except on YooToob. Carpetbaggers, they do not even live here.

Anonymous said...

re; ''couldn't find it either. But I doubt they are making it up.''

Uh, the Wash Times in a moonie paper, run and owned by Rev moon the antichrist from Korea who marries 10,000 couples at a time in crazy religion, so yes, the Moonie owned Wash Times DOES make things up, especially about communism or China, as Rev mOOM HATES COMMUNISM.

台啤 said...

They couldn't even show Cape Number 7 in China for the relationship between the Japanese man and "Chinese " woman. Not to mention the fact that the Japanese were even here. Talk about denial.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, that Chinese feel empathy for Japanese is not such a terrible turn of events.

vin said...

Obviously Mr. Keating is saying the former, Readin'. But your question does point to a dreary, typical Chinese contradiction: minorities are defined as Chinese until they behave in ways that don't exhibit the Han "civilizing" influence; then they get redefined as "splittists," "terrorists," or, in this case, "barbarians."

Presumably, if, instead of headhunting, the Seediqs and Atayals had instituted cultural-revolution-style struggle sessions, persecuted religious sects, expropriated land from the poor, devasted the environment, run black jails, and imprisoned a Nobel Peace Prize winner, they would qualify as civilized.

Further, these particular primitives were draconian on adultery; offenders of both sexes were given the silent treatment and barred from sharing in food spoils (in tandem, these measures amounted to a laissez-faire death sentence). Fair enough regarding women, of course, but forbidding a successful male from having multiple wives and concubines? Where's the respect for authority, droit de seigneur, and ancestry!

Dig deeper and it becomes clear that headhunting was but one manifestation of these primitives' shocking barbarism.

On a different note, I wonder if a further reason for Chinese hostility to the film is that it depicts less-armed peoples deciding it's worthwhile to stand up to an expansionist, colonialist power bent on exploiting (and in the process, ravaging) their lands and altering, to suit its own purposes, the foundations of their societies.

Michael Turton said...

Mr. Turton, I'm surprised you don't have a comment on J. Michael Cole's editorial "More expatriate humility, please" in the Taipei Times.

Since I agreed with it, i found i had nothing to say.