Monday, November 07, 2016

Hong Kong Protest Coverage and Taiwan + Links

Wending our way through road construction...

The Hong Kong protests are a huge story in Taiwan right now -- people are following them closely. As if to emphasize the connection, Yau Wai-ching, who famously altered her swearing in oath and whom Beijing has attacked with its recent decision to interfere in the Hong Kong political process (here for BJ announcement), and who is an important focus of the pro-Hong Kong resistance and protest, was photo'd wearing an NTU shirt during an interview. Both the Hong Kong and Taiwan sides are very aware of their links and their common cause against Beijing's authoritarianism, expansion, and colonialism. As is Beijing...

With so many international media reps in Hong Kong, the demonstrations are being covered in minute detail. Hong Kong looms as a symbolic site of resistance to Beijing. It's interesting to contrast the sympathetic and detailed Hong Kong coverage with the colder, more pro-Beijing, and less detailed coverage of similar news from Taiwan. Hong Kong's importance is entirely symbolic, while Taiwan's resistance to Chinese expansionism has enormous implications for the region's economy and politics, and is connected to nearby states, such as Japan. Yet it is accounted less important in the media bubble world.

Let us hope the reporting on Taiwan shifts... in a Hong Kong direction.

Haha: NextMedia reinterprets the oath taking
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an angry taiwanese said...

Yet it is accounted less important in the media bubble world.
This is good for Taiwan. While we do normal business on the table with China, we may enjoy smart arm-wrestling under the table with that noisy gorilla.

It's necessary for Taiwanese to presuppose the assumption that Taiwan will not get any reliable help from outside world when fighting China. I personally like that way very much, healthy survival grit.

Anonymous said...

I often think the disparity in reporting between Taiwan and Hong Kong could the decades of KMT rhetoric and propaganda, which positioned China and Taiwan and political rivals with the ROC claiming to be the legitimate government of China and the protector of Chinese culture. Even fifty years ago it was a bogus and transparent claim; and it eroded the world's opinion of Taiwanese motives as the ROC and Taiwan were presented as one in the same.

Tommy said...

Oh please no. Do not let the reporting shift in a HK direction. Right now, a very large number of prominent newspapers are owned or partially owned by stakeholders north of the border, which is leading to somewhat ridiculous coverage. The SCMP is only the most recent example. I do not even read them anymore on this issue because their journalists persistently distort the issue, falling back on Beijing talking points. They do the same on OBOR.

Granted, there are media organizations in Hong Kong that recount events while leaving the propaganda at the door. But they are having difficulty getting their message across due to the fact that Beijing has bought much of the local media. I guess what I am trying to say is that you should not misinterpret the existence of some rational voices in the HK media environment as an improvement over Taiwan's. Taiwan gets shat on in the international news arena, but I think that, in local terms, things are improving in Taiwan. The reverse is happening in HK.

Tommy said...

Also, you should be aware that Cary Huang is one of the better contributors to the SCMP. Almost all Taiwan reporting from that publication is KMT gushy gushy garbage. Lawrence Chung is still the day-to-day Taiwan guy, and, quite frankly, he sucks. Who knows for how long clear-eyed commentators will be able to make it there.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason is more straightforward: the Global media bubble is still dominated by English publications which still largely represent the Western view of the World. For the obvious reason that it was run by the West until comparatively recently HK still features highly in the minds of Westerners, and it remains an important staging post into China (albeit less so than before). It is also a massive transshipment centre with one of the most important ports and airports in the World. Taiwan on the other hand - rarely visited and little understood - remains something of an enigma to most Western people.

Michael Turton said...

. I guess what I am trying to say is that you should not misinterpret the existence of some rational voices in the HK media environment as an improvement over Taiwan's.

I think you misinterpreted me. I would like the international media to show the same interest and sympathy in Taiwan that they do in Hong Kong. It is all part of the same resistance.

A very cynical part of me wonders whether the international media is so interested and supportive because in the end, Hong Kong is part of China and the locals can do nothing. So there is no risk that the media will have supported the side that might win and really have an independent view, like the DPP in Taiwan.

Tommy said...

The international media is more interested and supportive because the international media bases more of its journalists here than it does in Taiwan, and Hong Kong is a financial center. Despite this, coverage of local events is despicably paltry. Oh yes, they chime in when some major event happens, like the present Basic Law interpretation. But everything that happens up until that falls through the cracks. The same goes for the Ivory Tower. They pay attention enough to issue some platitudes, or to put out a simplistic analysis like the Richard Bush piece you were linking to recently. But the reality is that few in the international community understand or bother to understand the issues. Hell, even statements by the US and EU demonstrate a ridiculous carelessness.

As a US State Department spokesperson said regarding the current HK controversy (Brits were very similar), "We urge the Chinese and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region governments and all elected politicians in Hong Kong to refrain from any actions that fuel concerns or undermine confidence in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle." Oh, thank you for your urging, State Department and British Government.

Michael, the grass is indeed always greener on the other side, as in this case. And the international media just do not care enough to cover what needs to be covered. What you see right now is a major event, but it did not come from nothing. It has been brewing for two years. Apart from late 2014, where was the international outcry? Where was the concern? How well have any of the media orgs done in communicating HK developments? D+ or C- maybe. If Taiwan is a D, you have something to aspire to, but not much.

Anonymous said...

Michael, I'm trying to make sense of this story in the Taipei Times, perhaps you can help?

"Poll says Hung’s China trip a success"

Anonymous said...

Has Nelson Report reacted on Trump? If Trump follow through on the things that he spoke about regarding Asia, we will see some very interesting changes.

I wonder if Japan will bring back the draft and militarize quickly. Time for Japan to do nuke?

Korea will also become very interesting when US pull out all the troop. I wonder if China will be happen to see that or be terrified. North Korea is a very unpredictable partner and South Korea might become trigger happen when US pull out.

Tsai should focus on domestic issue and let dust settle before make any move internationally.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

If Tsai let economy go down. KMT will come back. Just take look at people of Ohio: