Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NYT: Free Speech capital is Taiwan, not Hong Kong

Taitung from Sanhsientai.

The NYTimes turned out another good piece on Taiwan this week:
In recent years, however, as Beijing has tightened its grip on the former colony, Hong Kong has been increasingly supplanted by Taiwan, a self-governing island that has emerged as one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies. Taiwan now draws the sorts of dissidents, rights groups and events that once naturally gravitated to Hong Kong.

A human rights film festival that was held in Hong Kong last year will take place this year in Taiwan. A Hong Kong book publisher who was abducted by mainland Chinese agents two years ago and later released will reopen his bookstore in Taiwan.
Freedom of expression is one of the things that makes Taiwan such a great place to live.

Meanwhile Newsweek.... rocked in a piece discussing whether Xi will attack Taiwan:
Beijing’s strategy that economic integration will lead to political integration has so far caused the opposite effect. Over the past few decades, whenever China put pressure on Taiwan it has backfired. In 2016, citizens voted in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and President Tsai Ing-wen in the face of oppression from Beijing.

According to Hughes, the DPP won a “huge landslide victory” because younger generations turned out to vote in a gesture of defiance. “Beijing is undermining their system. They grew up under democracy. They’ve been told they are Taiwanese, not Chinese,” he said.
"...in the face of oppression from Beijing. Contrast Newsweek's forthright positive tone about Taiwan's democracy and its resistance to Beijing with the craven CNN piece I blogged on below. Great work Newsweek! There's some problems, like the use of "reunification", and quotes from people who don't live in Taiwan (have we no int'l relations scholars?) but you can't have everything.

Michael Swaine, the Carnegie Institute for Peace scholar, tweeted about the horrible paranoid conspiracy to turn China to the The Enemy:
In 45 years of studying and researching China, I have never seen such a determined effort to depict CN as an unmitigated threat. It spans agencies, news organs, and “belief” tanks. It is inaccurate, pernicious, and contrary to US interests. It’s like a virus n very dangerous.
The replies in that thread are pretty negative. Swaine tweeted last month about the positive side of Confucius Institutes, those Chinese intelligence operations in the US. It's probably just a coincidence that Swaine/CIP have an office at Tsinghua University in China. As I often note to people who want to learn more, follow the China money...

...the Engagers and China Explainers will continue to struggle against the turning tide, because there is money and access to be had. But Xi's ascension to permanent dictator has rendered meaningless this stream of apologetics.
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