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Friday, January 19, 2007


Tu Cheng-sheng stands up for the people of Taiwan

The right stuff -- but first, some wrong stuff

The editorial in yesterday's Taipei Times is a bit of an improvement over some of their recent drivel, but I think they still don't "get" why President Chen Shui-bian didn't kick and scream like a spoiled baby when during his relatively successful diplomatic journey to Nicaragua last week, Taiwan was mistakenly referred to as "China-Taiwan." (TT quote: "Whatever the reason behind such confusion, Chen, as head of state, should have taken a more active gesture and lodged a protest.")

I'm just making an educated guess based on some of the things that have occurred during Chen's administration, but I suspect the Taiwanese side, in an attempt to exercise a bit of control, requested that at the very least "Taiwan" be added to the usual designation of "Republic of China." I could imagine that on the Nicaraguan side, "Republic of China, Taiwan" may have seemed a bit long and that Nicaraguan officials unfortunately shortened that to the final two words. (Note: the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] thinks that their "ROC" equals China and often refers to PRC-controlled territory as "the mainland" instead of calling it "China," so it's easy to understand how others might be confused.) Yet the Taipei Times didn't even explore this possibility, and instead of commending Chen for the positive aspects of the journey (such as the simple fact that it happened, duh), they ironically whined that the president didn't whine. Go figure.

(Note: I would rather see people complain every time anyone in Taiwan refers to the country as 中華民國 [Republic of China] in non-diplomatic settings.)

Anyway, let's get to the better part of the editorial:
At the London School of Economics (LSE) last Thursday, Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) demonstrated nicely how government officials should promote Taiwan and handle insults to the country in front of international audiences.


In view of the disruption and attempted provocation, Tu performed admirably. He did not avoid the questions.

Tu, poised and unperturbed, responded calmly, noting Taiwan's values, rights and freedoms. He emphasized to his audience that Taiwan, as a democratic country, would decide its own future according to the will of its people.
Looks like it's time for another round of "Spot the Difference." Chen was attending a planned meeting with friendly dignitaries, while Tu was facing off against hostile opponents. Both Chen and Tu, however, responded diplomatically and according to the circumstances.

"I am Taiwanese!"
Last Friday's edition of the FTV program 頭家來開講 ("Boss Talk") showed some excerpts from Tu's speech on "Education Reform in Taiwan: local and global perspectives" at his alma mater. (Note: Some editing is apparent in the footage, so it's unclear at times what exactly Tu is responding to. See the other footage linked below.) During the event, some students from China disrupted the speech by shouting slogans and holding up ironic signs saying "No cultural brainwashing" and "Taiwan is a part of China." (Note: Taiwan has never been controlled by the PRC [AKA China] -- which is a mere part of "mainland Asia" -- and the only reason anybody thinks so is because it has been repeated a million or more times.)

Because he doesn't have the same restrictions required of the president when on diplomatic missions, Tu was able to say loudly and proudly, "I am Taiwanese!" The audience cheered loudly for this seemingly simple statement of truth. They also shouted down the real "cultural brainwashers" in the audience who were pushing propaganda while merely pretending to ask questions. You should really see it for yourself.

Pass me the eye opener, will ya?
Look no further. Here's the segment from "Boss Talk." (Note: I added the yellow, green, red, and blue English-language titles seen onscreen.)

3'50" YouTube video: "Tu Cheng-sheng stands up for the Taiwanese"
Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Flash.
Click here for YouTube help.

Related videos:
* 教育部長杜正勝先生LSE演講 [Minister of Education, Mr. Tu Cheng-sheng, LSE speech] (0'31")
* 教育部長杜正勝先生LSE演講II [Minister of Education, Mr. Tu Cheng-sheng, LSE speech II] (0'51")
- the guy on the balcony can be heard out of frame talking about Taiwan "buying" allies
* 世界教育部長會 正名「台灣」 (2007-01-10) [Rectifying Taiwan's name at meeting of world's education ministers] (2'30")
- a Hoklo-language video from Taiwan's Formosa Television (FTV) which tells more about the event and focuses on the importance of Tu being listed as coming from Taiwan, not the ROC.
* 杜正勝倫敦演說 兩岸學生互嗆 (2007-01-11) [Cross-Strait students' shouting match during Tu Cheng-sheng's London speech] 3'33"
- Another FTV video with just a little more footage. This one shows the signs that were held up by the students from China.

Didn't mean to bump him down so soon
Be sure to check out Feiren's earlier post about Su Tseng-chang's announcement of official recognition of the Sakiraya people as Taiwan's 13th aboriginal tribe and the relationship of that announcement to the rectification of Taiwan's official name. I lean heavily toward Feiren's "symbolic red meat" interpretation.

UPDATE: Via fiLi's world, here's a link to a 152 kb PDF of the text of Tu Cheng-sheng's excellent speech.

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Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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At 4:32 PM, Anonymous riko said...

I agree, i would like to see those same ppl complain when ROC is used in non-diplomatic settings.

It's so stupid how these ppl who critise President Chen for not putting up a fight for the name "Taiwan" wants to erase it from every single thing.

Seriously, who do they think they are tricking??? We are not all stupid.


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