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Monday, September 10, 2007


The many faces of Ma Ying-jeou

The Lon Chaney of Taiwan politics?
In a semi-facetious comment over on Michael Turton's blog last Thursday, I wrote about the many different "versions" of the increasingly ragged-looking former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九):
Michael, I believe Hsieh may have been talking about the Ma Ying-jeou (v.1) who said he hoped the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Youth Corps would "produce another Hu Jintao." This was apparently a "different" Ma Ying-jeou from the one (v.2) who got mad at the DPP for juxtaposing his image with someone shouting "Long li[v]e Hu Jintao!"

Then again, there was also that Ma Ying-jeou (v.3) who said that Taiwan could join the UN using the name "China Taipei" (中台北). (See the very beginning of Part 3 of the September 5, 2007 edition of Talking Show [大話新聞]. If Ma [v.3] "protested" that name, as he says right there in the video, why did he even say the words, much less suggest them as a "possibility" -- in the same sentence, even?!)

And, of course, there was yet another Ma Ying-jeou (v.4) who disputed the words of v.3 just a few hours later.

The case against Hsieh will rest entirely on which anti-Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou he was referring to. I hear there are several more of these Ma Ying-jeous ;-)

UPDATE: A little bird tells me that these are all the very same Ma Ying-jeou, and he's long overdue for an upgrade -- so long overdue, he may just have to be replaced altogether. I'm sure readers will understand my confusion.

Tim Maddog
Therefore, I am not surprised to see Ma doing yet another 180-degree turn while trying to blame the situation on his political opponents.

What is it this time?
Let me give you the background first. Here's something I wrote on my personal blog back on November 14, 2005:
The artist formerly known as "the defender of the ROC flag," Ma Ying-jeou
At two international sporting events held recently in Taipei (the Asian Short Track Speed Skating championship and the Sixth Asian Youth Judo Championship), the ROC flag (which I consider to be the flag of an occupying power rather than the "real" Taiwan flag) was replaced by the Olympic flag of Chinese Taipei which, due to Chinese pressure, has been flown at the Olympics since 1984. (Being mostly white, it also looks way too much like a surrender flag.)

The problem this time is that while the events were held in Taiwan, not only was the ROC flag removed from the facility, but spectators were forbidden by the event organizers from even carrying such flags inside. The organizer of the latest even[t] shed crocodile tears on TV news while blaming "the (central?) government" for the situation.

Good try, but the thing is that [then-premier] Frank Hsieh had made clear that there were no laws to prevent such free speech.

But when the flag of the enemy is raised, and the local one is lowered (at an event representing "peaceful competition"?), the lyrics of Alanis Morisette naturally start bouncing around in your brain.
(Note that if you hover on the "Alanis Morisette" link, you'll see that there were "only" about 700 Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan back then. The number now surely exceeds 1,000.)

What the November 11, 2005 version of Ma said was this:
Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, said that all international games held in Taipei follow the IOC's rules.

"This is about following the rules of the IOC and ensuring that sports events run smoothly. It has nothing to do with my national identity ... I love the Republic of China and I love the national flag," Ma said.
Raising a red flag (about his past behavior and statements)
But in response to the very latest removal of flags, here's a quote from the September 8, 2007 version of Ma in Sunday's Taipei Times:
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has vowed to defend the right of audiences at sports games to carry national flags, adding that if he were elected next year, his government would cancel any games where Chinese teams refused to cooperate.

"I will make it clear with China that the existence of the Republic of China [ROC] cannot be ignored in cross-strait exchanges. Any move that belittles the ROC will damage cross-strait relations," Ma said in a written statement on Friday.

Ma made the remarks after attending a meeting with locals in Pingtung, where he was asked to comment on the Straits Cup basketball tournament in Hualien last week, where some fans were prevented from waving the national flag.

"We will fight for our freedom to bring the national flag if the host country blocks Taiwanese from carrying the national flag or from singing the national anthem," he said in the statement.

Ma said that International Olympic Committee regulations on national flags and anthems should not include the audience. As such, audiences should be allowed to bring flags and sing national anthems.

"As long as the audiences bring the national flags or sing national anthems voluntarily, their actions should not be banned, as it is the public's right to express their passions for their country," he said.

If elected next year, Ma said he would not allow China to demand that the country cover national flags or pictures of Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) during cross-strait exchange events in Taiwan.

"Such incidents happened frequently after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power. I will not accept it and won't let it happen again if I am elected," he said.
What a load of horsecrap! These events may have happened "after the [DPP] came to power," but more importantly, they happened under Ma's mayorship (and even during his brief party chairmanship), and the DPP lambasted the incidents in real time.

Oh, and there's a big problem with Ma's use of the word "should" -- while Olympic rules may "forbid political banners in venues," and while agreements with the International Olympic Committee may apply the flag rule to the teams and venues, I don't believe that these agreements prevent spectators from waving the ROC flag.

Note also that in the most recent flag flap, the people stopping spectators from displaying their flags used the same excuse as Ma above -- the one about harming Taiwan's international reputation.

So, while Ma couldn't control events in his own city, he hides that truth so as to be able to appear that he can control them abroad?

Read the full article to get the DPP's side of the story from party chairman Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃[方方土]).

Yeah, but you're only quoting "green" media,
and besides, Maddog, who stopped the flags?

Then how about this from ETtoday on December 14, 2001, with a quote straight from the horse's mouth [English translations, explanations mine]:
亞洲盃女足賽/比照奧會模式 馬英九籲民眾配合

Asia Women's Soccer Cup / follow Olympic model, Ma Ying-jeou request's people's cooperation


The 13th Asia Women's Soccer Cup was held on the 4th. Due to the presence of teams from the 2 sides and 3 areas [refers to the 2 sides of the Taiwan Strait, including the 3 "areas" of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China], the Olympic model [i.e., calling Taiwan "Chinese Taipei" and using a special flag in ceremonies] was recommended in order to avoid conflicts regarding the national flag. Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou said, "As host city, Taipei must abide by the international norms, or it won't be able to continue hosting international event, and I hope the public will cooperate."


As mainland China and Taiwan both have teams in the competition, in order to prevent a recurrence of the protest incidents like those which happened at the Asia Cup skating championships, the city will comply with the rules of the Chinese Football [Soccer] Association and follow the Olympic model which is to use the name "Chinese Taipei" and the "plum blossom" flag.
Once more: Olympic rules don't prevent spectators from waving the ROC flag.

And here's something more recent from ETtoday [English translation, clarifications, commentary mine]:

People may not be surprised by this, but in ROC year 90 [2001], when Taipei City hosted the Asia Women's Soccer Cup, some spectators carried [ROC] national flags into the arena, and police told these spectators "Carrying the [ROC] national flag will harm our international reputation." The police then snatched the flags away. However, any 5-star flags of Communist China [PRC] that were present at the event were allowed to remain. And at the 2005 Chinese-Japanese-Korean Invitational Baseball competition, the Taipei City Government [Y'know, the one mis-led by Ma Ying-jeou?] asked police to enter the arena in order to check people for possession of the ROC "blue sky, white sun, red earth" flag. The day before the 2007 Asian Men's Volleyball Quarterfinals in Chiayi City's [another KMT-misled city] Kang Ping Sports Park, the hosts and the Chiayi City Government forbade spectators from bringing [ROC] national flags into the arena and removed from view any [ROC] national flags that were originally on site.
Same mendacious excuse, many different days.

And as you see above, pan-blue media tells us it was the "Taipei City Government," then under Ma Ying-jeou, who told police to enforce these rules and Ma himself asking the public to cooperate with rules he says on other days "should not include the audience."

Anyway, the real problem behind this is much bigger -- the fact that Ma Ying-jeou's "ROC" includes all of China, and even Mongolia. That fantasy is smashed to bits by simply recognizing the fact that the ROC is defunct and that Taiwan isn't part of China, but these are the things that make people like Ma's heads explode.

So be sure to stick around for the next episode of... "The Many Faces of Ma Ying-jeou"!

* MUST SEE! A video compilation of many similar flag flaps with KMT characteristics (Mandarin listening ability required)
* See Chinese losers grabbing the ROC flag from the Taiwanese champions at the 2006 International Children's Games
* A text version of the follow-up to the above, in which the Chinese team, when asked "Is violence your only choice?" answered in unison, "Yes!" (Note: Ma Ying-jeou fancied himself defending the flag that day.)
* A different telling of the story immediately above: "A matter of flag"
* A video I uploaded to YouTube in February 2007 about "Ma Ying-jeou's double standards" (includes English explanation)

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

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At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an anarchist and have many disagreements with the DPP and the direction they are going. But, when police are set out to keep spectators from carrying flags when there is no law against carrying flags I think it is pretty scary.


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