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Friday, July 24, 2009


ECFA Cartoons - bigotry as a tool of persuasion

The Government Information Office (GIO) has been trying to reduce the fallout from it's introduction of two cartoon characters designed to inform the public about what an ECFA agreement with China is and persuade them in its favour. Why? For two excellent overviews please read:

Far-Eastern Sweet Potato - How to insult a people

D. Kerslake guest poster in The View from Taiwan - More on the ECFA cartoons.

The response of the GIO has been mealy mouthed and obfuscating, to say the least:
Government Information Office Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said government agencies should be careful in publications not to offend anyone. Su yesterday urged the public not to be offended.

“[Different government agencies] have different needs and considerations when promoting policies in different ways and for different purposes,” he said. (Translation: It's all so variable and contingent that no-one can predict what will happen so people should not be upset when one part of the Government acts in a manner utterly against the stated prinicples of another. It's just all so different)

Asked whether the Executive Yuan would instruct the MOEA to scrap the comic strip, Su said it respected the authority of the ministry.

At a separate setting yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) described the comic strip as “ridiculous.”

“[The comic strip] should help the ministry promote this policy, but instead will create ethnic division,” she said.
It should be noted that Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) is likely more upset that this blunder will affect the ECFA's popularity than the 'ethnic division' it will likely create. Hopefully, I'm wrong and she is genuinely concerned about the bigotry and condescending tone of the cartoons. I very much hope that, like the 'Chinese' calendars, these cartoon characters are taken out of commission asap.


At 3:07 PM, Blogger Aaron said...

the accounts of these cartoons I've been reading a pretty harsh, all the same I'd like to see for myself. Not having any luck with GIS, do you know of a scanned copy online?
D. Aaron,

At 4:12 AM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Taiwan Echo points me here, noting that the site is interestingly on an "org.tw" URL instead of a "gov.tw" one. Hmmm...

In case the images disappear, I've saved them to my hard drive.

Tim Maddog

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Aaron said...

thanks for the tip, let me know if you hear of a translation as well.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

After saying there was nothing wrong with it, then giving a fake "apology," the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) eventually took their bigoted ECFA comic offline (as my earlier comment predicted).

I've uploaded the 12 parts of the comic elsewhere (ImageShack URLs shortened to fit the space of 3 Tweets):
1) http://twurl.nl/5uq6hf
2) http://twurl.nl/1zjc8c
3) http://twurl.nl/6crpvy
4) http://twurl.nl/tx1sq0
5) http://twurl.nl/0m6ugi
6) http://twurl.nl/mxykp5
7) http://twurl.nl/hx0qaw
8) http://twurl.nl/zj83rn
9) http://bit.ly/62ezA
10) http://bit.ly/uMmWR
11) http://bit.ly/VqAJH
12) http://bit.ly/8OFqV

Tim Maddog


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