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Stick that in your clipboards and paste it, you so-called "lazy journalists"!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

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Ralph Jennings pushes anti-Taiwan, pro-Ma propaganda

Inexcusable biases

A problematic Reuters piece titled "Taiwan president, opposition clash over China deal" appeared online less than an hour after the close of a debate Sunday afternoon between Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The topic of the debate was the controversial Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which Ma has been touting as "urgent" without providing any concrete details regarding the content to the public or to opposition parties.


19:35 YouTube video: "ECFA 第一階段申論"
Translation: ECFA [Debate] Part 1: Introductory Remarks

A reader e-mailed me about Jennings' "false statement[s]" within [that's a direct quote]:
The debate, a new step in Taiwan's democracy, is expected to sway public opinion towards an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) set to be signed with China in June.
You've got to be kidding me! Jennings -- who has previously labeled me as a "sniper" for calling out his lies -- has some nerve. He would have to be hiding under a rock to actually be unaware of previous debates between political adversaries in Taiwan. (Does he mean something else? Whether this so-called "professional" writer and/or his editors are trying to deceive us on purpose is uncertain.)

But when Jennings -- working for a wire service whose reports get carried far and wide -- claims that this particular debate is "expected" to do just what Ma wants it to, this functions as the "carpet bombing" variety of propaganda. (My e-mail correspondent notes that the article is already being carried in the Malaysia Star and the Straits Times.)

Who is "expect[ing]" this kind of result from the debate? You might think Jennings would provide at least one example of who it is that thinks in a way which precisely benefits Ma. But he doesn't.

The article also drops this unbecoming description of Ma's opponent in the very next paragraph:
"If we don't do this deal, what else can we do? The rest of Asia is forming alliances," Ma said, his voice rising, as he stood beside anti-China opposition Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen.
Why does Ralph Jennings hate neutral reporting? He could have noted how Tsai's party opened trade to China (which Jennings knows is targeting Taiwan with over 1,500 missiles) -- just without sacrificing Taiwan's sovereignty in the process.

Jennings also "generously" (from Ma's perspective) provided this generalization near the bottom of the article:
Television pundits were split on who fared better, giving the island's colourful media talk shows and staunchly divided public plenty to talk about.
Which "television pundits"? Jennings doesn't/won't specify, but if you want to read about some numbers I saw during and after the debate about "who fared better," just follow that link. Unlike Jennings, I even say where I found those numbers.

UPDATE: Here's an online poll by Yahoo asking who did a better job in the debate. The current results are:
* Tsai Ing-wen: 3,682 (59.1%)
* Ma Ying-jeou: 2,333 (37.4%)
* Neither: 216 (3.5%)
[/update]

The craptastic conclusion?
That's anti-Taiwan Ralph Jennings for ya! Go see what other unappetizing things (e.g., positive descriptions of Ma and/or China, unchallenged counterfactual claims, etc.) you can find in his "reporting."

Further reference:
Taiwan's Public Television Service (PTS, 公共電視) uploaded videos of the entire debate to YouTube. The first segment of the series is at the top of this post. Here are the remaining segments:
* ECFA 第二階段交互詰問(1) Translation: Segment 2, Q & A (1)
* ECFA 第二階段交互詰問(2) Translation: Segment 2, Q & A (2)
* ECFA 第二階段交互詰問(3) Translation: Segment 2, Q & A (3)
* ECFA 第二階段交互詰問(4) Translation: Segment 2, Q & A (4)
* ECFA 第二階段交互詰問(5) Translation: Segment 2, Q & A (5)
* ECFA 第三階段結論 Translation: Segment 3, Closing Remarks (5)

* Perhaps this is the sort of place Ralph Jennings finds such "expectations." After the Sunday debate, the deep-blue TVBS did a survey of 906 Taiwanese over the age of 20. With a margin of error of 3.2 percent, it said that "support for ECFA increased by 3 percentage points" [163 kb PDF file] since a survey four days earlier.

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

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Friday, April 23, 2010

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Indicative Comments - Updated

News recently that the Presidential Office has been seeking to downplay the importance of Sunday's ECFA debate between the two 'Yings'. A PO spokesperson had the following to say:
The Presidential Office yesterday tried to downplay the importance of Sunday’s debate between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), saying it [the debate] was merely part of the government’s efforts to explain its cross-strait policies.

“What we care about is explaining the government policies clearly and to allow the public to have a better understanding of the trade pact,” Lo said. “We didn’t begin preparations to explain the pact simply because of the debate and we certainly will not stop after it is over.”

Lo said Ma would do his best to use language that “people in the south” understand, so they would see the necessity of the planned pact.

“The DPP fully understands the importance of this trade pact, but they strongly oppose it because of their political ideology,” he said. [subtext: opposition is partisan not rational]

Lo yesterday said Ma might “not be good at debating skills or packaging himself,” but that he would exercise his “sincerity and consistency” and “cite facts” to convince the public that the ECFA was urgent and necessary.

Lo said the purpose of the debate was not to win, because Ma is more concerned about how Taiwan’s interests can be protected and how to formulate a strategic policy for the country’s economic development to connect with the world. [subtext: losing the debate is not losing the argument so Ma and the KMT can't lose]

“It is not a matter of whether we should sign the ECFA, but how we should sign it,” he said. [Neatly framing the debate as how not if ECFA should be signed - clearly it has been decided that it will be signed ... again, so much for Premier Wu's 60% of public support]

Any individual with “economic rationality” knew the trade deal was important for Taiwan, he said. [Subtext: if you are a business person with a 'real' handle of the 'real world' (read economic world) you will support ECFA but if you oppose it is because you are exercising 'political rationality'? - is economic rationality the only authoritative viewpoint of complex human societies?]

Lo urged the public to examine whether the DPP’s opposition to the ECFA ran counter to Taiwan’s best interests.
It was the government’s duty to prevent the DPP from securing political gain at the expense of the nation’s interests, he said.
No, it is the KMT's goal to prevent the DPP from securing political gain. Here Lo is confusing the KMT for the Government - must have got confused when the Party-State resumed after 2008. On the other hand .. it is the DPP's duty to prevent the KMT from using the State to secure permanent hegemony and annexing Taiwan to China - which one is more in the nation's long-term interests: sovereignty and security or short term economic gain for some at the expense of the majority?

UPDATE: More comments from Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) that are very revealing:

1. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had too little time to prepare for today’s debate.

2. Lo said that because of Ma’s fatigue and the DPP’s expertise in packaging, many people predicted that Tsai would perform better than Ma during the debate.

3. As long as Ma said what he believed and remained consistent in his argument, he would prove that Tsai was being “two faced,”acting like an academic but actually being a politician, Lo said.

Clearly Lo is prepping the public for a Ma defeat in the debate. Lo's comments are the whining of someone who is trying to spin an anticipated defeat into a victory before the first word of the debate has been uttered. What does he mean by the 'DPP's expertise in packaging?' and how is someone 'two faced' simply because they can argue with intelligence and fact?

Again, Ma has stated that he will sign ECFA regardless of public opinion - "In his weekly video address yesterday, Ma vowed to forge ahead with the Taiwan-China trade pact, saying the administration “will ­definitely” sign the proposed accord because it is conducive to Taiwan and its people."

Clearly Ma is ignoring Premier Wu's promise of 60% public support required for ECFA to be signed, as we all knew it would be.

If there is one thing you can trust the KMT to do it is to go back on their word, accuse opponents of what they are criticised for (divertisement - or making a strength out of a weakness) and rush implementation of policies through on the side and quietly to build up a fait accompli - a trap door from which no return is possible. They are the antithesis of democratic and always have been - local clients and patrons are what drive the party and what the party operates to feed.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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Wu Den-yih and his medicine show

Is he, too, "selling snake oil"?

The Central News Agency (中央社) reported about a week and a half ago (Thursday, March 25, 2010) that Taiwan's Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) (Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT]) will start cracking down on fake medicines [translation mine]:
查緝偽劣藥 政院取締小組動起來

Executive Yuan prohibition group initiates crackdown on fake medicines

(中央社記者謝佳珍台北25日電)為打擊不法藥物,行政院長吳敦義今天指示成立聯合取締小組,加強稽查地下電台、夜市、攤販、情趣商店等偽劣假藥販售通路,並請衛生署在3個月內修法加重販售偽劣假藥罰責。

(CNA reporter Hsieh Chia-chen [ph], [reporting from] Taipei, [March] 25) In order to combat fake medicines, Premier Wu Den-yih established a task force to investigate pirate ["underground"] radio stations, night markets, street vendors, adult novelty stores, and other fake medicine outlets. He also asked the Department of Health to make stricter laws regarding fake medicines along with harsher punishments for violations.
Here's the same story as covered in the Friday, March 26, 2006 edition of the Taipei Times:
A cross-agency task force will be established to combat counterfeit drugs and medical products sold via underground radio stations, the Internet and night markets, the Executive Yuan and the Department of Health announced yesterday.
Sounds like a pretty good idea, right? The problem is that "underground radio stations" is dog-whistle politics to Chinese KMT supporters:
Dog-whistle politics, also known as the use of code words, is a term for a type of political campaigning or speechmaking which employs coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has a different or more specific meaning for a targeted subgroup of the audience
To these folks, "underground radio" is equivalent to "southern Taiwan," "pro-Taiwan," ""pro-DPP," and/or "anti-China," and words like those (and "fake medicines" -- which are often associated with the sponsorship of such stations) get them salivating. While a lot of discussion is already focusing on the upcoming (November 27, 2010) special municipality elections, this is an obvious attempt by the Chinese KMT to stir up their base with irrational hatred.

This is all a sham, as the following info will reveal.

The kicker
What do you think "legal" pro-Chinese KMT TV and radio stations do for whole days at a time? If you said, "Sell medicine," you'd be onto something.

Take a gander at the following screenshots from some of those blue-affiliated TV stations (and see if you can spot a familiar face in the crowd):

Buy this stuff for your kids. Their bones are at stake!
I'm no pirate! I've got
a lab coat and a toupee!
(Does it make me a Dr?)
(Click to enlarge)
Would you put just any old ''natural'' thing into your body? Cat poop? Poison ivy?
If you wouldn't eat cat
poop or poison ivy,
you should think twice
about taking this, too.
(Click to enlarge)
Would you take just any old pills this man gave you?
If I move a walker away
and stand up, will you
believe I used to need it?
(Click to enlarge)
So he grabbed some FK23 and gave it to me, and I took it without even thinking!
Somebody gave me
FK23, so I took it. LOL
Could've been FM2!
(Click to enlarge)
Does saying something has ''no *other* added chemicals'' mean it has none at all?
Saying it's got no other
chemicals doesn't mean
it has none at all.
(Click to enlarge)
Ma Ying-jeou helps his bud sell drugs
Ma Ying-jeou endorses
the guy selling drugs.
(Click to enlarge)
Would you trust this to ''prevent H1N1''?
Didn't trust Adimmune's
H1N1 vaccine? Would
you trust this?
(Click to enlarge)
Cures everything for everybody!
This claims to help
high BP, diabetes, kidney
problems, enuresis,
impotence, and more!
(Click to enlarge)
One pill to fool them all!
Whatever you've got, take
our pills. You might not
get better, but we'll profit!
(Click to enlarge)
Wait! Is that KMT chairman/President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) I see? By George! It most certainly is!

And no, these aren't just commercials. Whole shows use questionable methods to sell these questionable products. (All of the screenshots above were captured between 2:53 and 3:51 PM on Saturday, March 27, 2010.) Do you think Wu's "crackdown" will affect these "above-ground" TV stations at all? Will President Ma be caught in their dragnet?

Keep your eyes on this story, but don't bet anything of value on it.

Further reading:
For earlier examples of the use of this specific tactic, search for the word "radio" in these older posts, or at least hover on the links below for a preview (original posts have links to further information):
* December 15, 2006: "10 or so sources of KMT brainwashing"

* June 2, 2007: "Behind the China Post's curtain ... lies a big conflict of interest"

* September 24, 2008: "Ma Ying-jeou's survey dips to a new low"
* The Liberty Times (自由時報) thinks Wu's "crackdown" is an attempt to shut out voices opposed to ECFA. (Hat tip to A-gu)

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

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

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China's offensive cyber hacking and more

How can they call their actions "self defense"?

In a BBC interview of China's then-ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Sha Zukang (沙祖康) which was broadcast on August 18, 2006, Sha talked about China's position on Taiwan's independence and about China's military spending. He told other countries (especially the USA) to "shut up" and claimed that China's military expansion was solely for the purpose of self-defense, protecting China's territorial integrity, and preventing other countries from harming China.


7:08 YouTube video: " FW: China at war over Taiwan (inteview w/ Mr. Sha)"

The interview lets us see Sha as a state spokesman (or from the POV of the Taiwanese, a state-sponsored terrorist -- see 1:04 - 1:20 in the video above) vowing to wage war against any country that dares to recognize Taiwan's de facto independence.

The ripples from last December's cyber attack on Google have still not settled, and the even-more-recent wave of attacks on Yahoo leaves us wondering whether China justifies its cyberspace intrusions into others' properties -- as well as its military expansion -- as merely constituting China's "self-defense."

If an uninvited person enters private property (or even if the person is invited by an earlier intruder), it's considered an act of trespassing. Cyber hacking is an act of trespassing into privately-owned (or other countries') cyber properties and is a criminal offense. If the UN is serious about world peace, it should bring this topic up for discussion in a special conference.

China's twisted geopolitical logic
Getting back to Sha's interview, if China could claim Taiwan as "an inseparable part of its territory" [sic], so too could the Netherlands, Spain, or any other country that had set a foot on Formosa in the past claim Taiwan (or part of it) as theirs. As I discussed in a May 2009 post on Talk Taiwan, if China could claim Taiwan as "an inseparable part of the motherland" [sic], today's Mongolia could equally claim any part of the historical Mongol Empire, including China, countries in central Asia and some countries in Europe; and Turkey could claim what used to be the Ottoman Empire, including some countries in southeastern Europe, northeastern Africa, and elsewhere.

Modern China (The "Republic of China" [ROC] founded in 1911 by Sun Yat-sen) did not claim Taiwan as part of its territory in the 1925 draft of its constitution, nor did they do so in 1947 when the ROC constitution was promulgated. It couldn't because the predecessor of the ROC-China, the Qing Dynasty, had given Taiwan away "in perpetuity and full sovereignty" to Japan in 1895. When the ROC overthrew the Qing dynasty in 1911, Taiwan was under the jurisdiction of Japan. How could the PRC-China (The "People's Republic of China," founded under Mao Zedong), which evicted and replaced the ROC in China in 1949 (and which was eventually recognized as representing China by other countries since 1971) claim Taiwan, a territory that it has never governed?

Besides, how could the ROC, a Chinese government-in-exile, claim sovereignty and representation over Formosa, a land where it took refuge while in exile? If the exiled Tibet government could claim sovereignty over its place of refuge as part of its territory, India would be in trouble!

Clearly, Taiwan's sovereignty must be placed in the hands of its resident citizens in a plebiscite to decide its eventual status.

Neither an exiled Chinese government (the ROC) nor one recognized by most countries as representing China (the PRC) should be able to claim sovereignty over Taiwan. Taiwan's future status should not be determined via negotiations between these two governments, nor should either of them represent Taiwan's interests in any international organizations.

Sha Zukang is a Chinese diplomat who is currently head of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). He was previously the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva. The UN General Assembly or the Secretary General must have forgotten UN's founding mission of promoting world peace, and instead has promoted a Chinese state-sponsored terrorist (threatening Taiwan's de facto independence with the possible use of force in his interview) to the position of UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on July 1, 2007 to a 4-year term.


2:53 YouTube video: "Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs"

The UNDESA contains several important divisions. These include the Development Policy Division, the Financing for Development Office, the Division for Sustainable Development, the Division for Social Development, the Division for Public Administration, the Statistics Division, and the Population Division. It is also in charge of the follow-up to the major United Nations Summits and Conferences.

Since Sha holds such an important UN post, he should use his influence to encourage his government colleagues and his fellow countrymen to respect intellectual property rights, commercial patents, human rights, and individual privacy rights. He should also put an end to China's cyber crime. If Sha can't use his UN post to convince his countrymen to be law-abiding citizens of the global village, he should be removed from the position.

But can we really expect anything like that from someone who said during the SARS crisis, "Who cares about you (Taiwanese)?"


0:31 YouTube video: "攜手護台灣 加入聯合國"
Translation: Hand-in-hand to protect Taiwan, join the United Nations

Further reference:
* PLA modernization and the implications for Taiwan
True, the village bully could use his brand new baseball bat to play baseball, but given his tendencies, can we entirely ignore the possibility that he could use that same item to beat neighboring weaklings with it?
* Liberty Times (自由時報): 斥「外交部」竊台說帖 by 沈建德 (Translation: Rebutting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Memorandum on the [ROC's] Theft of Taiwan['s sovereignty])
Comment: I wonder if our MOFA office was pressured by the PRC government to write this memo to pave a "smoother" way for Taiwan's handover.

* Michael Turton on The View from Taiwan writes: China Hacks Media and Activist Yahoo Emails
Not only were journalists in both China and Taiwan hacked, including people I personally know, but as the report notes, many others working on democracy and freedom issues in Taiwan and China-related areas were hacked. Also hacked were individuals of pro-Taiwan sympathies but who are not necessarily high profile about it. Certain listmembers of the China discussion list ChinaPol were hacked [...]
* DIGITAL AGE - How Ready Are We For A Cyber-War? Adam Segal


26:49 YouTube video: "DIGITAL AGE - How Ready Are We For A Cyber-War? Adam Segal. Feb. 28, [2]010"

* Cyber Warfare: Media confusion is yet another good reason why Taiwan should drop the name of Republic of China, a name used and liked only by the Chinese Nationalist Party (aka the KMT)! See the text on the screen through much of the video which says "Rep. of China's Communist Party" instead of the "People's Rep. of China's (or PRC's) Communist Party."


4:36 YouTube video: "Cyber war across the Pacific - RT 100125"

(Tim Maddog edited this post)

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