Taiwan round-up, July 2010; plus Ma Ying-jeou's nonsense
First, a bit of catching up is necessary
A lot has been going on in July -- and I'm not just talking about the extra work that I get during this time of the year. Here are just a few of the more prominent news items I should have been writing about in more detail over the past month:
* Despite not being in possession of the land titles, the Chinese Nationalist Party-led (KMT) Miaoli County government destroyed the rice paddies of several farmers in the Jhunan Township (竹南) borough of Dapu (大埔) and carted off the rich soil, replacing it with junk-filled dirt. Despite knowing that the current Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) is unfair, the Ministry of the Interior vowed to continue destroying these farmers' lives and property with their right hand until their left hand is good and ready to change the law. As I've said many times, the Chinese KMT doesn't follow the law -- the law follows the Chinese KMT.No-brainer
* Michael Turton blogged on the protests in Taipei on July 17, 2010 which were related to the above land grabs: "Miaoli County Land Seizure Sparks Farmer Protests"
* In Yunlin County, a fire (explosion?) on July 25, 2010 at Formosa Petrochemical Group's (FPG, 台塑石化) naphtha cracker No. 6 is followed by the appearance of dead ducks, fish, and clams in the vicinity. (Yo, EPA! Is there an alternate explanation for what could have killed all these animals at this particular time?! If so, we'd all like to hear it!) An earlier blaze had occurred at FPG's naphtha cracker No. 1 on July 7, 2010. It took six days after the second conflagration within a month -- plus large protests by Mailiao residents -- before Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) paid a visit to the site and said they would temporarily suspend operations at the plant. (How long do you think it'll be before that promise gets broken?) Oh, and there's the horrific tale of a dead runaway foreign laborer (who had been poisoned by unsafe working conditions) whose body was left outside the plant's perimeter after a much earlier incident in an apparent attempt to… make the original situation even worse? (See this last item discussed on the July 30, 2010 edition of Talking Show [大話新聞].)
* Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) tries to do his own verbal "detour" after saying that already-endangered Taiwanese pink dolphins would "make a detour" (轉彎) to avoid the planned Kuokuang Petrochemical plant scheduled to be built on coastal wetlands near the mouth of the Jhuoshuei River (濁水溪) in Dacheng Township (大城), Changhua County.
* Remember that the most important thing about the following story has to do with the people making the accusation: Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the son of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) who is currently running for a city council seat in Kaohsiung, is accused by Next Weekly (壹週刊) of soliciting a prostitute, despite the lack of any hard evidence. While his car was photographed at the scene of the alleged crime, Chen Chih-chung himself was not. Politically motivated, y'think?
* Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) was placed among "the world's top  urban leaders" by Monocle Magazine. Although some people say the title of the piece makes the "honor" facetious, the content -- which appears 100% serious as well as positive -- tells me otherwise.
* You may notice that the four links at the top of the blogroll in the Taiwan Matters sidebar -- the links to Talking Show (大話新聞) videos -- have been crossed out. That's because YouTube suspended all four of those accounts. Fortunately, someone new has dutifully taken over uploading the shows. Take a look at the uploads on user 555victory555's channel.
* After all that stuff
President Regional Administrator(cough, cough) Mr. Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) told us about the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with China being purely economic and having nothing to do with unification, the legislature's Organic Laws and Statutes Bureau tells us -- in a report whose release people had complained since at least June 23, 2010 (nearly a week before the ECFA was signed) was being delayed (for over a month now) because it might give a negative impression of the ECFA -- that what Ma said was, uh, not true.
* On July 24, 2010, the U.S. Navy posted a photo taken during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 captioned [highlight mine]: "The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan leads a formation of ships from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, France, Canada, Australia and the U.S." A week later, that photo isn't showing up, but another photo with the same caption can still be viewed.
* Formosa Betrayed (the movie) will be showing in Taiwan in less than one week. With the domestic premier taking place Friday, August 6, 2010, producer/actor Will Tiao (刁毓能) is in town, and he reveals in an interview with the Taipei Times how the Chinese KMT interfered with the filming process. Jerome F. Keating, PhD also has a piece about the film: "Still Not Free of KMT Bias, Taiwan Prepares for the Film, 'Formosa Betrayed.'" In that post, he also links to an image of the famous comic strip by Bo Yang (柏楊) which got the artist nine years in prison.
* … and like I said, much more than I've been able to keep up with in great detail. I've probably missed a few important ones, but those are pretty much off the top of my head. Follow me on Twitter to see what I'm writing about in real time.
Since Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) so frequently spouts nonsense which should get him laughed off the world's stage, I made a little video showing how audiences should react to such things:
2:05 Xtranormal video: "The audience sees through Ma Ying-jeou's nonsense"
Here's the text spoken by Superzero Ma in the video:
Hi, I'm Ma Ying-jeou, president of the Republic of China, here in Taiwan Province. As you can see, no one is pulling my strings. That's because Foxconn made a special long distance remote control for Hu Jintao to use on me! But since I am the president of the Republic of China, I am actually Hu Jintao's leader. And as president of the ROC, I am, therefore, also the president of Mongolia! Let me explain. Back in March 2008, after I made a campaign promise to the people of Taiwan saying "no unification," 7.6 million people there voted for me, making me the democratically-elected leader of the "unified" Republic of China's 1.3 billion people, right? Does that not make perfect sense to you? Okay, how about this? Without using your brain too much, see if you can repeat after me: "We are all part of the non-barbarian Zhonghua minzu family, blah blah blah." "The other side of the Taiwan Strait is our mainland region, blah blah blah." Or how about this? "I love Taiwan!" That one works best in the months before important elections. Do you have a question? I'm sorry. I can't hear you. Thank you for your comment. I must be going.
Precipitates: Taiwan, 台灣, Dapu, 大埔, Formosa Petrochemical Co., 台塑石化, Wu Den-yih, 吳敦義, Chen Chih-chung, 陳致中, Jason Hu, 胡志強
Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!