Don't believe it
I want to commend you on last Friday's excellent editorial, ("Don't believe everything you read," Oct. 10, page 8) which takes on the dissembling that followed President Chen Shui-bian's (
You particularly pointed out one very good example of how the Post's Beijing correspondent, John Pomfret, misrepresented Chen's words. With a bit more detail, this would benefit the reader more completely.
The paragraph from your editorial says: "Nowhere in the Post article, however, is a quote from Chen about `refusing to succumb to US pressure.' Instead it was Pomfret who made the observation, `Chen said he would not bow to US pressure,' after quoting Chen as saying, when asked about US pressure regarding his recent moves (ie, rewriting the Constitution and national referendums) was, `Any kind of democratic reform is our own affair. I don't think any democratic country can oppose democratic ideals.'"
One thing I would add to that would be a lesson in how to spot this sort of media spin. Instead of quoting Chen directly, Pomfret interprets Chen's supposedly intended meaning, without ever providing the "quote" from which he derived this interpretation. Anytime this happens -- you might have added -- it is a pretty good indication that the reader should pay more attention. They should read the article, as you have done for them this time, and find these discrepancies for themselves. It is a favorite tactic of unscrupulous "journalists" the world over. But don't just "give [the readers] a fish." Instead, teach them "how to fish."
Another thing you pointed out was the problem of language translation. You informed us that the title of the article, "Chen dismisses fears in US of rising tension," had the word "dismiss" translated as "contemptuously repel" (
It is especially in this kind of case where readers on either side of the language barrier need the professional assistance that can be provided by the Taipei Times and other media when they decide to be honest.
I think that in the interest of truthfulness, you should provide daily a list of contacts (for example, the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses) of media watchdog groups where readers/viewers/listeners can report any such discrepancies they find in media reports.
The saying "Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see" is often attributed to Will Rogers or Mark Twain. But I wouldn't necessarily trust either attribution!
Stand up for Taiwan
Regarding the situation with Liberia: Can the Taiwanese change their traditional "face saving" strategy?
Whenever something bad happens to Taiwan, what you will say is all so predictable and childish. Things like "We have all the information under control" or "Let it go, it is not worth it."
To some degree, I understand your feelings under the circumstance.
But more and more, I notice that Taiwan has started to give up its manhood and "cocoon" itself. You need to learn more from South Korea -- behave like a nation of bravado and courage in sports, in sciences and in politics.
If you refuse to mature, no one respect you as a "nation."
Taiwan's jacket should fit
Wang Chien-chuang's article ("Absurd arguments should only be ignored," Oct. 16, page 8) is paradoxical itself.
The title suggests ignoring absurd statements, but the text elaborates three "absurdities." Are these "absurdities" or "truths" in Wang's mind?
It is immaterial when, where, how and by whom the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution was promulgated and enacted.
The important thing is that it was not designed specifically for Taiwan and does not fit even after amendments. The ROC Constitution applied to Taiwan is as cumbersome as a king-size men's jacket put on a little girl. What the girl needs is a jacket of the right size, a good design and proper material.
If a "Mr Wang" claims to be a "Mr King," he is most likely to be refused entry into a foreign country.
For the same reason, the UN has repeatedly refused to admit the ROC.
It's time to try the country's real name -- Taiwan -- instead. Taiwan should keep trying, even though China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
On Sept. 27, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) joined the UN to become its 191st member. Since then, two other nations have joined, Montenegro on June 28, 2006, and South Sudan on July 14, 2011. The combined total of the populations of these three nations is just more than half that of Taiwan’s 23.7 million people. East Timor has 1.3 million, Montenegro has slightly more than half a million and South Sudan has 10.9 million. They all are members of the UN, yet much more populous Taiwan is denied membership. Of the three, East Timor, as a Southeast Asian
Taiwan has for decades singlehandedly borne the brunt of a revanchist, ultra-nationalist China — until now. Ever since Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had the temerity to call for a transparent, international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has been turning the screws on Canberra. This has included unleashing aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomats to intimidate Australian policymakers, enacting punitive tariffs on its exports, and threatening an embargo on Chinese tourists and students to the nation. A tense situation became more serious on June 19 after Morrison revealed that a “sophisticated state-based actor” — read: China — had launched a
There have been media reports that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) plans to hold military exercises in August to simulate seizing the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) in the South China Sea. In the past, only Coast Guard Administration (CGA) personnel have been stationed there, but the Ministry of National Defense has dispatched the Republic of China Marine Corps to the islands, nominally for “ex-situ training,” to prevent a Chinese attack under the guise of military drills. The move is only a temporary measure and not sufficiently proactive. Instead, the government should officially declare sovereignty over the islands and station troops
Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is to be Taiwan’s next representative to the US. Hsiao is well versed in international affairs and Taiwan-US relations. In her days as a student in the US, she was a member of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) and served as chief executive of the Democratic Progressive Party’s US mission. She is familiar with a broad spectrum of Taiwanese affairs in the US. FAPA hopes that Hsiao, after taking up her new post, would continue to deepen and normalize relations between Taiwan and the US, and that she would try to get a free-trade agreement