Tue, Nov 01, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Parroting PRC propaganda

By Sing Young

I would like to take issue with the AP news dispatch published in your newspaper "China-based Taiwanese split over identity," Oct 27, page 2).

The article contains the following statement: "Conversations with Taiwanese in China suggest that 56 years of separation have taken a toll on whatever once existed of a common identity."

I wonder where the AP journalist got that 56 years (of separation) from and what historical facts did he or she use to claim that before 1949 there "once existed a common identity"?

Before 1895, Taiwan was a "savage land" where "birds don't bother singing, flowers wear no fragrance, women have no sense of emotion and men have no sense of responsibility," in the words of a Chinese mandarin. Taiwan was a territory of Japan between 1895 and 1945. In 1947, the Taiwanese were randomly massacred by the Chinese government. Where was the so-called "common identity?"

It appears that nowadays any Joe or Jane can claim expertise on Taiwanese history based on Chinese propaganda, without checking with the Taiwanese.

The above-quoted statement or similar brainless interjections such as "Taiwan, which was separated from China in 1949," seem to be a pre-programmed automatic insertion whenever AP and other news agencies dispatch a line mentioning Taiwan.

Can these news agencies please make their software more intelligent, and try to provide readers with knowledge and facts -- not false and useless recitations based on hearsay or propaganda?

Sing Young

Taoyuan

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