Thu, Oct 11, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: When silence is not golden

China's bully mentality was once again on display when Chinese participants brazenly threatened and intimidated their Taiwanese counterparts at the World Cyber Games in Seattle on Monday.

Taiwanese competitor Liu You-chen (劉祐辰) won the bronze medal in the Games' Project Gotham Racing 3 category. As he excitedly displayed the Republic of China (ROC) flag, several Chinese participants scrambled toward the stage demanding that Liu surrender it.

Liu, along with other Taiwanese competitors, were also subjected to verbal assaults as Chinese shouted "sons of bitches."

According to a report by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Chinese participants were instructed by the Beijing authorities to behave this way or risk losing their chance to go abroad again to compete.

The Seattle incident exposed the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) illusion that Beijing supports the idea of "one China, with each side having its own interpretation."

If such a consensus truly existed, Beijing would have respected the Taiwanese participants' right to display the national flag at international events, rather than commanding its participants to snatch or insult it.

This was not the first time Taiwanese competitors endured such low-brow attacks.

In August last year, Chinese participating in the International Children's Games in Thailand ripped the flag off Taiwanese medalists as they accepted their awards. This came after several previous attempts to snatch the flag had failed.

After the ceremony, several China team members approached the Taiwanese athletes, who were then sitting in the audience, and again snatched away the flag.

In July, a Hsinchu-based folkdance troupe performing at the 22nd International Folkdance Festival in the Israeli city of Afula was forced to protect the national flag as Chinese participants bullied the Taiwanese and snatched the flag after it was displayed onstage beside the flags of other countries.

Instead of denouncing these acts, KMT caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) has branded the latest incident an "internal feud," while KMT Legislator Daniel Hwang (黃義交) has asked both sides to exercise restraint.

It is a pity that while the nation's young talent strive to win honor for the country, the nation's largest opposition party cannot seem to offer them support. It is also pathetic to see the KMT toeing Beijing's line while Chinese trample on Taiwanese dignity.

The KMT has slammed the government for failing to uphold the ROC's "sovereignty" and "dignity," but it has yet to utter any criticism of the Chinese Cyber Games team's behavior.

Considering the nation's plight, Taiwanese need courageous and outspoken politicians who have the guts to stand up to China's saber-rattling -- not politicians who choose to stay mute while Taiwanese are bullied and assaulted on the world stage.

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