Sat, May 09, 2009 - Page 8 News List

JOHNNY NEIHU’S MAILBAG

Missing the good chance

Dear Johnny,

In Elizabeth Jensen’s very good report about a new online newspaper called the GlobalPost (“News startup’s business model: making money,” March 29, page 9), she neglected to mention one very important thing about the Boston-based Web site.

While it does have a reporter based in Taiwan, the site classifies Taiwan as part of some place called “China and Its Neighbors” — though South Korea, Japan and Vietnam are not listed in that category and get their own listing.

Jensen missed a good chance to ask the editors of the GlobalPost just who they think they are kidding by lumping Taiwan in with communist China.

Those editors in Boston should take their blinders off, and the sooner the better. Do you think there’s a chance?

Chiayi Chuck

Johnny replies: You know, given the nasty fate that awaits the staff of the Boston Globe, I rather doubt that the recently employed staff at the nearby GlobalPost would give a rat’s ass about the finer details of cross-strait nomenclature.

And give these guys credit for something. At least the classification wasn’t “China, including Taiwan and vassal city-territories” or “China, including Taiwan and other loser provinces with delusions of grandeur” or “China, just China. Deal with it.”

Methinks we must deal with this issue with a little more care and perspective.

We can complain all we like about how people oceans away don’t know the difference between “Republic of China” and “People’s Republic of China,” let alone between “Republic of China” and “Taiwan,” but the simple, sad and sober fact of the matter is that in the current climate such matters are trifling.

Take, for example, the reports we’ve been seeing recently of police in Tainan and Chiayi going after student demonstrators and manipulating their neighbors and families to warn them off expressions of dissent.

If your average Chen or Lee or Wang doesn’t consider this so outrageous that they would gather some buddies and lay siege to the local cop shop until the KMT-voting patsy in charge promises to stop such practices, then — you know what? — it doesn’t matter what the hell foreigners call Taiwan or Taiwanese.

So I say, if there are any patriots left out there, now’s the time to stand up. Don’t wait for some moron in the DPP to tell you to do what you know you should do.

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