Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) made an interesting point in his latest Taipei Times article yesterday (“Preserving Taiwan’s hard-won dignity,” page 8), though it wasn’t the first time someone has made it.
“The public used to think of the KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] as the party that spared no effort to protect national symbols such as the flag and the presidential title, while the DPP did the opposite. However, this only seems to apply to domestic politics. At international events, it is the DPP that safeguards these symbols, while the KMT tries to avoid or even remove them,” Lin said.
The trigger for this comment was the World Games opening ceremony, which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) opened and where Republic of China flags freely fluttered.
Ma, ever the smarmy co-optor of other people’s hard work, claimed his opening of the Games was a credit to his cross-strait blah-blah-blah and his diplomatic rhubarb-rhubarb-rhubarb with China. Naturally, some in the DPP took offense, pointing out how long ago the Games were awarded (to the city, not Taiwan as a whole) and that the bloody Chinese athletes boycotted the opening ceremony anyway.
I could also point out the stinginess of the central government’s Sports Affairs Council, which has done Kaohsiung no favors in terms of funding and political game-playing. Thank you very much, Mr President and Mr Premier.
The Chinese boycott turned out to be part of a compromise that allowed the Chinese athletes to attend. Much more importantly, it allowed Chinese media to cover the competition and facilitate lucrative sponsor exposure in China.
Claims by KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) of a deal between the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and the Chinese to secure the compromise probably left out the crucial piece of the puzzle.
That piece is Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the DPP. Dear reader, in addition to all the to-ing and fro-ing between Kaohsiung’s organizing committee and the International World Games Association, you will recall that Chen made a strange, groundbreaking trip to China where she talked to Chinese officials in Shanghai and Beijing and dared to refer to Ma as “president,” attracting bipartisan support back home and even praise from Legislative Speaker Wang “The Inscrutable” Jin-pyng (王金平).
She must have made a real impression over there.
And let’s be honest. A woman who (a) spent years in prison at a time when the KMT was still assassinating its enemies and (b) bounces back from a stroke to continue governing our second-largest city and stage a successful World Games is not going to be intimidated by fuckhead Chicom officials whose main claims to infamy are bad hairpieces and breath reeking of five-grain liquor.
Let’s see if we can make sense of the chronology.
May 21: Chen arrives in Beijing, sans “Taiwan compatriot travel document,” directly stating that she is on a World Games promotional tour. She invites the mayor of Beijing to attend and reminds officials that participants will have visa-free entry for the duration of the Games. She also announces meetings with Chinese Olympic Committee chairman Liu Peng (劉鵬) and the mayor of Shanghai.
Courtesy of a source who remains anonymous because he is not authorized to condemn conscientious Chinese media professionals to a pig-feeding gulag for Uighurs, I understand that at least one Chinese media outlet was informed during or just before Chen’s visit that the World Games were a no-go: The athletes would not attend, and the press was not to report on the competition.