Tue, Aug 23, 2011 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

And we wonder, with deep sadness, why so many commentators in Western democracies, rather than supporting the growth and security of Taiwan’s democracy and imagining how it can be useful to them in the coming struggle, appear to find its proponents contemptible annoyances.

MICHAEL TURTON

Taichung

Ma’s disaster tourism

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ defense of its agents peeping around reconstruction areas so as to “not [disturb] the residents” does not hold water (“Visit to disaster-hit zones irks residents,” Aug. 21, page 1).

I have little doubt that had the Morakot Post--Disaster Reconstruction Council requested an official visit with an explanation of its purpose, residents would have heartily welcomed the ministry.

This comfortable tour through rose-colored stained glass windows was standoffish and superficial, as some agents suggested.

If the ministry behaves this way at home, how can we assume it will behave abroad when it “provides a model for Taiwan’s humanitarian aid to other countries?”

I cannot but be reminded of ivory-tower, checkbook diplomacy — implemented without the need for rubbing elbows with the plebs, of course.

I hope that President Angelique Ma, who approved this visit after all, will not use this “Do Not Disturb” pretense when he makes further frolicking visits to Provence, France, and elsewhere.

MICHAEL TSAI

Tainan

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