Wed, Mar 28, 2012 - Page 8 News List

Just as loaded as a Chinese AK-47

By J. Michael Cole 寇謐將

So now Taiwanese are not only ignorant and xenophobic, they’re also “uncivilized.” Whereas, of course, negating the separate existence of 23 million people, threatening them with hundreds upon hundreds of ballistic missiles and an increasingly formidable military, or engaging in a hostile takeover by force of trade and investment, is perfectly civilized. This, of course, is not to mention the Chinese Communist Party’s civilized treatment of Tibetans, Uighurs, Falun Gong practitioners, prisoners of conscience, rights activists, dissidents, lawyers, environmentalists, investigative journalists — all of whom, we can assume, are as “uncivilized” as those pesky Taiwanese.

Voicing opposition to policies that were imposed without proper consultation with the legislature and the public is not, as the CNA article implies, xenophobic, ignorant or uncivilized. It is a right exercised by citizens of a democratic society in which free speech is not only permissible, but sine qua non.

J. Michael Cole is deputy news editor at the Taipei Times.

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