The memorial was paid for and erected by a group of Korean-Americans in New Jersey who were merely excising their US right to free speech and freedom of expression. However, when the Japanese diplomatic corps found out about this memorial, they tried to bully the mayor of a small town in the state to have the memorial taken down. The Japanese were told the same thing that the Oregon mayor told the Chinese: This is not your country.
This is not the end of these diplomatic gaffes. Again, somewhere in the US or Canada or the UK or Australia, Chinese diplomats will take offense to something or other — a documentary film festival featuring a movie about Ai, for example, or a new mural spotlighting Taiwan’s freedom and democracy as a sovereign nation — and angry letters will be sent out, followed up by telephone calls and personal visits. These things will happen again and again in Western nations, and each time the beleaguered Chinese diplomats will return to their offices red-faced and seething with anger.
This whole situation will not end until the PRC ceases to exist, and that day is coming, within this century for sure.
One day, China will be history and the mayor of Corvallis will be remembered as a hero. She stood up for what is right in the world — and for Taiwan, too.
Dan Bloom is a freelance writer in Taiwan.