Foot soldiers fooling people
The Taipei Times made a good point when it wrote in an editorial: “For the rulers in Beijing, nothing supersedes ideology and nothing is distinct from politics.” Taiwanese should take as an effective warning sign “the descriptions of the Potala Palace in Lhasa ... in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites” (Editorial, Dec. 14, page 8).
Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) does not know the political position of the leaders in Beijing. Or, does she know very well?
As a smart woman, accomplished writer and college professor, Lung is certainly just playing naive, innocent and, in real time, trying to fool people.
In reality, she is a willing foot soldier of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). Do not forget: There was a good reason Ma hand-picked her to be the minister of culture on May 20 last year.
On Oct. 6, speaking on Bali ahead of the APEC summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) told former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Ma’s envoy to the meeting, that political issues could not be put off forever.
Ma got the message from Xi and felt the pressure from China. To please China, Ma got busy and has been working harder on unification. Since then, there has been a lot of political activity in and around the Legislative Yuan.
At this point in time, Ma seems to feel that it is the right time to work in the area of culture after gaining some ground in trade and services agreements between Taiwan and China.
Lung’s recent proposition of “18 beautiful places” being included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites is just the beginning. There will be more of this coming out of the Ministry of Culture in the not too distant future.
Ma, his lieutenants and his foot soldiers are mostly Chinese. Since Taiwan is not their homeland, they will naturally be “too willing to sell out Taiwan’s sovereignty if that is what it takes to get places in Taiwan on the list” of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Taiwanese, do you not know that this is a part of Ma’s strategies in the master plan of unification?
Why the wait for tests?
On Dec. 15 it was reported that tests for heavy metals in crops from alongside the Houjin River (後勁溪) came up negative. Why did the Agriculture and Food Agency not take samples from the area this week, rather than saying it “did not rule out” doing so next year?
The results may well be correct, but the public would have been put more at ease had the agency collected samples of its own.
The samples it tested could have been swapped for untainted versions by individuals with an agenda, rendering the test results irrelevant.
If the agency feels that something should be done, it should do it immediately, not wait until next year, when it does “not rule out” conducting tests.
Taiwan has had a string of food scares. It is possible to buy fewer processed foods, but now we hear even unprocessed foods may have been contaminated with heavy metals or other toxic pollutants.
What are we supposed to eat?