With the exception of Taiwanese and Philippine media, Chinese media outlets have been the most interested in the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard personnel, given Beijing’s goal of creating “one China.”
Media outlets in Hong Kong have also followed Beijing’s “one China” idea, with the Chinese-language daily Ming Pao, which claims to be an “intellectual’s newspaper,” calling for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to “join with China against the US.”
This would entail siding with a communist, one-party dictatorship.
On May 19, the Ming Pao ran an editorial saying Taiwan and China should join together to protect fishing rights against what the newspaper called the vicious way Manila was taking advantage of gaps in cross-strait relations.
The problem is that China is using the controversy surrounding the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and Taiwan’s conflict over Taiwan’s fishing rights with the Philippines to weaken Taiwan’s sovereignty and annex it.
Does this not make the Ming Pao even more “vicious” than the Philippines? The newspaper is fully aware of China’s anti-democratic nature, so why does it want Taiwan to become like Hong Kong?
The editorial called the US the biggest obstacle preventing China from “liberating Taiwan.”
Surely trying to sour Taiwan-US relations in this way is also an example of “vicious” intentions.
When the US Department of State called on Taiwan and the Philippines to show restraint, the Ming Pao said that this was an example of the US trying to suppress Taiwan.
However, this was just the US’ initial reaction to the issue.
Over the past few years, China has always requested that each side show restraint when conflicts with dictatorships have occurred, such as North Korea disturbing world peace.
Has the Ming Pao ever criticized China for doing so?
The Philippines murdered a Taiwanese fisherman and now it is going to every length possible to shirk responsibility. Has the Philippines not been able to take advantage of gaps in cross-strait relations because China is constantly trying to usurp Taiwan’s sovereignty?
The Ming Pao said that the US could try to coerce the Philippines and Taiwan into signing a fisheries agreement to lure the Ma administration into letting the Philippines off the hook. The newspaper also said that Ma must not give in to this because this is against the wishes of people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan and the Philippines do not have any major territorial disputes; the problem concerns fishing rights in their overlapping exclusive economic zones. What does the Ming Pao hope to achieve by putting Taiwan in conflict with the US and the Philippines?
The Ming Pao strongly objected when Taiwan and Japan signed a fisheries agreement and the newspaper made comments that the Chinese government would not even dare make.
Ma’s flip-flops with the Philippines and the total inaction of Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) have both been prime examples of how these individuals do not know how to respond to Beijing’s demands.
The whole show by the Ming Pao was of course very “patriotic” and this caused strong opposition in Hong Kong.
For this year’s candlelight vigil to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China has adopted the slogan “Love our country and love our people.” This angered young Hong Kongers in favor of pro-localization, who responded by saying: “Let us part ways here.”
Whatever the Ming Pao may advocate, Hong Kongers are moving further away from China.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Drew Cameron