Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday rebutted the “monoculturalist” label attached to Taiwan by self-confessed Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, saying the country’s culture is a mix of Western and Asian elements.
Taiwan’s culture accommodates elements of Western and Asian culture and is a close combination of the traditions of Chinese culture and Taiwanese culture, which has created a “Taiwanese culture with Chinese characteristics” or a “Chinese culture with Taiwanese characteristics,” Wu said.
Wu made the remarks in response to a media query concerning Breivik, who cited Taiwan, South Korea and Japan as countries that he looks up to in his hopes to promote a monocultural society in Norway and Europe.
Wu said that Taiwan has a history of several hundred years of development, with a cultural heritage left by Western countries such as the Netherlands and Asian countries such as Japan during their colonization of the nation.
Other than those, Chinese culture was first brought to Taiwan 300 years ago and again by a second wave of immigrants from China since 1945.
“In addition, Taiwan’s Aborigines have always been here,” Wu said. “I think Taiwan has a rich culture in which all ethnic groups live together in harmony.”
Even American jazz music has been introduced to Taiwan, as has Western technology, he said.
“As a result, many talented people were born here,” he added.
Wu said that a well-functioning, stable and mature democracy has been built up in Taiwan at all levels of central and local government after several decades of democratization.
“Given this, what the Norwegian killer said [about Taiwan] is not true at all,” he said.
Mentions of Taiwan are sprinkled throughout a rambling 1,500-page manifesto that Breivik authored and apparently e-mailed on Friday, the day of the attacks.
“Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are today our role models for the conservative movement ... These three models contain a majority of all the political principles we seek to restore,” says Breivik’s “2083: A European Declaration of Independence.”
Breivik sent out the manifesto an hour before he killed 76 people by exploding a bomb in downtown Oslo and gunning down teenagers at an offshore youth camp.
The massive document details the careful planning behind the attacks, as well as descriptions of his far-right, anti-immigration political beliefs and his fear of a Muslim takeover of Europe.
Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are singled out as examples in his document because of their strict immigration policies, which he said should be seen as a model for western Europe and “viewed as an inspiration for future cultural conservative governments.”
Racial and ethnic purity, as well as proposals for a highly “monocultural society,” appear to be the hallmarks of the document, which has been compared to a call-to-arms for far-right extremists against Muslim immigration to Europe.
“As for current national political systems, I especially admire the Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese system. These three countries reject multiculturalism outright and have instead focused on maintaining and protecting their monoculture,” it says.
His remarks appear to come as a contradiction to the fact that more than 450,000 foreign immigrants — mainly foreign spouses from China, Vietnam and Indonesia — have settled in Taiwan since 1987, according to National Immigration Agency statistics.
Undeterred, the suspected gunman claims that there are similarities between Japan, South Korea and Taiwan’s strict immigration policies and those adopted by Nazi Germany, an ideology that he says should be re-evaluated.
Apparently basing at least parts of his research on Wikipedia, Breivik lists the three Asian countries as part of the political systems he most admires, saying that their “monoculturalist” policies should be introduced in western Europe.
His 1,500 page manifesto, full of references to far-right extremism, also envisions a day when European countries are joined together in a military alliance with countries including, surprisingly, Taiwan, after NATO dissolves sometime in the future.
Breivik, 32, has described himself as a crusader seeking to put a stop to growing levels of Muslim immigration across Europe. He is being charged under Norway’s anti-terrorism laws, but his lawyer has indicated that he would plead not guilty to criminal responsibility, despite confessing to the attacks.
Geir Lippestad, Breivik’s lawyer, has suggested that he could plead insanity.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to