As China conducted military exercises encircling Taiwan after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, China Central Television News posted an image online with the text: “There is only one China in the world.”
To show their support for China’s ideology, some Taiwanese artists have voluntarily reposted or were “compelled” to repost the image under public pressure, drawing fire from Internet users.
It should not have been a surprise when long-term pro-China artists, such as Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜), reposted the image right away, but what was unexpected was that many other Taiwanese artists followed suit.
The artists have no right to feign innocence by saying that their social media accounts are handled by management companies, because they need consent to post on their behalf.
“Little pinks” — Chinese nationalists who forcefully push their ideologies on the Internet — have played a crucial role in this situation, acting like “Red Guards” by watching like hawks the accounts of celebrities to see who had not shared the image and launching mass posting attacks on those who had not.
While most celebrities would buckle under pressure, some of the most popular remained unperturbed, including Jolin Tsai (蔡依林).
Although the malicious behavior of the little pinks was expected, it reminded people of the “fumi-e” policy — a ritual dating to the 1600s during Japan’s Tokugawa period in which suspected Christians were ordered to trample on images depicting Jesus or the Virgin Mary and persecuted if they would not.
It is hard to believe that after a few centuries, little pinks are using a similar approach.
I agree with the statement “there is only one China in the world,” as long as it does not come with hidden clauses, such as “Taiwan is part of China.”
Even though the image did not say the second part, the intention of unification of Taiwan and China is as clear as day — a stance that is widely rejected by Taiwanese.
China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy, relentless military drills, and the provocations and preposterous behavior of little pinks have reduced the possibility of Taiwan sitting down for peace talks with China.
If anything, their chances of achieving unification have only gotten bleaker over the years.
Hung Yu-jui is a Japanese-language teacher and translator.
Translated by Rita Wang
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