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Attacked in Taiwan?

In Oct 2008, while visiting a Confucius temple in Taiwan,  Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (张铭清) of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait was shoved around and pushed down. However, I would like to point out that he is also the Dean of the school of journalism of the University of Xiamen and is on a scholarly visit with no official function. After he managed to get into the car, an overzealous attacker even climbed on the roof of the car and jumped up and down. If one want to guess what the cultural revolution looked like, this should be pretty close.
Here’s a video of the incident. You be the judge.

At that time there are actually three plain clothe police officers escorting him but as can be seen from the video, they are totally overwhelmed. To the credit of the court in Taiwan, the assailants were later charged and fined, although all pleaded innocence. The instigator and main assailant at that time was Wang Dingyu (王定宇), a little known city councillor from the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party). Wang became famous after the incident and was eventually nominated as a candidate for the 2012 legislative election.  Although it is old news by now, in the April of this year Wang was investigated by the police for embezzling the donation for the victims of the 2009 Typhoon Morakot which leave 461 people dead. His case is now pending. DDP spokesman said that if charged Wang’s candidacy would be dropped.

Here’s another video where Wang said he was just helping Zhang to get up. Again you be the judge.

I remember this news elicit a major debate here hence I post the latest update.

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  1. Charles Liu
    July 18th, 2011 at 12:31 | #1

    There’s a good reason why open travel by mainlanders only apply to Taipei and Taichung. Mainlanders in deep-green southern Taiwan would be tarred and feathered 60’s Jim Crowe style.

  2. July 18th, 2011 at 12:47 | #2

    And this is a main reason why mainland Chinese would find it hard to sympathize with the pro-independence Taiwanese.

    A mob assaulting a Chinese teacher. Yeah, I can see “democracy” is working great in Taiwan, reminds me of the Cultural Revolution, when mobs assaulting teachers happened for political reasons.

  3. July 18th, 2011 at 14:25 | #3

    Yes, when I first saw the news I instantly think of the CR! In the begining I thought the attacker, Wang is a hard core multi-generation Taiwanese. Then I discovered that his father only came to the island post 1949, it is obvious he is trying to prove that he more green than the others. And like the CR, pretty much all attacks are politically motivated. I hope he is charged with fraud and send to jail like the other fake TIers, Ah Bian. The real serious Tiers are people like Shi Mingde, Xu Xingliang, Lin juoshui etc. They have a lot of integrity and did not act or talk like a bunch of hooligans.

  4. July 18th, 2011 at 16:18 | #4

    Although things are not as good as I like the relationship between mainland and Taiwan are a lot more positive than many would have imagined. Here’s a video of Shanghai Mayor visiting Taipei. He got an ovation from high schools students, so that means the future is bright. http://act3.bb.qq.com/4015/work/show-id-15415.html

  5. July 19th, 2011 at 07:18 | #5

    1 thing about this that reminded me of an article I read several years back, the author premised that ethnic Chinese outside of China were quickly becoming the “Jews of Asia”, unwanted and even feared by native born people of many Asian regions, and targetted for ethnic violence.

    For example, the Chinese of Indonesia were persecuted and scapegoated during the political violence that turned into an ethnic pogrom in 1998.

    Then, recently, a friend of mine mentioned that Indonesia’s economy is developing, but I disclaimed in caution, “most of that growth is due to a heavy reliance in trade with the Chinese market, which is heavily dependent upon a relationship with Chinese government”.

    The point is, Taiwan and Indonesia and others are ignoring an important lesson to their own peril.

    By persecuting ethnic Chinese population within their own regions, they are not hurting China.

    In fact, they expose themselves to rely even more heavily upon the Chinese government in China.

    Of all the Asian nations, Singapore with the largest ethnic Chinese population by percentage outside of China, may be the most economically independent from China, because in a sense, it is “Chinese dealing with other Chinese”, not in a preferential sort of way, but rather, because Singapore has a thriving Chinese population, other ethnic Chinese can do business with Singapore, without relying too much upon the Chinese government.

    In contrast, if a Chinese person wants to do business in Indonesia, his risks are high, UNLESS he has the backing of the Chinese government.

    Why? Because if you are ethnic Chinese doing business in Indonesia, you will get pushed around, unless you have the backing of the Chinese government (preferably along with a Chinese passport as protection).

    The thing is, many Asian nations complain about China “bullying” them in various matters. But did they consider this when they targetted ethnic Chinese within their own borders as scapegoats?? No, they didn’t.

    Well, you push around ethnic Chinese around long enough, they learn quick enough that they will get bullied UNLESS they do business through the Chinese government. Not so much because they want to use the Chinese government to bully back, but because they have no other choice for survival.

    It is sort of the similar way historically why the Chinese people, in their 100’s of tribes, banded together.

    Our ancestors faced barbarians all around, and banded together for survival and common defense.

    They absorbed would-be conquerers, because all outside bullies eventually become reliant upon them for survival as well.

  6. JJ
    July 19th, 2011 at 19:57 | #6

    @ Charles Liu

    While it’s true that the Southerners are more pro-independence, they aren’t hostile to visiting Mainlanders. That incident was an outlier and should not be taken as the general sentiment.

    I’m currently in Kaohsiung right now and I’ve regularly seen and interacted with visiting Mainlanders and no one has openly tried to assault or berate them.

    In fact there are a lot of Mainlanders who visit Kaohsiung and leave with a great impression of how warm and nice the people are.

    There was even a recent article about this Mainland girl who came to Taiwan and was impressed the most by Kaohsiung because the people were so friendly towards her. And when her blog received a ton of traffic, she was personally invited back by the mayor.

  7. July 19th, 2011 at 21:05 | #7

    Like I have said, the hostility was mostly political shows. The average Taiwanese are just regular folks. Since you mentioned the blog of the mainland girl, the last time I read about her in the news was that she was banned from travelling to Taiwan for a while for “violating her visitation condition”, she is supposed to be on business trip not sight seeing all over Taiwan and writing blog about it. This is before the Taiwan authority allowed mainland tourists to travel without tour groups this year only. Again, action has to be taken against her because she has “broken the law” and politics required that she be punished.

  8. JJ
    July 24th, 2011 at 01:02 | #8


    Ha! Yeah, I’ve some people say the KMT was a little upset that she was praising Kaohsuing so much (a DPP stronghold).

    And since elections are coming up, “someone” might have done “something” so this would stop being news.

    Of course I’m not sure how valid this is but it does make for a funny (and disappointing) story.

  9. July 24th, 2011 at 09:31 | #9

    Basically, the multi-party politics in Taiwan have degenerated into a witch hunt which is very unhealthy for development of democracy in China. As some others have pointed out it is sort of a mini Cultural Revolution going on there.

  10. July 24th, 2011 at 13:12 | #10

    “Witch hunt”, or politically correct rhetorical doctrinal war, where each faction/party rally behind a catchy slogan and mudsling onto the other side, for power and influence.

    In reality, there are very little differences between the factions in terms of actual solutions, but the slogans become every thing, because power is the ultimate prize.

    The slogans amplifies the tiny differences, make small issues into things that “define presidencies”.

    One can step back and look at US the same way.

    For all the political rhetorics, what are the things that actually defined any of the recent presidents? Not much at all, except for the slogans.

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