Freedom of Speech: American Style
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An example of insidious slant
CAMW: Does the world need this kind of insidious illusion?!? It's maddening how our mainstream can give us this kind of treatment.
This is a prime example of a piece of propaganda by a mainstream media.
Via careful choices in words, the majority of the people in Taiwan who prefer eventual unification are called "pro-unification Right". The Dalai Lama's shrugging off of the nuns' request for equal rights is called "a healthy smile" and "metaphysical". The Dalai Lama's venturing into political discussion while he is in Taiwan is described as "true to form". What a way to gloss over how the Dalai Lama lied as he kept claiming his visit was "spiritual".
The bias in this article is amazing. Yet some truths are inadvertently revealed by this article.
The article states: "it's a good show of how ethnic Chinese and Tibetans get along well -- at least on this side of the strait".
Yes, the ethnic HAN and the ethnic TIBETAN get along just fine in Taiwan. The difference between Taiwan and the mainland China is the absence of communism. A fight against communism should not equate ethnic segregation.
Many Taiwanese presses had reported that while the Dalai Lama was in Taiwan, he met with over 700 Tibetans in a convention. The fact is Tibetans are everywhere in China, including Taiwan. During the meeting, the Dalai Lama even advised these Tibetans in Taiwan to not forget they are Tibetans. So why is it while the Dalai Lama speaks to the West, he will never admit Tibetans are all over China, including Taiwan?
But the article confuses "ethnic Chinese" with "ethnic Han". "Ethnic Chinese" consists of 56 ethnic groups, including Tibetans, Han, and 54 others. It is very inconsiderate to discount all other minorities as if they are not Chinese--as rude as discounting minority Americans as if they are not American.
An astute reader should take notice this article states that the former President Lee had greeted the Dalai Lama in a "Japanese guesthouse". What head of state would greet a guest in a "Japanese guesthouse"? There is indeed a reaon for this. It is common knowledge in Taiwan that Lee is a Japan-lover who disregards what being Chinese really means. But does this article describe the full truth?
Some of us here at CAMW are from Taiwan, and we are appalled by how articles like this one does not reveal the full truth to the American people.
Chen's "obstacles" are not the "persecution of Beijing nearly as much as the opposition to Chen within Taiwan. Check out the following quote from "Taiwan Independence, R. I. P." (antiwar.com) to see the truth:
"The TAIEX had plummeted to 5000 from a 52 week high of 11,000, for an entirely different set of reasons than the NASDAQ, leaving Taiwan's shareholders, mostly small, individual investors, poorer by half. A quarter of all manufacturing facilities on Taiwan had closed their doors forever, or were in the process of doing so. Laid off factory workers were committing suicide by running hoses from their exhaust pipes into their cars. Those too poor even to own cars were hanging themselves from the rafters. A-Bian's approval rating had plunged from a high of 80% upon his inauguration to a low of 35%. Voters who had cast their ballots for Chen were calling in to local TV talk shows to confess they regretted their choice.
Billionaire industrialist Wang Yung-ching, CEO of Formosa Plastics, a "native" Taiwanese Horatio Alger revered by millions as "The God of Enterprise," was demanding that A-Bian immediately acknowledge the "One China Principle" and open "Three Links" to the Chinese mainland ASAP, or else Taiwan's economy would be done for within three years. "We're all Chinese on both sides of the Strait after all," Wang affirmed, "what's the problem?" "The Lee Period was not as good as the Chiang Ching-kuo Era," Wang added for good measure, "and the Chen Period is even worse than the Lee Period."
Please check out this quote from "The Case Against Taiwan Independence" (Antiwar.com):
"Taiwan independence advocates comprise a piddling 10% to 15% of Taiwan's population. Since Chen Shui-bian's inauguration, on air polls conducted by the major prime time TV talk shows reveal public sentiment against Taiwan independence running as high as 10 to 1, and never less than 7 to 1."
Now we present to you what Time Asia would like the world to think:
Monday, April 16, 2001
"You Will Run Into Many Obstacles as President."
This was the warning Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian got from the Dalai Lama, another leader persecuted by Beijing
BY MACABE KELIHER TAIWAN
Thursday, Apr. 5, 2001 The Dalai Lama's in town. And all things considered, it's a good show of how ethnic Chinese and Tibetans get along well -- at least on this side of the strait -- despite Beijing's insistence on natural animosity.
As expected, Beijing tried to crash the party with its usual criticism: the exiled spiritual leader was "conspiring with Taiwan separatists." And on the local streets, protesters from Taiwan's pro-unification Right scuffled with the pro-independence Left outside the Dalai Lama's hotel. But there were no pugilists this year; only pushing and yelling as everyone from opposition leader Lien Chan to Buddhist nuns took every opportunity of this high-profile visit to show goodwill, and shout louder than the next special interest group.
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government gave the controversial head of state an official entry into Taiwan, letting him and his red-robed coterie come into the country through the airport gate reserved for "national guests." This was better than forcing them through the immigration lines as the previous administration did during the Dalai Lama's first trip in 1997. Given that welcome, Chen was sure to meet the unofficial state guest in the presidential palace instead of the low profile Japanese guesthouse former President Lee Tung-hui confined their meeting to in 1997.
"At 16, Dalai Lama can become a leader of the Tibetan people, so at 50 why can't I be a leader?" a jittery Chen told the spectacled lama, in response to criticism by others of his youth and inexperience. Likewise, Vice President Annette Lu had her moment on stage with the Dalai Lama, using it to lash out at Beijing's threats; while the opposition's "moving" meeting with the Tibetan leader was also less than spiritual as Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan criticized the DPP for all the country's problems.
For all their efforts, the Dalai Lama gave them a good spiritual response. "Suffering, like happiness, is temporary," he told them. Even the group of Buddhists asking for reforms in Tibetan Buddhism -- that would give nuns the same rights as monks (something that took place 50 years ago in Taiwanese Buddhism) -- got a healthy smile and a metaphysical, if not ambiguous reply.
But true to form the Dalai Lama stepped beyond the confines of his "purely religious visit" to talk about democracy and human rights --supporting the voice of Taiwanese and emphasizing his hopes for a plebiscite in Tibet, not independence as Beijing irrationally maintains. "I'm glad you share my position that Taiwan's destiny should be up to its people to decide," Chen told the Dalai Lama during their hour-long meeting. "You will run into many obstacles as President," the Dalai Lama responded.
From one leader persecuted by Beijing to another, these are the true words of wisdom!
CAMW: The author's gushing about "wisdom" aside, Chen's obstable is not Beijing, but the people of Taiwan. While 85% of the population in Taiwan are ethnic Taiwanese, Chen had won the election on 39% of the votes. This means an overwhelming percentage of the ethnic Taiwanese did not vote for him.