Friday, November 7, 2008

Now that Chen's gone...

I haven't said anything about the fraught visit of Chen Yunlin because, frankly, I've been working my butt off and haven't had the time to go see the protests - or lack thereof - for myself. I did notice as I rode the MRT past Jiantan that the Grand Hotel looks as though it's under siege - some fortresses aren't so well-protected.

I've also had little to say because the other blogs (notably David on Formosa) have captured my own sentiments already. I'm not sure if this is another White Terror, but there is definitely cause for concern.

We'll see what happens now that Chen has departed. One can hope that the martial law mentality will depart with him.

What concerns me more is the reaction of most Taiwanese people I talk to. They're "angry and sad" but nobody wants to do anything. They're upset, especially with Ma - (some of these are translated from Chinese and I'm not totally fluent so bear with me) -

"He doesn't know how to govern."

"We put our faith in him and now look how he acts."

"Taiwan wants to be separate from China but they're acting the same way!"

"He can't make a balance. When Zhang Mingqing was pushed he didn't provide adequate protection for his visit, and now he's going totally overboard with Chen Yunlin."

Not even one person I've spoken to supports the Ma administration's action, but nobody is doing anything. Why isn't there more of a public outcry among the Taiwanese about this? Where are those 600,000 people now that there is someone to protest in front of? Are they that afraid that they'll be rounded up and arrested, like in the old days?


Aside from the protesters - who from all reports seem to be a smaller and calmer crowd than in the recent marches - everyone is staying home, living life as usual, and pretending that it's just not a problem (or acknowledging that it is and doing nothing).

What gives?

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