Monday, July 20, 2015

The WSJ's Taiwan Coverage Is Bad And They Should Feel Bad

I could be writing about lots of things - I never blogged our trip to Taidong and the East Rift Valley, nor have I updated my Indian food post with reviews of Khana Khazana and Sagar Indian. I could be adding Fuzhou Hill to "day hikes in Taipei when you woke up late". But oooooohhhh NOOOOO. We can't have that when there is shitty journalism to tear apart.

Instead, Josh Chin and his fucking terrible WSJ article/blog post have got me so riled up that I have to rant about that instead. So thanks, Josh, for ruining my flow. For interrupting my qi or whatever. For writing a steaming piece of crap.

Granted, the subheading is not bad: China is in denial about its alienation of Taiwan and needs to rethink its approach to the island, the top official in charge of managing Taipei’s relationship with Beijing said on Friday.

So far so good. But then:

The comments from Mr. Hsia, delivered in a conversation with The Wall Street Journal in New York, show how mainland China’s declining image in Taiwan has complicated relations ahead of the island’s presidential elections, whose outcome could frustrate Beijing’s desire for closer ties.

No, Beijing does not just want "closer ties". Beijing wants to TAKE OVER Taiwan. True, but misleading as it doesn't mention China's end goal, which is of the utmost importance.

Relations between Taiwan and China have long been fraught; the two sides split in 1949 following a civil war.

NO THEY DID NOT JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. The KMT and the Communists split in 1949, that happened in China (and the war started before that anyhow so it's a weird definition of "split"). If you were to write that the ROC, which currently occupies/governs (depending on how you want to look at it) and the PRC split, sure. But "Taiwan" and "China" did not split in 1949 as Taiwan was not a part of China at that time - it was a territory of Japan. It was distinctly not Chinese to begin with at that time, so how could it have possibly "split"?

Student protesters opposed to a trade pact with Beijing took over Taiwan’s main legislative chamber last year.

The protesters were not "opposed to the trade pact", they were opposed to the purposely "black box" back-room dealings that brought it about. They weren't fans of the pact for sure, but how could anyone be opposed to it or not, in full, as nobody was allowed to actually know what was in it? And they weren't all students.

A poll conducted by National Chengchi University shortly after the elections showed 23% of Taiwanese people supported independence for the island, the highest level since polling began in 1992. The number of people identifying themselves solely as Taiwanese, as opposed to Chinese, also set at new high at 60.6%.

That only counts people who call for independence immediately. If you count people who feel the status quo should lead to independence that number jumps considerably. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that number, the one that is a more accurate gauge of Taiwan's current political climate, somewhere above 50%? To quote the lower number but not the higher is almost purposely obfuscatory. Or maybe it's actually obfuscatory.

And 60.6%? True, but citing only that fact and not the one that shows that something like 90+% of Taiwanese view themselves primarily as Taiwanese, again paints an inaccurate picture. To the point of it being "truthy" rather than true. 
Despite that, Mr. Hsia said, Beijing has continued to act in ways that irritate people and officials in Taiwan.

"Despite" what? That implies the numbers above are favorable to China, and they are not.
The KMT is expected on Sunday to confirm Hung Hsiu-chu, an outspoken former teacher, as its candidate to take on Tsai Ying-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party in presidential elections next fall. Ms. Tsai, who is widely favored to win in polls, has said she favors maintaining the “status quo” with China. It’s a position shared by most Taiwanese, according to government polls.

Tsai Ying-wen and the majority of Taiwanese do favor maintaining the status quo, but this is another bit of truthiness, as both Tsai and a majority of Taiwanese want that status quo to eventually evolve into independence. Leaving that part out leaves out an important part of the equation and shows the majority viewpoint in Taiwan in an inaccurate light.
“If you truly wanted to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people, make a good example in Hong Kong. Obviously it’s not helping,” he said.
This implies that it is possible to "win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people" to the point that they would actually allow you to take over their country.

And that is not going to happen. I'm not sure it's possible. Why imply that the impossible can be accomplished?

Oh...and don't read the comments.

So, thanks Mr. Chin for writing a "status quo let's not anger China" pile of dung. You probably thought you were being provocative of China by writing this. But, as usual, your rag got the situation in Taiwan all wrong. Again.

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