Saturday, May 3, 2014


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But you don't understand! Taiwan is small and China is big. If you understood this complex issue and also the Chinese idea of what constitutes a nation and Chinese 5000 years of culture, you'd agree with me because the government says One China.

Ever heard of mansplaining? I hope so. And I know the (condescending talker + -splain suffix) meme has probably run its course, but before it goes completely, I want to offer up one more verb to add to the -splain lexicon - bluesplaining.

Bluesplaining is when KMT members and supporters (not all supporters, just as not all men mansplain) talk down to people with different viewpoints, condescend to them, explain obvious facts (and invent non-facts to explain as facts) and basically get paternalistic whenever someone posits a viewpoint that doesn't go along with the KMT's preferred narrative.

Note: in China, the subset of Chinese citizens who have been taken in by CCP propaganda do the same thing regarding viewpoints on China. Pretty sure the KMT just stole their game.

A few examples of the true meaning behind a lot of what these public figures say:

Student Leaders Are Very Naughty Boys - this guy's bluesplaining takes the form of "The students disrespected their elders. Their elders want to keep Taiwan safe and strong. They should respect their elders. If you don't think these statesmen have Taiwan's best interests at heart then  you don't understand the complex issue because you are a stupid silly youngster."

Then there's the KMT on nuclear power - where the bluesplaining sounds more like this: "You don't think that's a good idea because you don't understand the most important issues. Of course it is a good idea because we want to keep Taiwan strong and the only way to keep Taiwan strong is to do this idea, which will keep Taiwan strong because it will."

Then there's the KMT on "being orderly" -  "be orderly so we can continue to ignore you, and don't get upset that we are ignoring you. That's our right because we know what's best for Taiwan because we do and if you don't like it, you are wrong."

"We need to turn Taiwan from a troublemaker into a peacemaker by nurturing reconciliation across the Taiwan Strait" basically reads as "DPP nationalism is dangerous. If you don't support the ROC, you are a dangerous Hoklo nationalist troublemaker. Only those who understand that Taiwan is Chinese truly understand the complex issues facing Taiwan. Anyone who disagrees is a troublemaker. Troublemakers! Why do you always make trouble?"

Banyan is a consummate bluesplainer - this whole piece reads as - "But don't you understand that Taiwan needs a strong economy? You see, if we don't sign this deal with China, Taiwan will have a weak economy, and we need a strong economy because the economy" with a dose of "If you think differently, that's because you're a vagrant, a truant, a troublemaker or a moron. You see, Taiwan is really the ROC, which is a part of China because everyone agrees that there is one China."

Reported on by Frozen Garlic"You are hurting Taiwan and mothers because you insist that the government should practice due process and serve the people. Don't you realize that the government has your best interests at heart, and so by doing this you're hurting your mother? You don't want to hurt your mother, do you?"

"To counter this, the KMT and the Executive Yuan (EY) have both announced they will soon establish “new media” units to counter “disinformation” circulating on the Internet and provide “correct” government information using the social networks that served as the principal means of communication for the Sunflower Movement." - that basically reads as ""You don't understand this complex issue. You see, not all Taiwanese think the way you do. The Taiwanese think the way I do" (all of them apparently). "That's why Taiwan will do what I think Taiwan will do" or maybe more simply,"Taiwan should embrace closer ties with China because that's what I want and people who don't want it are wrong."

I could find more maybe I'll add them in here as I come across them, but instead I'll just type out how I generally hear bluesplaining going down:

"If we get on the right path with China, we can all realize our dream and the best outcome of peaceful reunification with the motherland, which is what everyone wants except idiots."

"You don't think Taiwan should reunite with China because you don't understand the Chinese concept of what a nation is or the concept of the Chinese people as a whole." (if said to a foreigner, they may add "this is because you don't understand our 5000 years of culture.")

"You don't understand. You see, Taiwan is small and China is big."

"Let me explain - both sides" (both governments, not both sides full of people) "say that there is one China, so there is no support at all for an independent Taiwan."

"The government says that the ROC flag should be the flag of Taiwan, and so everyone agrees that it is and nobody disagrees."

"Hong Kong has more money now, and so Taiwan should do what Hong Kong did. If you think that will lower quality of life, then you don't understand that I can make money. Don't you want me to make money?"

"You don't understand. Let me explain that China is big, and China said that Taiwan can only be in the Olympics if they use this flag, so the people think that's fine, because China is big, and it's the Olympics, so we have to use this flag because Olympics and China."

"No, you can't say that there is a lot of support for independence in Taiwan because most people want to maintain the status quo and if you posit that if there was no threat from China that they would want independence, you're wrong because I want you to be wrong. Anyway there is a threat from China so you shouldn't talk about that. Instead we should all cower in fear. If you think we shouldn't, then you don't understand this complex issue."

"But Taiwan has been considered a part of China since antiquity and our 5000 years of culture and Confucius and the Taiwanese are all very proud of their Chinese heritage and they all know they are Chinese so why are you talking about Taiwan as though its different? 

"Many Chinese say Taiwan is a part of China, therefore it is."

"I met a Chinese guy once who said that Taiwan was just like China with its traditions preserved, therefore Taiwan and China are inseparable."

"The US shouldn't support Taiwan because Taiwan is small and China is big so of course the USA should support China."

"The Sunflower Movement doesn't have a lot of support because I said so, and they are saying a lot of untrue things because I want them to be untrue, and you should ignore the media polls that say otherwise because they do not support my views."

"You are dreaming. This is reality. We have to be realistic if we want to face reality."

"No, let me explain to you. People only care about the economy in Taiwan because I only care about the economy in Taiwan and three people told me that, and one of them was a taxi driver, so it's true."

"Why are you arguing with me? Don't talk about politics! I want to keep it fair and balanced by presenting my viewpoint as fact and if you have a problem with that then you are bringing politics into the discussion."

"The opposition doesn't have a good plan to fix the economy, therefore we have a good plan, because it's a plan and we have it. If you don't agree, then you don't understand."


Eileen said...

"Note: in China, the subset of Chinese citizens who have been taken in by CCP propaganda do the same thing regarding viewpoints on China. Pretty sure the KMT just stole their game."

(nods) Yess. Dead on. My husband is working in China who is Taiwanese and his Chinese co-workers deeply believe their opinions on Taiwan is way more important than his...when they find out he doesn't agree with their agenda. ;) One co-worker argued with my husband saying how he feels is "irrelevant."

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

Ugh - that's awful. And what's funny about it is that if anyone's view is "irrelevant", it's those of the Chinese citizens pontificating on Taiwan. They're not Taiwanese - their views on Taiwan are about as relevant as my views on what Lebanon should do vis-a-vis foreign policy because I have a few Armenian relatives who went to Lebanon when they left Turkey, although I ended up in the USA.

Mike Fagan said...

When I was in Edinburgh I argued about Taiwan with my two Chinese friends a few times. They focused on identity and talked about the Chinese landscape and great food and so on and would ask "why don't they want to be part of this?" as if Taiwanese independence was a personal insult.

One thing I found was that when I put the point of Taiwanese independence in terms of relative safety from the stupidity of CCP political control, they relaxed a bit - as neither of them were shy about criticizing various CCP policies they viewed as "dogshit".

Eileen said...

"re: an earlier comment – it’s true that there is propaganda everywhere, but the propaganda unleashed by the CCP is several orders of magnitude worse – and more preposterous – than propaganda in many countries.

I don’t think it’s right to judge China from reading one news article, but I will not pretend that their government propaganda isn’t a huge problem."

Uhh, just so you know I was talking about the incident with my Taiwanese husband (see earlier comment I wrote you on here). I was talking about the CCP. Just so you know. I just didn't want to make it that obvious because of trolls on the site. I always have to say, "but it's everywhere," because everybody has their panties in a twist or accusing me of "Anti-China."

I repeat: My husband is not Chinese National. I was talking about his experiences while living in China. Thank you!