Showing posts with label reuters_fucking_sucks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reuters_fucking_sucks. Show all posts

Friday, September 8, 2017

Taiwanese premier Lin Chuan resigns amid Earth orbiting Sun

TAIPEI, THE FULLY INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC NATION OF TAIWAN, MOFOS — Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen appointed a new premier seen as willing to live within the rules of the physical universe amid planets moving in their correct and predicted orbit and everything being normal in the universe. 

"This was a planned transfer of power between Premier Lin, whose position had always been temporary, as was known by everyone involved, including Lin himself," noted President Tsai. "Seriously, if you pay any attention to Taiwan at all you would know that. Come on guys."

President Tsai Ing-wen named Tainan mayor Lai Ching-te as the new premier. As everyone who pays attention has always known would happen, Lin had asked  to leave the post before local elections next year due to a professed and well-known desire to avoid electoral politics.

Amid this entirely predicted, and in fact planned, change, gravity continues to work as it always has. Things that can be known simply by being engaged in Taiwanese current affairs were, as usual, known.

Since taking office in 2016, Taiwan's behemoth neighbor, China, has been aggressive and demanding vis-a-vis cross-Strait relations, used the well-worn rules of checkbook diplomacy to take two of Taiwan's largely symbolic diplomatic allies and largely acted petulant and childish.

In other words, the sky is blue, the sun shines, the rivers flow and the spheres are in alignment. 

Although President Tsai faces challenges both domestically and internationally, including her democratic island nation being situated next to a large, problem-causing nation intent on annexing Taiwan abroad, as well as issues regarding labor, the opposition KMT and other issues at home, none of these are reflected in the transfer of power from Lin to Lai. 

"While it is newsworthy that Lin has stepped down and Lai will take his place, and Lai's future in Taiwanese politics merits substantive discussion," said noted Taiwan expert ANYONE WHO PAYS GODDAMN ATTENTION, "the truth is that relations with China have always been tense. Appointing a new premier - especially when a change in premiership had been expected from the beginning, has nothing to do with it. The premiership is a typically rocky position with many replacements - few premiers last through a president's entire term," she added.

"The only real question," Ms. PAYS GODDAMN ATTENTION added, "is why on Earth so many journalists who cover Taiwan don't pay any goddamn attention. Do major news outlets purposely hire and accept submissions from the least-informed sources? Why is almost nobody in the international media ever simply accurate, and why don't they hire someone who knows what they're talking about to write these articles?"

Taiwan analyst Fichael Furton agreed with ANYONE WHO PAYS GODDAMN ATTENTION and added, "does Tsai give Taiwan the sadz? Not really: a poll just released shows wide public support for the policies of the DPP, whatever her approval ratings. Given the unreliability of local polls, your mileage may vary... and lets not forget, the last reliable poll, from TISR, had her at 34.6% in October of 2016, perfectly normal for a Taiwan president. That means that she's been stable for almost the last year in the high twenties to mid thirties, again normal."

Questions of China's reaction to a fundamentally and openly pro-independence premier - whom it makes little sense to choose if the real issue is China - as well as Taiwan's status following some sort of split in 1949 that isn't relevant and was never about Taiwan, along with Beijing's regarding of Taiwan as a "renegade province" still hang heavy among media workers, hangers-on, China-based reporters who think they know Taiwan but don't, people who hate Taiwan but still report on it for some reason, news organizations afraid of angering Beijing, the Gell-Mann Effect and Dr. Some White Guy Who Is An Expert on China. 

"They can think that if they want," concluded Ms. PAYS GODDAMN ATTENTION. "Although it's worrisome vis-a-vis Taiwan's international image, when it comes to Taiwan itself, nobody who actually knows anything about this country cares what they think. All they are doing is making themselves look bad."
That is to say, living things follow the natural order of being born and then dying, clouds are in the sky and dirt is on the ground, plants continue to use photosynthesis to create energy, we are all going to die someday, and in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

China is not the problem - we are

Another day, another instance of China being awful.

(And I hope by now you all know that when I say "China", I mean "the CCP" or "the Chinese government". Countries can't be good or bad, but governments certainly can be).

This time, they demanded that Cambridge University Press (CUP) delete around 300 articles in China, so scholars within China would not be able to access them. Essentially, telling them that they must block access to academics, who now cannot operate in China with a full bevy of information.

I don't even need to say why this is a problem. If you are only permitted to read, know and say certain things to appease an authority, you cannot work within true academia. It is simply not possible; the two things cannot co-exist. Either you have academic freedom and access, and as such may be an academic, or you don't, and therefore can't. Scholars in China (I'm not quite ready to call them "would-be scholars", but give me a few years) are now fed a "sanitized", Party-approved view of their country rather than the truth - and the two are quite different indeed.

I have said in the past that I don't know how one could even seriously study many of the humanities in China. Certainly history would not be possible. Now, the situation is much more dire.

But you know what? Imma say it.

China is not the problem.

We are the problem.

We - the West, not-China, CUP, everyone else who does what China orders them to do - are the problem precisely because we listen.

Haters gonna hate, Qyburn gonna Qyburn, and China gonna China. You can't expect anything else from a government such as this. You know the old advice column adage that you cannot change others, only your response to their behavior? And that often, the problem is that you are enabling or validating their behavior by tolerating it? That your horrible relative is not the problem so much as that you still listen to that horrible relative, or, even worse, expect that horrible relative will miraculously start acting better than they always have?

That's what we're doing. We're making excuses for an abusive entity. We're enabling China. They (the CCP) are going to do this, that's just how they are. They are the horrible relative or toxic co-worker. You wouldn't attend a Nazi rally if your racist aunt told you to, and you wouldn't hand over the reins of a project you love just because your narcissistic coworker demanded to be put in charge, so why would you (generic "you") get a demand from shitty, toxic, horrible China and actually do it?

CUP was ordered to make those articles unavailable in China. CUP is the problem, because they actually did so. Regardless of the origins of "Chinese Taipei" and Taiwan's participation in international sporting events, at this point in time the IOC and other international sports bodies are "forced" use "Chinese Taipei" because China insists on it. The IOC (and others) are the problem, because they actually do so.

Reuters - which sucks by the way - publishes reams of pro-China nonsense because they are afraid of the CCP (yes, I do believe that this is the reason). The CCP is not the problem - they are what they are - Reuters is, for letting fear of being banned in China guide their editorial line.

Every time we do what the CCP demands, we are the problem. Every time we don't stand up to them, that's on us. No, there are no excuses. Either you do the right thing, or you don't. Either you are a trustworthy news or academic source, or you're not.

It is quite clear that China's mid-term goal is to control how every other country interacts with China, and to control its message to such a degree that everyone around the world is essentially made to accept a CCP view of China and its history. It is also quite clear that their long-term goal is likely to control not only how we interact with China, but also how the world works. They are happy doing away with true academic freedom in China for now, but someday they will want to do away with it everywhere. They're happy to insist on their version of Chinese history and politics in China now (and only encourage it elsewhere), but their ultimate goal is to get everyone in the world to believe it because they don't know any better. They are happy now to make demands on organizations like Google, CUP and the IOC (and Reuters, though perhaps through being more scary than directly threatening) and more for now, but ultimately they want final say over all content they don't like.

They are satisfied to force the continued use of "Chinese Taipei" on Taiwan, but eventually, we will all be, in some form or other, metaphorically speaking, "Chinese Taipei"-ified.

And it will be our fault, because we listened and obeyed.

Shame on you, CUP, and everyone who listens to the toxic demands of the Communist Party of Chinai

Saturday, May 20, 2017

What even is this nonsense from Reuters again

Seriously, Reuters, what is your problem? 

This fistful of garbage was linked to by a friend for some reason, and I feel like it's worth taking ten minutes to conduct a quick review of how to spot anti-Taiwan bias (or "who cares about Taiwan" bias), something that pervades huge swaths of the media. 

Let's take a look, and laugh together.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is signaling she needs more give and take from China to rein in hardliners on an island China considers its own, officials say, but Beijing is unlikely to budge months before its five-yearly Communist Party Congress.


Wanting your country which is already independent to continue to be that way without the threat of war is not a hard-line stance. Not that many of us want a formal declaration of independence right now (well, I do, but I know I can't have it and I've made my peace with that). We know it's impossible for the time being, but are working toward it happening, peacefully, someday. How does this equate to being a 'hardliner'?

But Beijing is "unlikely to budge" - they are not "hardliners" though, because...


As she marks one year in office on Saturday, Tsai, leader of the ruling independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is facing a surge in anti-China sentiment amid pressure from Beijing on the proudly democratic island to bow to its "one China" policy.

1.) It's not "anti-China" sentiment, it's "pro-Taiwan" sentiment. Not wanting your country to be annexed by an aggressive neighbor doesn't make you "anti" that country, or rather, doesn't make you that any more than is reasonable. If the US up and decided that it was just going to take over Canada tomorrow, the Canadians who didn't want that to happen would not be "anti-US". This entire way of writing makes Taiwanese who simply love their country - in an engaged and informed way, not a jingoistic one - seem like the bad guys, and annexation seem like the reasonable move. As though wanting to keep a reasonably successful and mature democracy with the human rights and freedoms that entails rather than be subsumed against one's will by a dictatorship that regularly tortures, terrorizes and deprives its citizens makes one, well, a "hardliner". What? Seriously...what? 

2.) Not even a twinge of criticism or even a deeper look into what it means for China to pressure another country to bow to it? I thought we left behind the idea of tributary states in the colonial era, but I guess not

It is becoming more difficult to hold the line against independence-minded constituents and even tougher for Tsai to offer concessions to Beijing, one senior government official told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

Why should Tsai have to offer 'concessions' to a country that IS TRYING TO TAKE OVER HER COUNTRY AND ISN'T EVEN HIDING THAT FACT??


"President Tsai's attitude is that she is very determined to maintain the status quo of democracy and cross-Strait relations," the official said, referring to the body of water separating the two sides.

Wait, did JR Wu just mansplain to us what the Taiwan Strait is? Or what 'strait' means? Really? 

China has claimed Taiwan as its own since defeated Nationalists fled to the island in 1949 after losing a civil war with the Communists. Only a handful of countries recognize Taiwan as a country, making it ineligible, for instance, for membership of UN organizations.

While this is an improvement over the old-school nonsense "China and Taiwan separated in 1949" phrasing, it still makes it sound as though Taiwan had been Chinese before the KMT fled there. Which, if you read like even one freakin' book on Taiwan - just one, really - you will know is not the case. 

In recent weeks, Tsai has given a series of interviews after a half-year break and taken to Twitter to talk about Taiwan being shut out of a UN health meeting and made her first extensive comments on the detention of a Taiwan activist in China.

OK, so Confucius McDoorknob here can't even bring himself to call Lee Ming-che a Taiwanese activist. He has to be a Taiwan activist. Being Taiwanese is not a thing, apparently? 

At least 70 percent of Taiwanese do not accept the "one China" policy, with 58.4 percent blaming Beijing as being the more provocative of the two since Tsai took office on May 20 last year, according to a poll by the Cross-Strait Policy Association, which is comprised of prominent academics and bipartisan figures.

It's hard to pinpoint the exact problem in wording here, but the implication one gets from the paragraph taken as a whole is that it is somehow a problem or a negative thing that the Taiwanese do not "accept" a policy that aims to annex their country, that their own government doesn't sincerely espouse, that is being forced on them by a foreign entity. It would, again, be like saying "at least 70% of Canadians do not accept the US's One-America policy" without critiquing that statement, thereby implying that this number is somehow worryingly high rather than showing a majority of people are reasonable and prescient. If anything, this number is lower than I'd like to see.

I would have to look into this, but you can't be more specific than "at least 70%"? Why not?

Maybe my uneasiness at this paragraph is enhanced by what directly follows it: 

"My concern right now is that on some level of cross-Strait relations, a collision is about to begin," said Fan Shih-ping, an association member and a political science professor at National Taiwan Normal University.

Oh, there will be a collision most likely. All we can hope for is that it doesn't result in all-out war. But putting this here draws a direct line in the reader's mind from that "at least 70%" of Taiwanese who won't accept that big ol' dickful of annexationist nonsense that China is trying to cram in their mouth to this "collision", implying it is their fault for not wanting to be annexed and therefore being, to quote Wu again, "anti-China". No attempt at all to explore who the real antagonist here is (SPOILER ALERT IT'S CHINA). 

A spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office said last week everything wrong with the current relations could be blamed on the DPP and its refusal to accept "one China".
"No matter what new flowery language the DPP comes up with, it can't shift its responsibility for this reality," spokesman An Fengshan said.

No attempt to critique this? None? Not even a few words to deconstruct what An Fengshan is saying? Tearing apart pro-Taiwan sentiment but silently accepting Chinese annexationism?

It was 10 days before Beijing confirmed Li had been detained for security reasons, but so far it has not disclosed Li's whereabouts and last month canceled his wife's visa to stop her from going to China to look for him.

Not even one word on the very clear truth that these "security reasons" are likely bogus, or even an implication that they may be? 

Tsai has said both sides should look for a "new model" for ties but has not defined it, a senior DPP official said, mainly to show Beijing she is open to ideas.
"I hope Chairman Xi Jinping, as a leader of a large country and who sees himself as a leader, can show a pattern and flexibility, use a different angle to look at cross-Strait relations, and allow the future of cross-Strait ties to have a different kind of pattern," Tsai told Reuters in an interview last month.
China's biggest fear is that Tsai does something rash, like call an independence referendum, said a Beijing-based Western diplomat. That would give the hardliners in the Chinese military an upper hand for a forceful response, he added.

AAAAAHHHHH Tsai CAN'T "define" this new model because no matter what she says China will insist the problem is that Taiwan is being recalcitrant. It doesn't matter. China will always blame Taiwan for China's own aggression. She has to keep it vague, China is forcing her to. 

And not even one bit of inquiry into the unlikelihood of Tsai - who is the least 'rash' leader I've ever seen, she's a brick, not a typhoon - doing something 'rash'? Implying that she very well may?

China has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.

So you're just going to report that without questioning it, without investigating it, without critiquing it? It's not that it's untrue, it's that the media takes it at face value without reporting to the public all that it implies, e.g. that China is quite literally threatening to violently annex another sovereign state, and that nobody seems to be calling them on that. In fact, they are a country that wants to be seen as a major global power - if not the major global power - and yet they think this sort of behavior and rhetoric is acceptable. This portends a massive shift in what we consider the values of developed/leading countries, and what it means to be a superpower and steward on a global scale. This quite literally means that an ascendant China shifts our entire moral compass, on a worldwide scale, away from democracy, freedom, human rights, peace through diplomacy and respect for territorial sovereignty. HOW IS THIS NOT FUCKING TERRIFYING and yet you are not even asking the question let alone attempting to answer it. It's just taken as normal and that is even more terrifying. 

Tsai and the DPP understand that before China's party congress in the autumn, Chinese President Xi won't be able to offer breakthroughs in ties even if he wanted to, Taiwan sources say.

Not a peep about how Xi's "inability" to "offer" breakthroughs is indicative of a horrifying level of dysfunctionality at the highest levels of government in China? Again, to remind you, a country that wants to set the standard for what it means to be a world leader? Do you not even want to engage with what this means?

Did you take two seconds to compare the picture you painted of Tsai and the Taiwanese majority - "hardliners", "might do something rash", "anti-China sentiment" - who are quite peaceful, not rash, and not trying to take over another country or start a war, with how you painted Xi Jinping and the CCP, who are trying to take over another country and very well may start a war? If Xi "can't offer a breakthrough", then he is dealing with hardliners, and not ruling out the use of force means they might do something rash, and they are absolutely anti-Taiwan, but you never say that. You give them a pass, while Taiwan over here is just trying to keep the peace and not get a thousand missiles launched right up its ass while maintaining its territorial integrity like any other country, and you make them sound like complete nutjobs.

A journalist's job is not only to report the facts, but to consider carefully the implications of those facts and report situations as accurately as possible, even if this does not mean two sides get equal airing of their views. You are not only not doing this, you are doing the opposite of this.

This is your job. It shouldn't be, but for now it is.

Do your job better. 

One foreign representative based in Taipei said the party congress and how ties develop between China and the United States, Taiwan's most important political ally, were variables Tsai could not control.
"She's got to map out all the pressure points and try to mitigate them," he said.

So, like, we're not criticizing Xi for being "unable" to do anything for Taiwan when China is the aggressor in the first place, but we are talking about how this is all on Tsai, when Taiwan is the country under threat?

Did anyone - anyone at all - from the writer to the editor to the copyeditor to the guy who pressed the key to publish this trash heap stop to think for one second what this sounds like?

Christ, Reuters.

You suck and I hate you.

And you folks reading at home, this is what I mean when I say the media is biased against Taiwan and terrified of China. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Diamond Conflict! (Also, fuck you Reuters)

What Reuters, and the Australian hosts of this conference, need to grow.

Better yet, grow some vaginas. Everyone knows they are stronger and more able to withstand pressure than these sensitive globules. 

As you may have heard, a delegation from China acted like a bunch of big whiny babies (with representatives from several African countries that no doubt receive plenty of aid from China supporting them), insisting that the Taiwan delegation be removed from an inter-governmental conference on combating the problem of conflict diamonds.

After a few private meetings, the Australian hosts did, in fact, kick the Taiwan delegation out, because they clearly lack the vagina to stand up to a bully.

I don't have a lot to say about this that was not already covered by other news outlets, but I would like to offer a run-down of articles to make a point:

ABC Australia: it's "regrettable"
Foreign Policy: Chinese delegation "blows up"
Sydney Morning Herald: "Disgusting" and "extraordinary" scenes
BBC: Chinese delegates "hijack mic" / "It's disgusting" (though their use of "reunited" when discussign what China wants to do to Taiwan, and not digging further into the Chinese consulate's nonsense word garbage doesn't redeem them)
The Telegraph: Chinese delegates disrupt forum

...and more. 

And of course a host of Taiwan- and Asia-centric sources, including Taiwan Sentinel and The News Lens (and others) also covered the story.

Only Reuters, as they so often do, hands out some verbal blowjobs to China by saying China and Taiwan "sparred" at the meeting.

Which, of course, they did not. Chinese delegates acted like shitty little assmongers, and Taiwan was kicked out. That is not "sparring", fuck you Reuters.

And over an anti-conflict diamond meeting - is there no low to which the Chinese government and its hand-jobbers are not willing to sink?

But there's a bright side to this. No really, there is.

For once, China is getting the bad publicity its shitty attitude deserves.

Remember when China blocked Taiwan from an international aviation conference in Canada like a bunch of butthurt fuckboys? If you weren't in Taiwan or reading Taiwanese news sources, you might not, because few reported on it.

Remember when Taiwan was made to call itself "Chinese Taipei" at major international sporting events, and how everyone made excuses for how it "had" to be this way?

Remember when Taiwan was actually blocked from the WHO, meaning it could not share useful health information even in epidemics like SARS?

Remember how everyone sat back and fucking took it? Remember how people who didn't know Taiwan said it was either 'inevitable' or made excuses for why it was actually acceptable?

Remember when Tsai and Trump talked on the phone and the world lost its shit, because people who don't know Taiwan consistently talk down to its people and government, or make excuses for China's bitch-baby tantrums?

Well, for once, China throws its stupid conniption yet again, but this time, to some extent at least, they finally get called on it.  Not by the Australian hosts, but by the international media (except Reuters: fuck you Reuters).

We need more of this. We need the media to consistently and correctly call out China's assy behavior. We need it to be international - we need to show the world what the Chinese government really is and how they really treat Taiwan. No more excuses, no more explanations, no more condescension and vague cover-ups and garbage words. What we need is unvarnished truth: China is consistently and predictably a dick to Taiwan in every conceivable way, no matter how petty, no matter how it makes them look.

It's time the world finally saw that and stopped making excuses.

Good job, media.

Except Reuters.

Fuck you, Reuters.