Follow by Email

Saturday, February 11, 2012

For Greater China

This is dedicated to the anonymous commenter on my previous post, Mental forecast: cloudy, with a chance of resignation:

From today's edition of the Taipei Times newspaper (Makiyo, friend charged with assaulting driver):

Earlier in the day, a group of about 20 members of the National Taxi Drivers Union submitted a protest letter to the Interchange Association, Japan 財団法人交流協会, in Taipei, asking the association, which serves as the de facto embassy in the absence of official diplomatic ties, to apologize to the nation “for the tensions” caused by the dispute.

Union chief of staff Kuo Ya-hsiung (郭雅雄) said the incident had dragged on for so long and that none of the alleged perpetrators were telling the truth.

“We want dignity! We want the truth!” the protesters shouted, holding banners that said: “Find the truth” and “Violent Japanese drinkers not welcome in Taiwan.”

Although Lin’s case was an isolated incident, Japan’s representative association should say something about a Japanese national beating up a Taiwanese in his own country, said Cheng Chuan-yi (鄭釧義), an executive committee member of the taxi drivers’ association.

“They [the association] should apologize to Taiwanese and Mr Lin to help ease tensions between the two countries [caused by the incident],” Kuo said.

If this isn't xenophobia, then I don't know what is. This reminds of the incident last year in which my scooter was hit by a female scooter rider speeding through a red light, who then sued me for damages! In front of an arbitrator she demanded an apology from me on the grounds that my losing my temper with her after she struck me (I yelled at her, and sprinkled my remarks with a few "F-Bombs") was somehow an "insult to all Taiwanese women". The arbitrator wouldn't have any of that, however, and lectured her for trying to turn a routine traffic accident into an international incident. Perhaps he should have a word or two with the National Taxi Drivers Union.

If the above still doesn't convince you, Anon, that there's an ugly undercurrent running through the Makiyo case, there's also this from the same article:

Several well-known people, including former leader of the Bamboo Union gang “White Wolf” Chang An-lo (張安樂) — who has made public statements about the affair — and Yulon Motor (裕隆汽車) chairman Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰), have indicated their intent to donate money to Lin (the injured taxi driver).

Chang, a wanted fugitive who has fled to China, is the founder of the China Unification Promotion Party. One taxi association, the Grand Chinese Taxi Association, is affiliated with the party.

His involvement in the matter in Taipei appears to have been made to please China and spark anti-Japanese sentiment.

Welcome to reality, my anonymous commenter. It ain't so pretty, eh?


  1. This strikes me more as typical or routine behavior (not to mention obnoxious and politically backward) from taxi drivers you might encounter anywhere in the world. In Montreal, the first taxi I got in started complaining about black taxi drivers. Taxi drivers strike me as among the most racist group you can find. Maybe less so these days, with a lot of Ph.D.'s driving taxis (on the other hand, the cynic and conservative in me says more racists might result from so many Doctorates driving cabs).
    It did seem to me that you were being awfully condescending to Anonymous in the previous post. Her English was extremely good. Perhaps her reasoning was faulty, but being condescending with anybody (particularly me, on FB) gets ones hackles up. FB brings that out a lot. On Blogger, however, you might just not find her commenting any more. I don't know. I've gotten a lot gentler on commenters (including on FB) as time has worn on.

  2. I was condescending to her because I felt she deserved it. First, for being anonymous; secondly, for making ridiculous statements about how all are treated equally under the KMT; thirdly, for insinuating that what I've seen, heard and experienced firsthand never actually happened; and lastly, for pushing the party line on how wonderful it is to be on Ilha Formosa (I'm a "Taiwan hater", remember?).

    OK, maybe I did turn it on a little strongly. Anon caught me at a bad time. Still, if you want to read a blog about how great it is to be a Westerner in Taiwan, go to Lao Ren Cha. Anon's English is very good, which means she should've looked at the title and description of this blog because deciding to comment. :-)