Coming Soon …
Kaohsiung KMT City Councilors: “We demand answers from the Mayor and the City Government. How could they let this happen?”
KMT Mayor Candidate Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興): ”This is a terrible day for Kaohsiung. My heart goes out to all of the wonderful people of our city, our brave firefighters, and especially the families of the victims, who have been so let down by the response of the local authorities. Our first priority must be to find out why this happened and what those in power could have done to prevent this, and to hold them to account. This is also an opportunity for the people to decide if they feel safe with the leadership of the city and whether it is time for a change.”
Who Will Be The First To Blame Chen?
Just waiting to see how long it takes certain politicians from certain political parties to use the disaster in Kaohsiung as a club with which to beat Mayor Chen Chu.
UPDATE: Did the Ministry of Economic Affairs blame Kaohsiung City Council for the explosions?
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu appealed Friday for the Ministry of Economic Affairs to rearrange the petrochemical pipes running under her city to avoid a repetition of the gas explosions that took place the previous night in the port city, causing 26 deaths and leaving 266 people injured.
The officials said that if the pipelines are situated in industrial parks, they are subject to park management, but added that if they run outside the park, they are the responsibility of the local government.
Manufacturers have to apply to local governments or related authorities and obtain their consent before they can lay pipelines under city streets.
It’s all about Taipei! Many Taiwanese netizens are ridiculing a campaign video of Sean Lien (連勝文) meeting a group of foreigners over lunch. Lien is the KMT’s Taipei City mayoral candidate. Me, I am not sure what to make of that video. So I invited two fictitious friends over for a discussion.
LOL … Taiwan politics aficionados will enjoy this.
There has never been a “tour” in Taiwan quite like the one given earlier this month at the Tourism Bureau headquarters in Taipei.
Maddog notes that Aboriginal lands under the KMT have been reduced to 13% of what they were under the Japanese Colonial Period.
Drew deals with road rage. I’ll never understand why people can treat other people with such dangerous disregard but when the potential victim verbally expresses their opposition that is the cue for transforming disregard into outright indignant physical assault:
"How dare you blame me for my inconsideration of your right not to be mowed down by my bad driving! This is an outrage! I am a victim here because you didn’t respect me!"
Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Makes Clarification
A few days ago, I called the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation to ask them why, according to a Taipei Times, article they had implicitly blames the European Association of China Studies (EACS) for the incident in which the Confucius Institute of Universidade do Minho in Braga, Portugal, under the orders of Hanban, had ripped out the CCK Foundation’s promotion page from the EACS Conference brochure. The CCK Foundation denied blaming EACS and said the Taipei Times misrepresented their comments. I strongly urged them to contact the Taipei Times to make a clarification. It seems they took my advice:
Upon learning of the incident after the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) broke the news in its Monday edition, the foundation sent a letter to the Paris-based association to demand an explanation.
The executive, who wished to remain anonymous, said the foundation received a reply from EACS president Roger Greatrex later that day, but gave no further details.
The National Central Library, which hosted an exhibition displaying Taiwanese works on Chinese studies on the sidelines of the three-day event, confirmed later on Monday that staff from the Universidade do Minho ripped page 59 from all the brochures after Chinese officials expressed their displeasure at the page.
The staff did not consult with the EACS first, the library said.
Greatrex wrote in the letter that his association had not informed the foundation of the incident earlier because it needed to get the facts straight first, the executive said.
Beijing was represented at the conference by Xu Lin (許琳), director-general of the Hanban, the common name for the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.
Universidade do Minho is one of several universities in Portugal that host a Confucius Institute in cooperation with the Hanban.
At a recent board meeting, the association made two decisions in response to the incident, she quoted Greatrex’s reply to the foundation as saying.
According the executive, Greatrex wrote in the letter that the association’s board will give the foundation a report on the matter after examining the circumstances surrounding the incident and if it determines that the Universidade do Minho received instructions from Xu to tear out the brochure pages, it will issue a formal letter of protest to Hanban against its political interference in academia.
She said that the foundation was displeased about the incident, but stressed that its complaint was directed at the Hanban, not the EACS.
It is puzzling why this article steps around the fact that the ‘staff from the university’ who ripped out the pages were specifically staff from the Confucius Institute. Indeed, neither EACS nor the Dean of the university had any idea it had happened until after the fact. It is nonsensical to state that EACS will lodge a complaint with Hanban but not properly attribute the offending actions to the institute that Hanban controls. Finally, if the CCK Foundation is truly displeased, perhaps it should make a direct statement to that effect condemning Hanban for this piracy, censorship, and infringement of academic liberty. If they really want to honor the patron of their Foundation they might ask themselves how CCK would have reacted to such an affront. It will be interesting to see if this story develops further.
Greetings from London. We’re running a special Taiwan Film Series this week. Tomorrow we’ll have the first public screening of Wan Jen’s unreleased film from 2001 Puppet Angel. Please pass on the information to any UK based friends!
Film Screenings: Puppet Angel [傀儡天使] and It Takes Two to Tango (11 min.) and Q&A with Director Wan Jen 萬仁
Speaker: Director Wan Jen 萬仁
Date: 30 July 2014Time: 6:30 PM
Finishes: 30 July 2014Time: 10:00 PM
Venue: Russell Square: College BuildingsRoom: KLT
Type of Event: Film
Synopsis of Puppet Angel [傀儡天使] (2001) (85 min.)
Chen Ping, a young and idealistic journalist, is excited to be the ghostwriter of a successful Legislator Huang Ming-yeh. Huang is a rising political star in the parliament and enjoys popular support and high satisfaction rating. But, all is not what it seems…
In the process of researching Huang’s political career and rise to prominence, Chen Ping comes across a photo in which Huang appears to be unusually intimate with a mysterious woman. He is thus drawn into a confusing political conspiracy and later torn between a sense of betrayal, a desire for justice, and an attraction towards that beautiful woman who is supposedly to be Huang’s mistress. For Chen Ping, the journey searching for truth is just beginning…
Synopsis of It Takes Two to Tango (11 min. version)
A cross-Strait love affair creates conflicts between families. Zhao Zhong travels from Beijing to Taiwan to pursue the love of his life, Hsin-I, but encounters a strong opposition from Hsin-I’s father. Caught between different values, ideologies, and political stands, what are the two young people going to do?
Having seen a trial screening of this film Dafydd Fell, the Director of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies commented: “This is my favourite Taiwanese comedy! It is a wonderful political comedy and should be compulsory viewing for students studying Taiwan’s society, politics and cross-Strait relations. I look forward to reading student MA dissertations on this film!”
Wan Jen is one of the most influential directors in Taiwan’s New Wave Cinema Movement in the 1980s. He made his debut The Taste of Apple in the landmark work The Sandwich Man (1983) with Hou Hsiao-hisen and Zeng Chuang-hsiang. This short film is based on Huang Chun-ming’s novel that satirises the US imperialist influences in Taiwan and the local fascination with American culture in the late 60s. Since his first film, Wan Jen has consistently explored Taiwan’s social problems and political issues. His works have always been politically sensitive and critical about the impacts of industrialization and political corruption, and have been powerful in challenging how the past is presented and whose story is told.
• 2013 It Takes Two to Tango[跨海跳探戈]
• 2004 Sacrificial Victims [大選民]
• 2001 Puppet Angel [傀儡天使]
• 1998 Connection by Fate [超級公民]
• 1995 Super Citizen Ko [超級大國民]
• 1991 The Story of Taipei Women [胭脂]
• 1987 Farewell to the Channel [惜別海岸]
• 1985 Super Citizens [超級市民]
• 1983 Ah Fei [油麻菜籽]
• 1983 The Sandwich man [兒子的大玩偶] – The Taste of Apple [蘋果的滋味]
• The War of Betrayal 1895[亂世豪門] (PTS drama series, 20 episodes) (2007)
• Dana Sakura [風中緋櫻: 霧社事件] (PTS drama series, 20 episodes) (2004)
Although the event is open to the public and free to all it is recommended that you contact Niki Alsford (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to attend.
Sponsor: The Understanding Taiwan through Film and Documentary Screening Series is supported by the Ministry of Culture’s Spotlight Taiwan Programme. Special Thanks to Dr. Samuel Yin for his generous support to the Spotlight Taiwan Programme.
Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies
Contact email: email@example.com
Dr Dafydd Fell
Reader in Comparative Politics
Department of Politics and International Studies
Director, SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies
School of Oriental and African Studies
New Book: Government and Politics in Taiwan: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415575423/
New Edited Volume: Migration to and from Taiwan
New in paperback: Party Politics in Taiwan
Convenor MA in Taiwan Studies at SOAS
Centre of Taiwan Studies: http://www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies
Routledge Research on Taiwan book series:http://www.routledge.com/books/series/RRTAIWAN/