Archive for July 27th, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Regent Street Flag Incident: Taiwanese Press Review

CNA [July 27]

[Reacting to] the pushed removal of the Republic of China’s flag at London’s Regent Street, former ROC Vice President Vincent Siew said that if cross-strait relations should continue to relax and improve, Taiwan needed to be treated reasonably within the international community, and not be unjustifiably suppressed.

(中央社記者黃貞貞倫敦27日專電)中華民國國旗在倫敦市中心被迫撤換,中華民國前副總統蕭萬長今天說,兩岸關係如果要繼續和緩改善,台灣在國際社會需要受到合理對待,不要被無理打壓。

[…]

Siew told this CNA reporter in London that he only learned about this matter after he landed in London on Wednesday. Cross-strait relations had relaxed and improved over the past few years. If this should be further implemented, Taiwan should not be unjustifiably suppressed in the international community. Compatriots expected a display of good intentions.

蕭萬長告訴中央社記者,他是在25日抵達倫敦後才得知此事,兩岸關係近幾年來和緩改善,如果要進一步落實,台灣在國際社會不要受到無理的打壓,這是國人很期盼的善意表現。

He said that the British media had covered the issue broadly, and hoped that the British people and the international community would attach importanc to and understand the feelings of the Taiwanese about the change of the flag. The straightforward way Taiwan’s representative in Britain, Shen Lyushun, had handled the issue also deserved praise.

他說,英國媒體對此事有廣泛報導,希望英國人民與國際社會能重視並了解台灣對換旗事件的感受,駐英代表沈呂巡在事發後的明快處理,也值得肯定。

[…]

CNA / Radio Taiwan International (RTI) [July 27]

[…]

Vincent Siew and his wife are attending today’s opening ceremony at the invitation of Acer company, one of the sponsors of the game, and will also watch competitions and visit sporting venues during their stay.

蕭萬長伉儷應倫敦奧運贊助商之一的台灣宏?公司邀請,今天晚間將參加奧運開幕式,停留期間並將觀賞比賽及參觀場館。

UDN[July 28]

Concerning the Republic of China flag which was removed at Regent Street, people at home and abroad have started patriotic flag movements, and president Ma instructed the foreign ministry to explore the issue. Foreign-ministry spokesperson Hsia Chi-chang [Steve Hsia] said that this [the removal of the flag] was the spontaneous decision of the [Regent Street] business people. The foreign ministry would continue to communicate and explain, and strive for the flag to be put back, and also to be flown at other appropriate places in London.

懸掛在英國攝政街上的中華民國國旗日前被撤下,海內外民眾發起愛國旗運動,馬英九總統指示外交部深入瞭解,外交部發言人夏季昌表示,這是商圈自發的商業活動,外交部會持續溝通說明,爭取掛回國旗,也會安排在其他的適當場所,讓中華民國國旗在倫敦飄揚。

Concerning the photos of the flag in Regent Street, compatriots and tourists had taken photos during the past days, and started a patriotic movement. Presidential spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi said that president Ma was touched. Fan Chiang Tai-chi said that the flag’s removal by business people in London and the entire issue’s situation weren’t clear yet. President Ma had instructed the foreign ministry to explore, and if it was confirmed that the issue was related to pressure from mainland China, this would be no helpful development, and our side would express its serious and principled position to mainland China.

對於連日來旅英僑胞及遊客自發性的在攝政街拿國旗拍照,發起愛國旗運動。總統府發言人范姜泰基表示,馬總統對此表示感動。范姜泰基說,對於倫敦商圈的撤旗事件,整起事件目前實際狀況尚未明朗,馬總統已指示外交部瞭解,若證實該事件與中國大陸施壓有關,對兩岸關係並非正向的發展,我方也會對此向中國大陸表達嚴正的立場。

Fan Chiang Tai-chi said that in recent years, cross-strait relations had gradually relaxed, and [the presidential office] had promoted “flexible diplomacy” which had opened windows of opportunity and led to some concrete effects which hadn’t been feasible before. However, the problems of previous decades could not be solved overnight, and the future would continue to hold many problems that needed to be overcome. This was precisely why the [presidential] office would continue to exert efforts on broadening [Taiwan’s] international space.

范姜泰基說,近年來兩岸關係已經漸趨緩和,政府推動「活路外交」的過程已為我國的對外關係開啟了一扇機會之窗,也見到一些過去做不到的具體績效,但無法讓過去數十年來的問題在一夕間獲得解決,未來也還有許多困難必須克服。正因為如此,政府會在拓展國際空間方面更加努力。

CNA (English) —[July 27]

[…] Meanwhile, former opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said on her Facebook page that she hopes the Taiwan government would be more proactive in its handling of the matter so China would learn the importance of mutual respect.

If China continues to alienate and humiliate the Taiwanese people, no one will benefit from a buildup of negative emotions, she said.

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Related

» ROC Flag removed, July 24, 2012

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Friday, July 27, 2012

London Olympics: the, umm, correct flag …

If there is something remarkable about the Taiwanese / Republic of China flag in Regent Street, and the way it was removed, it’s that all kinds of stakeholders were discussing it – except those who, allegedly, reportedly, took offense, i. e. the Chinese embassy in London. According to AFP, the Chinese embassy did not respond to repeated requests to comment.

It’s probably a wise move that the Taiwanese president – if at all – wants the issue to be raised with China, rather than with Britain. Let the Chinese antagonize at least some in the European public, and don’t antagonize the European public against Taiwan – by calling us out on our servile efforts to please Beijing, for example. That would make us very angry, wouldn’t it?

But as Europeans, and among ourselves, we should look at the incident, feel ashamed, and try to improve.

What strikes me about as much our embarrassment to see a free country’s flag in a highstreet is an apparent online trend to react to symbolic incidents, rather than to real trends. I mean, this blog had only seen modest traffic since early summer. It’s the same every year; once summer has arrived on the northern half of the globe, clicks go down.

But once I had posted about the flag removal on Regent Street on Tuesday, traffic skyrocketed.

Not entirely surprisingly though – after all, there wasn’t much coverage during the first one or two days, except by the BBC‘s Mandarin service. But the way the internet public gets excited – or bored – also suggests that the global village isn’t really interested in politics, not even where it ostensibly talks politics most of the time.

Among a European public, the story doesn’t sell. Stories like these tell us more about our moral weaknesses than we want to hear.

A guy called Mitt Romney” who apparently managed to hurt the feelings of some, many, or no Londoners seemed to matter much more.

The BBC‘s English website does mention the Chinese “intervention”, however, even if only as a footnote here:

London 2012 organisers said the business association behind the display decided to put up the “correct flag… the one used for Olympic Games”.

But they could have decided to keep the actual flag up there, too.

Or couldn’t they? Maybe the answer to the question follows one paragraph further down:

A global investment conference in London kicked off a series of business summits intended to showcase the UK …

That’s where the symbolism ends, and real life begins. If you believe that the Olympic Games are about sports, think again.

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Related

» The Sporting Spirit, orwell.ru, accessed July 27, 2012

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