Thursday, 13 August 2009

World Games Nonsense Part 3


The owners of a newspaper are free to voice their own opinions in that newspaper in the form of an editorial line framing their interpretation of the events of the day. Readers may agree or disagree with this line, but what all readers would expect from a newspaper is an unswerving adherence to the facts. To find out the truth of any particular matter – and further – to refuse column inches to any statements which are contradictory to the facts.

In this light it is regrettable that your publication continued to give column inches last week to the dubious claim that, as Lu I-Ming put it (07/28/2009): “The Games... made Taiwan a focus of worldwide attention” and that as there was “substantial coverage by international media... the Games brought international recognition for Taiwan.”

As I challenged in my earlier letter (07/27/2009) where are the facts to support this claim? Where are the figures for worldwide TV audiences? TV contracts? Countries in which the World Games were televised?

What about newspapers? In the USA, there was a minor article about Kaohsiung’s new stadium, in the Architecture Review section of the New York Times on July 15th. The word “Taiwan” rather than “ROC” or “Chinese Taipei” was used: once. In the United Kingdom, there was no mention at all of the 2009 World Games in either the Telegraph or the Times (the two most popular broadsheets). In Germany, Der Spiegel contained not one mention of the 2009 World Games, and in France, Le Monde likewise had nothing at all to say about Taiwan’s hosting of the 2009 World Games.

So are DPP supporters (because let’s face it, the World Games was nothing more than a bit of razzamatazz for the Taiwanese nationalist movement), willing to actually lie both to themselves and to the people of Taiwan?

Apparently so – consider the response to my letter by one Charles Hong: “But Fagan should accept the fact that the World Games raised Taiwan’s international profile.” To which I can only reply – where are the FACTS that support this contention? Are they to be found in my dog-eared copy of “1984” perhaps?

It is high time that the people of Taiwan recognize the fact that their country IS known as “Taiwan” throughout the world – regardless of Beijing’s newspeak efforts – because of the Taiwanese people’s history of international trade.

If members of Taiwan’s political class and their supporters are willing to tell such barefaced lies to the people of Taiwan – and lies that are easily shown to be such – then what else are they capable of?

The ONLY thing that can “raise Taiwan’s international profile” is continuing and expanding international trade. It is of vital importance to civilized life on this island that Taiwanese people fight to free international trade to and from Taiwan both from the manipulation of political forces in Beijing AND Taipei.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Fagan.

(Sent: Saturday August 1st 2009. Published by the Taipei Times: Monday August 3rd 2009)