Thursday, 1 September 2011

Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲)

"KMT caucus whip Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) made several demands of Cole, the Taipei Times and its sister newspaper, the Chinese-language Liberty Times.

She asked Cole to provide evidence to back up his statements, or offer an apology and admit the allegations are incorrect if he is unable to do so.

The allegations have dealt a blow to the country’s image and hurt its interests when Taiwan is still waiting for a decision by the US on the sale of F16C/D aircraft, the lawmaker said."
Two points.

First, Cole's article was an opinion piece and therefore expressed an inference* as to what is happening in Taiwan based on events (and non-events) he covers as a reporter. That WSJ piece was not a report itself and therefore Chao's demand that he submit a verifiable proof of his inference is not warranted by the nature of the piece itself.

Second, Chao's claim that Cole's article has "dealt a blow to the country's image" is itself an unverifiable "allegation", depending, as it does, upon the opinions of high-ranking U.S. officials charged with deciding whether to allow Lockheed's sale of F-16s. What "evidence" could she have possibly had for that claim before making it?

She is doing this merely to help the KMT government save face with the current U.S. administration (although the relevant senior members of Congress probably already share Cole's view) and to destroy Cole's career as a journalist in Taiwan.

She knows what she is and so do I:

A politician.

*It is an inference common in the "international community", and not just among journalists, bloggers and ordinary people.


The other thing I should have mentioned about that write up, aside from the fact it should have been front-page, is that this woman clearly has no sense of irony. She questions whether Taiwan under the KMT is a police state (hence why there was no interest in the return of Ko-suen Moo (慕可舜)), and then goes on to demand that the NIA cancel Cole's residence visa - which is precisely the sort of thing a police state might do: kick people out of the country for expressing embarassing opinions in foreign media.


  1. Very much in agreement here. And let's not forget: elections are on their way.

  2. It's still a bit early viz elections, I think it was just a psychological reaction (loss of face - as Turton says) to seeing it in the WSJ.

    I'm not entirely sure whether Cole saw this coming or not. He may have done, but I'm not sure the DPP will be of much help to him.

  3. By the way, you want to see a bit of rough-and-tumble with me acting like a condescending so and so? Have a look at my last comment on this thread.

  4. Yeah, I saw that thread (linked in another post, below). I decided to stay out if for no other reason than because you'd already made many of the arguments I'd have made anyway and because it didn't seem to me that you were receiving very reasonable responses. I got the feeling that most responses came from people simply looking to refute and not looking to think critically and actually discuss. I'm usually wary of such situations unless I feel someone is deliberately misrepresenting something and am already somewhat prepared for combat. As the case may be, several people there appear simply pissed off. And it appears an ability to understand the situation from a different perspective (different from theirs, that is) probably wouldn't be much help in making them less pissed off. But I might just be stepping out on a limb; I haven't spent much time there.

  5. Anyway enough with that little episode of "walking with half-wits"...

    Back on topic: I didn't see anything in today's TT about Cole's situation so it's either going to blow over, or it'll be a few days to a week or so before we can see whether and how they've moved on him.

    If there's no news by next week, I'll email him to ask, but I would guess he may be under some form of suspension from the Taipei Times until this is sorted out (or that he's looking for a new job - I've had a sense for some time now that Cole may have found himself at odds with some of the others in the TT, but it's hard to judge). The fact that they didn't put that story on the front page probably means they don't welcome the confrontation.

    Cole, along with William Lowther, are my two most valuable players at the TT.

  6. Cole is okay. I just asked him.

  7. "Cole, along with William Lowther, are my two most valuable players at the TT."

    --I second that.

    I just hope he gets a fair shake in this and that he's all right personally and professionally. How this is handled higher up might be an indication of how such things will be handled in the future, foreigners and nationals alike. Reactions like the ones he's gotten betray fear, anxiety, and insecurity--not qualities of good leadership.

    And really, I can randomly reach into my stack of The Jamestown Foundation's _China Brief_ editions and pull out one that has at least one article in it about some Chinese spy getting nabbed in Taiwan. He isn't making too big a stretch here even if he doesn't have whatever Chao Li-yun considers sufficient evidence.


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