Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Associated Press lists Taiwan as “Not Free”

Letter to Laura Ingalls, Press Officer, Freedom House, and Bo Tedards, Director, International Cooperation Department, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy

Dear Ms Ingalls, Mr Tedards,

[…] In January I attended in Taipei Freedom House’s release of its annual Freedom in the World index, where I had a chance to interact with Mr Christopher Walker, director of studies at Freedom House, and Ms Sarah Cook, Asia researcher, among others. In your map, As you know, Taiwan was listed as “Free” for 2008, while China was “Not Free.”

However, in one of its graphics dated June 24, The Associated Press reproduced the map of freedom — sourced Freedom House — in which Taiwan was the same color as China and therefore “Not Free” for 2008, which, despite a recent erosion of democracy and free speech under the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, obviously contradicts your findings for that year.

It is my intention with this letter to bring this to your attention, as it either misrepresents your organization’s findings or portrays Taiwan as being part of China. On both counts, this is wrong and Freedom House should request that AP correct the error.

J. Michael Cole


Andy said...

Thanks for the letter in helping to correct the information with AP. I like the title of your blog. It is very "Taiwanese"

Thomas said...

If only your letter alone were enough.

On a different note, I took heart when reading a story about Ma's Central American trip from the AFP today. The yadayada standard formula for describing Taiwan-China relations has been amended. I hope this is not for this article alone:

"Beijing opposes any overseas visits by officials from Taiwan, which it still regards as part of its territory to be reunified by force if necessary although the island has governed itself since the end of a civil war in 1949."

Could one of the agencies finally have realized that the stupid "split" China-Taiwan civil war formula doesn't make sense?

dennis said...

no follow up yet i assume?

MikeinTaipei said...

Dennis: Sadly, no. If I don't hear back from FH I might contact AP directly. Didn't have time to check if AP posted a correction the in picture wires, though. Will post whatever update comes my way.

FOARP said...

Same rubbish as usual - colouring Taiwan the same colour as the PRC just because they both have 'China' in their names.