Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Beware of the Chinese flu (or Ma Jian as a symbol of the present)

There is no need, nor is it desirable, for Taiwan to rush into rapprochement with China. It can afford to wait — and current trends in China make such patience absolutely imperative

The lone figure of exiled Chinese author Ma Jian (馬建) being denied entry into his homeland last week should be enough to remind candidates in January’s presidential election of the need to approach China with the utmost caution.

The London-based Ma, whose application to enter China via Hong Kong on July 23 was turned down without explanation from Chinese officials, had previously returned home on several occasions since leaving in 1986. That he would be denied entry at a time when China is, by most accounts, seemingly in the ascendant, is a testimony to the uncertainty that haunts the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) amid domestic turbulence and an upcoming leadership transition.

Needless to say, a party that had full confidence in its ability to rule would not be preoccupied with the arrival of an author, however critical of the regime, on a mission to buy books in Shenzhen before returning to London.

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.


Mike Fagan said...

I think that's a good editorial piece, but not one beyond criticism.

For instance:

"...it would provide a tacit seal of approval for a regime that violates the rights of its own people."

Given that the government in Taiwan also violates the rights of "its" people with, for example, legalized property theft in Miaoli, Hsinchu and elsewhere, it isn't clear to me what that "tacit seal of approval" would be worth (if anything) and to whom - unless it be hollow "nothing to worry about" rhetoric by the bankrupt commies in Washington.

J. Michael Cole 寇謐將 said...

Point taken, Michael. I guess what I had in mind when I wrote this was transgressions and violations of the more physical kind. But you're absolutely right, and the "legalized theft" of property is a form of violence and a violation all the same. There is lots to worry about in Taiwan under Ma, and I fear things could get worse if it catches the Chinese flu.

green sleeeves said...

I looked up tw,yahoo.com for any relevant news on Ma Jian in Taiwan and found none.

Not surprising though, most of the media in Taiwan have treaded lightly on the highspeed rail incident as well.

self censorship?