Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cool heads needed in Taiwan-Philippines row

DPP members protest on Monday
Taiwanese have been even-handed in their response to the killing of one of their own. Overzealous theatrics, such as burning the Philippine flag, does no good 

The small group of city councilors from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), accompanied by DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), formed a half circle on Monday morning as they burned reproductions of the Philippine flag and images of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III outside the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei. 

Yao and the participants at the small protest were expressing the outrage many Taiwanese feel at the Philippine Coast Guard’s killing of a Taiwanese fisherman on Thursday. They were joined by dozens of members of the 908 Taiwan Republic Alliance, a pro-independence group, who, along with DPP city councilors, lobbed green flippers at the office. 

Their anger at the use of indiscriminate force against an unarmed fishing vessel — regardless of whether it indeed crossed into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as Manila claims — was entirely justified, as were their calls on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to ensure that the matter is resolved in a just and timely manner. 

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

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