Share this

Aug 16, 2012


It's so irritating when Ma government guidelines get in the way of telling a story, like in this RTI article.


In response to the incident on the 15th when a fishing boat of Hong Kong-based Diaoyutai [Senkaku Islands] activists raised the flags of both the Republic of China and the Chinese mainland...
There really is a country called the People's Republic of China, it has its own flag, and there's no need to pretend otherwise. 

Aug 14, 2012

Ma's really into this dictionary

When I saw this recent article about Ma praising the publication of the new Cross Strait Dictionary of Common Phrases 《兩岸常用詞典》, I was initially just amused that it's not one publication at all -- the mainland published a dictionary arranged by pinyin in horizontal layout, while the Taiwan version is indexed by radical and uses vertical layout.  They're not even being published at the same time. Guess the Chinese censors want more time. Way to go, guys.

Then it struck me that Ma has displayed an unusual interest in this publication. Far more than Chen Shui-bian ever paid in public to the Hakka and Holo Taiwanese dictionaries his government mostly produced (《臺灣客家語常用詞辭典》以及《臺灣閩南語常用詞辭典》). And then I came to think that Chinese government leaders certainly haven't been paying much attention to this.

So I decided to try to substantiate all three observations born of vague memories of past articles. First, I went about digging up articles where Ma talkes about this dictionary. I didn't have to go very far to indicate my memory wasn't fooling me: the first article linked above mentions that "Jointly publishing a dictionary of common phrases was raised by Ma Ying-jiu in the 2008 campaign [for president]."

Next, nearly all news articles within the .cn domain only mention the dictionary's publication in Taiwan and Ma's participation without adding any comments from the Chinese side. They're merely retellings of the Taiwan wire stories.

Finally, on the day the Ministry of Education put the Holo Taiwanese dictionary online, the MOE took charge of the related press conferences and speeches, and President Chen didn't have a thing to say.

This project must be a personal interest of Ma's, maybe a nerdy fantasy he has fostered for years or decades. Certainly nobody else has noticed political advantages in promoting these publications. 

Aug 10, 2012

My bad

I'll have to say, when the DPP created it's China Affairs Office shortly after Su took the chairmanship, I assumed it would be an organ for serious analysis of the government's China policy and constructive discussions on both the KMT and potential DPP approaches to relations. I really didn't expect it would just become another platform from which to spew rhetorical vitriol and create new and regular press conference opportunities. I guess I was wrong