Chinese Official "Trips Over A Tree Stump" In Tainan And Causes Major Incident


(Taipei Times)  October 20, 2008.

A group of Chinese academics, including Zhang Mingqing (張銘清), vice chairman of China¡¦s intermediary body, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), arrived in Taiwan yesterday. They are scheduled to take part in an academic symposium in Tainan County today.

Zhang, formerly a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office under China¡¦s State Council before becoming the deputy head of ARATS in 2006, is leading a 21-member Chinese academic group to attend the 2008 Cross-Strait Academic Symposium on Mass Communications and Image Arts to be held at Tainan National University of the Arts (TNUA) located in Guantian Township (官田), Tainan County. Zhang is taking part in the academic symposium in his capacity as dean of Xiamen University¡¦s School of Journalism and Communication.

¡§The symposium, which is titled Globalization and Reflection on Values, is aimed at examining the cultural assets and unique values in Taiwan and China, respectively, in the face of increasing globalization and the development of homogeneity in modern societies,¡¨ said Chen Ling-hui (陳齡慧), director of the TNUA College of Sound and Image Arts, one of the sponsors of the symposium. Zhang and other Chinese academics will deliver speeches and share their research papers with their Taiwanese counterparts during the one-day symposium, which is the seventh of its kind, Chen said. 

They are also scheduled to make field trips to other universities in southern Taiwan tomorrow to ¡§hear in person more local voices from Taiwan,¡¨ Chen said.

On reports that some Democratic Progressive Party supporters will protest against Zhang at TNUA, Chen Ling-hui said Zhang¡¦s visit is for purely academic purposes and has nothing to do with politics. ¡§TNUA respects the freedom of speech of all members of Taiwanese society, but the school hopes that the protesters will look rationally at the reality and not interrupt the symposium,¡¨ the director said.


This morning, Zhang Mingqing and other symposium participants went around sightseeing.  The pan-green protestors staked out the various scenic spots in Tainan.  Finally at the Confucius Temple, the protestors (including Tainan city councilor Wang Ting-yu) found Zhang Mingqing and his companions.  They punched Zhang and they pushed him onto the ground with his glasses sent flying.  When he got up, they continued to try to punch him.  There were only two policemen there, so they were obviously outnumbered.  Zhang ran back into the car and ducked inside.  A protestor jumped onto the car roof and stomped on it, creating some dents.

Video Links 张铭清被绿营民众推倒追打 台当局震惊  凤凰资讯; 張銘清晚上已發表談話 早上被打民眾跳車猛踹敲窗  CTV; 張銘清訪孔廟 遭追打推倒  聯合新聞網


KMT legislator Hung Hsu-chu said: "I found this extremely absurd and also extremely rude.  This person is our guest.  He claimed that we have democracy and rule of law, and we have a wealthy and courteous society.  But on this day, we have just show a social model filled with violence.  Don't forget that when Democratic Progressive Party members go and visit mainland China, how do they treat you!  When they come over here as guest, they have plenty to talk and communicate about.  They want to see if there is anything that the two sides of the Strait can work together on.  So is this acceptable?  This is rule and it is also extremely shameless.  How do you think society and the international community will feel about the people of Taiwan.  Is this what Chinese culture is like?  This is losing so much face."

(Central News Agency)

Tainan city councilor Wang Ting-yu said that Zhang Mingqing tripped on a tree root and fell down on his own.  "I helped him get up behind by pulling him hup."  Wang said that his only motive was to protest the fact that Zhang came to Taiwan without China making an apology first about the tainted milk powder.  "I did not want to physically harm him."  Wang also said, "I did not touch him at all from start to end."    [ESWN Comment: Check the videos yourself for the tree root.]

Wang Ting-yu said that all the activities were spontaneously organized by civilians.  Yesterday, Zhang had announced that his itinerary for the next day would be canceled but he actually went ahead with the sightseeing.  Wang said, "This was deceptive."  Everywhere that Zhang went today, he was met with spontaneous protests from citizens.

Wang said that "Zhang Mingqing is responsible for what happened today.

As for the dented car roof, Wang Ting-yu said that he is willing to consider paying compensation.


[ESWN Comment: This will be re-played again and again on television in Taiwan.  The question is: Will they ever show it in mainland China?  Maybe not on television, but it is bound to create a buzz on the mainland Chinese Internet.  P.S. The video of the incident made it onto CCTV 4.]



Did Zhang Mingqing trip on a tree stump?  Or was this once again the pro-blue media smearing a Taiwanese patriot?  Watch for yourself on slow-motion video:

Was Zhang Mingqing punched on the head from behind?

(Taipei Times)  TV footage showed Tainan City Councilor Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shouting ¡§Taiwan wants independence¡¨ and ¡§Taiwan is not part of China¡¨ during a shoving match with Zhang, who fell to the ground, losing his glasses. But it was not clear if Zhang tripped or was pushed down ... Wang Ting-yu, who was summoned for questioning after the charges were filed, said that Zhang fell because he stumbled over a tree trunk.

(Apple Daily)  (659 persons interviewed in Taiwan via interactive voice system)  Concerning the incident at the Confucius Temple in Tainan where Zhang Mingqing faced protestors and fell to the ground during the shoving:
68.7%: The protestors have really lost face for the people of Taiwan
17.8%: This was truly a moment of great joy
13.5%: Don't know/no opinion

(Apple Daily)

A Taiwan netizen said: "Cool!  When the Taiwanese people speak out, they scare the Communist bandit.  Cool, cool, cool!"  A mainland netizen said: "After reading the comments by Taiwanese people, I feel that you are beyond hope ... it is better just to use armed force against Taiwan!"  The video showing ARATS vice chairman Zhang Mingqing being pushed onto the ground led to an unexpected war of words between netizens across the Taiwan Strait.

At in Taiwan, netizen posted the breaking news first at 11:16am.  At Tianya Forum in mainland China, the news first appeared 27 minutes later.  The majority of Taiwan netizens condemned the action, but there are some who think that Zhang Mingqing "asked for it."  The mainland netizens were uniform in their stance.  They felt aggrieved on behalf of Zhang Mingqing and they made sarcastic remarks about the so-called 'democracy' in Taiwan, saying "Oh, so democracy is barbarity!"  Some mainland netizen even said: "Unification had better be postponed!  If we incorporate such a region with us, it would affect the spirit of civilization on the mainland."  Mainland netizens even visited the Apple Daily forum and warned Wang Ting-yu: "You better not come to mainland China!"

Here are some comments from street interviews in Taiwan:

- No matter which political party it is, it is bad to use violence.  This will lead foreigners to think that the people of Taiwan have no democratic qualities.

- This type of violent behavior is very embarrassing.  Everybody has the right to express their objections, but there is not need to use force.

- Even if you hold a different position, you should not use violence.  An elected representative should not act rashly.  This type of behavior is unbecoming of an elected representative of the people.

- I think that that we can express different opinions.  But when the person is a guest, we should be tolerant.  It is wrong to use violence.

- It is acceptable to protest at the scene.  But if violence is used, foreigners may think that Taiwan is a barbaric place with no refinement.

- That is going too far.  Is there really a need to assault people?  In an era where people have human rights, why use your fists and feet?  You can just communicate and exchange.

- It is wrong to use violence in a democratic society.  You can protest, march and demonstrate.  It may endanger the security of Taiwan to assault Zhang Mingqing.

- Wang Ting-yu made the wrong decision.  On the eve of the large demonstration march, this violence incident occurred.  This will give the KMT the opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

- The reputation of the people is totally destroyed by this clash.  The person is a guest.  We should be showing the courteousness of the people of Taiwan.  It was wrong to assault him.

- The toxic mainland Chinese product has harmed Taiwan, so it is inevitable that there should be an "emotional reaction."  I don't think that there is anything wrong with doing this.  Mainland China must apologize first for the toxic milk powder.

Here are some comments from (Taiwan):

- This is now the 21st century already.  Democratic demands can be articulated through publicity, debate or demonstrations.  It does not look good to shove people around and curse them out.  How do you justify jumping on top of the car?  I don't see any Democratic Progressive Party.  I only see the Democratic Retrogressive Party!

- This is scary ... I will have to very careful when I visit Taiwan -- one can fall down because the roads are unevenly paved; my glasses could fly off on their own so I better get contact lenses.

- The truth is that the democracy of the Democratic Progressive Party is "If I don't agree with what you say, I'm going to beat you up until you shut up!"  On the news video, someone kept repeating "Taiwan does not belong to China!"  Do you think that people will believe you if you repeat this enough times?  That's impossible!  This is not trying to convince or debate someone.  This is trying force them to accept what you say.

- They are a pack of wild animals ... if they are so tough, why don't they go to the mainland and show your toughness?  Why hide inside Taiwan Nation and act like thugs?  I wish you godspeed.

- It is one thing to beat up someone who has come to do sightseeing.  At first, you could at least feel cool even though your reputation is ruined.  But now you don't even want to admit that you beat him up.  You insist that you did not hit him.  This means that the people of Taiwan lost their reputation but still don't get to feel good.  This is really too disappointing!

- I think that Zhang Mingqing is a fool ... this person has been a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office.  I think that he must know better than anyone else.  Instead, he deliberately goes to Taiwan to trigger the clash.  If he isn't ignorant, then he must have an ulterior political motive.

- Awesome!  This will let those Chinese pigs know that we Taiwanese people are not so easy to bully.  We will beat them up every time.  We will beat the piglets so bad that they won't dare to come to Taiwan.  Compatriots, please don't forget: On October 25, we will come together to join the "Support Bian, Defend Taiwan" demonstration march.

Here are some comments from the Tianya Forum (mainland China):

- Aren't they on a democratic small island?  Isn't it a place that tolerates different viewpoints?  Now it turns out that they are just like us!

- Taiwan is really not a place for humans to live.  They are a bunch of violent thugs, who are unevolved animals!  How can they do this to a white-haired old man?

- Those people who want to go on tourist trips in Taiwan should reconsider, because it is very dangerous there!  When you go there, you can be beaten up and killed!  The government should protest strongly to Taiwan over this incident.  When the panda bears go to Taiwan, they may be killed!

- I hope that no mainlander (except for the uncles in the People's Liberation Army) would eve go over there.  Let them live or die on their own!  Especially mainland government officials.  A few days ago, the Mainland Affairs Council chairman said that we must apologize first before going there.  I spit on these uncouth people!

- I think that if Chen Yunlin were to go to Taiwan, the world would be topsy-turvy!  Would these so-called violent thugs directly assassinate our official?  I am just kidding  Once again, I strongly deplore the violence.

- The people of Taiwan will only antagonize the people of mainland China more and more.  We have only wanted the island, and not the people on that island.

- When I watched the news, I see that Taiwan did this deliberately.  There were no policemen around.  They pushed over an elderly man and they hit him.  That was really disgusting.  Just wait for the payback!

(ChinaNews via Wenxue City)

After the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait vice-chairman Zhang Mingqing was knocked down on the ground by Democratic Progressive Party supporters, the DPP Central did not make any self-reflection.  Instead, the DPP Central issued a press release in the afternoon and said that the entire incident was the fault of the Ma Ying-jeou administration and Zhang Mingqing himself.

The DPP stated that Zhang Mingqing had been with the Taiwan Affairs Office and he must have a certain understanding about Taiwan society.  As such, he has the obligation to avoid situations where clashes may occur.  When Zhang Mingqing came to Taiwan, he publicly stated that "if there is no Taiwan independence, there will be no war."  "This is obviously an inflammatory and intimidating statement, which the people of Taiwan cannot accept."

The statement also said that the Ma Ying-jeou administration bears the largest responsibility for the personal safety of Zhang Mingqing in Taiwan.  When this clash occurred, Zhang Mingqing did not receive adequate security.  The police cannot avoid blame.  The Democratic Progressive Party further called on the Kuomintang not to seize this opportunity to proceed with political manipulations or smear the Democratic Progressive Party.

The Democratic Progressive Party chairman Tsai Ing-wen said that she was sorry about this incident, but he reminded the Kuomintang not to politicize this incident.  She also said that the Ma Ying-jeou administration or the mainland government should "understand why there is such bitter feelings which should not be just suppressed.  Instead, the government should deal with them appropriately.  Mainland Chinese should not insist on coming over to Taiwan at a time when there is so much argument in society, because it will create opposition within Taiwan.  They should consider this carefully."

(ETTV via NOWnews)

Former president Chen Shui-bian said that Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) vice chairman Zhang Mingqing was asking for the beating.  Chen said: "There are so many other places that he could have gone to.  Instead why did he intentionally come to Ah Bian's hometown of Tainan?  When he went there, we can say that he was deliberately targeting.  Zhang Mingqing said in addition that war would not happen without Taiwan independence.  Therefore, people say that he was itching for a beating.  It is best that Chen Yunlin does not come either."

He also accused President Ma Ying-jeou of having double standards by paying too much attention to Zhang Mingqing.  Chen Shui-bian said: "Why is it that the Kuomintang government refused to issue a condemnation when Ah Bian got kicked?  They even invited the person who kicked me as a guest at the National Day celebrations?  What kind of standards do they have?"

Chen Shui-bian also said that someone wants to assassinate him during the demonstration march of October 25.  But he said: "We are not worried and we are not afraid.  We will march bravely on the streets of Taipei."  Chen Shui-bian also hinted that even though his life is in danger, he has decided that the pro-Bian marchers on October 25 will carry their own flags and banners so that people cannot ignore his existence.


This morning, Wang Ting-yu held a press conference.  He said: "This resistance effort was for the sake for the children.  This action was for the sake of the children of Taiwan.  I don't hope that my children will have to take to the streets 30 or 40 years later just like the young people of Tibet.  You have to go to the other people's place to resist and speak out!"

"We are facing someone who is scheming hard to destroy the people of Taiwan.  He said that there would be no war unless there is Taiwan independence!  He meant to say that if you advocate Taiwan independence, we will attack you.  The Chinese Communists want to take over Taiwan.  They are our common enemy."

"A certain electronic media outlet has a videotape of the entire incident.  I watched it frame by frame until he fell down.  I had raised my hands up and my face was in the opposite direction.  When he feel down, there was a hand in front of him.  But I don't know whether he was pushed and then fell.  I went around behind him to pull him up.  I wanted to take a step back.  That is the truth!"



As the violent incident of Zhang Mingqing being pushed down on the ground became bigger and bigger, Tainan city legislator Wan Ting-yu held a press conference to clarify things.

How did Zhang Mingqing fell down?  Wang Bing-yu was right there.  Immediately afterwards, Wang Ting-yu said: "He was dodging right and left.  He then kicked a tree stump in the Confucius Temple grounds and fell down.  I was protesting vehemently at him, but he fell down on his own accord."

The TVBS reporter said: "Based upon Wang Ting-yu's description, Zhang Mingqing was tripped by a tree stump at the time.  But today we returned to the scene of the incident, and we found that the ground was completely flat.  There are no tree stumps here."

There are trees on the side of the Confucius Temple plaza.  But it was completely flat in the area where Zhang Mingqing fell.  It was quite flat.  A citizen said: "No.  There are no tree trumps.  He was lying."

Now that the story about the tree stump has been shot, Wang Ting-yu changed his tune.  He said:  "When he fell down, I was looking back away from him.  It seemed that someone was tugging at my shoulder.  I wanted to shake him off with my hands.  Therefore my hands were raised, but my face was turned backwards away from him.  By the time that I turned around, he was falling backwards."

Let us look at the video once again.  When Wang Ting-yu was intercepted by the plainclothes policeman wearing the baseball hat, an old man shoved Zhang Mingqing.  Wang Ting-yu was waving his hands and he took one big step backwards.  His hands were indeed raised up and he was not shoving anyone.  But he played a contributory role by causing the wobbly Zhang Mingqing to fly backwards and onto the ground.  Wang Ting-yu said: "I am sorry to say that his falling down has nothing to do with me."

First, Wang Ting-yu used the tree stump as his defense.  Now he insists that his hands were raised up and therefore he did not shove anyone.  The explanations may be different, but he is consistent in saying that it had nothing to do with him.


(Southern Weekend)  Idiots, You Are Only Overthrowing Yourselves!  By Hsieh Chi-ta, former chairman of the New Party in Taiwan.  October 23, 2008.

[in translation]

When I saw on the news that the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait vice-chairman Zhang Mingqing was pushed onto the ground by diehard "Taiwan independence" loyalists, I felt very bad.  These diehard "Taiwan independence" loyalists may not realize that they are not just overthrowing one of their so-called "evil Chinese persons."  More likely, they have smashed their own livelihoods as well as ruined the future lives of their own children.

Whether these diehard 'green' loyalists like it or not, the facts are right in front of the 23 million people of Taiwan: the area of mainland China is 260 times that of Taiwan; the population of mainland China is 57 times that of Taiwan; mainland China has overcome numerous obstacles over the past few decades to catch up to the United States in terms of economic and political power.

Compare Taiwan by contrast: Under the leadership of the so-called "evil Chinese persons" (that is what the "Taiwan independence" loyalists call the two 'president' Chiang's) over almost forty years, there was the economic miracle in Taiwan which made the people wealthy and prosperous.  Under the leadership of the two "Taiwan independence" leaders (that is, Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian) that they adored, the wealth has melted away during their almost twenty years of rule.

Ma Ying-jeou and Liu Chao-shiuan have not told the truth.  After almost twenty years, almost a trillion NT dollars have evaporated and tens of billions of public assets have been transferred into personal overseas accounts.  Do Ma Ying-jeou and Liu Chao-shiuan dare to tell the compatriots of Taiwan that the Ma-Liu team can repair the damage in a short four or eight years?  Besides, there is a global financial crisis now.  It will be very hard for the economy of Taiwan to revive.  The only path of salvation for Taiwan has just been wrecked by these idiots.

Mainland China really does not want to rush towards unification with Taiwan.  They are working towards the future and they have plenty of more important things to deal with.  Mainland China may decide after this incident that Chen Yunlin should postpone his visit to Taiwan.  This will be to prevent Chen Shui-bian and the Taiwan independence elements from hyping the event and allowing Chen Shui-bian to shift the focus away from his own corruption scandal.  Mainland China can use this incident to delay the expansion of more mainland tourists to sight-see in Taiwan.  Even if the mainland government does not take such action, their people may consider postponing tourist trips after seeing this incident.  There are plenty of exciting and interesting to see elsewhere.  As long as you have money and are willing to spend it, you will be welcome everywhere.  Why go to an unfriendly place and look for unpleasantness?  If the Taiwan economy does not bounce back, that is a problem that their government and their people will have to solve themselves.

Even if the mainland government and the mainland people do not give up tourism to Taiwan, those tourist trips should avoid the counties and cities governed by the Democratic Progressive Party with high concentrations of "Taiwan independence" elements.  In particular, the tours should not include Tainan city.  No money should be spent there, and no economic contribution should be made there.  Since they have declared that they are willing to starve for the sake of "Taiwan independence," they should get their wish.

Mainland China is the hinterland for the development of our next generation.  Without the mainland, the prospects for our next generation are limited.  Besides, almost a million Taiwanese business persons have contributed over decades to make mainland China a strong nation.  These Taiwanese business persons of Chinese descent did not stand on the sideline.  They joined the effort to find their own path for future development.  Taiwan had been ruled by foreigners before.  When democracy arrived, certain people with different ideas could do whatever they want.  But it is one thing for them to act as they please and destroy their own future, they are also affecting the future development of our next generation.  There is no reason for us to tolerate this group of people destroying the space of existence for our next generation.

These idiots are not just smashing their own livelihoods.  They are ruining the future existence of our children.

(Yang Hui-ju in Apple Daily)  I Oppose China, But I Also Oppose Violence.

This past August, I and my friend flew to Beijing to cheer for the Taiwanese athletes in the Olympics.  At the airport, we were taken into an enclosed room for interrogation.  We were unreasonably sent back to Taiwan because the two of us have "a prior record of waving the Republic of China flag to lead the cheering in international competition."  At the time, I was angry, very sad but also helpless.  After I returned to Taiwan, my friends and relatives told me that it was good that I was able to return to Taiwan safely.  After all, Taiwan is different from China because it is a democratic and rational nation.  No matter whether anyone supports or opposes me, their agreement or criticisms will not endanger my personal safety.

On October 22, I saw on television the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait vice-chairman Zhang Mingqing being chased by a crowd until he was finally bumped and fell on the ground.  I did not feel the delight of a tooth-for-a-tooth or the happiness over the sorrows of others.  I was worried and sad instead.

The two nations of Taiwan and China are very disparate in terms of military might, population and international power.  But Taiwan has an absolute advantage in democracy, and this is a flag to be proud of.  The spirit of democracy means that we are willing to defend the freedom of speech of others, that we will engage with each other in a rational way and that the people will ultimately vote and make their choice in a peaceful manner.

For me, China is an unreasonable nation.  By soft and hard approaches, they seal off the international space of Taiwan and they interfere with domestic politics inside Taiwan.  Their conscienceless product infiltrate our nation and endanger our health and safety.  Yet, their boorishness and barbarism does not mean that we the people of Taiwan should use the same type of methods against them when they come over here.

The friends in the green camp should hold back their dissatisfaction.  The President's Office, the Executive Yuan and the various Kuomintang leaders are using the Zhang Mingqing incident to pillory the green camp.  I can immediately sense the difference compared to the previous cold indifference or sarcasm that I got when I got turned back by China.  But just because someone else is using violence, does it mean that we should use violence against them?

I support Taiwan independence.  I strongly protest the presence of toxic mainland food in Taiwan.  If China were to really use violence to invade our nation, I will do my best to fight them in order to protect my beloved land.  But this is not a time of war.  If we are angry, we can gather to protest.  We can raise our banners and shout out our dissatisfaction.  This incident makes us aware that if we get too close to him and he gets hurt when he falls down, it will be regarded as violence.  Then we become just like them.  And then ... we will have lost our most valuable democratic value.

I was someone who was sent back by China without reasonable cause.  But I do not support applying this type of treatment against Zhang Mingqing.  I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME JUST LIKE CHINA!

On October 25, I will be in the streets.  When Chen Yunlin comes, I will bring my national flag to protest in order to defend our national character.  I want to let China know about the democracy of the people of Taiwan.  Let us peacefully but firmly let the world hear us say that if Chen Yunlin wants to come to Taiwan, he should apologize and compensate for all the toxic food that China has produced.  This is the real way to express our fury.

(Xinhua)  Taiwan attacker of mainland official sentenced to 4 months in jail   September 22, 2009.

Tainan's local court issued a four-month prison sentence to Wang Ting-yu, a lawmaker from Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who attacked a visiting mainland official last October. The other six attackers involved in the same incident were also found guilty. The defendants can still appeal.

On Oct. 21, 2008, a mob led by Wang Ting-yu attacked Zhang Mingqing, vice chairman of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, when the latter was visiting the Confucian Temple in Tainan of Taiwan. Zhang was injured in the attack. A week later, Tainan's inspectors accused Wang of taking a leading role in the attack and causing injuries to the mainland official, and demanded a 14-month jail term, while the remaining six defendants were accused of threatening by force and bringing prejudice to the freedom of others.