The political party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) announced that it surveyed 789 Hong Kong citizens by telephone last month about the 'banana throwing' incident.  During the policy address given by Chief Executive Donald Tsang, councilor Raymond Wong Yuk-man threw a banana in protest.  Wong is a member of the rival political party League of Social Democrats.

According to the survey,
- 81% disapproved of what Raymond Wong did
- 61% thought that the incident lowered citizen esteem of Legislative Councilors
- 70% agreed that the Legislative Council ought to follow up on this incident in order to prevent future occurrences
- 73% agreed that the Legislative Council moves towards universal suffrage/direct elections, there will be more extreme actions within the legislative chamber


Li Yanjin wore this low-cut bright-red dress with the People's Republic of China flag on the right side and the Republic of China flag on the left side.  She was asked about whether she was concerned about being criticized in Taiwan and banned in China.  She said that the co-existence of both flags on her body represents cross-strait peace.  She said: "I don't understand politics, but the economy is right now more important."

(Wenxue City)

Taiwan-China: One nation on each side with cleavage in between

Alternate explanations on the Internet:
-  When both appear on the same person, it really means "one country, two systems."
-  What cleavage? There isn't any cleavage visible.
-  This is a congratulatory message for the success of the direct charter flights -- the left hand side is a mainland airport, and the righ hand side is a Taiwan airport.

Q1.  Do you support the use of negotiation between the Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) to help resolve problems occurring during cross-strait exchanges?
30.8%: Support very much
41.0%: Support
  8.6%: No support
10.1%: Very much not support
  9.5%: No opinion

Q2. The agreement will expand the four days per week "weekend charter flights" to a daily basis.  Are you satisfied with the result?
25.3%: Very satisfied
45.0%: Satisfied
  8.9%: Dissatisfied
  8.3%: Very dissatisfied
12.6%: No opinion

Q3. The agreement increased the number of airports with charter flights up to 16.  Are you satisfied with the result?
22.1%: Very satisfied
49.1%: Satisfied
  9.5%: Dissatisfied
  6.8%: Very dissatisfied
12.5%: No opinion

Q4. This agreement included direct flights which will reduce cost and time.  Are you satisfied with the result?
34.8%: Very satisfied
45.6%: Satisfied
  6.8%: Dissatisfied
  6.5%: Very dissatisfied
  6.3%: No opinion

Q5. This agreement included direct sea transportation links to reduce cost and time for cargo shipping.  Are you satisfied with the result?
30.6%: Very satisfied
50.3%: Satisfied
  7.4%: Dissatisfied
  5.7%: Very dissatisfied
  6.0%: No opinion

Q6. The agreement included food safety mechanisms to protect the people on both sides of the strait.  Are you satisfied with the result?
23.9%: Very satisfied
45.1%: Satisfied
13.9%: Dissatisfied
11.3%: Very dissatisfied
  5.8%: No opinion

Q7.  The agreement included postal services cooperation so that letters and parcels no longer have to go indirectly through Hong Kong.  Are you satisfied with this result?
36.1%: Very satisfied
48.6%: Satisfied
  5.3%: Dissatisfied
  4.5%: Very dissatisfied
  5.6%: No opinion

Q8. Overall, what do you think is the impact of these agreement on economic development in Taiwan?
61.8%: Good effect
14.4%: Bad effect
15.0%: No effect
  8.5% No opinion

Q9. People say that the arrival of ARATS chairman Chen Yun-lin in Taiwan to hold meetings has damaged our national dignity.  Do you agree with this statement?
13.5%: Agree a lot
13.0%: Agree
46.1%: Disagree
20.8%: Disagree a lot
  6.6%: No opinion

Q10. During the cross-strait negotiations, the top government officials particpated in the actual discussions.  Do you think that this approach helps to resolve the problems that occur in cross-strait exchange?
19.0%: Very helpful
49.3%: Helpful
17.2%: Unhelpful
  8.2%: Very unhelpful
  6.3%: No opinion

Q11. Do you support further "direct dialogue between government officials" under the framework of the SEF/ARATS?
28.8%: Support a lot
45.9%: Support
10.4%: Not support
  8.6%: Very much not support

Q12. The next cross-strait meeting will be addressing the following issues.  Which issues are you more concerned about and want to see agreement reached first? (read list -- multiple choices allowed)
75.1%: Cross-strait exchange on public order (e.g. hitting against crime together, providing judiciary assistance; increase cooperation on food safety)
46.4%: Cross-strait financial cooperation (banking, stocks, futures)
57.4%: Cross-strait investment cooperation (investment guarantees, avoid double taxation)
51.4%: Cross-strait industrial cooperation (industrial standards)
39.4%: Cross-strait fishing cooperation (fishing resources; mainland fish workers)
44.1%: Cross-strait cultural, educational and media exchanges (students and media workers)

Q1.Do you think that the protests during the visit of Chen Yun-lin are normal phenomena in a democratic country that can be tolerated? Or did they do beyond the scope of the rule of law and cannot be tolerated?
29%: Normal phenomenon in a democratic country that can be tolerated
50%: Beyond the scope of the rule of law and cannot be tolerated
21%: No opinion

Q2. Do you think that the police handling of the protests during the visit of Chen Yun-lin was too strict?  Or too lax?  Or just right?
33%: Too strict
19%: Too loose
27%: Just right
21%: No opinion

According to <Legal System Daily>,

In early July 2007, the Tangshan resident Wang Guanjue registsered the Tangshan Renren Information Services Company in Tangshan with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and founded, a website that provided popular medical information as well as e-commerce.

In order to raise website traffic, signed a contract on <Competitive ranking> with Baidu.

The so-called "competitive ranking" is a service provided by search engine companies.  When a user searches for certain commonly used terms, the search engine companies will place the names of those client companies that purchased the service at the top of the search results.  When a user clicks on the link, the company will pay the search company.  This is one source of advertising revenue for search engine companies. signed the <Competitive ranking> contract with Baidu for the period March to September 2008 for the sum of 89,000 RMB. would be ranked third, with a minimum cost of 0.55 RMB per click and a maximum cost of 3.80 RMB per click.

The first few months of the contract was the honeymoon period between and Baidu.  Between June and August, decided to redesign its website and therefore reduced the cost to the minimum rate of 0.55 RMB per click.  Irregularities began to emerge.

On July 5, the business manager informed Wang Guanjue, "The number of links from Baidu into has suddenly decreased.  There were used to be more than 80,000 results, but now there is only one page with four results."

Baidu's Shijiazhuang office replied: "These changes are normal and automatic.  It does not mean that individual websites are being punished."

On July 10, the daily traffic volume of suddenly decreased.  From the 2,961 unique IP addresses per day, it was now 701 unique IP addresses.  Using July 10, 2008, as the point of separation, had 88,095 unique IP addresses in the preceding month and only 18,340 unique IP addresses the next month; the daily traffic volume dropped from an average of 2,936 unique IP addresses in the preceding month to 611 unique IP addresses the next month.  The website members can no longer find via Baidu, and the website was no longer drawing any visitors.

On September 25, Wang Guanjue checked the search results for on Google and Yahoo.  Those two showed 6,690 and 3,000 plus results.  Other search engines such as and also had more results than Baidu.

Some other website operators told that if someone buys competitive ranking from Baidu and cancels later, they can easily be filtered out by Baidu afterwards.

According to search engine experts, all search results may be subject to manual intervention.  The so-called filtering refers to a "black list" which caused the spiders not to visit the listed websites.  The purpose of filtering is to further their sales and marketing goals.  But Baidu Corporate Marketing Department vice-president Shu Xunzeng categorically denied that "filtering" exists: "Whether Baidu includes a website in its result is not related to whether that website is buying competitive ranking from Baidu.  Baidu indexes the largest number of Chinese web pages in the world, but that does not mean that it promises to index every single website."

Previously, on September 12, Baidu was exposed to have accepted 3 million RMB from the Sanlu Group to filter out negative information on the tainted milk poweder.

On October 31,'s attorney handed in a request to investigate monopolistic practices to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  It is asserted that Baidu's filtering of websites is an abuse of its market position.  The recommendation is that the law enforcement departments should force Baidu to stop its illegal practices and pay a fine of 174,440,000 RMB.

China University of Political Science associate professor Wu Qingjing believes that article 13 of the <Law on Advertisements> has already stated: "Advertisements should be identifiable so that the consumers will know that they are advertisements.  In the search engine industry, the competitive rankings are not being clearly marked as advertisements.  There is no definitive position on how the law applies to the issues raised by new technologies such as search engines.  This shows that the relevant laws in China are lagging behind."

At the present, there are many complaints against the competitive ranks from Baidu.  But there is a vacuum with respect to relevant systems and procedures.  To global observers, if Chinese search engines are not restricted by relevant laws, freedom on the Internet will someday become an appendage of capitalism.

Former president Chen Shui-bian traveled yesterday to Hsin Chu to meet with the people.  The luncheon was attended by former Hsin Chu county mayor Lin Kuang-hwa and current Hsin Chu county councilor Shih Kin-chiang.

Democratic Progressive Party member Shih Kin-chiang got on stage and said: "The first thing I have to do is to apologize.  I did not buy any votes last time.  Many Democratic Progressive Party members had been arrested.  I was scared, so I did not buy any votes.  There I am extremely sorry about that.  I apologize to everyone."

While one would think that vote buying is abominal, it is very strange for a county council to apologize for not doing so.  Former Hsin Chu county mayor Lin Kuang-hwa followed Shih onto the stage and he even said that it was embarrassing to apologize for not buying votes.  Lin turned to Shih and asked him whether he was joking.

Shih said: "There had been five Democratic Progressive Party councilors.  The investigators asked the other four to come in for questioning.  It was really something.  As long as there is no need, I was not interested in buying votes.  Therefore, I was questioned.  Of the four who were questioned, one lost the re-election and the other three were removed from office.  Nothing bad happened to the Kuomintang councilors who were buying votes.

This was one time that former president Chen Shui-bian was outshone by another person.

On November 8, a netizen posted that on Wenan Street in Nanjing city, there was nothing but stores with brand names that are just slight different from well-known ones.

Some netizens wondered: "Were these photos created by PhotoShop software?  This scene is just madness and unbelievable."  Another netizen commented: "I just passed by the scene.  The stores may not have opened for business yet, but these photos were not faked."  Another netizen wrote angrily: "You people are so easily conned.  These are just sample store signs used by the real estate developer to attract renters.  There is nothing that real estate developers won't do to attract attention, including spoofing the big name brands."

As you know, I read a lot of news in print and online sources every day.  For each major incident, there are always different perspectives from different people based upon their interests and positions.  This is exactly how they are expected to act, and no one can hope otherwise.  The best one can do is to read as many different news reports (which are necessarily tainted by the political positions of the respective media) and decide for oneself what the best approximation of 'truth' is.  Very often, there are these so-called "fair and balanced" reports: X says something and Y says the completely opposite.  What are you supposed to think?  If you have a pre-established position, then it is a no-brainer: X is always right and Y is always wrong (or vice versa).

Well, actually, it does not matter what you think.  What really matters is what the public thinks.  So what does the public think?  Go and check the public opinion polls!

A case in point is the bloodshed that occurred in Taipei during the visit of ARATS chairman Chen Yun-lin.  You read the various news reports.  President Ma Ying-jeou blames it all on the Democratic Progressive Party and its chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen for failure to control her supporters and refusing to accept responsibility.  Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen blamed the Ma Ying-jeou administration for not permitting free assembly and speech and using excessive force to oppress peaceful protestors.  The list goes on with more statements from the police, the KMT legislators, the DPP legislators, the protestors, etc.  Everybody insists that they are right.

Well, as I say, what really matters is what the public thinks.  So what do they think?

You will have assertions coming from the press about what the press thinks.  According to Reuters (via Wenxuecity), the 'blues' and 'greens' are both losers, and the biggest winner is Beijing.  Now that is an assertion that is usually backed by interviewing a couple of 'experts' with some kind of academic credentials.  Do you trust them?  Well, how would they know anyway?  Aren't you better off reading a public opinion poll?

Here is the one done by Apple Daily:

Who do you think is the biggest loser in this bloodshed of the 'siege' incident?
30.2%: The Republic of China lost its value of democracy
29.2%: Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen for creating a bloody social incident
25.1%: President Ma Ying-jeou for the improper handling by the government
  2.3%: The injured police officers and citizens for being beaten and injured
  1.8%: Chen Yunlin for causing unease in Taiwan
  0.8%: Don't know/no opinion

At the very least, this will teach you not to take the words of the various principals for granted.  This particular survey has some flaws.  It is based upon a flawed telephone survey methodology using an interactive voice system.  In addition, the survey question is a close-ended one with only one forced choice being allowed.  But whatever your misgivings may be, if you had seen this or any number of other similar polls, you would not be thinking that one of the principals was a winner while everybody loses.  You would definitely spare yourself from writing an idiotic triple-win theory in which the Kuomintang, the Democratic Progressive Party and the Chinese Communist Party all win.

In Taiwan, a number of media organizations conduct public opinion polls on a regular basis (China Times, United Daily News, Global Views Magazine, TVBS).  Frequently people denigrate these polls because these media organizations are "pan-blue" and therefore they cannot be trusted.

Well, I am not worried because there is a free market of public opinion polls.  Here is my reasoning. 

Fact 1: The cost of a public opinion poll is relatively cheap compared to the total expenditure by political party on canvassing, campaigning, promotions, advertising and public relations.

Fact 2: These public opinion polls actually affect public perception of people and events.

Fact 3: All major political parties and some of their supporters (such as media organizations) are running their own public opinion polls, but not all of them are publishing the results.

Fact 4: When you have your own internal data and you believe that your political opponent is publishing biased public opinion poll results, you ought to publish your own accurate results.  You can also ask for a third-party with no vested interest to run a public opinion poll.

When Apple Daily, China Times, United Daily News and TVBS all announce public opinion poll results that are more or less similar and the 'greens' offer nothing to counter them, you know where things probably stand.  Once you realize that, you may have a different take when you read the chest-pounding statements from the various principals, especially when you know that the principals already have access to the public opinion poll results before they open their mouths.

(Taipei Times)  Violence ends, finger-pointing begins.  November 8, 2008.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) traded accusations yesterday, with each side blaming the other for chaotic protests during Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin’s (陳雲林) visit to Taipei.

Violent protests against Chen’s visit during the past four days have resulted in clashes between police and protesters. The week of protests culminated on Thursday when tens of thousands took to the streets near the Presidential Office to protest President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) meeting with Chen.

The protesters later moved on to the Grand Hotel, where Chen was staying. A number of police, protesters and reporters were hurt in the ensuing clashes that continued into the early hours of yesterday morning. Protesters eventually left the area after the government dispatched riot police with a water cannon to the scene.

In an interview with China Television Co (CTV, 中視) yesterday, Ma urged DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), whose party organized Thursday’s protest, to take responsibility for the violence.

“You can’t just mobilize a crowd to attend a rally and then say the protesters were not your people when violent incidents occur. Is that being responsible? I don’t think it’s appropriate,” Ma said.


In response, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the Ma administration had used police to suppress peaceful protests.

“That suppression was the means by which Ma dealt with the protesters. Police used excessive force. These are the causes of the chaos of the past few days,” Ker told a press conference, accusing the Ma administration of violating the Constitution by “not allowing the public to express their views on the streets.”

The DPP said yesterday that the government should not smear the DPP and paint the party and Tsai as violent in nature.

Tsai told a separate press conference yesterday that a small number of protesters had started pushing down barriers and throwing plastic bottles, dirt and stones at police when a crowd had formed in front of Jingfumen (景福門), where DPP politicians were making speeches.

The party leadership had attempted to calm them down and asked them to stop attacking the police and they had emphasized throughout the protest that the DPP was a reasonable and peaceful party that does not welcome people who use violence, Tsai said.

DPP members then led the crowd away from the scene to avoid further conflict, Tsai said, adding that “actually almost all the protesters were peaceful and disciplined during the demonstration.”

Tsai said the party announced at 5:30pm that the rally was over. It was regrettable that some protesters headed to the Grand Hotel afterward, Tsai said, adding that the party had sent officials to persuade them to leave, but some of the people had been unwilling to go.

Tsai suspected that gangsters might have been behind some of the clashes with police, adding that the party had received information before the rally that some people who were not DPP supporters were planning to create trouble.

Tsai also promised to punish DPP members who failed to follow the party’s directives.

(China Times)

During the television interview yesterday, President Ma Ying-jeou was asked if he agreed with the public opinion polls that showed Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen bored the greatest responsibility for the bloody clash between police and civilians.  Ma said that he agreed.

Ma said that 149 police officers were injured, some with broken bones and others were hospitalized.  Taiwan is a peace-loving and hospital place, but these scenes will have an unknown negative impact on tourism.

Ma emphasized that he supports legal assemblies and marches.  When the Red Army were protesting, the greens set up before the city mayor's office (note: Ma Ying-jeou was the Taipei city mayor at the time) to curse him out.  He authorized them to use the space and offered protection because this was an exercise of free speech.  But when it comes to illegal activities, he would stop them.  "This is what a democratic political party should be doing!"

"Chairwoman Tsai chose a path that she was not familiar with, she did some things that she was not skilled in and she achieved results that she did not expect.  That is very regrettable."


Responding to President Ma Ying-jeou's assignation of the greatest responsibility for the bloodshed to her, Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said: "The people are unhappy with the government.  The Ma Ying-jeou government has the greatest responsibility."

With respect to the sarcastic label of "Violent Little Ing," she said that this was "going too far."  As a leader, she was prepared to deal with this sort of smearing.  More than twenty years ago, the Democratic Progressive Party was smeared similarly, but they eventually became the ruling party."

On the day before, she aid: "The Democratic Progressive Party handled everything very well."  The Democratic Progressive Party is going down the correct path.

With respect to charges that she was unable to control the crowd, she countered that all the activities "were controlled within reasonable bounds."  As for the big disturbance, she does not preclude the possibility that certain special elements intervened.  Before the event, she had received tips that people were buying special clothing to instigate trouble.


According to television film, former legislator Wang Shu-hui of the Democratic Progrssive Party called from the publicity truck for the crowd to head towards the Grand Hotel.  On television, she was heard: "They are now heading towards the Grand Hotel to voice their objections to Chen Yun-lin.  Does everybody want to go too?"

At 4:10pm, Wang Shu-hui shouted from the publicity truck: "Step backward, step forward.  Let us step on the blood and head towards the Grand Hotel.  Let us head towards the Grand Hotel!"  Several hundred people followed Wang Shui-hui until they hit a police barricade.  The crowd began to boo the police.  Wang Shu-hui then tied a yellow tape around her head.  The scene then got more violent.  Wang Shui-hui shouted: "Those people up front are going to be held responsible for throwing things.  Don't throw things!"

Democratic Progressive Party secretary-general Wang Tuoh said: "You are going hold us responsible for anything that is related to public security that took place outside of the area where we obtained the assembly permit.  I don't think that this is reasonable.  If there had been a robbery somewhere else, would you say that the Democratic Progressive Party planned it?"

As a former legislator of the Democratic Progressive Party, Wang Shu-hui was embarrassed that the Party Central has classified her as a "crime gang member."  Wang Shu-hui had nothing to say except: "I don't want t to comment."

On that evening at past 8pm, Wang Shu-hui suddenly disappeared from the publicity truck.  People wondered because it is the standard rule of the game in mass movement that one is responsible for bringing the crowds out as well as sending them home.


Former legislator Wang Shu-hui was present at the scene in Grand Hotel where a bloody clash took place between protestors and police.  When asked about possible Democratic Progressive Party disciplinary action against her, she replied: "Let them discipline me.  At the very worst, they can expel me.  It is up to them."

According to senior Democratic Progressive Party officials, chairman Tsai Ing-wen received information that Wang Shu-hui was heading towards the Grand Hotel.  She immediately instructed the Democratic Progressive Party secretary-general Wang Tuoh to call her back.

Wang Shu-hui said that it was very noisy and she could not hear anything on telephone.  That evening, a young man told her to lead the crowd away.  "I don't even know him.  Whose words should I believe?"  She told him: "Why don't you tell them to go home?"  Wang Shu-hui said that she was forced to stay at the scene: "If the crowd won't let me leave, how can I go?"

(China Times)

In Tainan, former President Chen Shui-bian objected to disciplinary actions against Democratic Progressive Party members.  He said: "I don't agree with applying disciplinary actions against Democratic Progressive Party members for disobeying orders."  Chen said that he had previously stated that Chen Yunlin should not be coming to Taiwan, but President Ma Ying-jeou invited him come anyway.  As a result, many people went into the streets to protest.  Inevitably clashes occurred, for such is the nature of street politics.  Therefore, he thinks that it was Ma Ying-jeou's fault and he opposes any disciplinary action against Democratic Progressive Party members. 

[For the record, former President Chen Shui-bian resigned from the Democratic Progressive Party earlier when his alleged money-laundering activities became known.]

錢鍾書夫婦與宋淇/ 關平  大公網 2008-11-5 






The Democratic Progressive Party called a siege during ARATS chairman Chen Yunlin's visit.  What do you think of the Democratic Progressive Party?
62.1%: They lose points, because they are practically the "party of violence"
31.3%: They gain points, because they showed how democracy working
  6.8%: Don't know/no opinion

Who do you think is the biggest loser in this bloodshed of the 'siege' incident?
30.2%: The Republic of China lost its value of democracy
29.2%: Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen for creating a bloody social incident
25.1%: President Ma Ying-jeou for the improper handling by the government
  2.3%: The injured police officers and citizens for being beaten and injured
  1.8%: Chen Yunlin for causing unease in Taiwan
  0.8%: Don't know/no opinion

(number in brackets are the results for the same question on October 2003, five years ago)

Are you satisfied with the central government ...?

On handling democratic reforms in the mainland democratic system:
Dissatisfied: 28.2% (37.0%)
So-so: 48.6% (34.0%)
Satisfied: 18.1% (19.2%)

On handling mainland economic development:
Dissatisfied: 7.4% (8.5%)
So-so: 38.6% (23.3%)
Satisfied: 6.2% (6.8%)

On dealing with Hong Kong affairs:
Dissatisfied: 11.2% (22.7%)
So-so: 38.1% (28.6%)
Satisfied: 47.3% (42.2%)

The overall performance of the central government:
Dissatisfied: 8.4% (11.9%)
So-so: 38.4% (30.9%)
Satisfied: 50.7% (51.8%)

Are you satisfied with these mainland Chinese leaders?

Chairman Hu Jintao
Dissatisfied: 3.1% (2.0%)
So-so: 26.5% (22.2%)
Satisfied: 67.8% (59.1%)

Premier Wen Jiabao:
Dissatisfied: 2.6% (1.0%)
So-so: 15.5% (18.3%)
Satisfied: 79.6% (68.7%)

People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo:
Dissatisfied: 6.1% (5.3%)
So-so: 41.2% (26.1%)
Satisfied: 17.6% (14.8%)

Do you trust the central government?

Don't trust: 10.7% (18.5%)
So-so: 42.1% (29.2%)
Trust: 44.8% (45.5%)

What are the prospects of mainland China ...?

Political prospects:
Pessimistic: 11.8% (11.8%)
So-so: 36.3% (24.8%)
Optimistic: 47.7% (57.9%)

Economic prospects:
Pessimistic: 9.8% (4.1%)
So-so: 22.4% (10.5%)
Optimistic: 64.0% (81.7%)

Do you think that "One Country, Two Systems; Hong Kong People Rule Hong Kong" has been carried out?

Not carried out: 13.4% (27.1%)
So-so: 53.9% (37.2%)
Carried out: 31.4% (29.5%)

How do you identify yourself?

Hong Kong person: 51.6% (53.6%)
Chinese person: 37.0% (32.0%)
Both: 10.2% (11.0%)
Neither: 0.5% (1.1%)

On the same evening, television news was communicating two completely different and contradictory ideas.

For the first 30 minutes of each hour, they showed the Democratic Progessive Party surrounding the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel where Wu Poh-hsiung was hosting Chen Yun-lin for dinner.  It is not exaggeration to call them mobsters.  They pushed at the police shields hard with their hands.  When the police tried to swipe away their hands, they screamed: "The police are beating people!"  One group of people went from the front of the hotel to the back and blocked all vehicles entrances.  All vehicles entering or leaving the hotel were their protest targets.  They threw eggs, they pounded on the car doors and they splashed liquid on the cars.  The crowd would not let Chen Yun-lin and they clashed repeatedly with the police.

Some of the 'green' legislators led the clashes against the police.  Some of them led roving bands on the prowl.  Some sneaked into the hotel and blocked the elevator entrance so that Chen Yun-lin cannot come out.  Some took out banners and yelled, "Taiwan and China, one nation on each side" and some yelled "Taiwan is not a part of China."

It was also 2am and Wu Poh-hsiung and Chen Yun-lin were both trapped inside the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel and unable to go home.

For the second 30 minutes of each hour, the news was that Barack Obama had been elected the president of the United States of America.  They praised the election of Obama as the formal end of racism in America.  Again and again, they showed Barack Obama's victory speech:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.


If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.


To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

The crowd chanted "Yes, we can!" repeatedly.

The Democratic Progressive Party represents the idea of division, of continuous division, of continuous trouble.  In order to continue making trouble, they distort the law, destroy the values, twist the facts, ignore courtesy and denigrate other people.  The wolf complains that the wall is to think to break and the thief whines that there are too many policemen around.  Who can reason with someone with no shame?  Lawless and guiltless people need lessons in blood and not well-meaning lectures.

What the Democratic Progressive Party said today is completely opposite to what they about the Red Army two years ago.  They called the Red Army a gang of mobsters who want to cause trouble.  But what about today?  The Red Army stayed in the plaza for one month without causing a police-civilian clash of this intensity.

Ma Ying-jeou should be sorry that he did not let the Red Army enter the Presidential Office or Residence.  He said that there has never been a coup in Taiwan for sixty years, and this tradition cannot be broken.  Only a bookworm like him believes that kind of thing, and the Democratic Progressive Party definitely does not believe in this nonsense.

Barack Obama represents the idea of togetherness.  He did not emphasize his victory as one for black people.  Instead, he sought to soothe the wounds of the various groups.  He did not emphasize that the Democratic Party has achieved dominance in government, but he said that he head the voices of those who did not vote for him.  His change is not about breaking away from the past.  Instead, it is the continuity of the wishes of the founding fathers, the words of Abraham Lincoln, the dream of Martin Luther King, the accomplishments of the forebears, the challenges of the future and even the efforts of the Republican Party and the white people.  He attempted to heal the wounds and lead American afresh.

Truly great ideas and moving words do not come from elegance but from relevance.  Words and values that reflect the historical reality, that are universally applicable and that are appropriate to the current situation will move people and come closer to the truth.

People's hearts are like mirrors.  There are many things that people don't understand or cannot explain even if they understand.  You can cover this mirror up, you can paint it black and you can distort it because it does not know how to resist and he cannot shine by itself.  But one of these days, someone is going to lift up a corner of the curtain and let the light of truth reach the mirror.  Then it will know what it was born to do.

The black man Obama lifted up the black cloth that covered up the mirror.  The green Democratic Progressive Party wanted to put green transparent tape on everything.  Obama wants to let the mirror speak out and tried to convince his supporters to accept his former opponents.  Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party wants to deflect, obstruct and filter all sources of light in order to prevent people from seeing light rays of other kinds of color.  They want people to hear their voices and destroy their opponents.

What a strong contrast?  One person wants to lead people into the light.  The other group wants to push their compatriots into darkness.  All of this was happening at the same time.  Why are things in the world so contradictory?  Can't they see that the trend in the world is towards the love and togetherness of Barack Obama and not the hatred and division in the style of Hitler?

The difference may lie in the personal interests!  One person gains power and he takes on the corresponding responsibility.  The other group of people needed to seize power and thus forgot that their values and responsibilities as individuals.

The two news stories were broadcast on the same evening.  One moved people to tears, not matter whether they are supporters or opponents.  The other made people gnaw their teeth in anger, no matter whether they are supporters or opponents.  Wouldn't the television news anchors feel that they are going out of their minds?

What do you think about the protest method of the Democratic Progressive Party?
61%: Went past the line and became too much
25%: Freedom of speech
14%: No opinion/no answer

Why did the police and the people clash?
49%: The protestors went too far
28%: The police went too far
23%: No opinion/no answer

ARATS chairperson Chen Yunlin was met with protests during his visit to Taiwan.

How satisfied are you with the performance of President Ma Ying-jeou during this episode?
33%: Satisfied
32%: Dissatisfied

How satisfied are you with the performance of Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen during this episode?
26%: Satisfied
53%: Dissatisfied

While Chen Yunlin was in Tawian, four agreements were signed on communication (air, sea and mail) and food safety.  Are these agreements ...?
52%: More good than bad for Taiwan
18%: More bad then good for Taiwan
  6%: Neither good nor bad
24%: No opinion

Where would you like Taiwan to head towards?
16%: Independence as quickly as possible
16%: Maintain status quo and then independence gradually
49%: Maintain status quo permanently
   5%: Maintain status quo and then unification gradually
   4%: Unification as quickly as possible

Only Satan would have been worse than the Bush regime. Therefore it could be argued that the new administration in the USA could never be worse than the one which divorced the hearts and minds of Americans from their brothers in the international community, which appalled the rest of the world with shock and awe tactics that included concentration camps, torture, mass murder and utter disrespect for international law. Yet in choosing Obama, the people of America have opted to come back into the international fold. Welcome back, friends!

The Democratic Progressive Party claimed 400,000 participants while the police estimated 30,000.
The police reported 80 persons were injured, including 34 police officers.
The Ministry of Health reported 47 persons received emergency medical treatment,
including 21 civilians, 18 police officers, 6 reporters and 2 Legislators.

Petrol bombs thrown at the police by the protestors

The crowd jumped on someone they suspect to be an undercover policeman

A wounded police commander

What incenses the mainland Chinese are photos such as this one:

This has led to a counter-story on mainland Internet forums of the video of a mainland Chinese woman trying to put out the fire set on a Chinese flag. She is being called "the most beautiful mainland bride."


(Taipei Times)

... “Ma has made big concessions to China and for Chen’s visit he has ordered the police to stop Chen from hearing the real voice of the people. Then he said the opposition party leader should take responsibility for the incident at the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei and other clashes that have occurred during today’s rally,” Tsai said.  “Is he fit to be our president?” Tsai asked. “Ma must take full responsibility for the incidents,” Tsai said, adding that “an authoritarian government that uses violence against its own people” must take responsibility."  “It is the government that has forced people to take to the streets,” she said. “This is only the beginning and we will see each other on the streets again soon.”

Violence erupted while Tsai was delivering her speech.

“The enemies are in town and we’re still talking about being peaceful,” a man in the crowd said, others around him nodding in agreement. “What you get is all our tax money and look who you’re protecting,” an elderly man who climbed onto the barriers shouted at police. “Cover me,” said another man, while lighting a firecracker with his cigarette. The firecracker was thrown over the barrier, exploding in front of the police as the crowd cheered and applauded. “Stay calm, stay calm. Sit down please. Those who are creating chaos are not our people, they’re spies from the other side,” DPP officials urged, but an escalation seemed inevitable.

At around 1:30pm a group of protesters used pliers to clip through the barbed wire barricades, penetrating the line that police had set up. Soon, other demonstrators started pushing down the barriers, advancing to the other side to confront police. Excited by the development, more and more people followed suit and the break in the police line grew larger and larger. Shouting slogans and waving flags, some members of the crowd started attacking the police, throwing plastic bottles, dirt and stones, wounding not only officers, but also many reporters on the scene, as officers wearing riot gear appeared. The DPP leadership continued to urge the crowd to stay calm and refrain from attacking the police, trying to lead the crowd away from the scene, but all attempts failed.





Who is responsible for the bloody protests against Chen Yunlin over the past two days?
31.7%: Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen incited the protestors, and when things turned bad, she was nowhere to be found
29.1%: The 'green' Legislators gave passionate performances for the sake of media exposure and thus caused things to spin out of control
25.2%: President Ma Ying-jeou for being too soft on China and failing to defend the dignity of Taiwan
  5.5%: ARATS chairman Chen Yunlin should never have come to Taiwan
  2.8%: The police carried their duties excessively and aroused public anger
  2.2%: Other reasons
  3.6%: Don't know/no opinion



Last evening, Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsung hosted banquet at the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel for Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin.  Many "green" camp elected representatives and members protested at the scene.

The protestors: "Go back, go back, go back to China!  Go back to China!"

There were serious jostling in front of the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel.  A female CCTV reporter and her camerawoman became the target.  In the confusion, even though they were escorted out by the police, someone attacked and hit the female assistant from behind.  The female reporter curled up her body as the situation got increasing perilous.  The crowd: "Go back to China! Go back to China!"  Police officer: "They are reporters.  Don't mistreat them.  They are reporters.  Don't mistreat them."

The scared CCTV reporter was like a frightened bird who coiled upon the arms of her female assistant.  She dared not raise her head.  Meanwhile the female cameraman was half-dragged, half-pulled by the friendly Taiwan media into the police vehicle.  Taiwan reporter: "She is a reporter.  Quick.  She is a reporter.  Quick, quick.  Miss, get into the car.  She is one of them too!"  The police: "Please make way.  Miss, get into the car quick.  Don't be afraid.  Please get on the car!"

The female camerawoman seemed to have been frightened witless by this scene.  Her face carried an expression of incredulity.  As soon as she got into the car, she dialed her mobile phone and called her company to inform them about this excessive and out-of-control scene.

The protestors gathered to express their support for democracy, but they end up being disorderly and violent.  The scenes were recorded on film, and will cause irreparable damage to the image of democracy in Taiwan.





(Phoenix TV)

(Apple Daily)

A mainland Chinese re porter said angrily: "The friends in Taiwan showed Chen Yunlin and mainland China observe the diversity and democracy in Taiwan.  If this is what diversity and democracy are like, who needs to learn from them?"  "Freedom should not be built upon the pain of others.  This is going to seriously damage the image of Taiwan."

The official mainland media did not say much about Chen Yunlin being trapped in the hotel.  But the fact that CCTV host Chai Lu was almost assaulted drew the ire of mainland netizens.  "We demand the People's Liberation Army prepare for war."

(Apple Daily)  More photos not related to the mainland Chinese reporters.

Q. It was not easy trying to call you.
A.  There have been many mysterious calls over the past several days.  I pick up and the other party yells: "Dai, you better be careful!"  Before I speak, the other party disconnects.  Theses are threats.  Both my mobile phones are overwhelmed.  They even found the number for my home fixed-line p hone and called dozens of times a day so that I am a nervous wreck.  My son is nine years old and in fourth grade.  Now I have to send him off and pick up every day because of the fear that something might happen to me.  You can imagine the pressure that I am under.  But I am warmed by a call from a media colleague, because it shows concern and mental support.  I must stand up straight and face reality.

Q. Where are the threatening calls coming from?
A. I suspect that there are coming from the coal mine as well as the fake reporters who have been exposed but not investigated yet.

Q. Are you sorry?  Does your family understand?
A. I am forty-two years old and I have only done this one thing.  Now that I made my choice, I cannot worry about the other consequences.  My wife is frequently complaining at home.  In principle, she supports me.  My father passed away early in life.  My mother has cancer and she is not feeling well.  When she heard about what happened, she touched my face with her hand and let the tears come down: "Child, I understand you.  You do as you think, but please be careful."  Actually, I should have known that it could be painful when I exposed the "gag fee" scandal.  But if I "gagged" myself, I would be unhappy the rest of my life.

Q. Was this the first time that you come across a case of "gag fees"?
A. This is absolutely true.  At just past 3pm on September 25, I received a telephone call from a veteran Shanxi reporter.  He said that he was attending a conference in Pingyao and a villager called to say that there were many reporters lining up to collect "gag fees" at the Huobao Ganhe coal mine.  Pingyao is close to Hongdong and so he was ready to go over there.  But since he did not have a camera, he asked me to hurry over there with my camera.  I did not have a car, but my blogger friend "Shanxi Podcast" has a car.  So we went together.  We arrived in front of the coal mine at around 7pm.  It was drizzling and pitch dark out there.

Q. Actually, you could have picked up "gag fees" too.
A. I could not.  When I reached the coal mine office building, I signed by name in the guest book and I went upstairs.  I saw the reporters lining up in the corridor of the third floor to collect money.  There a group of people around the office counting money.  When I saw that, I wanted to take photos.  But I was afraid that they would kill me for doing so.  So I told my friend "Shanxi Podcast" about my plan: "As soon as I take the photos, I will dash downstairs.  You open the car door first.  As soon as I enter the car, you drive away as quickly as possible.  If I get caught, you ignore me.  As long as the camera is in the car, you leave as quickly as possible.  The photos are more important than my life."  After we reached agreement, I went back upstairs and took nine photos, including the corridor, the office, the registration book and the cars in front of the office building.  Since the lighting was poor, I used the flashlight.

Q. The flashlight? Didn't the coal mine people and the people collecting the money notice you?
A. They noticed me.  But I gave them one second to record, because the camera was taking photos rapidly.  Before they recovered from their shock, I was sprinting away.  My heart was pounding as I jumped into the car.  Based upon my military experience, I knew that we could not return to Taiyuan the same way that we came from.  We had to go in the opposite direction.  So we headed towards Linfen.  We stopped inside a village more than ten kilometers and we observed for more than 20 minutes without seeing any pursuers.  From the villagers, we got directions for a small road to reach the Taiyuan Expressway.  We returned to Taiyuan after 10pm that night.

Q.  Was the filming process very dangerous?
A.  I felt a chill in my spine during the filming and the escape.  If they found out that I was going to expose them, even if the coal mine bosses do not beat me to death, those fake reporters would.

Q. You want to expose them, but isn't there a problem with publishing your report?
A. Hmm.  I thought about that again and again.  I finally decided to post it onto the Internet.  On the next morning, I and my blogger friend "Shanxi Podcast" posted what we saw onto a podcasting website.  At first there was no much impact.  But all the netizens on this website noticed the story and they left comments.  A few days later, a blogger friend called and asked jokingly: "Dai Xiaojun, did you take gag fees from the coal mine as well?"  That surprised me.  I checked the website and found out that my post had been deleted.  I called the website and the editor Ms. Zhao was very evasive.  I asked to speak to the person in charge, who told me that the deletion was made due to pressure from "above."  I asked which was the department "above," but he avoided answer me.  So I had to post it again.  In less than two hours, it was deleted again.  Then I got really mad.
Ever since, I and "Shanxi Podcast" sat home everyday to post to the various forums all over China.  They delete very quickly, but I was posting very quickly too.  This was how the post zipped around the Internet and created a huge storm with the help of netizen comments.

Q. Does anyone know that you were making those posts?
A. But once I got angry, I registered under my own name and make a public challenge.  The reason why I got mad was that some website was "under pressure" to pretend that they represented the author and asked other websites to delete the posts.  I don't understand why this website had to do this.  I wondered if the coal mines paid huge sums to delete the post.  So I had to use my real name to accept the responsibility and consequences for my actions as backed by my writing and photos.  At the time, I did not think too much beyond bringing out the truth and attacking the lies.

Q. Do you know that there is still more that hasn't come out yet?
A. There are more real and fake reporters who have not been revealed to receive "gag fees."  The published list of real and fake reporters has 28 names.  The registry that I filmed had 38 people in it.  The book had at least a dozen pages, and I took photos of four pages only.  Can you imagine how many more people have not been revealed?

Q. Your actions exposed your colleague and unit.  Someone said that you received a huge reward from your unit.  Is that case?
A. Yes.  In the pages of the registry that I filmed, there was the name Zhao XX from Shanxi Times.  I don't know this person.  There is no such person with the Shanxi bureau I work.  If he came from the headquarters, the practice is that he should inform the Shanxi bureau.  But nobody informed us.  It is odd that the newspaper has not said anything about the authenticity of this person.  Nobody has called me from the newspaper headquarters about this affair.  Not a single person.  Given this attitude, there is no way that the newspaper would give me any reward.  The Shanxi bureau chief is sympathetic towards me, but he is also very worried for me.  I feel that I won't be working here for long.

Q. Some people say that you are a fake reporter as well.
A. That is completely false.  I admit that I am just a correspondent (and not a reporter) with the Shanxi bureau.  But I have been publishing reports in Shanxi Times about the important meetings and activities of the Shanxi provincial party committee and government.  I also reported on the Olympic torch bearers.  The Shanxi provincial publicity department has confirmed that.  When my reports get published, they are sometimes signed "correspondent" and others times "reporter."  I don't understand why that happens.

Q. Do you live off  author's fees?  What are you going to do in the future?
A. This is not totally true.  I love photography, and the bulk of my income is for photography sessions.  Usually I rent studios from friends to do so.  In 1984, I joined the military at age 18 without telling my parents.  I only told them right before I left.  Twelve years later, I went to work in Taiyuan.  I spent four years with <Life Morning News> as a reporter.  In 2000 I opened up a photography studio.  I made some money and I opened a color print shop and I established my own photography workshiop.  In 2003, business was really bad when SARS struck and I lost all my money.  I went to work at the Shanxi bureau of Shanxi Times.  I am 42 years old now, and I have a lot of questions.  On one hand, I live a spartan life and I have no special needs for my life apart from stability.  On the other hand, I am different from others by being independent and idealistic.  I don't have the energy to think about how I will live afterwards.  But the one thing that is constant is that I want society to be cleaner and fairer.  I would not be able to live with myself if I did not uncover the corruption.

Related Link: Reporter disputes initial findings in the “gag fee” case  Emily Lupano and David Bandurski, China Media Project

Netizen Zhu Guangbing bills himself as a crusader against Internet violence.  Yesterday, he posted at Tianya forum to state that he will pay 100 RMB to each person who enters his/her real name in the comments.  This may be the highest publishing fee ever on the Internet at 100 RMB for writing down your name.  But there has been very few takers.  In addition, his "anti-Internet violence" hotline has been receiving very few calls.

Compared to the red-hot popularity of "human flesh searches," this self-organized "anti-human flesh search" movement is getting the cold shoulder.

At around 6pm last evening, a post titled: "Boycott Internet violence: Any netizen who enters his/her real name in the comments to this post will receive 100 RMB" appeared at Tianya Forum's media section.

The poster Zhu Guangbing said that the direct reason why he is doing this is because he had been a supporter of Internet violence but himself eventually as a victim.  Zhu said that he is a veteran netizen with more than a decade of experience.  Once up a time, he was a supporter of Internet criticizing and searching.  "Then something happened wherein the netizens made me a target of 'human flesh searches.'  All of a sudden, the Internet abusive comments and harassment came non-stop, putting me into a state of pain and misery."

Ultimately, he decided to use 10,000 RMB "to encourage netizens to be responsible for their own speech whether they support or oppose what I am doing or saying.  As long as you comment in a civilized manner, I will give each person 100 RMB in reward money."

During the interview with this reporter, Zhu did not describe his personal experiences in detail.  But he was referring to the netizens' criticisms of Zhu's attempt to profit from the URL domains related to the Wenchuan earthquake.  As a result, Zhu had lost his job.

In the Internet world, "Zhu Rob Rob" was far more famous than Zhu Guangbing, who is famous for quickly registering URL domains related to major incidents.

On June 6 this year, Zhu Guangbing registered a series of URL domain names revolving around 512, the date of the Wenchuan earthquake.  But he was put to a human flesh search and then harassing phone calls began to come in continuously.  In August, he had to resign his job with a company in Zhejiang.

In September, Zhu announced war against Internet violence.  He established what he claimed to be the first civilian "anti-Internet violence" hotline.

During this time, there was a lot of discussion about whether "human flesh search" ought to be criminalized in law.  The supporters claimed that "human flesh search" is an important path to realize Internet violence.  Once the private information about people who are the foci of news coverage are uncovered by 'human flesh search,' they will be bombarded relentlessly by anonymous netizens.

But the proposed legislation quickly vanished under the overwhelming opposition of netiznes.  Even after the suicide of Korean actress Cui Zhenshi, there was no enthusiasm.

The hotline of Zhu Guangbing encountered the same reception as the proposed legislation against human flesh searches.  During his interview, he said that the hotline has cooled down after the first few days.  "Right now, there are just a few calls each day."  Since he has been traveling to Guangzhou and Shanghai the past month or so, the hotline is being manned by his relatives.

"Those posts that promote the hotline were quickly drowned out," said Zhu.  That was how he came up with the idea of paying people for using their real names.

He said that he will keep his promise.  As for the reward money, he said that "it was income from selling domain names."

But four hours after the post appeared, Zhu has only picked up comment with a real name.  Zhu said that he will realize his promise when he reaches 100 real names.

When a romantic movie about young people in Taiwan and Japan separated by 50 or 60 years generates interest in mainland China to the point of becoming a great hope for Chinese movies, then it is a clear signal that ideology is being diluted.

But I believe that even if <Cape No. 7> is shown in mainland China, it will not enjoy the universal praise like it did in Taiwan.  On the contrary, <Cape No. 7> director Wei Desheng will follow <Lust, Caution> director Ang Lee's footsteps to become the focus of cultural criticisms.

Frankly speaking, I was very uneasy after watching <Cape No. 7>, which is being praised by many stupid mainland Chinese movie critics.  We no longer live in an age that when everybody else says it's  great, then I must say it is great as well.  There is no way that I can say <Cape No. 7> is good.

Some friends sent me SMS after watching this movie: "This is a movie for Taiwan independence elements."

This is a serious allegation.

Actually, I did not think that it was overtly pro-Taiwan independence (maybe because the version that I watched on the Internet had many parts missing).

A Japanese man had to return to Japan after the Second World War.  On the return boat trip, he wrote seven letters to the Chinese woman that he left behind in southern Taiwan.  They never communicated with each other again and the Japanese man never sent those letters.  After 2000, his grandchildren finally sent those letters out but the address of <Cape No. 7> is no longer known.

Where is <Cape No. 7>?

The movie is titled <Cape No. 7> and its meaning revolves around <Cape No. 7>.

What is <Cape No. 7>?

This is about the romantic affair between a Japanese man and a Chinese woman.  This makes one easily think that this is a symbol of Taiwan under Japanese occupation before 1945, as well as the nostalgia of some Taiwanese people today for those days.  Even though we Chinese people who live in a unified China today cannot accept this, or are even revile this, this movie shows how some Taiwanese people still long for those days of yore.

The singer Aga returns to Hengchun in southern Taiwan after a disappointing stint in Tiapei, and took over his grandfather's job as postman.  He receives this heavy stack of letters from Japan.  Out of curiosity, he opened the letters (note: postmen in Taiwan are really bad workers) and read about what happened 50 or 60 years ago (namely, in those seven letters).  Thus, he began to search for <Cape No. 7> and the Taiwanese woman named Tomoko.

Tomoko is the Japanese name of a Chinese woman.  The name is a clear indication that she was a Taiwanese woman educated under the Japanese system during the Japanese occupation.

Why not call her Shu-jen (as in the name of the wife of former president Chen Shui-bian) or Hsiu-lien (as in the name of former vice-president Annette Lu)?

At the end of the movie, Aga found this Tomoko, who was more than 80 years old by then.

It was two Japanese persons who helped Ah Jia find Tomoko.  One of them is a singer and the other is a tourist guide also named Tomoko.  When Aga returned to southern Taiwan, he formed a musical band which performed as a warm-up act at the concert being given by the famous Japanese singer.  During the process, Aga fell in love with the tourist guide Tomoko.

The movie did not present the romance of the couple 50 or 60 years ago.  There were only the seven ambiguous letters from the Japanese teacher without any depiction of that romance.  Was it sweet?  Was it bitter?  Was it joyful?  Was it sad?  Was the entire affair one big lie?

But in the careful crafted atmosphere of <Cape No. 7>, all the Taiwan movie critics imagine that this romantic affair must be comparable to the one between Rose and Jack in <Titanic>.  There were many cruise scenes in the movie to evoke those memories as well as prettify how the invaders had to be repatriated.  This Japanese-Taiwanese love affair was just an excuse to justify the pro-Japanese sentiments of certain Taiwanese people today.

Therefore, I learn from this movie that there are three kinds of people in Taiwan:

There are those who support unification.

There are those who support Taiwan independence.

And then there are whose who want Taiwan to get close to Japan again.

In the movie, the pretty Japanese tourist guide Tomoko made a highly symbolic remark to her newfound boyfriend Aga: "This time, I am not staying.  Instead, you are laving with me."

Last time, the Japanese lost the Second World War and had to return home.  Thus ended the romance between the couple.  This time, there is a new romance between a Japanese woman and Taiwanese man.  Will she stay, or will he leave with her.  They don't want to be separated from each other.

To stay?  Or to leave?

Some people commented that this movie has a very strong Taiwanese flavor.  In my view, that is just an excuse.  In the movie, the first thing that Aga said was "I fuck Taipei's mother."  From the viewpoint of local favor, this represents the rebellion of Hengchun against Taipei, or the local Taiwan consciousness against unification with China.  Taipei may be the one of the Chen Shui-bian administration or the Ma Ying-jeou admninistration.  But the movie is actually trying to link the so-called local sentiments with the historical close ties with Japan.

Actually, if the large number of ambivalent statements are removed from this movie (as in the one that will eventually be passed in mainland China), the movie is going to be only half as interesting and fascinating.

Or it may become totally boring and pointless.

So why should our film administration department bother to bring this movie in to China?

After seeing this movie and reading the commentary, I really feel that there is no hope for Chinese cinema.  This movie runs completely counter to "our" mainstream values.  Nevertheless, it is incredibily being lauded by the Chinese critics and movie workers in a completely one-sided manner.  I don't believe that the artistic attractions of this movie can be completely separated from its political messages.  I can say that if <Cape No. 7> is separated from its detailed, subtle and sharp political messages, it is just a pile of dog shit.

On October 30, 2008, there was an election for the new village committee in Yutai village, Qinyang city, Henan province.  There were many candidates who used all sorts of tricks.  As a result, the village election became a bustling affair as exciting as any festival.

Candidate Yang Jun is enterprising, young and strong

Candidate Comrade Chen Guanli follows the Party tightly

Yin Shenghai for village committee director
"Firmly stick to my position, Will never be fooled."

Yang Jun sends his regards to all the villages elders
Yin Shenghai will work for village residents in concrete ways

Chen Guanli:
100 yuan to all Communist Party members age 60 or over each year;
100 yuan to all village residents age 80 or over each year;
200 yuan to all students who are accepted to middle schools each year;
300 yuan to all students who are accepted by tertiary schools each year;
500 yuan to all students who are accepted by universities as undergraduates each year;
1,000 yuan to all students who are accepted by elite universities each year;
500 yuan to all families with special circumstances each year;

Chen Guanli: If I say so, I can do it!

Filing out the ballot

Putting the ballot into the box

Vote tallying

Sing Tao's Story Of The Day: Big Lau says there are many inaccuracies in Yvonne Lui's open letter

Headine Daily: Big Lau discloses That Yvonne Lui was making stuff up

(Apple Daily)

(The Sun)

When Big Lau arrived at the restaurant, six security guards stepped out first to set up a human cordon.  Dozens of reporters rushed up to ask, "Is the girl your daughter?"  Big Lau held a grim expression and refused to answer.  A Cable TV female reporter asked, "Mr. Lau, are you having the one-month banquet here?"  Big Lau stopped, turned around and grabbed the microphone in the reporter's hand and hollered: "Do you know that you just hit me?"  Everybody was so shocked that they stopped, including the security guards.  Big Lau shaked the microphone and continued with his tirade: "Do you know that you hit my face!"  "Did you see that it hit my face!"  He then tore off the logo on the microphone and threw it on the ground.  Big Lau pulled up his pants and then yelled at the female reproter: "You are really crazy!"  The female reporter started to sob.

Meanwhile, a search for "Cecilia Cheung" does not yield her own photos in that series.  Instead, the top result at Yahoo! (HK) for "Cecilia Cheung" is a Edison Chen photo of Gillian Chung clad in lingerie.  No, this is neither fair nor balanced ...

In the Hong Kong Government's consultation paper to review the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, there is this proposal:

... to make it mandatory for ISPs to provide filtering service to their subscribers so that children and youngsters will be protected from web content not suitable to them. This would enable filtering of content from both local and overseas websites. Upstream control carried out by the operators would be more effective than the use of domestic filtering software. Since the filtering software is installed in the server-end rather than in the computer on the client side, it is less likely to be circumvented by children and youngsters. Updates to blocking database can be carried out automatically for the convenience and at the option of the users.

This Gillian Chung result shows up because the Yahoo! spider indexed a Flickr account in the US of A and did not 'understand' that the photos were 'illegal' in Hong Kong.  The consultation paper acknowledges the challenges:

The major challenge is that obscene or indecent materials can continue to be accessed through overseas websites, which are not subject to the laws of Hong Kong. Considerable manpower and financial resources would be incurred under this approach in view of the large volume of transient information transmitted on the Internet, but this may not serve much useful purpose given the extraterritoriality issue. Another challenge is how to avoid regulation overkill so that the local Internet industry would not lose its competitiveness to other economies.

(雙語 Incoherent thoughts)

McCain going strong ...
Those people who thought that Obama was going to win for sure better not open your champagne bottle yet ...
Joe the Plumber came out with the message that Obama wants to re-distribute wealth ... it seems to be working ...

McCain may or may not be leading, but when the information comes from the Drudge Report, it is almost certain to be misleading.  This is what John Zogby said today (via Zogby International):

"Obama has consolidated his lead over McCain. His single day lead today was back to 52%-42%. He leads by 10 among independents and has solidified his base. He leads among Hispanics by38 points, African Americans by 88, 18-24 year olds by 36, 18-29 year olds by 25, 25-34 year olds by 16, women by 8, and men by 3. He has a 17 point lead among those who have already voted, 22 by those who have registered to vote in the past 6 months, Moderates by 34, Catholics by 10. He even receives 21% support among Conservatives.

"So what happened to give McCain a one-point lead in the one-day polling on Friday? It was a day of consolidation for him, too. He had been losing support among key groups and began to regain some of his own base. He now leads by 21 points among NASCAR fans, 9 among investors, 6 among voters in armed forces households, and 2 among voters over 65 years old.

"Remember, as I said yesterday, one day does not make a trend. This is a three-day rolling average and no changes have been tectonic. A special note to blogger friends: calm it down. Lay off the cable television noise and look at your baseball cards in your spare time. It is better for your (and everyone else's) health."

(New York Times)

On any given night, there are two distinctly, even extremely, different views of the presidential campaign offered on two of the three big cable news networks, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, a dual reality that is reflected on the Internet as well.

On one, polls that are “tightening” are emphasized over those that are not, and the rest of the news media is portrayed as papering over questions about Mr. Obama’s past associations with people who have purportedly anti-American tendencies that he has not answered. (“I feel like we are talking to the Germans after Hitler comes to power, saying, ‘Oh, well, I didn’t know,’ ” Ann Coulter, the conservative commentator, told Mr. Hannity on Thursday.)

On the other, polls that show tightening are largely ignored, and the race is cast as one between an angry and erratic Mr. McCain, whose desperate, misleading campaign has as low as a 4 percent chance of beating a cool, confident and deserving Democratic nominee in Mr. Obama. (“He’s been a good father, a good citizen, he’s paid attention to his country,” Chris Matthews, the MSNBC host, said Wednesday night in addressing those who might be leaning against Mr. Obama based on race. “Give the guy a break and think about voting for him.”)

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, each campaign is often at war against its television antagonist, just as the networks are at war with each other.

It is a political division of news that harks back to the way American journalism was through the first half of the 20th century, when newspapers had more open political affiliations. But it has never been so apparent in such a clear-cut way on television, a result of market forces and partisan sensibilities that are further chipping away at the post-Watergate pre-eminence of a more dispassionate approach.

Earlier this year, a young Beijing girl uttered the phrase "Very pornographic, very violent" at a CCTV camera.  Like the divining children's songs in history books, this instantly became the most popular catchphrase of the year.  A few days ago, courtesy of a modern surveillance camera in a public place and then the Internet, a "very pornographic, very violent" incident that occurred on a certain 11-year-old girl in Shenzhen could not be gagged and became known globally.  This senior official "sent by the Ministry of Transportation" -- Shenzhen party organization secretary and deputy bureau chief Li Jiaxiang -- became a celebrity.  If you quiz any netizen and chances are that he doesn't know the names of the Minister of Transportation or the mayor of Shenzhen, but most likely he will know Lin Jiaxiang.

The career of Lin Jiaxiang is definitely terminated.  Even worse, it won't be surprising if he is severely punished by his superiors.  This is because he has committed too many missteps in this affair.

Firstly, this incident is extremely ironical right after thee Third Plenum Session began noisily about learning and practicing the "scientific view of development."  Like the various other rectification campaigns in the history of the Chinese Communist Party, the "scientific view of development" was a way to unify thinking and re-organize the team.  At this time, social conflicts are noticeable, news of corruption within the government/party abound and the economic crisis is gathering momentum.  The senior leaders are placing high hopes on the "scientific view of development" in order to salvage its public image.  Along comes Lin Jiaxiang and the rectification campaign becomes connected with the incident.  Many people on the Internet are scorning Lin as the "official with the scientific view of development."  By making the senior leaders lose so much face, how do you suppose that Lin will find a good ending?

After assessing the public opinion over the past two days, I can now say categorically that Lin's affair is a political incident which can be treated as no less as a miniature "tainted milk" incident.  The Chinese people may be powerless and they may have to swallow their bitterness.  The Chinese grown-ups can live their miserable lives, but when it comes to hurting children, it goes past the moral bottom line and hurts the public feelings immeasurably.  This was why people were most sad about the collapse of the school buildings during the Sichuan earthquake.  That was why the "tainted milk powder" raised such a huge storm.  Those two incidents involve multiple networks of interests among the rulers, and it was very hard for the senior leaders to break off. So they had to bundle everything together and cope with the onrushing criticisms.  In Lin's case, he has basically no chance of bundling himself with his superiors.  If the senior leaders toss him out, they will only earn points.  At this point, my guess is that this is even going beyond anything that the Ministry of Transportation party organization can do.

Secondly, Lin broke the hidden rules between the local government and the local unit from the central government.  This kind of relationship has always been intricate.  In a wealthy and developed place such as Shenzhen, the various central government units want to send their own people there.  Thus, this becomes a situation where multiple units are vying to compete.  Meanwhile, the local government officials and citizens are not pleased.  Therefore, a smart official from the central government would want to keep his relationships with the local government officials in good balance.  But Lin was caught on film roaring in public that he was sent by Beijing, and his rank is the same as the mayor of Shenzhen.  This type of behavior is intolerable within the system.  The Ministry of Transportation party organization is thoroughly embarrassed, and the Shenzhen city officials will also be glad to get rid of Lin.

Thirdly, drunkenness unleashes the true personality.  The true face of Lin was revealed to be a person who is likely to be very overbearing and arrogant in normal times.  When your powers are unrestrained, it is hard not to be overbearing.  This type of official usually thinks that he is charismatic and strong.  With those powers, he offends people easily.  When such an official gets into trouble, his colleagues and subordinates will applaud.  When he is stuck in the bottom of the well, his political competitors will have no compunction to toss a few rocks on his head.  Lin's job is easily imagined to be a lucrative assignment with plenty of opportunities.  Lin will not be able to restrict his troubles as solely "the molestation of a female child."  Once the opening is created, the investigation may reveal other problems, which can easily make an "official sent from the Ministry of Transportation" die ugly.

After a day’s reporting and writing stories for my newspaper back in Toronto, and in between making arrangements to pack up our household, I would hole up alone with my old diaries in the Globe’s whitewashed office in Beijing. I read about my struggle to integrate into a hermetically sealed society, about wielding a pneumatic drill at the Number One Machine Tool Factory, about my ludicrous efforts to overcome my bourgeois affinity for rock and roll. I had been an enthusiastic participant in my own brainwashing. The Chinese used the term xi nao, “washing the brain,” approvingly. After all, you wash something to cleanse it of filth. Reading about my misguided youth, I occasionally smiled. More often I winced. Then I read an entry about a stranger who had invited me and Erica Jen for a stroll around No Name Lake. With a sinking heart, it all came back. How could I have ever ­forgotten?

In 1972, Erica and I were the only two Westerners studying at Beijing University. She was a pink-cheeked, extremely smart Chinese American my age from Yale. Our studies had been approved at the highest levels of the Chinese government. As the first foreign students, we had our own teachers, our own cook and our own dormitory. Everyone who befriended us had been carefully vetted by the Communist Party. Beijing University even moved in hand-picked female students to fill the emptiness of the foreign-student dormitory.

Erica and I had been there nearly a year without one spontaneous encounter. So we were delighted when someone new approached us. The young woman had no inkling Erica and
I were both starry-eyed Maoists. As we walked around the campus lake, she peppered us with questions. How much money did a worker make in America? Did every American have a refrigerator? What kind of class background was required to attend university? When we told her how much workers earned, she gasped. We grudgingly acknowledged that everyone had a fridge. And we conceded that there were no class-based restrictions on university attendance.

Suddenly she said, “I want to go to America. Can you help me?”

We were shocked. Our roommates had never expressed the slightest interest in the West. For nearly a year, our teachers had taught that China was a proletarian paradise. But perhaps
I shouldn’t have been surprised. Only a few months earlier, I had personally experienced the dark side of paradise. I had nearly been expelled from Beijing University for an innocent friendship with another foreigner, a young Swedish diplomat in Beijing. When the crisis was resolved, I had simply resumed classes. But it was my first experience with thought control. Everyone–my teachers, my classmates, the officials in the Foreign Student’s Office–all pretended it had never happened. Only Erica assured me I wasn’t delusional.

That incident had shaken my faith. Yet I still stubbornly, desperately wanted to believe that socialism was superior to capitalism. I was still in love with China, and falling out of love would be a long, slow, painful process.

Erica was even more left-wing than I was. That night, we discussed what to do. Helping the young stranger leave was out of the question. We reasoned that the workers and peasants had paid for her university education. Anyone who accepted this privilege was duty-bound to stay in China and help develop the country. We could have done nothing. Certainly, we both felt squeamish about tattling. Then we decided our discomfort was just another manifestation of the bourgeois Western sentimentality we were trying to overcome. Chairman Mao had exhorted us to “let politics take command.” Any other considerations were superfluous.

“We didn’t do it to earn brownie points,” Erica, a research professor in mathematics at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, told me years later. But maybe I did. Having almost been cast out myself, I now wanted desperately to be accepted, to be part of what I then called “New China.” Perhaps this was an opportunity to prove my revolutionary fervor. A radical classmate back at McGill–now a family physician in Vancouver– recently told me that my letters to her at the time had sounded “ferocious.” She sent me a photocopy of a letter she’d saved from 1972. In it, I talk about the constant struggle to transform myself. I suggest, quite seriously, that “propaganda work really needs to be done.” I actually quote Mao. I write about “making revolution.”

I was that very dangerous combination: fanatic, ignorant and adolescent. In 1973 I thought I knew everything about China, but I actually knew very little. I knew that it was unacceptable to express a desire to leave the motherland, but I didn’t know there were labor camps for dissidents. I didn’t know that China during the Cultural Revolution was a crazy place where someone could be ruined, imprisoned or beaten simply for accidentally ripping up a newspaper that happened to contain a photo of Mao. China’s human rights violations weren’t common knowledge then.

"Save the children!"

Version 1: "Guangdong province: Civilized government department"
Version 2: "Lecherous hooligan wolf"

I.N.G. is a musical trio consisting of three girls Ida, Nara and Gillian from Taiwan.  On October 28, they appeared on the Taiwan television variety show <The Spy Who Shagged Me> with the theme being "artistes who are more popular outside Taiwan than inside."  During the interview, I.N.G claimed to very popular in mainland China.  They went on to discuss mainland Chinese hygiene habits and dining tastes.  Subsequently, they were criticized by mainland netizens.

"They used the mop for wiping the urine to wipe our floor."

"There were dog meat gift boxes and deer meat gift boxes."

"I am very popular outside Taiwan!!  Do you believe it?"
"... then they cursed us out ..."


(SCMP)  Tycoon's girlfriend issues statement on his assistant's baby.  November 1, 2008.

A media frenzy surrounding tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung heated up last night after his long-term girlfriend went public to condemn widespread speculation over the fatherhood of a girl born last week to his 28-year-old assistant, Chan Ho-wan.

Insisting the identity of the baby's father remained unknown, Yvonne Lui Lai-kwan - who bore Mr Lau a daughter in 2002 - issued an open letter saying "the maligning, baseless speculations and continuous, schematic attacks through newspaper  exposure by someone" had "put tremendous strain" on her family.

"Today, I come in front of you to offer my utmost apology to those deeply affected by the recent media frenzy surrounding my family in the past few months," the former Miss Hong Kong semifinalist and holder of a chemistry doctorate said in the letter, released last night.

She promised that she and Mr Lau, 57, chairman of Chinese Estates Holdings, would do everything they could to help Ms Chan and her baby. The 3.6kg baby was born to Ms Chan, who had worked for Mr Lau since 2002, in the luxury private Matilda International Hospital on The Peak on October 24. Mr Lau and his mother paid several visits to Ms Chan, a former celebrity journalist with Apple Daily who met Mr Lau in the course of her work and joined the company in 2002.

Referring to Mr Lau as her husband and herself as his wife, Ms Lui, 32, said in the letter: "Although the identity of the father remains unknown, my husband and I will do everything we could within the range of our ability to provide all kinds of assistance to the mother and the baby.

"With rumours and controversies surrounding Ms Chan's private life and the absence of the father figure, I believe it takes courage and sincerity for Ms Chan to confront the truth and reality, and in the world we are living in today, both Joseph and I think it is best not to comment."

Ms Lui also said: "Throughout the years, Ms Chan Ho-wan has proved to be an assistant with ambitions. Upon the birth of her daughter, Mr Joseph Lau (my husband) and I were in the hospital to deliver our best wish to them.

"I sincerely hope that all these damaging tactics and hurtful smears can stop once and for all," she said in the letter, which was issued in both English and Chinese.

In the Chinese-language version of the letter, Ms Lui said outsiders had been giving misinformation about the identity of the baby's father, and "it's not convenient for us to make comment".

Apple Daily: Statement issues, Big Lau's women fight to become proper wife

Oriental Daily: Big Lau's edition of <War and Beauty>

The Sun: Who is the father of the baby girl?

Hong Kong Daly News: The father isn't Big Lau

Sing Tao: Yvonne Lui issues open letter to question status of daughter

At 15:30 on October 29, four Hebei reporters went to Nanbaishe town, Zhaoxin county, Hebei province to cover news.  They proceeded to the police station, which was in the same courtyard as the town government.  The reporters went to the second floor to check on household registration information, when they observed four men shuffling mahjong tiles loudly in a room while another man stood there watching the play.

When they spotted strangers in the hallway, the man who was watching came out and yelled, "What are you doing here?"  When told that they wanted to find the household registration department, he said brusquely: "Downstairs" and went back inside.  At 15:45, three reporters went back to the second floor and took photos of the scene.  Two of the men quietly left the scene.

The reporters then identified themselves and wanted to know if town government workers were playing mahjong during office hours.  The man who was watching identified himself as a restaurant owner and that this room belonged to the restaurant.  He also said that the mahjong players were his "clients."  Later on, the reporters showed the photos to town deputy secretary Song Xinchuan, who admitted that one of the men was a town government cadre.  But the two men who left the room earlier appeared in Song's office and told him that the reporters had been taken photos of people playing mahjong.  Song then changed his story and said "there are no town cadres in the photos."

At 16:00 or so, the reporters went into a store several hundred meters away from the town government building.  The owner identified the man who was smoking a cigarette in the photo as a town government leader who had been to his store at around noon that day.  The reporters then went to a supermarket next to the town government building without any result.  One reporter stayed there to make purchases while another reporter and the photographer went to another store to look for more confirmation.  Suddenly two strangers entered and rushed at the photographer.  The accompanying reporter went up to help.  By the time that the other reporter came around, everybody was wrestling with each other.  The chauffeur for the reporters began to yell aloud from the car while taking photos with his own camera.

During the tussle, the photographer was able to use his fingers to retrieve the memory card from his camera.  Finally one of the men seized control of the camera and used it to smash at the head of one of the reporter, causing his head to bleed.  During this time, two of the mahjong players showed up.  One of them participated in the attack while another watched.

The attackers also spotted the chauffeur taking photos.  They surrounded him, assaulted him, stabbed him and took away his camera which they smashed.

The reporters retreated to the Nanbaishe town government office and reported the incident to the police.  There was only one militia policeman at the police post and he could not control the scene.  At around 17:00, militia police reinforcements arrived and the situation got under control.

Afterwards, Nanbaishe town mayor Tian Liqiang told the reporters that the mahjong playing took place in a private restaurant.  Among the four mahjong players, one of them was the restaurant owner, two of them were friends of his invited from the outside and the fourth one is a low-level town government cadre, who has been suspended from his duties pending investigation.  Who was the fifth person in the photo?  The mayor said that they will investigate.