Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Anything but panda-monium!


I'll be the first to admit I'm not buying into this propaganda bombardment about the two pandas that came over the other week from China to Taiwan. Chinese and international websites make it seem like everyone in Taiwan is talking about "Tuan Tuan" and "Yuan Yuan" (together means "reunion") with nothing but love. An article in the Economist (China and Taiwan: Cuddlier than ever) said, "the recent improvement of cross-strait ties will become all the more evident later in the month when two pandas are due to be flown (directly) from China to Taiwan as a goodwill gift."

Okay, so a lot of Taiwanese people are talking about the pandas, but much of what is going around is harsh criticism and anger rather than child-like wonderment. The KMT and Chinese media would have you believe Taiwanese children are going crazy to see these two animals. That's hardly the case. The KMT government has said that with the addition of the pandas yearly attendance at the Taipei Zoo will top 6,000,000 visitors. Ask yourself this, how many times does anyone go to the zoo in one year? And to be honest, when you go to the zoo, are the animals ever all out playing and frolicking around like you see on National Geographic or the Discovery Channel? The last time I went to the zoo, I just saw a lot of depressed animals out of their natural habitats, locked in cages or enclosures, and not doing anything but lying around because they're depressed about being locked up. Oh yeah, and the smell of feces was everywhere.

We also need to recall in what setting these pandas were even offered in the first place to Taiwan. The pandas were first offered in 2005, when two-time presidential candidate loser, Lien Chan, of the KMT, on no authority from the Taiwanese government whatsoever, took a trip to China to hold a CCP-KMT forum. Lien Chan's trip couldn't have been at a worse time for Taiwan. Two weeks before Lien Chan went on his historical treasonous trip, China had just rammed through its rubberstamp congress the Anti-Secession Law, which says that if Taiwan declares formal independence, that China has the right to attack Taiwan by force. Huh? Before Lien Chan committed treason, the international community was just starting to pay attention to the Taiwan issue, with more and more countries criticizing China for creating their ridiculous law. To the international community it sent the wrong signal that the Taiwanese people themselves did not care or worry about the Anti-Secession Law since Lien Chan could immediately make a trip to Taiwan's only enemy state, so attention faded. At the time, who knows what the actual cost will be now, they said this "goodwill gift" from China would cost Taiwan over NT $50 million a year, NT $35 million a year of which goes directly back to China to take care of their pandas. What sane individual would want to receive a gift like that?

So many things about these pandas being in Taiwan is wrong. Let's start with their names, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan. I mean, can we be anymore obvious? The Chinese government has given a few explanations to the names. The first is that 100,000,000 million Chinese people, that's almost half of China's online population, went online to vote for the names. Another is that Chinese kids went online and voted for the names. So what the Chinese government is trying to us is that children all throughout China were actually mulling over what names would be politically the most effective but not quite as obvious as just naming them "reunification." Both explanations are typical CCP fairy tales.

As to whether or not the names of the pandas will be changed, the KMT has said there are no plans to do so. Taipei City Mayor, Hau Long Bing (郝龍斌), has said the names of the pandas would not be changed due to the fact that the pandas have reached maturity and have grown up with their names since birth. Hau actually said that to change their names would not be respecting their animal rights. So the KMT will not allow the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, to visit Taiwan to speak out for human rights, but they will respect the rights of the pandas. Taiwanese people could not protest freely and were forcibly restrained from displaying the R.O.C. flag or Tibetan flag when Chen Yun Lin (陳雲林) visited Taiwan. Where were Taiwanese people's rights then? But now when it comes to pandas, all of a sudden, we need to start respecting their animal rights. I'm pretty sure that if we change their names, the pandas will be the last ones to be upset about it.

Taiwan has already wasted millions and millions of NT dollars just to build the enclosure for the pandas, not to mention how much it's going to cost to feed these huge animals every year. Just to bid to house the pandas, zoos in Taichung and Hsinchu built separate multimillion NT dollar enclosures which have both gone to waste. With the massive layoffs that Taiwan is experiencing, skyrocketing unemployment, and the shape of the global economy that way it is, who really has time to take their children to see some pandas? The Taiwanese people need help now, not the pandas. The KMT government should stop wasting money on this panda show and spend it on the Taiwanese public instead. The last thing we want to see on the news or in the papers now is whether or not the pandas are having good bowel movements or not. This was in the papers the other day, I shit you not. The pandas are just another thing to take the attention of the dismal performance of the KMT government here in Taiwan. This Chinese circus can only last so long. In 2009, one place you're not going to see me or many of my fellow Taiwanese I'm sorry to say is in line at the Taipei Zoo.

5 Comments:

At 1:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything but a job.

 
At 5:46 AM , Anonymous Sue said...

I'll highly recommend my sons and friends to visit your blog regularly. We reside at Florida. The Taiwanese American association will benefit from your input, especially, for our next generation, and my friends/colleagues will have more resource to view Taiwan issues.

Thank you for your work.

 
At 9:58 PM , Blogger Eric said...

sue,

in that case, i'll have to post more regularly. if you're interested, i'm also doing a webshow now three days a week.

i go live tuesdays, thursdays, and sundays from 10 pm to 11 pm taiwan time. this is the site:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ahybing

i have shows recorded too, so you can watch anytime.

 
At 4:37 PM , Blogger On said...

I love Panda... and just bought a Panda Bag from the following Blogshop:
panda.cwahi.net

Nice to meet you.

 
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