Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 21:54:00 -0400
Sender: H-Net list for Asian History and Culture <>
Subject: H-ASIA: Taiwan and U.S. Media H-ASIA
Date: September 6, 1995
Subj:RE: H-ASIA: Other pressures for changing Taiwan-mainland relations? From: Chau-Yi Lin <>

Taiwan and U.S. Media

By Chau-Yi Lin. 6 September 1995

Dear H-Asians,

Since I came to the United States more than 3 years, as a Taiwanese, I find the mainstream media, as well as some Sinologists, have a bias against the Taiwanese Independence Movement (TIM). They may applaud or sympathize the Tibetan Independence, but consider the TIM as a fundamentalist, ethnic-orienting, and a possible danger in the East Asian security.

Let me specifically say. In 1992, there are some articles in the _Foreign_Affairs_ (I forget which issue), mentioning about the Asian security. The authors only mentioned about Korean problem, Cambodia, and else. No a word is about Taiwan, or the possible conflict of Sino-Taiwan. At that time, the possible Chinese military threat against Taiwan had already become the dominant issue in elections or any hot political debates in Taiwan. The KMT and other conservatives in Taiwan usually took advantages of this Chinese to curb the democratization, or the growth of the opposition. Their logic was: vote for the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) is equally to vote for the independence, then leading the Chinese invasion.

Now, the mood of international media have some change. They may rank the Sino-Taiwan conflict as a top issue in Asia, however, also accuse the TIM of thoughtless strategy to promote the Taiwan's international profile. They may welcome a so-called "practical diplomacy" led by Lee Teng-hui. Then, sometime label LTH as the father of Taiwan's democratization. And leave some victims of democratic movement no place.

For example, the DPP launches the first time of presidential primary in the whole Asia. It allows all of adults in Taiwan, whatever your party membership is, can vote for your preferred among the two candidates in the DPP. It also may be the first time in the world, a party without any governmental support carries out the national primary. However, it received no media coverage in the international media.

The other example is the anti-nuclear movement in Taiwan. The Taiwan Environmental Protection (a green group mainly organized by academic professors, and inclined to support the TIM) launched an Asian Anti-nuclear demonstration in Taipei on 9/3. The attendance, according the TEPU's estimate, was about 30,000 persons, and 10,000 by the biased KMT media. However, the Reuter news agency only pictured it as 5,000 on its 9/4's report. Unbelievable, it is less than the biased KMT's media. Especially, if the attendance is about 30,000 (to be noticed, the TEPU has lots of experiences to estimate the numbers of attendances in their protests), it perhaps has the biggest attendance in a protest during the period of the French and Chinese nuke tests in the Asian countries. This misreports by the international media cannot benefit our understanding of Asian affairs.

Sincerely yours,

Chau-Yi LinE-mail:
Graduate Student Phone/fax: 315-442-7340
Political ScienceB10-3 Slocum Heights
Syracuse UniversitySyracuse, NY 13210, USA