‘Ming Pao’ misguided on row with Philippines

By Paul Lin 林保華
With the exception of Taiwanese and Philippine

media, Chinese media outlets have been the most

interested in the shooting of a Taiwanese

fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard personnel,

given Beijing’s goal of creating “one China.”
Media outlets in Hong Kong have also followed

Beijing’s “one China” idea, with the Chinese-

language daily Ming Pao, which claims to be an “

intellectual’s newspaper,” calling for

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to “join with

China against the US.”
This would entail siding with a communist, one-

party dictatorship.
On May 19, the Ming Pao ran an editorial saying

Taiwan and China should join together to protect

fishing rights against what the newspaper called

the vicious way Manila was taking advantage of

gaps in cross-strait relations.
The problem is that China is using the

controversy surrounding the Diaoyutai Islands (釣

魚台) and Taiwan’s conflict over Taiwan’s

fishing rights with the Philippines to weaken

Taiwan’s sovereignty and annex it.
Does this not make the Ming Pao even more

“vicious” than the Philippines? The newspaper

is fully aware of China’s anti-democratic

nature, so why does it want Taiwan to become like

Hong Kong?
The editorial called the US the biggest obstacle

preventing China from “liberating Taiwan.”
Surely trying to sour Taiwan-US relations in this

way is also an example of “vicious” intentions.
When the US Department of State called on Taiwan

and the Philippines to show restraint, the Ming

Pao said that this was an example of the US

trying to suppress Taiwan.
However, this was just the US’ initial reaction

to the issue.
Over the past few years, China has always

requested that each side show restraint when

conflicts with dictatorships have occurred, such

as North Korea disturbing world peace.
Has the Ming Pao ever criticized China for doing

The Philippines murdered a Taiwanese fisherman

and now it is going to every length possible to

shirk responsibility. Has the Philippines not

been able to take advantage of gaps in cross-

strait relations because China is constantly

trying to usurp Taiwan’s sovereignty?
The Ming Pao said that the US could try to coerce

the Philippines and Taiwan into signing a

fisheries agreement to lure the Ma administration

into letting the Philippines off the hook. The

newspaper also said that Ma must not give in to

this because this is against the wishes of people

from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan and the Philippines do not have any major

territorial disputes; the problem concerns

fishing rights in their overlapping exclusive

economic zones. What does the Ming Pao hope to

achieve by putting Taiwan in conflict with the US

and the Philippines?
The Ming Pao strongly objected when Taiwan and

Japan signed a fisheries agreement and the

newspaper made comments that the Chinese

government would not even dare make.
Ma’s flip-flops with the Philippines and the

total inaction of Representative to the US King

Pu-tsung (金溥聰) have both been prime examples

of how these individuals do not know how to

respond to Beijing’s demands.
The whole show by the Ming Pao was of course very

“patriotic” and this caused strong opposition

in Hong Kong.
For this year’s candlelight vigil to commemorate

the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Hong Kong

Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic

Movements of China has adopted the slogan “Love

our country and love our people.” This angered

young Hong Kongers in favor of pro-localization,

who responded by saying: “Let us part ways here.

Whatever the Ming Pao may advocate, Hong Kongers

are moving further away from China.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Drew Camero


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