Western media’s coverage about the recent Taiwan issue can be misleading. Several incidents happened this week and last week led to the outcry of massive Chinese cyber citizens. Heated discussions on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, and Facebook brought this issue about Taiwan Independence up a notch.
The following news is from the front page on Asia, BBC. At about 10 a.m., Jan. 21st, I made the screenshots.
First of all, it says the tens of thousands of posts by massive cyber users was “under Beijing’s control”. To innocent audience uninvolved, this would seem to them that the Chinese government was “manipulating” their people to attack the “poor” Taiwan. To clarify, all of the actions cyber users took was by ourselves. This is the people defending their beloved motherland and people who don’t understand this issue has no right to report it misleadingly. If objectivity is too much to ask, what about the more basic fair reporting?!!
The link here is an article in Chinese arguing what it truly means to be patriotic. The pictures above is a brief summary. It says and I translate that “The real patriotism asks not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. Flooding Tsai’s Facebook is people’s choice and presentation of real patriotism.
Second of all, BBC wrote “BEIJING considers Taiwan a breakaway province that must one day be brought back under mainland CONTROL”. To clarify, this is a shared belief of all Chinese people, no matter where we are. Actually, my feeling about this is hyper-intensive especially when I am overseas now. So, this is not a so-called “infusion” from the government as this news implied.
“Under mainland control” can also be misleading. To govern is never to control, and to “control” is never what the government did to us Chinese people. Diction like this is irresponsible. Reporting fairly but not misleading your audience is the priority.
(Anyone can argue about my opinion. Just to clarify in advance, this is just my personal opinion, if you think I am being too sensitive about just the wording).
The following link leads to an article from Quartz. This website has a section concentrating on China, naming China’s transition. For the most part, this article is fairly written. I even have to say thank you for listing some of the important details. But (there is always a but), the very ending sentence really pissed me off. “To voice their real anti-independence feelings, China’s netizens had to flee to Taiwan’s internet.” This sentence just completely shift away the concentration over the cyber battle issue itself and redirect the readers to another issue. As a strong believer of pro-China and pro-unity, I don’t know how I should interpret the implied meaning of this reporter. As a journalism student, I have to say this is not fair reporting.
Here is a list about what happened:
*Jan-15 Ziyu Zhou, a 16-year-old star post on Youtube apologizing for her irresponsible expression for saying Taiwan is not part of China. Mainlanders thought that her apology was dishonest and blamed her. Taiwanese, especially those who pro Taiwan independence thought that mainlanders were being mean to a young girl. Battle began.
*Jan-15 Gengxin Lin, an actor from mainland China post a Weibo commenting about Zhou’s dishonest apology.
Jan-16 His Facebook page was then attacked by Taiwan independence supporters. Cyber citizens from mainland China defended him back.
*The following few days, there was a war online using special emoticons between mainland netizens and Taiwan netizens.
Here are some typical emoticons and the translation or description for some of them:
-When you shop online at T-Mall, you have to choose Taiwan Province no matter what.
-Get out, I don’t have a son like you. (This is the tone from mainland as father to Taiwan as son).
-Although you are stupid, but daddy loves you always.
-A list of historical event saying that Taiwan belongs to China throughout history.
-A show of power by a combination of breathtaking scenery and wonderful gourmet from mainland China. (quite peaceful isn’t it…)
-“Taiwan belongs to China”!!!
*Jan-20 “D8 goes to battle, nothing will grow”.
A group of cyber users from Di Ba formed a temporary “army” and went to Facebook and flooded the Facebook page of Tsai Ing-wen, the newly elected Taiwan governor (I insist to call her governor, although she claims herself president), Apple Daily and Sanlih News, independence-minded media. The “army” had their strategy and separate missions.
Unlike some insane Taiwanese, the strategy from D8 warriors used included being “civilized” by just listing facts, slogans and poems that illustrate the strong wish against Taiwan independence.
To summarize: pro-China mainland netizens outbeat the pro-independence Taiwanese. This was the exhibition of unity, patriotism and power of battle with ration and reason. No doubt we won.
At last, I choose to write something in my mother tongue. English cannot describe to the precise. Also, this is still personal opinion.