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Who's calling who "uncivilized"?

An AsiaMedia reader accuses 'The China Post' of "hypocritical moralizing" in its coverage of the Zhang Mingqing attack

[In response to TAIWAN: Visiting PRC official mobbed in Tainan, Oct. 22, 2008; TAIWAN: Zhang presses charges against assailants, Oct. 22, 2008; and TAIWAN: Lien Chan demands arrest of 'culprits' in visitor's assault, Oct. 22, 2008.]

The only source of English-language newspapers in Taiwan seems to be China Post. On the Zhang Mingqing incident , the three China Post articles demonstrate serious political bias as well as hypocritical moralizing. Zhang deliberately changed his schedule to allow for the public appearance at the Confucian temple, in the heart of the opposition DPP stronghold, willfully creating a scene. His early departure from Taiwan and his crocodile tears at the airport should alert many to the possibility that this was a carefully crafted show to symbolically proclaim Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

The incident also prompts the question, "What is violence?" According to BBC, the incident was mostly a scuffle, while many sources in the Taiwanese media (including China Post) uses the word "violence" from Zhang's mouth. Are these Taiwanese really so intent on using "violence" upon a fragile elderly man (or his car)? Or are they responding to the missiles across the Taiwan Strait? To the melamine-laced powder milk and flour that have plagued Taiwan's food industries? And what of the violence perpetrated by China upon its own over the years?

Is self-defense violence?

Is there no hope for balanced reporting and responsible journalism that does not automatically, though implicitly, designate one side as "uncivilized?"

Winifred Chang, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Date Posted: 10/23/2008