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Kuo Kuan-ying’s interview

25/03/2009

 

The day before yesterday, Kuo admitted that he was Fan Lan-chin in an interview with Cti TV. After that, he got suspended and then sacked with two major demerits. Taipei Times has an article summarising GIO’s actions and Kuo’s interview.[1] There was a problem: when interviewed, Kuo was still in his diplomatic position in Canada because he was given one month time to pack and hand over everything to his successor or colleague, and yet the interview venue was in Washington DC. 

 

There are some quotes of Kuo’s interview in the Taipei Times article

 

“Writing articles under pen names is one of the most basic principles of freedom of speech. There are two basic principles — one is anonymity — and another is that even the most extreme opinions should be allowed,” Kuo said.

 

“You can’t investigate an author who writes under a pen name. You could if we were still under martial law. But not in a democracy. Therefore, there was no need for me to tell [the GIO] that I was Fan Lan-chin. If I had done so, I would have damaged democracy and freedom of speech,” he said.

 

So in his mind, his freedom of speech has to be protected but pro-Taiwan and pro-independence people have to be suppressed and killed by the Chinese.

 

Lets take a look at what else Kuo said in the interview.[2]

 

 

Even though he admitted that he was Fan Lan-chin, he said that a lot of his friends would send their articles to him for him to post under this pen name or he would edit others’ work and also post it under this name. He said that he wouldn’t want to involve anyone else now and would take full responsibility and “Fan Lan-chin is a terrific concept, which represents my core beliefs, so I am Fan Lan-chin”.

 

When asked about why he wasn’t honest from the beginning, he replied that freedom of speech means that he didn’t have to and that when coerced by an enemy, anyone has the right to lie.

 

When asked about why he didn’t like others inciting hatred but did exactly the same thing, he replied that the Jewish say an eye for an eye and this is how it works. You have to fight back when attacked and this is the most basic concept.

 

He was then asked about whether this incident would cause friction and divide in the society. He said it wasn’t him who caused it. He asked ‘Who called [us] Chinese pigs first?… When they insult or put down the Chinese or the PRC, did it occur to them that it may hurt my feelings and the feelings of the 1.3 billions of Chinese? ’ He said that blue supporters never pose a threat to anyone’s personal safety but he alleged that he was threatened. He also expressed his disapproval to those who protested outside of GIO for his dismisal.

 

Again, it’s clear where his loyalty lies. I don’t know wether his feelings were hurt by all the threats expressed by Chinese leaders and all the missiles pointing at Taiwan. Also, he’s twisting the truth here. A minority of ordinary Taiwanese may have called mainlanders pigs in private in the martial law era because they were angry about the killing and suppression. However, no green officials have used this word. In 2006, China Post accused then DPP Chairperson, Yiu, of calling blue supporters ‘Chinese pigs’. It turned out that Yiu never said it and the whole thing went to the Court. In the end, China Post had to offer a formal public apology to Yiu. However, blue and pro-China forces has never stopped putting this on Yiu especially when they themselves are in the wrong and need a defence.

 

Kuo has also tried to spin it and make it look like he is persecuted for his pro-unification stance. He said that some political figures that Taiwan should be totally independent and ROC is history. “Isn’t this racial discrimination? I don’t care what Ma said. If Ma wants harmony, he should tell those people to shut up.’

 

Right, like those two are the same thing. Being pro-China is fine but encouraging and glorifying killing and suppression of another ethnic group or those who have a different political stance isn’t. One can be as pro-PRC as he likes as long he is not in an official capacity in the Taiwanese government.

 

In fact, the Chinese official press also started defending Kuo. They say that Taiwan is indeed a province of China, so Kuo is right. They claim that the pro-unification force in Taiwan is now in trouble and emphasise that Kuo’s rights have to be respected…[3] So why can’t they respect Tibetans’ or Taiwanese’ or any Chinese pro-democray activists’ rights to express their views then?  


2 Comments leave one →
  1. 25/03/2009 12:45

    “Isn’t this racial discrimination? I don’t care what Ma said. If Ma wants harmony, he should tell those people to shut up.’

    This is either ironic on so many levels or pure cynicism.

    Well 五十步笑百步 as the old saying goes. Even though it would be more appropriate to reverse the phrase in this case.

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      25/03/2009 12:50

      Well… he looked pretty serious and quite proud of himself in the interview though. I tried to copy the embed code of the youtube clips of his interview but for some reason, it just didn’t work. Here are the links:

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