Opinion / Opinion Line

'Pro-independence' activities at the root of discrimination in Taiwan

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-13 07:45

'Pro-independence' activities at the root of discrimination in Taiwan

One of the elders in the self-proclaimed citizen-journalist's video.[Photo/Agencies]

A self-proclaimed citizen-journalist in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, has posted a video on the internet that shows her chasing a senior resident who was born on the Chinese mainland but settled in Taiwan in 1950 and questioning his "citizenship" and social contribution. The video has sparked public outrage on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, and prompted Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV to comment on Sunday:

The so-called citizen-journalist's use of invectives against the senior citizen comes at a time when a sharp decline in the number of mainland tourists has been hurting Taiwan's tourism industry. Since May 20, when Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the island's Democratic Progressive Party, gave her inauguration speech, the number of mainland tourists to the island has reportedly dropped by about 70 percent compared with the same period last year.

The preposterous and baseless remarks of the "citizen-journalist", such as "Chinese refugees must stop living off Taiwan people", "I do not want you Chinese people in Taiwan", and "You have contributed nothing to our society" are a blot on "citizen journalism" as well as the island's image.

The irony is that the hysterical woman goes by a Chinese name "Hung Su-chu" and is seen speaking in Mandarin in the video while abusing the elderly soldier, who was born on the Chinese mainland, as a "Chinese refugee".

Rare and absurd as they are, such extreme remarks might in turn deal a heavy blow to cross-Straits ties, which have been painstakingly put on the right track by both sides since 2008.

Over the past two decades or so, the "pro-independence" campaigns launched by former Taiwan leaders, including Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, have had a bad influence on more than one generation in Taiwan, leading many, especially youths, astray and forcing them to define their identity differently. Whether Tsai will sincerely amend the situation or endorse the separatists remains unclear, but her administration is obliged to take a clear stance on the Chinese identity issue.

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