Monday, December 30, 2013

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend?

The political and ethnic landscape of Caucasus is very complex. On a world map, you see only three countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. But there are also three other "countries" with limited recognition. The map at the lower left is a political map, while the map at the lower right is an ethnic map.

When I read about how the international community responded to these self-declared "countries", I remembered the old proverb "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". But because the relationship is too complicated, too many parties are involved, I decided to make a recognition/non-recognition graph to help myself understand.

From the graph above, we learn:
  • There is no single "principle" that applies to all cases. "Self-determination" and "respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity" are both nice words. But they contradict each other. Any party in the graph that has a blue line and purple line coming out of it is not consistent.
  • While the saying "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is usually true, nothing is black and white, just like interpersonal relationship. Because the U.S. and Turkey are among the first to recognize Kosovo, I put them on the left. Northern Cyprus is basically a Turkey-made product, so it is on the left as well. But the U.S. is in a good relation with Cyprus too. Also, there was a rumor that Turkey and Russia would trade recognition of Northern Cyprus with recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This rumor is denied. But if true, then there would be no clear boundary between the left and the right in this graph.

I do not pretend to be an expert on the politics in Caucasus. The graph is an oversimplified representation. I'm sure the reality is much more intricate than that. As for "countries" with limited recognition, the graph has yet to include Somaliland, Western Sahara, and Palestine. This is merely a product of my interest in making diagram.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Comparison of news between Mainland and Taiwan

I like to look at politics with a symmetrical perspective; I also like to observe media behavior. So why don't I combine the two and share what I observe from news from Mainland China and in Taiwan.

People's RepublicRepublic
We see this everydaySome minister-level official signed an agreement with his/her counterpart. Our leaders are busy.Key found in drink, dog jumped off a building, automatic doors of a convenient store slammed on customer, disputes between restaurants and consumers (news with no journalistic values)
International newsIsrael is bombarding Palestine again. Civilian death toll has reached X. (But never mention how many civilians Hamas has killed.)Did Beyoncé mime when she performed at the U.S. presidential inauguration?
Political alignmentalign with The PartyTVBS, CTI, China Times, Era, ETTV, UDN, and the China Post obviously pro-Pan-Blue
FTV, SET, the Liberty Times, and Taipei Times obviously pro-Pan-Green
Workers and farmersnow produce much more, thanks to xyz program from the governmentare protesting on Ketagalan Boulevard
College/grad studentsinnovate new techonlogyare protesting on Ketagalan Boulevard
Bad habits die hardlike to educate viewers so and so land has been Chinese territory since antiquitylike to speculate the emotion of the person being reported. Must use literary 4-worded idioms.
Female anchor's voicelowsharp
LanguagesMandarin, dialects of Han Chinese, Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, Zhuang, English, Spanish, Russian, French, Arabic, Korea, Japanese, and PortugueseMandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, English
English newsPropaganda to native English speakersEnglish learning material. Sometimes they speak very slowly.

If I were to describe the two positively, then I'd have to say that Mainland news have broader vision, while Taiwanese news enjoy higher press freedom.

Last but not least, let's enjoy 2 new clips

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affair of the ROC is so politically incorrect

If you land on this page because you search for independence vs. reunification or the relationship between Mainland China and Taiwan, I'm sorry that you will be disappointed.

The U.S.A. page from the tourist information website made by the MOF says
Unless necessary avoid crime-prone areas and areas where blacks and Hispanics congregate.
Original: 若非必要,盡量避免前往黑人及西班牙語裔等聚集且治安差之區域

What if a domestic tourist site made by the Ministry of Internal Affair warned people to avoid areas with a high density of a certain demographic group? I wonder.