Monday, November 22, 2010

Anti-Korean protests in Taipei

The Joongang Ilbo reports that after a Korean official disqualified a Taiwanese athlete who was winning a taekwondo match at the Asian Games last Wednesday (after finding extra sensors to register kicks which had been approved beforehand), Taiwanese have held protests which have included flag burning and calls for boycotts of Korean products.
According to news reports, some people threw eggs at a South Korean school in Taipei on Thursday. An owner of an electronics store in Fengyuan in north-central Taichung County hurled Samsung Electronics plasma televisions on the floor and, with the help of two friends, smashed the television screens with hammers.

Workers at a cosmetics store in Taiwan also threw South Korean products on the floor and stomped on them.

People burned South Korean flags outside Taiwan’s Sports Affairs Council last Thursday after an appeal over Yang’s disqualification was rejected by the Asian Taekwondo Union.

Some Taiwanese are boycotting South Korean goods. Another electronics store owner in Taipei is encouraging his customers not to buy cellular phones from South Korea.

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou has called for a probe into Yang’s disqualification. [...]
Nice to see the president getting on the 'right' side of nationalist hysteria. Now, when I heard of burning flags, I was expecting something more daunting than this:

To be sure, if I were Korean and living in Taipei, I might be worried and would want to be careful when in public places, but if the Taiwanese were, say, ripping up flags on this scale, while yelling, "We will recover our national pride," then I'd be a little more worried:

(From here.)

It's not like things happens on this scale often in Korea (the big ones that stand out in the last ten years have been in 2002, 2005, and 2008 (should we brace ourselves for next year?)), but when it does, it's quite a spectacle to behold.

The Joongang Ilbo article concludes with this:
The ministry also said that Seoul’s representative office in Taipei had been told to convey a message to Taiwan’s government.

“Yang’s disqualification at the Asian Games is regrettable, but the burning of Korean flags and boycotting of products that is spreading across the country is something that calls for attention,” the ministry said yesterday.
Yeah, it sucks when that happens, doesn't it?


TWEffect said...

Matt, this is unrelated to this post, but because you've been covering the native English Teacher HIV topic so well, I made you a poster.

Nathan said...

Its okay, Korea, Australia knows what its like to be in that situation from the skating disquals. It'll blow over soon enough 8D

Anonymous said...

That US flag tearing always reminds me of this NK poster.