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Foreigners raise questions about police tactics

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A foreign artist witnessed an altercation between police and foreign tourists at Beiping East Road yesterday, raising questions about the limit of police authority over tourists and new residents.

In the wake of violent confrontations between law enforcement officers and student activists early Monday morning, several new residents and tourists have raised concerns over the so-called brutality exhibited toward the students.

A foreign director, who has been in Taiwan since January working on a short film project, said that he personally witnessed two Asian tourists have their camera confiscated by officers stationed at roadblocks on the streets around Beiping East Road. The police were allegedly physically and verbally violent toward the tourists.

The director and a fellow artist were also caught between students and riot police on Monday, and, because their residence is located close to Shandao Temple station, witnessed firsthand the violent confrontations that broke out early Monday morning.

According to the artists, unarmed students were chased by riot police with batons and shields. The two artists tried to help some students held by police, only to have a police brandish his baton at them and order them to leave the area. The police then allegedly pursued the artists and the students into the artists' residence, striking the doors and windows with their batons. Only after an explanation from a security guard did the officer leave. While leaving their lodging yesterday, the artists witnessed officers drilling barricades into the ground and others holding batons instead of having the weapons stowed on their belts.

New Residents Concerned Over Demonstration

Several new residents of the country have raised concerns over the student protest as well as the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement of the government, but have chosen to remain anonymous as a result of fear from the unclear policies regarding foreigners' right to participate and comment on demonstrations, as rumors circulate that foreigners could easily face deportation.

When asked of his thoughts regarding the protest, one new resident said “They (the students) need to learn how to handle international media. It's disappointing to see the lack of publicity this is getting overseas. It's also been confusing to follow the protests as the demands suddenly change. Why aren't the students organizing press conferences on such important changes to the movement? Or did they do so and I completely missed it? I can't even sort out what is the official hashtag for this movement on Twitter.”

“Although it was clear from the last election that the KMT would pursue a strategy of closer ties with China,” answered a foreigner when asked on how the government should be handling the situation, “they should understand that their current record-low approval level means that they have to be very careful with sensitive issues like this. A free vote instead of the typical party line vote would have been appropriate, and a way of telling people that we are aware that we aren't popular anymore so we realize we can't force through things like this. Also, if the economy is so important, there are lots of things to do domestically that can fix the poor economy. The income gap is the biggest problem in Taiwan.”

March 26, 2014    kingsolomon@
Isolationism is not the solution to the economy, with Taiwan’s limited population of 25 million, how can business grow with such customer base? Common sense would tell you that businesses have no choice if it wants to grow and at the same time retain employment for the population. Trade pacts are a "give some- get some" situation, you can never have everything for yourself. Nobody in his right frame of mind would agree to get one and give two or three away, it has to be fair to both sides. one should study the subject well first before criticizing and saying to fix the local economy first, because local and external trade is interconnected when it deals with the overall economy.
March 26, 2014    superkinez@
Yes, foreigners are all so great and righteous, they should be above the law in Taiwan and be allowed to interfere with lawful police intervention. I guess in this visitor's home country, people can do whatever they want, and fight the police, occupy government buildings with impunity.
March 26, 2014    krane8@
Funny article this is. What do foreigners know about Taiwan politics and the future of the nation? A-bian spent 2 terms trying to isolate Taiwan from China in every-which-way possible. And what did it bring to our economy and cross straight stability? ZERO, that's right, nothing but cold air.

The economy situation in Taiwan perhaps was not created entirely by the DDP, but they certainly didn't make things any better. After KMT took back the leadership of this country, the nation didn't fair any better either.

Opening the doors to China's trade pack is an option that must be explored. Taiwan's youth are disillusioned these days with the economy situation at home, many finding work elsewhere in Southeast Asia. I remembered 6 years ago when taking a tour around Taiwan with my family. Gotta say that tourism industry was in life support, in really bad shape. When KMT opened the doors to Chinese tourist, things have gotten better.

Does my family support the trade pack? We tentatively do, with caution. Hoping for more transparency, not rushing to get the policies/agreements voted and signed. Many of these students honestly don't have any idea of what they are protesting about, but there is a general sense of fear among the people in regards to what the trade pack would do to the citizens of Taiwan. Cannot blame people being worried about their future. Of course, common sense will tell us that DDP most likely had a hand in the students’ riot. Nevertheless, KMT must be open to more dialogue with the public to ease the tensions.
March 26, 2014    miller.henry641@
As a "foreigner" here on Taiwan for a decade or so, I would like to apologize for the actions of these two other "foreigners."

I would also like to tell other "foreigners" to not involve themselves in matters of police & Taiwanese business.

It will not work out well for you and you only tarnish the reputation of other "foreigners" when it’s reported in the various news outlets.

So, if you see the police trying to apprehend, detain or speak to another person - be they Taiwanese or otherwise - DO NOT INTERFERE.
March 26, 2014    john_j_collins@
Taiwan needs an opposition party that has the ability to analyze issues and provide constructive plans/proposals. Instead, the DPP only using their traditional confrontational methods to draw attention to themselves. Most Taiwanese are tired of DPP tactics to only sow fear of China. Most people want a good alternative to KMT. DPP should quit spending energy/time to protest and use their energy to improve their political professionalism.
March 27, 2014    kdick@
We largely support the pact. We do not support violent police officers (or students or any protestors) who intimidate students, tourists, & local foreign residents. There were over a hundred injuries in the melee... that is ridiculous. It is time to reel in the police, foster true democracy where people aren't intimidated by fear or brutality, and teach the KMT and DPP what the word 'democracy' really means. Right now, I'm not seeing that happen.

March 27, 2014    curtisakbar@
The fact of the matter is that China is Taiwan's biggest trade partner so having a trade pact only makes sense and will open the doors to future pacts with other countries. The problem isn't with the trade pact but the lack of transparency. What little nasties are hiding in the pact that the KMT doesn't want people to know?
March 28, 2014    superkinez@
miller.henry641@ wrote:
As a "foreigner" here on Taiwan for a decade or so, I would like to apologize for the actions of these two other "foreigners."

I would also like to tell other "foreigners" to not involve themselves in matters of police & Taiwanese business.

It will not work out well for you and you only tarnish the reputation of other "foreigners" when it’s reported in the various news outlets.

So, if you see the police trying to apprehend, detain or speak to another person - be they Taiwanese or otherwise - DO NOT INTERFERE.
I was referring to those certain visitors and overseas compatriots that act like they are better than everyone else. Yet, in their home country, they are beggars, receive welfare, or study at a fifth rate institution and think very highly of themselves while in the ROC. Not all visitors are this way of course.
March 28, 2014    superkinez@
kdick@ wrote:
We largely support the pact. We do not support violent police officers (or students or any protestors) who intimidate students, tourists, & local foreign residents. There were over a hundred injuries in the melee... that is ridiculous. It is time to reel in the police, foster true democracy where people aren't intimidated by fear or brutality, and teach the KMT and DPP what the word 'democracy' really means. Right now, I'm not seeing that happen.

Please show me the proof of violent police officers? The ROC police is well trained and least brutal of all Asia. In the world's supposed great democracy, the United States, they would probably shoot someone for barging into Congress.
March 29, 2014    gauthier74@
miller.henry641@ wrote:
As a "foreigner" here on Taiwan for a decade or so, I would like to apologize for the actions of these two other "foreigners."

I would also like to tell other "foreigners" to not involve themselves in matters of police & Taiwanese business.

It will not work out well for you and you only tarnish the reputation of other "foreigners" when it’s reported in the various news outlets.

So, if you see the police trying to apprehend, detain or speak to another person - be they Taiwanese or otherwise - DO NOT INTERFERE.
You do not have to apologize for foreigners. It is too late. First, if a foreigner comes from a country that does not even recognize the R.O.C., he should shut up anyway. Second, the behaviour of certain foreigners, especially North Americans, is just disgusting. Rules are made to be broken, e.g. Starbucks in the Taipei MRT, deliberately staying on the left side of the escalator. They just have no manners. And I do not even talk about the mainland Chinese. My advice to them: Just stay in your American Club with the chink whores and ... go figure. Taiwan used to be a much quieter place in the past - without foreigners. BTW: Thailand and the Philippines also are nice countries. There, foreigners do not have to adapt.
March 30, 2014    naruwanda@
Superkinki are you even in Taiwan? Open yr eyes and look at the news media, TV, newspapers, you tube, where you bin hiding man? Pluto? And US has a gun mentality. All citizens can have guns so don't compare with the US.
Henry Miller, yeah we let Taiwanese figure their things out, but you sound like my large high school bully telling us what's your turf. And at worst you sound like a fat Nazi talking about turning a blind eye on the Jews getting put on trains. No...if I see a person getting bloodied in the street I'm concerned. (Even if it's you.)
March 30, 2014    lockson166@
For all Canadians interested to support the Taiwanese students protest, you are most welcome to come and rally with us in Toronto, on March 29th at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM @ the City Hall - Nathan Philips Square
March 31, 2014    lockson166@
I agree with the foreigners and I agree with the students.
March 31, 2014    joe1@
Looks like all the racists have come out to play on the comments section of China Post. I bet they are the same people that smile when they meet me and try to convince me that all Taiwanese are all so kind to foreigners. Now we know how they really feel.
April 1, 2014    superkinez@
naruwanda@ wrote:
Superkinki are you even in Taiwan? Open yr eyes and look at the news media, TV, newspapers, you tube, where you bin hiding man? Pluto? And US has a gun mentality. All citizens can have guns so don't compare with the US.
Henry Miller, yeah we let Taiwanese figure their things out, but you sound like my large high school bully telling us what's your turf. And at worst you sound like a fat Nazi talking about turning a blind eye on the Jews getting put on trains. No...if I see a person getting bloodied in the street I'm concerned. (Even if it's you.)
Will they tolerate this in Germany and Japan where there isn't a gun culture? Can you occupy the Diet and Bundestag? Can you assault police officers in the US and Canada? Please upload the proof of ROC police brutality, please send a link. I welcome visitors that respect our laws and customs. Those know-it-alls that interfere in OUR internal affairs should leave.
April 1, 2014    Upwell@
krane8@ wrote:
Funny article this is. What do foreigners know about Taiwan politics and the future of the nation? A-bian spent 2 terms trying to isolate Taiwan from China in every-which-way possible. And what did it bring to our economy and cross straight stability? ZERO, that's right, nothing but cold air.

The economy situation in Taiwan perhaps was not created entirely by the DDP, but they certainly didn't make things any better. After KMT took back the leadership of this country, the nation didn't fair any better either.

Opening the doors to China's trade pack is an option that must be explored. Taiwan's youth are disillusioned these days with the economy situation at home, many finding work elsewhere in Southeast Asia. I remembered 6 years ago when taking a tour around Taiwan with my family. Gotta say that tourism industry was in life support, in really bad shape. When KMT opened the doors to Chinese tourist, things have gotten better.

Does my family support the trade pack? We tentatively do, with caution. Hoping for more transparency, not rushing to get the policies/agreements voted and signed. Many of these students honestly don't have any idea of what they are protesting about, but there is a general sense of fear among the people in regards to what the trade pack would do to the citizens of Taiwan. Cannot blame people being worried about their future. Of course, common sense will tell us that DDP most likely had a hand in the students’ riot. Nevertheless, KMT must be open to more dialogue with the public to ease the tensions.
A beautifully thought through commentary. If only other correspondents be more balanced in their views like yours. Only history will judge what and who was right. But by then it may well be too late. But we all live under the shadow of history.
April 1, 2014    curtisakbar@
gauthier74

When you say some "foreigners" do you mean the Chinese that came to Taiwan as well? As what you mention is the behavior I see many "locals" doing too. I bet you don't notice your own people being rude and disgusting, public nose picking for example, but when a black guy stands on the wrong side of the escalator, Indian chews gum on the MRT, white guy turns right at a red light, you notice how the "foreigners" are so disrespectful to YOUR country.

joe1
Don't you know Chinese people aren't racist, when they call you a "foreigner" instead of using your name, it's not racist, it's just their culture etc. They don't mean anything bad by it, just letting you know that you don't belong here without being so direct about it.
April 1, 2014    yentricky@
Particularly to foreigners who actually are staying here for couple years of say so many years that make them believe they are already Taiwanese...
I don't understand why there's a place for foreigners in this event? It's like a neighbor who wants to stick his hand into the matters of my family, saying it's a human right that everyone has and should thus be respected. Racist or not, you can always participate, but when it comes to a real deal that is when people are left no choice but to live in suffering or make sacrifices, then we'll talk, see you understand it all!
April 1, 2014    gauthier74@
curtisakbar@ wrote:
gauthier74

When you say some "foreigners" do you mean the Chinese that came to Taiwan as well? As what you mention is the behavior I see many "locals" doing too. I bet you don't notice your own people being rude and disgusting, public nose picking for example, but when a black guy stands on the wrong side of the escalator, Indian chews gum on the MRT, white guy turns right at a red light, you notice how the "foreigners" are so disrespectful to YOUR country.

joe1
Don't you know Chinese people aren't racist, when they call you a "foreigner" instead of using your name, it's not racist, it's just their culture etc. They don't mean anything bad by it, just letting you know that you don't belong here without being so direct about it.
First, you should not say "China" but either mainland China or R.O.C. Mainland China is part of the R.O.C. To your questions: Yes, with foreigners I also mean mainland Chinese (aka "Chinks"). If you are Taiwanese, you should know how they behave but perhaps you are not. Second: Yes, I notice how my people are also behaving in disgusting ways and I wonder what tourists from Taiwan, Korea or Japan think when they come to my country. It is quite embarrassing for me. Well, most of them go directly to Annecy in France because in case of problems the French riot police ("CRS") step in. So they feel safe. My country is in a complete mess and not just because of foreigners. You can be lucky in Taiwan, since you do not have a lot of foreign residents whereas my country has the highest proportion in the world. Also, it is a fact that most prisons in my country are occupied by foreigners. Why do you think I always come to Taiwan on holiday? To get some peace and meet friendly people. Sitting on the Miramar rooftop, drinking a beer, and listening to live music. You do not get that in my country anymore.

And again, people from countries who do not recognize the R.O.C. should not get involved in politics.
April 2, 2014    gauthier74@
lockson166@ wrote:
For all Canadians interested to support the Taiwanese students protest, you are most welcome to come and rally with us in Toronto, on March 29th at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM @ the City Hall - Nathan Philips Square
Why can't those fat, big mouth North Americans not shut up. The f*** Canadians do not even recognize the Republic of China but communist mainland China. Do you know what the protests are about? I doubt it. Leave the Taiwanese alone and do not contribute tarnishing the R.O.C.'s reputation abroad. Instead, you fat Canadian could petition your government to recognize the R.O.C. But for that, you are probably too lazy.
April 2, 2014    gauthier74@
naruwanda@ wrote:
Superkinki are you even in Taiwan? Open yr eyes and look at the news media, TV, newspapers, you tube, where you bin hiding man? Pluto? And US has a gun mentality. All citizens can have guns so don't compare with the US.
Henry Miller, yeah we let Taiwanese figure their things out, but you sound like my large high school bully telling us what's your turf. And at worst you sound like a fat Nazi talking about turning a blind eye on the Jews getting put on trains. No...if I see a person getting bloodied in the street I'm concerned. (Even if it's you.)
Interesting but re Henry Miller I got the same impression as you from his post. Seems to be another fat American who rather should hole up in the Taipei American Club [...].
April 2, 2014    gauthier74@
curtisakbar@ wrote:
gauthier74

When you say some "foreigners" do you mean the Chinese that came to Taiwan as well? As what you mention is the behavior I see many "locals" doing too. I bet you don't notice your own people being rude and disgusting, public nose picking for example, but when a black guy stands on the wrong side of the escalator, Indian chews gum on the MRT, white guy turns right at a red light, you notice how the "foreigners" are so disrespectful to YOUR country.

joe1
Don't you know Chinese people aren't racist, when they call you a "foreigner" instead of using your name, it's not racist, it's just their culture etc. They don't mean anything bad by it, just letting you know that you don't belong here without being so direct about it.
Sorry, but just to clarify: The mainland Chinese who came to Taiwan with the KMT are Taiwanese. They consequently are not foreigners. Above-all, I refer to mainland Chinese tourists, Europeans, and all the rest. Mainland China is part of Taiwan, i.e. it is the Occupied Area of the R.O.C. whereas Taiwan is the Free Area of the R.O.C. It also is embarrassing for me that my country does not recognize the R.O.C. anymore. Tung Chen-yuan, professor with National Chengchi University, equates Taiwan with the Republic of China. “The R.O.C. is a sovereign nation. Taiwan is a sovereign nation. The R.O.C. equals Taiwan,” he said. (China Post, 26/3/2012).
April 3, 2014    curtisakbar@
yentricky

I don't understand how you don't know that you're not a foreigner in Taiwan as well? Or did you forget you are the son of Han Chinese or Hakka or Manchu or whatever Chinese?

If you want to be racist, I can come swinging. The reason people have an opinion about this issue is because it effects EVERYONE! Regardless of what passport you have. If you live in Taiwan then it is an issue for you. For all the people living overseas and protesting this pact doesn't affect them (unless they plan on coming back), so you should be critical of them and no one else.
April 4, 2014    lockson166@
So far, Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and
Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) are Taiwan HEROES.
They are not TERRORISTS.
April 4, 2014    superkinez@
The US, EU, Russia, India, Brazil, Japan, Korea can't live without trading with Mainland China. How will Taiwan do it? These student activists must not be thinking what they or their children will eat. They are obviously pro-DPP, and clueless about economics.
April 4, 2014    lockson166@
superkinez@ wrote:
The US, EU, Russia, India, Brazil, Japan, Korea can't live without trading with Mainland China. How will Taiwan do it? These student activists must not be thinking what they or their children will eat. They are obviously pro-DPP, and clueless about economics.
superkinez, These student activists must not be thinking what they or their children will eat - because most of them do not have children yet. They are thinking about themselves first, then later.......
April 4, 2014    jseesus1@
lockson166@ wrote:
So far, Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and
Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) are Taiwan HEROES.
They are not TERRORISTS.
These two students just want attention, hoping that in the near future their mentor (DPP) would ask them to join the loser club. Since these two guys are really academically challenge, dropping out from school is not far fetched. Since Taiwanese do have some kind of a herd mentality (just look at the lines on some fast food joints).. these two a-holes will be soon in the parliament throwing chairs and ripping microphones.
April 8, 2014    gauthier74@
curtisakbar@ wrote:
yentricky

I don't understand how you don't know that you're not a foreigner in Taiwan as well? Or did you forget you are the son of Han Chinese or Hakka or Manchu or whatever Chinese?

If you want to be racist, I can come swinging. The reason people have an opinion about this issue is because it effects EVERYONE! Regardless of what passport you have. If you live in Taiwan then it is an issue for you. For all the people living overseas and protesting this pact doesn't affect them (unless they plan on coming back), so you should be critical of them and no one else.
Totally agree with you.
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 90% of Taiwan industries think China trade pact's favorable 
A foreigner joins a group of demonstrators in a small protest against the cross-strait pact in Kaohsiung. New residents and tourist alike experienced the more negative side of Taiwanese democracy following the violent altercations on Monday morning.

(CNA)

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