Taiwan Spoke Out Against Removal of Film from MIFF

China’s determination to punish the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) over the screening of the Kadeer film has once again backfired.  What is at stake this time is the goodwill of Taiwanese people.  In short, this saga has the potential of winding back cross-strait ties that seem to have been improving since the Nationalist Party headed by Ma Ying-jeou became Taiwan’s President in May last year.

The Taiwan Government Information Office (GIO) has expressed its disapproval of the withdrawal of the movie Miao Miao from the MIFF.  A spokesman from GIO confirmed that the producer of the film had failed to consult the GIO before pulling the film out.  The withdrawal of the film from the Festival had hurt the image of Taiwan. Miao Miao was produced by a Hong Kong film maker with funding from the GIO.  There is a possibility that the GIO will ask the producer for a reimbursement of the NT$4 million subsidy.  The GIO is also reserving the right to sue the Hong Kong producer Jet Tone for breach of contract.

Miao Miao’s withdrawal has met with mounting criticism in Taiwan in the past two days.  To many Taiwan people, the withdrawal suggested not only that Miao Miao, a film made with Taiwan funding, was categorized as a Chinese film in an international film festival, but also that Taiwan was siding with Beijing in the repression of Uighurs.

The Taipei Economic and Relations Office (TECO) in Australia has also informed the MIFF organiser that TECO intends to continue as a sponsor for the Festival because apart from Miao Miao, Taiwan still had two short films screening at the festival.  They are Joyce Agape and The Pursuit of What Was.

A journalist from Taipei Times wrote the following remarks in his blog about the saga.  I am quoting him because his views are shared by many of my Taiwanese friends:

Hopefully a price will be paid by those who made the decision to pull the movies from the festival, if only in bad publicity and diminishing sales at the box office. One can hope, too, that this will have served as a wake-up call for Taiwanese creative artists and government agencies such as the GIO that have pushed for cross-strait cooperation in the arts. One thing is sure: I’m never paying to see a movie directed, written or produced by Wang Kar-wai again. My Blueberry Nights, though cute, wasn’t all that great anyway.

Meanwhile, Rebiya Kadeer has arrived in Melbourne today.  She appeared at tonight’s The 7.30 Report.  During her interview with Mary Gearin, Kadeer said:

Under six decade of brutal Chinese rule, the Uyghur people have not enjoyed a day of peace. They love peace. They yearn for peace. And we also struggle for their human right and for democracy.


It is the Chinese Government accused us of separatism, and that’s Chinese Government’s mantra. And our goal is self-determination, which was actually part of the autonomous system granted to us by the Chinese authorities. And our hope is to hold the dialogue with the Chinese authorities to peacefully resettled the East Turkestan issue.

When my people, just like you, when they could truly enjoy freedom, when they could live like human beings. Until that day comes, I will not stop what I am doing.

According to The 7.30 Report, staff at MIFF are continuing to battle cyber terrorism and harassment from fenqing-type Chinese nationalists.  Ned and I would like to express our deepest admiration for these brave Australians.  It is not easy to have to constantly look behind one’s shoulder when walking down the street.  And we curse Laojun, the Chinese national who claimed to be responsible for the cyber crime against MIFF, and the journalist who helped to promote the course of this cyber criminal, all in the name of fair and balanced reporting??!!!

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35 Responses to Taiwan Spoke Out Against Removal of Film from MIFF

  1. justrecently says:

    Methinks you are giving “Laojun” too much attention. Referring to cyberwar or cybercrime would look sufficient to me. After all, fenqings are narcissists in the first, second, and third place, and patriots only out of craving for recognition.
    That said, I think all free countries must start thinking of how to keep their web uncensored – and how to keep their own public uncensored by China.

  2. C.A. Yeung says:

    I disagree. It’s definitely not a cyberwar. MIFF is not ASIO or our national defence departments, which are equipped to and capable of engaging in cyber warfare with hostile invaders. It is not general cybercrime as such. What the Chinese hacker has been doing is to use computer hacking as a tool for influencing Australia’s foreign policies. According to DE Denning, this is cyber-terrorism, a much more specific kind of cybercrime. There’s not much difference between “Laojun” and the suicide bomber who had just blown up the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, except that “Laojun” will probably not have to gut to face death for his so-called “patriotism”.

    It seems to me that the only way to blog about China without being blocked by the GFW is to exercise self-censorship. But if we exercise self-censorship, we are helping China to keep the rest of the world censored. As things stand at the moment, we can’t win both battles.

  3. Conscience says:

    I have ever heard such analogy “Macao assimilated by mainland China, as well as Hong Kong assimilated by Macao”. Now I may add “Taiwan assimilated by Hong Kong”. If Taiwan were conquered by the red autocracy, how could the only remain of genuine Chinese traditional culture survive?

    Is the film “Miao Miao” directed by Wang Kar-wai? How did the command or pressure work on Wang and his fellows? Such inconceivability really made me sick!

    “Hopefully a price will be paid by those who made the decision to pull the movies from the festival”—No!No!No! They will not pay all that “price”. They will “get a plum in return after giving a peach”. The CCP will pay back much more benefits for their sacrifice of reputation and profit. The box office in China is much larger than in Taiwan.

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  5. justrecently says:

    I doubt that hacking the Film Festival Website constituted cyber-terrorism in Denning’s terms, so far as I have found info about them. It certainly wasn’t “hactivism” either, because it didn’t merely “flood” the website. But according to an author named Shari Lawrence Pfleger, Denning defines cyberterrorism as politically motivated hacking operations intended to cause grave harm such as loss of life or severe economic damage.

    Maybe Dennings changed her mind in the meantime, but in 2002, she wrote that “because it is difficult to determine the perpetrator of a cyber attack, it would also be difficult to enforce a cyberarms control treaty that limits the use of cyberweapons by governments. An attack that appears to be state-sponsored might in fact be perpetrated by a terrorist group or teenage hackers.” (search engine with this quote should show the link).

    The nature of the MIFF website hacking looks different from Denial-of-Service attacks, which she called cyber vandalim, also in 2002, but that still seems to be more fitting than “terrorism”. Whoever did the hacking is a moron in my book, but not someone who really matters. (What does matter is the attitude of the Chinese authorities which probably don’t mind such activities, until they go into a “wrong” direction.) That’s why I think it will become a challenge to keep the internet outside China uncensored.

    As for censorship in China, I’m making no try to become accessible from there. Writing something meaningful about China which involves politics would be impossible, if someone tried.

  6. Ned Kelly says:

    JR, you wrote:

    “Whoever did the hacking is a moron in my book, but not someone who really matters.”

    But is there a difference bewteen “someone who really matters” versus someone who DOES matter, if they do the same kinds of acts?

    I think, that the QUALITY of a terrorist’s deeds, should matter more than the immediately foreseeable effects of what he does.

    Just because a terrorist is an obscure person whose deeds “do not matter”, does not mean that s/he should be lightly ignored as a “moron.” Because, JR, as you know, Hitler started that way, as a “moron”, as a cartoon-character who was not taken seriously.

  7. Ned Kelly says:

    PS, I will add, that in my opinion, the internet will make very little difference to any civilisations in the next several centuries or more.

  8. justrecently says:

    The activity does matter – but “Laojun” is kind of a clone. There are thousands of him. I’ll get into details this weekend.

  9. Ned Kelly says:

    JR, I’m a bit drunk at this moment, but for now I just want to say you and I must drink together if and when I ever dare to set foot in Europe.

    But we won’t invite Ivan, because I can’t trust Ivan to be courteous to anyone unless and until he’s spent some “conjugal” time with his fiancee, the exotic dancer Hypatia de la Pink who is still in prison in Idaho.

  10. Hypatia de la Pink says:

    Yo Ned! Why you talk bout me behine mah back? You ain’t all dat! I KNOW you, muthafuckah!

    Sincerely yours,
    Hypatia de la Pink,
    Cell Block H,
    Kaneesha Williams Feminist State Penitentiary, Idaho

  11. Anon says:

    “Talking about morons, the Melbourne International Arts Festival has been targeted by confused hackers, too.”

    Ha. This reminds me of last year, when I saw Chinese trolling Algerian boards because all they could tell was that they were in French. Well, with Chinese getting into fights in Algeria now, I suppose their trolling was prescient in a way.

  12. justrecently says:

    I’m sure we’ll have a lot of good beer together, provided that Lady de la Pink won’t finish you off beforehand.

  13. Ned Kelly says:

    Just look at the state of Ivan’s house since the judge revoked Hypatia’s parole!

  14. C.A. Yeung says:

    politically motivated hacking operations intended to cause grave harm such as loss of life or severe economic damage

    JR: I’m wondering which aspect of this definition doesn’t not apply to the MIFF experience of Cyber-terrorism: (1) the video footage that accompanied The 7.30 Report had several very clear screen shots of fax and email messages, both in Chinese and English, that threatened to harm and kill MIFF staff. Neither I nor The 7.30 Report was fear-mongering when we said that MIFF staffs “are constantly look behind one’s shoulder when walking down the street”; (2) MIFF’s ticket sales have been seriously hampered because the hacker(s) tempered with both the online and telephone booking systems. People who are interested in attending screening sessions for other movies shown at the festival are now unable to buy their tickets online or over the phone anymore. For your information, almost 90% (if not more) of MIFF’s tickets are sold either online or over the phone. Would you classify these as causing grave harm to life and as inflicting severe economic damages on innocent victims. Or would you rather suspend your judgement until one of the MIFF staff has actually been physically harmed?

  15. C.A. Yeung says:

    Anon, I knew nothing about what happened at the Algerian BBS. But it sounds interesting. Would you care to elaborate a bit more?

  16. C.A. Yeung says:

    P.S. JR: Chinese companies were once in strong contention to win a tender for Australia’s National Broadband Network. The project worths $43 billion. But now after this hacking incident, there is no way their tenders will even be considered. Is this the kind of “propaganda” that CCP wants for China? I’m also wondering in what way my exposing of Chinese hackers’ act of cyber-terrorism can be considered as “doing propaganda work for the CCP”?

  17. justrecently says:

    C.A., sorry if this looks like nitpicking, but I was referring to the act of hacking the MIFF’s website, and to the “Laojun” coverage. I’m trying to understand which crime in real life translates into which kind of crime on the internet, as I’m a very scientific blogger. Obviously, death threats are crimes, but to be fair, I’d keep the hacking of the website and the threatening messages apart, so long as we don’t know if they come from the same person. I think you know me well enough – I’m not into trivializing Chinese nationalism and its logical excrescents. But “Laojun”, as far as I’m concerned, presents himself as a petty criminal idiot, and that’s it. If rule of law applied in this case (it doesn’t, because he is a Chinese patriot and not within the reach of justice), the only matter between him and the MIFF, would be if he should be held liable for commercial damage.
    I don’t think that either of us wants to play things down – rather, we are different people reacting with different tempers.

  18. Ned Kelly says:

    As a matter of law, if there is evidence, including circumstantial evidence, that Laojun knew or had reason to know that his cyber-hacking took place under the same circumstances as the sending of death-threats to the MIFF FOR THE PURPOSE OF UNLAWFULLY CENSORING THAT MOVIE, then there is probable cause to arrest Laojun for CONSPIRACY to commit cyber-terrorism, even if he did not personally make any threats.

    But of course, in Australia, unlike in China, he would get a fair trial.

  19. justrecently says:

    Hehe. How can Australia’s judicial be fairer than China’s, when he doesn’t get tries there at all?
    That said, the poor lad seems to fear his government nevertheless for not being sufficiently patriotic. But it doesn’t a Guardian article to know that he’s crapping his pants.
    Especially now that the JR Human Flesh Search Machine has picked up the case.

  20. Ned Kelly says:

    “How can Australia’s judicial be fairer than China’s, when he doesn’t get tries there at all?”

    I’m thinking like a lawyer, about the hypothetical situation of him being tried in Australia. It’s a plausible, although mostly hypothetical, possibility. But as he is probably in China, which does not have an extradition treaty with Australia, the odds of him being put on trial in Australia are almost zero percent…

    …but that does not change the fact that he would get a more truly fair trial in Australia than he would get (if at all) in China. And sometimes “fairness” includes the risk of prison, which he would NOT get in CHINA’s UNFAIR courts!

  21. justrecently says:

    An extradition would remind the Chinese of the bad days of humiliation. Comment #21. in itself is already unfair, unlogical and hurts the feelings of the Chinese people.

  22. Ned Kelly says:

    PS, even at the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-46, in which some of the Judges were bloody Russian Communists who didn’t give a damn about any law at all, the defendants were given fair trials, mostly due to the respect that the American and British judges had for the Rule of Law.

    Therefore I think Laojun would stand a better chance at receiving real justice in Australia (whose legal system is similar to America’s and Britain’s, and today is probably even fairer than either of those two) than he would get in any court of “Communist” China.

    By the way, JR, personally I think the Nuremberg trials were illegal under International Law. I agree with Churchill that it would have been better morally AND LEGALLY, just to round up a few top Nazi leaders (like Goering and Hoess) in 1945 and hand them over to some German resistance leaders to be shot summarily without a trial, as a symbol of how the Nazis repudiated the Rule of Law and placed themselves outside of it, instead of going through the pretense of a “trial” which was really based upon the raw power of victory in war.

  23. Ned Kelly says:

    PPS, another jurisprudential problem with the Nuremberg Trials is that they only selected a handful of Nazis to prosecute. But if collaboration with the war crimes of Nazi Germany was grounds for prosecution, then the majority of Germans would have to be prosecuted. Thus, the Nuremberg Trials were SELECTIVE prosecution, which is NOT what the “rule of law” means!

    The Nuremberg Trials were illegal under International Law, and they were immoral according to Augustinian morality. But I think it would have been legal and moral just to round up a few Nazi leaders in 1945 and hand them over to the German resistance to shoot them without a trial.

  24. Ned Kelly says:

    And one more observation to share with you, JR, about the Nuremberg Trials and the laws of war. (I’m digressing from the topic of this post, but I think this is a good conversation between you and me):

    During the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1901), an Australian soldier in the British Army, named Harry “Breaker” Morant, was put on trial for “war crimes” because he shot someone who seemed to be an enemy. His trial was in 1901, near the end of the war, and he was made a “Scapegoat for the British Empire” because in 1901 the British wanted to end the war and “make nice” with Germany who supported the (Dutch) Boers.

    Get the picture?

    Harry “Breaker” Morant never violated the laws of war. He acted as an honourable soldier, just like most German soldiers did in WW II. But he was convicted of “war crimes” in a show-trial, and then he was sentenced to death for his “war crimes”.

    Thus, I suggest, that IF the laws of the Nuremberg Trials had been applied consistently, then EVERY German who fought honourably in WW II would have been convicted of “war crimes”, just like Harry Breaker Morant was. And it would have been 100 percent unjust, a mockery of justice, to do that to millions of honourable German soldiers. But that is what the law of the Nuremberg Trials warrants, and that is why I say the Nuremberg Trials were illegal under Interantional Law.

    Here’s a clip from a movie about Harry Morant. By the way, “303” refers to the calibre of rifle used by the British in the Boer War:

  25. Anon says:

    RE: The Algerian BBS: It was nothing really, not a hack or any major concerted trolling. During the time when France was Public Enemy #1 (it’s really becoming hilarious how, other than the top 1-3 eternal enemies spots, the other most-hated countries are pretty much a revolving door of offenders) I saw a post somewhere (I don’t know where, Global Times, Tianya?) where somebody posted a link to a “French” board and said “hey, let’s go tell these guys what we think.” I followed the link and found some angry and/or propagandizing posts from Chinese there (either in English or obvious machine translations to French, I don’t know), but it was pretty obvious that the forum was Algerian, even though I don’t speak French. I mean, I think the Algerian flag was prominently displayed! So it was pretty obvious that they just found a French language forum at random. Not any big thing.

  26. justrecently says:

    I’m skeptical of all attempts of creating international codes of procedures (unless it becomes binding for the leaders of every country, maybe, and then I’m still not sure if it’s a great idea). And the Nuremburg trials judged crimes which were defined ex post. There was one good thing about those trials though – they showed everyone in Germany over an extended period that the war was indeed lost. And they avoided building the legend that resistance in Germany against the Nazis was on such a scale that they actually shot some of them.
    Remember – after ww 1 German democrats were blamed for signing the treaty of Versailles. Few people would point out later that Hindenburg and Ludendorff had been in command.

  27. Ned Kelly says:

    Jr wrote: “There was one good thing about those trials though – they showed everyone in Germany over an extended period that the war was indeed lost.”

    I disagree. The Nuremberg Trials did not prove that Germany lost the war. The only thing that proved to the Germans that they really lost the war, was being defeated violently through raw power, in combat. In 1945, that was the only thing the majority of Germans understood, just raw power and total defeat in combat.

    No trials and no laws could have ever convinced the Germans that they were totally defeated in 1945. In 1945, the only thing that the vast majority of Germans understood, was raw power, violence, the power of the stronger over the weaker. The rule of the strong over the weak, was what most Germans believed in in 1945, and that is why armed force was the only thing that could change Germany at that time.

  28. Ned Kelly says:

    PS, and I fear that America must learn a similar lesson as Germany learned about the limits of raw armed force, soon.

  29. justrecently says:

    I disagree. The Nuremberg Trials did not prove that Germany lost the war.
    Armed force could have changed Germany in 1918, too. But it didn’t. The legend among German nationalists then (and there were many of them) was Im Felde unbesiegt (undefeated in combat, but sabotaged by the traitors’ in the hinterland). In that regard, the Nurenberg trials were questionable, but efficient. They made the Nazis look smaller than before. There was nobody in Germany who could say that it would have been a different story with him at the helm. During the 1920s and the early 1930s, there were many.

  30. justrecently says:

    As for America, its power will decline. But what makes you think that they’ll need a lesson? To me, they look pretty self-sufficient, compared to many other global powers. America only happens to be bigger, currently.

  31. Ned Kelly says:

    America needs a lesson about the limits of armed force because it hasn’t learned a lesson from the disasters of Viet Nam and Iraq. It’s going to take a more obvious, more humiliating defeat. Iran might deliver it, as Iran has a real army.

  32. 1. The Uighurs are a pain and a bore. I visited Urumqi, accompanied by cadres from Shanghai. Later local ones joined them in offering me hospitality. I had a contract to build a hotel close to a Buddhist temple complex. A French conglomerate bought my contract. The main thing the PRC officials wanted was to respect the architectural and aesthetic lines of the temple. I had many occasions to meet and dialogue with the Uighturs as well as the Miao.They did nothing but complain, complain, complain. I am talking about 1987! The CPC bent over backwards to give them privileges no Han Chinese would even think of – not even in the ante-chamber of his cerebral cortex. You can all jump on me but those ethnic tribes in Xingiang were SPOILED. They bred like koalas and they did not need to adhere to the one child policy. I think the Chinese Communist Party definitely erred in their “special treatment:” of the Uighurs. I did give them my opinion because a high ranking official asked me. Now the Mongol- Turkic troublesome chickens have turned into ferocious Komodo dragons.

    Who is financing them? I think the Saudis and the U. S. They will do anything for those pipelines.

    2. The Nuremberg Trials: Contrived and illegal from start to finish. Torture was used EXTENSIVELY AND FREQUENTLY. As a result Senator Robert Taft, a man of the highest integrity serving in the U. S. Senate, resigned as one of the principal judges. 90% of the judges were Jews. Forgiveness does not exist in their religion. Jesus taught us that quality. They, as children of Moloch wanted blood. Churchill wanted the entire German nation exterminated. It was Stalin who reasoned that Eastern and Western Europe, including the Soviet Union could not survive in the long run without the Germans. The allies slaughtered more than 10 million German civilians. Probably 2 or 3 million soldiers.I am referring to events after the end of the war – 1946,47, 48.

    3. The German Resistance did not exist. A paltry number fled to Moscow, like Walter Ulbricht. Reinhard Heydrich saw to it that almost all German Communists were executed or imprisoned in the concentration camps.

    4. The Red Army could have executed those who bore the greatest guilt. What did they do? They went on a rampage of blood, rape and slaughter. I feel compelled to state my admiration for the courage and the fortitude of the German women who went on about their lives, work, and tasks as if they had not been beaten and violated.No one lamented their rapes, lacerations, humiliations and desecrations. They looked upwards and said” Onward, we are not going to let anything or anyone crush us.”

    They brought up more than 200,000 children born of those rapes as reasonably, well adjusted individuals with the German work ethic, love of God,family, country and moral ethics. Those German soldiers and officers who survived never said a word of reproach to their wives. They took the babies and gave them their names. A wall of impenetrable silence was erected. Only recently have women, now grandmothers began to speak out about the mass ra

    5. I find Taiwan’s protest ridiculous. Someone should write a screen play about how the mainland aristos in 1945 treated the ethnic Taiwanese. Thousands died and thousands more sere imprisoned.

    6. There is a grafitti inside a Lupanarii ( a bordello) in Pompei. Someone had written in beautiful Latin script””Romans. We can’t afford to defeat any more countries We are ruined.”

    Contessa Isabella Vacani

  33. Ned Kelly says:

    Contessa Isabella,

    Thanks for the education! A few thoughts in response:

    1. Our main concern is over Chinese attempts to bully Australians into self-censorship. Personally I don’t want to see Xinjiang becoming yet another ludicrous “independent” statelet like the US client state of Georgia and its US puppet dictator. You’re correct that the American Empire has designs on all of Central Asia.

    2. I’m not aware of the religions of the Nuremberg judges, but the fact that some of them were Bolsheviks – an essentially criminal organisation – was enough in itself to make the trials a mockery of justice.

    3. Roosevelt bears considerable responsibility for allowing the rapacious Red Army to invade Germany.

    4. The American Empire today is far weaker than the Roman Empire was when that grafitti was written in Pompeii.

  34. 迷你倉 says:

    President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan has apologised for the slow official response to Typhoon Morakot.

    “We could have done better and we could have been faster,” he told reporters one week after the typhoon struck.

    Hundreds of people are still trapped by mudslides and floods. More than 120 have been confirmed dead.

    Families of nearly 400 people feared dead in the village of Hsiaolin returned there on Saturday to the site to grieve for their loved ones.

    Relatives were seen calling out to the buried victims and burning incense, while TV pictures showed one man being restrained as he tried to bang his head against a wall.

    Some families have demanded to have the bodies of victims dug up, but many believe digging them out would harm them, a local official told the BBC.

    Officials says rescue teams have been hampered by sustained rains in the centre and south of the island and a badly damaged road network which means many villages can only be accessed by air.

    Many of the worst-affected villages are inhabited by aborigines, who farm the mountainous terrain.

    Thousands more people are believed to be stranded in remote settlements elsewhere in southern and central Taiwan.

    The government has requested from foreign countries prefabricated buildings to help house those left homeless by the flooding and supplies of disinfectant, to try to prevent the spread of disease.

    In China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan, companies and charities have raised more than 100m yuan ($14.6m) in donations, the official Xinhua news agency has reported.


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