Daily Bloom, 7.4.14

Welcome to the Daily Bloom! The Daily Bloom will be a daily shortform blog with updates on the day’s political going-ons. If something particularly exciting happening in Taiwan, we will be providing live updates on our Facebook page and Twitter account. At the end of the day, we will compile the live updates to provide a chronological timeline of the day’s events. If not, we will simply report on what happened that day, or what might be of note that happened. If you have news tips about what would be interesting to cover, send to [email protected]!

July 4, 2014

Five arrests of prominent Occupy Central leaders were made in Hong Kong in regards to the July 1st protest marches. Is this the beginning of a crackdown? It is, of course, far too early to tell, but one can certainly expect reprisals in the near future.

Former Taiwanese President and founder of the TSU, Lee-Deng Hui, praises Japan’s repeal of Article 9 as a step towards regional stability through cross American-Japanese cooperation. Of course, though Lee Deng-Hui was certainly a key figure in the history of Taiwanese democratization, this does not bode well in consideration of that the repeal of Article 9 was largely driven by Japanese far-right wing ultra-nationalists and popular protest against Article 9’s repeal involving up to 40,000 in the streets of Tokyo, as sparked by a man’s attempted self-immolation.

Amis Aboriginal singer Ayal Komod, also known as Chang Chen-yue (張震嶽), a recent winner of the Golden Melody award, reacts against plans by the Taiwanese Tourist Bureau to bring Chinese tourists to watch Amis traditional festivals on Facebook, criticizing that the cultural heritage of the Amis was being made into a spectacle for tourists. Later on, on July 3rd, an activist group called the Indigenous Youth Front (原住民族青年陣線) held a demonstration action in the Tourist Bureau. This was complete with a faux-sightseeing expedition “touring” the Tourist Bureau and a tour guide satirically explaining the actions of office workers as though it were some inscrutable, exotic form of ritual.

Japan reacts against against Chinese-South Korean joint commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Japanese defeat in World War II. Again, very likely this is a reaction to the repeal of Article 9, and a warning from Beijing and Seoul that increased Japanese aggression may face joint alliance and a sign that ties between Beijing and Seoul are becoming closer.

Director Midi Z. (趙德胤)’s Taiwan-produced film, Ice Poison (冰毒), wins best film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the first Taiwanese produced film to do so. In public comments, Midi Z. stated that the freedom of Taiwanese filmmaking had been a factor in his success. While awarded a prize by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture for his success in competition after the fact, of course, Taiwan-produced cinema has seen a decline since the signing of trade agreements which led to an influx of Hollywood produced films that flooded the market, as reflected in the decline of the “Taiwanese New Wave.”

Today was the last day of the Legislative Yuan’s Special Legislative Session broadly aimed at resolving recent “turmoil” about the CSSTA trade bill and the creation of special economic zones within Taiwan. Yet if there were protest actions, none caught the public eye. As the crisis of Taiwanese democracy seems far from over, very apparently, there will be protest sooner or later—and rest assured, New Bloom and Daily Bloom will be there to cover it.