China gamers condemned for ‘bullying’ incident

By Dimitri Bruyas, Special to The China Post with agencies

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) strongly condemned yesterday the actions of Chinese players during an international cyber game competition, saying they bullied a Taiwan rival because he raised the Republic of China (ROC) flag during the award ceremony. On Tuesday, more than 10 Chinese gamers and Chinese media employees in the 2007 World Cyber Games (WCG) verbally insulted and attempted to physically assault Taiwan’s participants upon the conclusion of the games in the U.S. city of Seattle over the weekend. During the award presentation ceremony, they scrambled toward the awards stage in protest, after Taiwanese player Liu You-chen, who won a bronze medal in the competition, suddenly displayed the Republic of China flag. The incident demonstrates that China’s suppression methods are “irrational and unselective,” said MOFA deputy spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh. She added that the Chinese gamers’ actions will deepen resentment in Taiwan, as well as international disapproval against China’s methods. Gamers from more than 70 different countries or regions joined the annual event in the U.S. Yeh urged citizens to inform Taiwan’s representative offices overseas and request assistance if they feel any threat to their personal safety while participating in international events.

In Seattle, Taiwan’s officials there arrived at the scene 15 minutes after the incident, and immediately lodged a protest with the organizer. They helped report the case to the U.S. police, Yeh said. Meanwhile that afternoon, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers demanded that Chinese President Hu Jintao apologize to Taiwan’s people and to the world over the incident.

Beijing should not mistakenly believe that it will succeed in forcing the people of Taiwan to surrender and agree to unification with China by using such means, said Legislator Wang Sing-nan.

“Instead, Beijing should punish the participants to appease the angry Taiwan people,” he said.

Legislator Wang Tuoh said Beijing has not only humiliated Taiwan’s people but has also “disgraced Chinese civilization.” He then urged the opposition Kuomintang and People First Party to join the DPP in condemning China.