老外看台灣/台灣和索馬利蘭理念相同?忽略「這點」恐下場不堪|Taiwan political myopia: Seeing mutual beliefs despite Somaliland media crackdown

台灣政治領導人物缺乏洞察力和格局,恐讓「兩國互惠發展」的美好藍圖成為幻影。 | Lack of discernment and imagination among Taiwan political leaders could again pave the way for ‘grand prophetic vision’ to eventually become delusion

圖示意索馬利蘭媒體遭政府嚴格管控。| This illustration highlights how the media landscape in Somaliland depends on the goodwill of the government. (Courtesy of DB for The China Post)

【看CP學英文】台灣駐索馬利蘭代表處於817日盛大開館,為兩國友好關係奠下基礎外交部也發文表示台索國的友邦關係建立在共同信念與價值上,而兩國普遍不被國際承認的特殊地位格外引人注意。 

Taiwan opened with great fanfare a representative office in the breakaway state of Somaliland on Aug. 17, highlighting the alleged shared beliefs existing between two de facto sovereign territories that are denied widespread international recognition.

蔡英文總統隔日在推特發文,表示期待兩國雙邊關係的發展,並強調索馬利蘭和台對自由、民主、正義、法治等面向上抱有共同理念,未來也會秉持這精神互惠合作。

President Tsai Ing-wen hailed the announcement as “an important milestone” for their bilateral partnership in a Tweet the following day, stressing that Taiwan and Somaliland are “bound together by our shared values of freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law, ideals that will guide our future cooperation.”

但事實上,許多人未注意到蔡總統的聲明中遺漏一個重點新聞自由。為什麼獨漏這項自由呢?台灣人民深信,不論以何種形式,透過媒體溝通發聲的權利是不可剝奪的

Most people did not notice an important omission in the president’s speech though: press freedom. Why? All Taiwan people believe that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, should be exercised freely.

然而,索馬利蘭當局並不認同新聞自由。索馬利亞全國新聞工作者聯盟(National Union of Somali Journalists)指出,當地警察在六月時突然關閉位在首都哈爾格薩(Hargeisa)的兩家大型新聞台。

Well, Somaliland authorities do not think that way, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists, amid reports that local police closed two major television stations in the capital Hargeisa in late June.

法國國際廣播電台(RFI)曾在節目中引述索馬利蘭資訊部部長蘇萊曼·優素福·阿里(Suleiman Yusuf Ali) 是如何回應當局關閉環球電視(Universal TV)的:「環球電視(Universal TV)未撥放總統繆斯·比希 (Muse Bihi)在演講中提及索馬利蘭從英國獨立的片段。」

French public radio RFI quoted Somaliland Minister of Information Suleiman Yusuf Ali for the alleged reason why one of the stations, Universal TV, was suddenly shut down: It did not broadcast Somaliland President Muse Bihi’s address to mark the independence of the country from Britain.

以上事件皆凸顯索馬利蘭政府對該國媒體的嚴格控制。今年年初,無國界記者(Reporters Without Borders)譴責索馬利蘭持續拘留記者的惡行,這位記者在5月24日記者會上提問了令衛生部長不堪的問題而遭逮捕。無國界記者也呼籲索馬利蘭當局立即釋放記者,並且尊重新聞自由。

These incidents highlight the government’s tight control over the Somaliland media landscape. Earlier this year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the continuing detention of a journalist who was arrested on May 24 after asking an embarrassing question at a press conference and urged the Somaliland authorities to free him at once and to respect the freedom to inform.

台灣現今能享有新聞自由,一部分是民進黨過去努力不懈的成果。如今,竟為爭取國際認同及短期國家利益,對索馬利蘭泯滅新聞自由的行為視而不見。

Regretfully, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who fought tooth and nail for Taiwan press freedom, has turned a blind eye again to the actions of a foreign government in its search for international recognition and short-term political gains.

儘管台灣聲稱表示索馬利蘭和台灣具「共同的價值觀」,索馬利蘭政府仍會對媒體進行嚴格的審查,特別是有關報導當局與鄰國邦特蘭(Puntland)的領土糾紛上。

Despite the government claims, the “shared beliefs” between Somaliland and Taiwan are largely invisible as the Somaliland government imposes strict censorship on news media, especially when it comes to its territorial disputes with the neighboring Somali state Puntland.

如此短視近利的外交政策,凸顯台灣政治領導人物缺乏洞察力和格局,最終「兩國互惠發展」的美好藍圖恐成幻影。

Such short-sighted political vision, also called “political myopia,” highlights a lack of discernment and imagination among Taiwan political leaders that usually paves the way for their “grand prophetic vision” to eventually become delusion.

不久後,外交部極可能會宣布一系列政策,透過經濟誘因幫助新友邦度過飢荒與消除貧窮,總統也可能會拜訪索馬利蘭,鞏固雙方關係。

We can expect that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will soon announce a series of economic incentives for our new diplomatic partner to help overcome endemic poverty and famine, before announcing a presidential visit that will further cement bilateral ties.

索馬利蘭確實需要幫助,台灣有能力、也應幫助索國。但台灣政府應先認清到,唯有建立長久的友誼關係,台灣才能在外交及經濟上獲益。

The question is not whether Somaliland needs and deserves Taiwan help though; we all agree that Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping. But Taiwan authorities should first acknowledge that long-lasting friendships are the hallmark of successful diplomatic and economic ties, not the other way around.

台灣若短視近利,不通盤考量友邦的狀況就急忙拉攏,在對抗中國打壓台灣的外交拉拔賽上,我們恐居下風。

The risk is that pushing red envelopes for the sake of diplomatic gains with a questionable government could undermine rather than reinforce Taiwan’s moral argument in its diplomatic tug-of-war with China in which each side tries to woo the other’s allies with various incentives.

最後,台灣應正視索馬利蘭政府對媒體打壓的行為,特別是台灣正積極的聲援香港人民捍衛民主自由的行動。

To this end, Taiwan should think twice before turning a blind eye to Somaliland’s media crackdown, especially as our government is extending its support to Hong Kong people in their rightful fight for freedom and democracy.