TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's main opposition party the Kuomintang (KMT) on Thursday (June 10) suddenly lashed out at a Singaporean activist and journalist by labeling him a "white supremacist" and made a cryptic comment about Japanese anime.
At 12:31 p.m. on Thursday, Roy Ngerng posted a tweet in which he wrote that he was very proud that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had strengthened her country's relationship with other democracies to such an extent that Japan and the U.S. are "coming to Taiwan's aid so quickly." He then stressed that this had been possible "without Taiwan having to lose its integrity, dignity, and sovereignty."
Within eight minutes, the official Twitter page for the KMT posted an aggressively worded comment below his tweet:
"The cognitive dissonance of being such an extreme white supremacist whilst being a PoC [person of color] must be extremely painful, for you."
Apparently anticipating a response about Japan's support for Taiwan, it then added the following:
"And before you respond with 'but muh Japan,' please read up on the history and popularity of why anime is so popular in the land of the rising sun."
At 12:46 p.m., Ngerng posted a screen capture of the KMT's tweet and noted that the "biggest opposition party in Taiwan" had just called him a "white supremacist." The KMT deleted the tweet within less than an hour, but it was too late to prevent the screen capture from being shared on Twitter and Reddit.
The KMT then posted an apology at around 2:40 p.m. which stated that its comment was "indeed inappropriate and inconsiderable [sic]." It went on to say that the KMT would like to "sincerely apologize to anyone that might be offended by the content of the reply."
However, it posted the tweet again at 4:57 p.m., changing the word "inconsiderable" to "inconsiderate." When asked if there had been some prior exchange or previous context to the KMT comment, Ngerng said there had been none.
Taiwan News requested a comment on the incident from the KMT. At 8:26 p.m., it sent the following response:
"In response to today’s Twitter response incident, we immediately retracted this unauthorized tweet, and we also sent a tweet to Mr. Ngerng Yi Ling in English as soon as possible. We also expressed our deepest apologies to Mr. Ngerng Yi Ling and other Twitter users who felt offended by seeing this tweet in English. At the same time, we also proactively relayed our apologies for this matter to reporters from foreign media stationed in Taiwan, diplomats stationed in Taiwan, and domestic media reporters. The international department will also send a formal apology letter to Mr. Ngerng.
In response to today’s incident, we have begun to review the relevant procedural controls to prevent similar mistakes from occurring in the future. We once again apologize to the public and foreign friends, sorry."
Ngerng's original post (above), KMT's initial response (below). (Twitter, Roy Ngerng screenshot)
First version (below), second version (above). (Twitter, Roy Ngerng screenshot)