Terror Attacks in Taiwan?

Not to be an alarmist, but I noticed that the US worldwide warning to its citizens that “soft targets” were in danger of being the targets of terrorist attacks, has coincided with several countries posting ads in the English papers (here in Taiwan) asking their citizens to register with their country’s Trade office. Is this just a coincidence or should we all be a little more wary of where we go these days? In any case, I dutifully registered with the Canadian trade office and suggest others do the same if only for the free t-shirt.

Get out! They’re giving away free t-shirts? Are they any good? :sunglasses:

I remember in 96 when all the missiles were flying about, all the Indonesians at Shida left, and some people were getting jittery. I went to the British office to register and they were kind of a loss as to know what to do. I felt a bit foolish and left. All the hype was really overdone - the debate of the day was “would the US intervene?”… I don’t reckon the British office (for one) would have a clue what to do - look at the mess they made of the Indonesian evacuation - and they had plenty of warning.

I went to AIT to register my family during the missile tests in 1996, but no t-shirts were offered! At the time my wife did not yet have a green card, so I was informed that while my son and I could be evacuated in case of emergency, my wife was more or less on her own.

My family back in the states were sending me letters saying “You’d better get out of there!” during the “missile tests” of 96. I was in boot camp at the time (I didn’t want to worry them so I hadn’t told them that I had been drafted). Heh.

I was living in an apartment with a British flatmate who happened to work at the British Council at the time. The rumors at the BTCO were that the Yanks were ready to run; meanwhile we hadn’t heard anything at all from the US side. The Brits apparently believed that the US was ready to evacuate everyone at the time (although I never heard anything about this).

As for “soft targets”, seems like you’re as likely to be hit (statistically) in the States as here, right? You could certainly hear any non-Chinese terrorists coming a mile away (“lao wai! lao wai!”) at any rate…

Terry

In any case, I dutifully registered with the Canadian trade office and suggest others do the same if only for the free t-shirt.

Does that mean I can register there, too? I am not a Canadian but would like a free T-Shirt …

Just kidding, but I always register with the local Embassy or Trade-Office, just in case. Not only for cases of war but also due to other situations which may arise (disaster managment, illness, …).

As for “soft targets”, seems like you’re as likely to be hit (statistically) in the States as here, right?

I would think otherwiese. The terrorists will have it more difficult in the US, so more likely they will target Americans (or foreigners looking like Americans) / places where Americans hang out in other countries. The risk in Taiwan may be quite low, but there are surely some places where it is rather the opposite.

Gowan! Mohammed Atta’s clone could get by screening at O’Hare!!! Have you ever seen a Keystone Cops reel? That’s what it reminds me of… :x

After the KMT entered Taiwan, it was enough to claim someone “collaborated with the enemy” (without any proof) to get rid of him/her. Later, there was the “communist threat”. Now, if we don’t like someone, he/she is a “terrorist”. To speed up the process of elimination, just say any of these magic words: “Al Quaeda”, “Taleban”, “Osama bin Ladin”.

Mainland China was very quick to jump on that train after they saw how good the Russians did: Now Chechens are not rebels fighting for independence but terrorists and instead of other governments annoying Putin with human or other rights he may even get support. (Remember, basically we all here on Taiwan are terrorists too - Taiwan was mentioned in the same sentence with “Uygur terrorists” in a mainland statement.)

Friends, get down on the ground again! Does none of you wonder why the media are not scaring us with the possibility of anthrax attacs any more? Because the letters seem to be sent by a US citizen, probably even from a military lab. Could that guy be made a monster threatening earth population? No, not convenient…

Even “terrorists” apply some logic in their doing. So, have you ever thought what good it would do a “terrorist” to kill you? Are you really that famous/rich?

In the US, it seems easier to get killed by privately owned firearms - afaik, the number of such casualties since 9-11 is four times the number of people dying that day…

For people understanding German, try this article from a european point of view: http://www.heise.de/tp/deutsch/inhalt/co/12107/1.html

Olaf

Sorry guys, I was just kidding about the t-shirt. Proves though that everyone’s a sucker for a promotional gimmick, and a free gift is sure to draw in the crowds.

Rascal’s got the right idea though to register with your local trade office cum consulate. There are a lot of disasters, terrorist attacks notwithstanding, that can befall you in this part of the world. Sometimes your consulate may be your only source of (accurate) news.

Even “terrorists” apply some logic in their doing. So, have you ever thought what good it would do a “terrorist” to kill you? Are you really that famous/rich?

I guess we are not talking single individuals here but a group/assembly of a larger number or people (e.g. Americans or those mistaken for it) - whereever whenever that happens.
Personally I don’t worry to be a target but rather get “involved” as an innocent bystander, wrong place at the wrong time and you are gone …

Last time I contacted my consulate when I was in trouble, the only help I got was list of lawyers they “approved” of. Aside from giving you a list of the consul’s school-buddies or their buddies’ buddies, what else would you expect from them? Come on, we all know that when US foreigners overseas are threatened, the first thing that happens is Washington will break off ties and all the “important” people are recalled to Washington. What’s the point in registering with your consulate? So they can spell your name right on CNN broadcasts when the worst happens?

Rascal, fame or wealth isn’t a problem for the enterprising young terrorist. Your average Filipino militant or an Indonesian wacko maneuvering in Taiwan with the benign cloak of a maid or a laborer, could abduct you, send your photo to CNN along with a set of demands, let you attain your 15 minutes of fame, then pop a cap in your notably newsworthy ass. All praise and love to Allah

Actually, re registering at your trade office, I’d recommend it. After 9-21 there were a lot of anxious folks back home trying to find what had happened to their Taiwan-based offspring, and with phones down (or no number to call) they contacted the Foreign Office / State Department / whatever looking for news.

I know for a fact that the Canadian, Australian and British trade offices sent people to central Taiwan to try and find foreign nationals immediately after the disaster. It would have been a lot easier to find the “missing” if they’d registered. And, for the more pessimistic amongst you, having your name and contact details on the list will help ensure a place on the last plane out should China ever do more than rattle its saber.

Oh, in case you’re wondering - I’m assured your personal info wouldn’t be passed on or used for anything sinister…

JS

But if I register, wouldn’t that mean that my government would know where I am??? Why on earth would I want that???

And what would be the problem with that?

Unless of course you are in trouble with the law back home …

OK Rascal, I’ll show you were the line is for ID chip implants. Oh… and you can open yourself up to a battery of test so they can sterilize you when they discover your IQ doesn’t meet breeding standards.

What you describe above is in my understanding a person called “gangster”. There are laws to deal with such persons and the ones who deal with them are police, investigative forces (however they may be called in a country) and the court.
Do you think you should call the ROC army to deal with such a guy, probably declare war on him and his home country and the last ten countries leaving an immigration stamp in his passport?
My point: The term “terrorist” is just a word - and a heavily abused one these days. There are a few governments (led by the government of a quite large country) having fun by naming any person they don’t like a “terrorist” and keeping the support of the public by constantly threatening them: Al-Quaeda “seems” to have biological weapons, we “suppose” they “planned” to purchase a nuclear device…
Remember the announcements after 9-11 that there should have been a second attack to follow shortly after? Where was it? Where was the biological attack that should have happened then?
Try to see it this way, take all the statements published on CNN, look at the words and phrases used and you will see that there rarely is word of any proof - but the construction of those phrases will let the audience think that Al-Quaeda really did those things. Then try to find at least some substancial evidence that those accusations are true. You will have a hard time…
So, the chances you encounter a “real” terrorist are probably as high as taking the NT$300Mio jackpot…

Re the Big Brother worries, I’d like to make two points.

The official line is that the info would be used in an emergency only, such as contacting you to arrange evacuation, or to track you down post-disaster as with 9-21.

Unoffically - I think people that worry that the government is going to put all this data into one big database give them far too much credit. That’s a hell of a complicated task, something even the (financially motivated) private sector has trouble doing (credit cards being sent to five year olds etc.). And in your experience, how good are government departments at talking to each other, or even getting the facts right in the first place?

Example - it is possible to live and work in Taiwan, and even pay taxes, without having a work visa. One would imagaine that, when confronted with a forgeigner that is paying tax on his salary from a job he doesn’t have, the tax office would point that out to the relevant department or at least red flag the tax payer. But they don’t - I know of several people that worked and paid taxes in Taiwan without ever getting an ARC. Not their department, I suppose - it’s somebody else’s job to worry about visas.

James

OK Rascal, I’ll show you were the line is for ID chip implants. Oh… and you can open yourself up to a battery of test so they can sterilize you when they discover your IQ doesn’t meet breeding standards.

Well, chip implants weren’t the subject here.

In Germany we have a household registration system like here in Taiwan (well, I think they copied that from us) so they do know where you are but nobody has tried to do any testing on me, I think you are just too paranoid.
I am currently not registered in Germany anymore for tax reasons (the law allows this when you work outside of the country) but not because I have something to hide. I have registered here with the local trade office for emergency and disaster management and I am not worried that they will missuse this information.

Note I have been doing this for 7 years in Malaysia and they never even bothered to contact me; couldn’t think of any reason over there anyhow.