Plenty of fun in the papers today with the arrival of 750 tourists from China. On Chinese aircraft, since their government will not allow them to take Taiwanese aircraft. Just another example of the generosity and good faith of Beijing….

A playful commenter in the Liberty Times argued that “Sun Moon Lake” (er yue tan2) was going to become “Sun Moon Spit” (tan2). It’s a commonplace among locals that the Chinese are going to spit and litter their way across the island, and give everyone strange, dreadful diseases.

The Liberty Times featured pics of a betel nut girl that were on all the networks yesterday. The Nantou county government, concerned that Chinese tourists may discover that Taiwanese girls have secondary sex characteristics, has ordered that the betel nut babes dress more demurely. I think the Nantou government is just trying to spare the feelings of the poor Chinese by preventing them from finding out that Taiwanese girls are hotter than Chinese girls.

The story below shows a picture of a shopowner whose placard announces in black and yellow:

Somebody tell Chiang Kai Shek!
The Chinese Bandits have landed!

The sign in his shop window announces that he does not serve Communist bandits. Doesn’t he know that Communist bandits are our friends? Oceania is at war with Eastasia, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia…

The international media has been very interested in the Falun Gongers and the Chinese encountering each other in Taiwan. Jon Adams reports in IHT:

Outside a popular tourist site in Taipei on a baking-hot morning recently, Gao Mingzhu, 56, a visitor from Beijing, took a break in the shade and posed as his tour group companion took a picture.

A few meters away 10 members of Falun Gong, the spiritual group outlawed as an “evil cult” in China, were greeting the newly arrived Chinese tourists and trying to pass out promotional flyers and newspaper articles.

Gao shook his head disapprovingly. “They’re cheating people,” he said.

But when one of the Falun Gong members, Jou Chi-ying, 68, approached, Gao turned all smiles. Indeed, after some initial uneasiness, the scene quickly became something of a cross-Strait love fest.

“See, we in the Republic of China are so polite to visitors, there’s nothing to be afraid of,” said Jou, using Taiwan’s formal name.

“Taiwan is great,” responded Gao. “We’re all one family - we share the same ancestors, and the same heart.”

So went another encounter between fervent Falun Gong practitioners and cautious mainland visitors. The tourists are guests in the self-governing island that China’s Communist government claims as its own, faced with members of a sect that has been banned on the mainland since 1999, but who can speak and gather freely in democratic Taiwan.

Adams also notes commonplace:

Hopes run high in Taiwan that the sharp increase in mainland tourists will help lift the island’s lackluster economy.

Can we stop saying “lackluster economy”? We sizzled along at over 6% growth the first five months of the year. The economy is doing fine. Income stagnation is the problem, and I hope the international media will use “perceived lackluster economy” instead of reifying KMT economic propaganda into a fact. I’m also curious about whether it is true that “hopes run high.” People might say that in public, but I haven’t heard anyone express that opinion privately.