Beijing's affronts gained Taiwan's sympathy

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dauthehoang

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Hi everybody,
I would like to know that why the word 'affront' is a negative meaning but in the sentence below, that 'bad attitude from China' gained Taipei sympathy?
"While Beijing’s affronts gained Taipei sympathy, the seedier aspects of the latter’s foreign policy drew criticism."

Context:
At odds with Beijing before he took office in 2000, Chen let Taipei’s foreign policy lapse into venality. While Beijing’s affronts gained Taipei sympathy, the seedier aspects of the latter’s foreign policy drew criticism. Having vowed to put away the chequebook, Chen was politically vulnerable at home when the scandals accumulated.

source: Taiwan’s friend-buying days are over | East Asia Forum
Thanks in advance
 
  • macphie

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    To me it means Taiwanese foreign policy towards China under Chen caused Beijing to direct insulting messages and actions towards Taipei ( these messages are the "affronts"). These affronts from China then earned sympathy for Taipei from other parts of the world.
    However as this was happening Taiwanese foreign policy became associated with graft and corruption (this is the "venality)'. This latter element of Taipei's foreign policy drew criticism.
    The last sentence means Chen then reacted to this criticism by reducing the use of corrupt payments ( ie "put away the chequebook") but as a result of ceasing such payments he then lost political support when it was needed.
     
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