Taiwan, China, ECFA and… My Birthday

You may wonder, what could be the link between Taiwan, China, ECFA and my birthday…

Seems strange, as a title… 🙂

Today, it is April 25th, my birthday.

Today, there is a TV debate between the Chairman of the political party in charge – KMT(who is also the President of Taiwan at least if he is not talking to Chinese in which case, his title becomes Mr. Ma) and the Chairwoman of the opposition party – DPP.

A debate about what? About the ECFA between Taiwan and China, economic agreement which will be signed, whatever the opinion of the Taiwanese.

If you look at the news in China, officials from the Chinese government always clearly mentioned that the ECFA is a first step toward unification.

But the Taiwanese government and KMT seem to totally avoid to detail this fact to the Taiwanese people.

We do not need to feel surprised about it. The simple fact Taiwanese officials mention the potential unification in a more or less far future between China and Taiwan is enough for us to understand that obviously the KMT is in favor of such a political move.

Obviously, the big majority of the Taiwanese are against it. So how the KMT may put forward its hidden agenda?

When Taiwan will be totally dependant to the Chinese economy, the game will be over.

And the Taiwanese democracy too.

It seems that the Chinese Communist Party and the KMT are having the same agenda, as illustrated by the Editorial cartoon in Taipei Times (April 22 20190):

The government is so proud of the “new diplomatic policy of Ma”,citing for example Taiwan been an observer in the WHA.

Every normal person understand that it is the case only because the conditional approval from China.

But this year, it is the first time that US had officially showed that Taiwan’s participation in the WHA was fully contingent on approval by Beijing (HERE).

If something is getting wrong, of course China will not renew it.

How many times we could read in the news, Taiwanese officials saying that after the ECFA is signed, Taiwan will be able to sign FTA with other countries.

Who is so naive to believe that?

The ECFA is leading to a common market, concept promoted by the actual vice-president of Taiwan since 2000 as a recent editorial mentioned (HERE):

[…]

During an exclusive interview with Mexico’s largest newspaper, the Sun News on Aug. 26, 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that the cross-strait relationship was not a matter of relations between countries, but rather a matter of relations between regions. By making this claim, he diminished Taiwan to a region, which was a clear hint at his preparedness to signing an ECFA

[…]

By the way, Google published the Data or Removal Requests made by countries (seems to still be in a beta version) (HERE).

We can observe that all the countries let this information been freely published except China… Surprised?

KMT is siding with China. So does it mean that KMT approves the Chinese system?

Tim Maddog put on his Twitter (HERE) the first polls after the debate which is just now finished:

[…]

ETTV (pro-Chinese KMT) asks: Do you support ECFA? Yes: 6,762 (76%); No: 2,080 (24%)

CTiTV (pro-China/Chinese KMT) asks: Who’s winning the debate? Ma: 31,573 (79%); Tsai: 8,490 (21%)

SET (supposedly green): Do you support ECFA? NO: 92,465; Yes: 14,356. SET has the highest number of participants of the three I listed.

ETTV + CTiTV’s survey participants (48,905) = less than half of SET’s (106,821). What does that tell you? .@fvarga

SET has started a new poll after the end of the debate: "Who do you think did a better job?" So far it’s Tsai: 15,983; Ma: 981.

[…]

It seems that people are awakening?

Let’s see.

😉

 

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,,
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Taiwan: The New Modus Vivendi

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

I wish that the Tiger year will bring to all of us Health and Happiness.

I didn’t post since almost one month. It was the winter break and I enjoyed some vacations abroad with my Queen (I will post some pictures in a very near future).

Now, it’s time to be back to work, the new semester started this week.

Having not watch or read news about Taiwan since a while, I decided to have a look, during a coffee break.

Did something change?

Is the ECFA still the top priority?

Is Chinese influence on Taiwan society still a concern?

News respectively answered: No, Yes and Yes.

Two days ago (HERE), some DPP (opposition party) legislators voiced security concerns:

[…]

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday voiced concern that national security might be compromised after a major contractor for government information systems was bought using Chinese capital (last month).

[…]

Not only the Premier said he didn’t know anything about the Data Systems issue (it seems that he is sharing the “I didn’t know” with the President Ma – see below), but the Minister of Economic Affairs rebutted the allegation (security concern).

Still, a clear fact according the news is that this company is run by Chinese money.

And according the report:

[…]

The company had won more than 200 bids for government projects between 2000 and last year and won two Bureau of Foreign Trade bids last month, prompting concerns that data might be leaked to China

[…]

About people not knowing what is going on, more in the news (HERE).

The Taipei County Magistrate Chou Hsi-Wei announced few days ago his withdrawal from the new special municipality (former Taipei County) elections.

It seems that other candidates from the same party (KMT) were leading several polls.

Anyway, during his speech, Chou said that he spoke twice about the case, with President Ma (who is also the chairman of the party).

But Monday, the President said that he only knew about the case after reading the newspapers.

As the previous story (see above), one more who “didn’t know”.

The end of the article is quite funny:

[…]

If a president rules the country by reading the newspaper, then it would be better to seek a newspaper chief to serve as president.

Some have mocked Ma on the Internet that he only knew he was elected president after reading about it in the paper and that the first step when China invades Taiwan will be to destroy all newspapers so that Ma will know nothing about it.

[…]

Obviously a new modus vivendi is taking force in Taiwan.

😆

Less funny: according other news (HERE), the Ministry of Education may emphasize the teaching of Chinese history and reduce the teaching of Taiwan and the rest of the world history.

National Taiwan University (NTU) professor of history Chou Wan-yao, who is one of the members of the task force, raised concerns about changes to the curriculum guidelines [in an article published in the Southern Newsletter on Feb. 10].

According the article, Professor Chou said:

[…]

some members of the task force had suggested that Taiwanese history should be merged with Chinese history since Taiwan has been part of China since ancient times

[…]

Even more:

[…]

the new [Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)] government would like to set things straight by amending the curriculum guidelines for Chinese literature and history.

[…]

ECFA, Education… No limit…

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

Taiwan: Just A Simple Question

Again and again, the president (?) of Taiwan praised his diplomatic truce and this time he was talking about Haiti (HERE):

[…]

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Tuesday touted his foreign policy, saying that the rescue efforts of Taipei and Beijing in Haiti were a perfect example that his strategy of “diplomatic truce” with Beijing worked.

[…]

Where did he say that?

In San Francisco.

His plane brought aid goods.

Where did it land in the first place in view to deliver the aid goods?

In the Dominican Republic.

Haiti is an diplomatic ally.

So why Ma did not land on Haiti land?

So, why did he need to give the aid goods to Haiti from the Dominican Republic?

Oh, let me guess…

China can decide about the U.N. troops in Haiti.

So the president (?) of Taiwan which is a diplomatic ally of Haiti cannot land in Haiti.

And he still repeat and repeat how beautiful and successful is his diplomatic truce.

China decides. Obviously, not Taiwan.

Yeah… Diplomatic truce… A joke?

If I missed something or misunderstood something, please, let me know.

So bad for Taiwan.

😦

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,,,,

Taiwan: Violence In The Legislature And ECFA (Again)

During the last few days, some news came on a regular basis:

  1. Violence among legislators (Legislative Yuan)
  2. The idea that signing an EFCA with China is the only hope for Taiwan and it will allow Taiwan to sign FTA with other countries with China blessing it
  3. Increase the professor’s salary in Taiwanese Universities as a mean to improve the status of academic institutions

I will give today my one cent comments about the former two points and let the latter to a future post.

So, there is too much violence in the Legislature…

Obviously, no one can oppose to that fact. For foreigners living in Taiwan, it is always a strange, ridiculous, funny (?) and dangerous show to see legislators insulting each others and fistfights on a regular basis.

What’s an example about Democracy which people are supposed to develop and cherish.

When fistfights replace ideas…

As a remedy, the new appointed Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General King Pu-tsung is in favor to the assignment of a sergeant-at-arms to the legislature (and it) would be in keeping with a practice in western countries that effectively helps to enhance democracy (HERE and HERE).

Wow!

An armed-man inside the legislature to avoid clashes…

So, what is he supposed to do? Fire on the bad legislators to bring back calm and peace?

Are you serious?

Beside, create a low enforcement system as suggested by the KMT is a way to belittle the Legislature’s autonomy.

One more way for the party to totally control everything?

Maybe…

Moreover, the KMT Secretary King said:

[…]

the assignment of a sergeant-at-arms to the legislature would be in keeping with a practice in western countries that effectively helps to enhance democracy

[…]

That is not only very strange to say that, but it is also not accurate.

Let’s take the example of France (but it is very similar in all democratic countries). If you go to the French Legislature Website (HERE – in French but Google can easily translate it) we can see that yes, there are military, police and firefighters staff inside the buildings.

But let’s be more precise:

  1. The President of the Legislature is the ONLY responsible of the security inside the buildings and only him can decide. Not the main political party or the government.
  2. The forces are only there to protect the Legislature from people coming from outside to interrupt sessions or to launch attacks.

In no ways those forces are there to separate legislators in case of clashes.

And the autonomy of the Institution is totally preserved.

I totally condemn violence whoever started it, minority or main party. It is totally unacceptable.

But what if it is the only one way to bring public attention to an unacceptable proposed bill which could put down the spirit of democracy (as said by some)? I don’t know. It’s a very complicate and sensitive question especially if people are normally in favor of democracy and against any form of violence, which is deeply my case.

Beside, according the news, it doesn’t seem that the DPP (minority) is more violent than KMT. There are more news about KMT elected convicted for vote buying or linked to the mafia. And recently, a KMT candidate who lost the election came with a gun to the headquarter of his opponent (who won the election). There are so many examples from the newspapers but it is not the point here.

Anyway, a cartoon from the Taipei Times (April 26 2009) is quite representative of what, according the news, the opposition thinks:

Let’s go back to what the new appointed Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General King Pu-tsung said:

[…]

In a democratic society, the minority should abide by the majority. Legislators from the opposition parties should not occupy the podium even if negotiations break down

[…]

Oh, there were negotiations?

The controversial bills were voted during the clash according the news.

Minority should abide by the majority?

I thought minority should abide by the law (as the majority…).

Laws govern a country. Not the majority.

Yes, I know what you will say: laws are voted by the majority.

Right, but there is still a subtle nuance worthy to note.

Beside, I am not sure that the fact that there are main and minority parties is an evidence that a clean democracy exists.

Even in western countries such as France and USA we may have a lot of questions.

But:

  • when most of the media are controlled by one party,
  • when the election system does not give the merited weight to all political parties,
  • when the president of the country is also the chairman of the main party,
  • when people don’t know if the president is “on the road” as the president of all people or as the chairman of the party,
  • when the party has a great influence on the government and judicial system,
  • when people are not any more sure that Justice is independent
  • when the party is in charge of international negotiations and not the government
  • when the legislature has no idea of the content of the negotiations
  • when etc…

What do people get? Democracy? I am not sure.

See for example, Venezuela, Russia and… You know 🙂

Last Sunday, Taipei Times published an interview its reporters made with the Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou (HERE).

Here are some excerpts:

[…]

Take the amendment to the Local Government Act as an example. I have no control over who wins the special municipality elections. I want to give the country a stronger competitive edge by remapping the districts. I am doing this for the country and the people, not for a party

[…]

I thought the biggest problem about the bill was about the appointment of local district chiefs who are already in post, without letting the possibility to the new elected mayor(s) to chose his/her staff.

I also understood from the news that most of those chiefs are from the KMT.

Hum…

[…]

We will present a report to the legislature after holding formal negotiations with mainland China, and will also explain the matter to the public, so that people will understand what ECFA is

[…]

Why not let the public and legislature know what is going on about the negotiations before they are done?

You can also notice that he used the term “mainland China”.

[…]

So when we sign FTAs, we can do it with our major trading partners, such as mainland China, Japan, the US, ASEAN countries, the European Union, South Korea and Singapore.

Mainland China has signed more than 10 FTAs. Once we ink an ECFA with the mainland, ASEAN countries will not reject the idea of talking with us

If we sign an ECFA with mainland China, the pressure and obstruction to our effort to sign FTAs with other countries will be reduced

[…]

Can you really believe that after signing an ECFA, China will let Taiwan signs FTA with other countries?

Can you believe it when the only goal of China is to take Taiwan?

Can you believe it when China said recently that it opposes any official contacts between countries and Taiwan?

You can read this article (see the above link). The end is also very interesting, especially about the influence the KMT general secretary has on the government and public institutions (EPA).

The final answer of the president about it is:

There’s nothing wrong with the procedure

Obviously, nothing can be done about the ECFA. It will be signed.

But about violence, I do not believe that proposing means to fight against violence when it is erupting, is a solution. It is like fighting against temperature by breaking the thermometer. We don’t see anymore the fever but it is still there.

What people have to do is fighting against what may create violence.

People should cherish talks, ideas and negotiations. Not fistfights.

People from the majority but also from the minority.

 

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,

Taiwan: Still It Is Not My Fault (Again)

Many times, M. Ma was accused as the former mayor of Taipei or as the actual president of Taiwan (not only for breaking the law).

Usually, scapegoats were found and even one went to jail.

Today in the news (HERE), we learnt that a pharmaceutical company, China Chemical & Pharmaceutical Co (CCPC) was fined TWD100 million (more than USD3 million).

Why?

Simple: from 2001 to 2004, this company sold directly or indirectly drugs to Taipei City Municipal Hospital for an amount of TWD140 million (about USD4.5 million).

Uh… What is the problem?

Again, simple: this company violated the law by making business deals with the city government while the mayor of Taipei was a member of the Deputy Manager’s family.

Who was the mayor of Taipei at that time?

M. Ma.

Who was the Deputy Manager?

The oldest sister of M. Ma.

I have some naive questions:

  • Are these activities covered by criminal laws? Logically yes. If yes, will this former Deputy Manager be convicted?
  • To make any deal, two sides are needed. What’s about the other side, I mean Taipei City?
  • Will only the company be fined and manager(s) convicted?
  • Will Taipei City Hall be involved too?
  • Will the mayor at that time be involved (convicted) too?
  • Or will a scapegoat be the culprit? (did you say as usual?)

Oh, I know what you are thinking about.

M. Ma, when he was the mayor of Taipei, did not know that her sister sold for more than USD4 million of drugs to the City Hospital.

So, he has nothing to do with that story.

And maybe an obscure civil servant in Taipei City Hall will need to worry right now.

😆

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

Taiwan: Who Is Really In Charge?

Since a while, I have a strange feeling.

Is it because a new year is starting and nobody knows what will be in the box?

Or does the reason lie on the feeling that nobody knows who is supposed to do what?

I am wondering about the latter. It seems a good explanation.

See for example: who is supposed to handle the story about the American beef in Taiwan? Any normal people will answer: the Department of Health (DOH), of course!

Wrong answer my friends: it is the National Security Council (NSC).

Uh… Why?

According the news (HERE):

[…]

Many people ask why the National Security Council (NSC) handled the Taiwan-US beef protocol instead of the Department of Health (DOH) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The NSC later said it became involved because it was a matter of national security.

[…]

Wow! When I am buying beef in my local shop, I am engaging in national security activities 😆

All this story created a real mess here. The government even decided to send a group in US (for what?).

But no one could be surprised: the legislature was not informed in advance, was not consulted during negotiations, and after the signing, was required to support the decision.

When the people in charge are not the one who negotiated, what do you expect about the result(s)?

Taipei Times Editorial Cartoon

In other words, the government wants to transform people into a "rubber stamp".

Rubber stamp, you said rubber stamp?

Another mess here: the negotiation on the economic agreement between China and Taiwan (Taiwan… for how long?).

Obviously, nothing was transparent and no one knows about the details except the people who are negotiating (some people don’t call that negotiation, given the fact that it’s China which decides…).

By the way, who is supposed to negotiate? Uh… The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) no?

Again, wrong answer my friends.

According the news (HERE):

[…]

The head of the Straits Exchange Foundation yesterday told a meeting of
legislative committees that he was just a "rubber stamp" and that his job is
only to sign the cross-strait agreements.

[…]

So, who negotiated? We may have some ideas…

Again, one more rubber stamp. And more are coming, given the fact that the lawmakers and population can do nothing.

The funny part is that the “rubber stamp” still repeat that the economic agreement cannot be delayed…

As the rabbit from the magical hat, the ECFA will come out, as the beef story did.

Beside, one agreement was supposed to be signed among others, a week ago, the double taxation agreement.

According some article (HERE):

[…]

On the night before Chen’s arrival in Taiwan, the Ministry of Finance was ­extolling the ­virtues of a double taxation agreement, saying how determined it was to see the agreement signed. Less than 48 hours later, however, the agreement was on the shelf, put there by public opinion and businesspeople.

[…]

Obviously, some aspects of the discussion (and clearly not agreement) were refused by China.

And the government still insist saying that no political subjects are involved?

More important, what does the government plan to do?

As we can read HERE from academics:

[…]

Academics yesterday lashed out at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government for what they called “a lack of concrete direction” in its policy on cross-strait relations.

Taiwan has entered an era when the national leader is failing to fill the role of pilot

the government was simply relying on China to improve the nation’s economic fortunes and had no clue how to improve the nation’s economy itself

[…]

According to them, China will be in charge of Taiwan. Not its government.

One more example: who is supposed to be in charge of the name of Taiwanese NGO?

Uh… The Taiwanese NGO, no?

Again, wrong answer my friends.

According yesterday news (HERE),

[…]

More than 10 Taiwanese NGOs faced pressure from China or from their international headquarters to change their names or locations

[…]

And as you can guess, the name should include “Taiwan, China”.

So, let’s go back to the initial question: Who is in charge here?

Clearly, it is not the people who are supposed to.

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

China Is Not Welcome in Naples, Italy

An interesting picture, taken in Naples, Italy:

Photo REUTERS

The purpose of the sign is to inform shoppers that no item was made in China…

Beside, look at the shape of the sign. A “cloud bringing bad weather”?

😆

 

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