Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

:-o The Tide Is Turning

Several news and article on the 雲林 county legislator re-election and referendum of 澎湖 county gambling legalization.  The DPP candidate 劉建國 (nice name, by the way) won the 雲林 county election, and legalizing gambling referendum did not pass (and it did not pass despite the fact that it is a ‘fair’ vote, unlike the previous national referendum where you need more than 75% of the eligible voters to vote in order to pass anything).  This 2 incidents are big loses to the Ma’s KMT and an indication that the tide is turning, because DPP won one more seat in the legislature, and legalizing gambling in 澎湖 was one of Ma’s major policy that was greatly advocated during election.

Ma is no longer the political star, and KMT is losing ground big times.  However, could this be the turning point?  It is still a bit too early to tell.   I would opt to remain conservative in my expectation.  However, this is certainly a good sign that shows some Taiwanese finally starts to sense the deceitful nature of Ma.

The Drug Addiction

This article point out now that the Chinese government denies the tourists to go to southern Taiwan due to the Dalai Lama visit and the screening of The 10 Conditions of Love, featuring Rebiya Kadeer, the hotel and tourism industry starts to whine about it. (suggesting postpone the screening of the movie).

Again, it shows the most fundamental strategy of China – use economic incentive  and promises (whether  illusive or concrete) to control and manipulate others.  As the article points out, it is the exact same strategy of the drug dealers or the pimps who use drugs to control prostitutes.  Anyone who claims that China is a capitalist free market can shut their stink holes, because clearly it is not.

Thomas in the comment of my last blog mentioned why the US does not have people with enough spine when dealing with China…and I think it is due to the similar reasons.  Perhaps the root of the problem is not the Chinese development of ASBM, or the US’s lack of response, but the economy.  The US and Chinese economy are tied together in many ways.  One example is the massive US debt owned by China.  The US, fearing the negative effect on its own economy, has very limited options when dealing with China.  On the grand strategic view, the US has to find a way to set itself free from this tie to solve this fundamental issue, otherwise it will find itself again and again in the same difficult situation when dealing with China.  Ultimately this might even spell the doom of the US.

So how do we deal with China in terms of economy?  Ideally, we should just deal with China the same way we tell our children how to deal with drug dealers: just avoid them.  Avoid drugs, avoid friends that recommend you drugs and avoid the drug dealers.  Of course economic is more complicated, so the same analogy cannot be applied fully.  However, similar idea is applicable. 

More on the ASBM

Project 2049 on the Chinese anti-ship ballistic missiles.

For several months now this topic has been brought up by various military publications.  Unfortunately, it looks like the “peaceful rise” policy is more for show.  The intention to deny or discourage the US fleets operation in the west pacific is qauite clear.

Bloomberg and AFP also report on the statements made by Gates on the related subject.

The Movie Formosa Betrayed Looks Promising

The movie Formosa Betrayed is looking more and more promising.  I have not seen the movie (only seen the trailer) so I have no idea how it is.  However, based on the report it seems pretty good.

Just a brief note, the movie is based on true event back in the 1980’s, I think.  Because it actually happens just a few years before I was borne, I have no first hand experience or information on it (and I wonder how many Taiwanese, other than the activists, actually know about it during that time, because it is the white terror era when the government has total control of the media and when just talking politics openly can have dire consequences).  My knowledge about it is based only on books and later documentary.

Hopefully this movie will be a great success.  I really admire Will Tiao’s passion, ability and determination to bring out this film.  Taiwan really needs this type of things to be its voice in the international space.  And I have to give a thumb’s up and thanks to the actors and actresses of this film, because they participated in something that can be quite meaningful to Taiwan.

Interesting Political Perspective

Here is a different and interesting political perspective.  I am not sure if I agree with everything it says, but I think it contains certain truth.  For many years, I also find ex-President Chen and a lot of people in Taiwan naive.  They do not seem to understand the very nature of KMT.  Even now, I wonder how many people see it.

But perhaps, this is a “learning process,” like Mr. Cohen said…it takes time for people to learn.  After all, Taiwan (and even the international media) has been brain washed by KMT for 50 years.  Wake up, Taiwan.  Wake up and smell the coffee, CNN.

More Followups on Chen Verdict

Mr. Turton has collected many reactions and statements from international media, different organization and people:

I find the response from Mr. Cohen in the video very interesting.  I think he gave a fair view and criticism on the Chen case, and I applauds his clear response to the media’s question.  Well done, Mr. Cohen.  For me, it is also nice to see and hear for the first time the man whose name has been mentioned numerous time before.  I am a bit surprised of how old he is.

It is also interesting because Mr. Cohen made this statement after his meeting with Ma, his former student, and hear Ma’s ignorant lie a few days ago, before Chen’s verdict.  From Taipei Times:

In related news, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday told guests at the Presidential Office that there was much room for improvement in terms of solidifying the rule of law in Taiwan, but congratulated himself for what he said was his careful exercise of power.


‘I’d like to leave a legacy of building a country based on the rule of law,” he said. “That is the main reason why I am willing to find time to see you today.’

The president made the remarks while meeting his former mentor Jerome Cohen at the Presidential Office yesterday morning.

Those that follow closely Ma’s actions over the past few years will immediately realize what a big lie he is making.  Ma has proven his lack of respect to the rule of law during his time as Taipei City mayor and as the president.  Examples include his refusal to pay for Taipei City’s health care during time as the mayor even after the court rule that the Taipei City should pay (approximately $300,000,000 NTD if I remember correctly, and if we count the interests…probably a lot more).  Even now, Taipei City government refuses to pay.

Also, if one reads carefully those statements, one can also detect the subtle sense of arrogance from Ma.  In any case, it seems Mr. Cohen did not buy Ma’s lies.  That is good, because I think before Ma is able to fool Cohen, but now even Cohen seems to realize Ma’s problem.

The funny thing is, the relationship between Ma and Cohen keeps reminding me of the relationship between Darth Vader and Obi-wan Kenobi in Star Wars…


D. Vader "When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master!" O. Kenobi "Only a master of evil, Darth."

PS. It is also worth to say it again and again as a reminder.  The problem is not whether Chen is innocent or not, but the unfair treatment, bias and hatred.  What Taiwan really needs is a fair trial of Chen, a trial of Law and evidences.  However, so far, KMT, using its strong influence in the judiciary system and media, has used the court as a way of political revenge and vendetta.

The Dark Side…(UPDATE)

The title is my only thought on the Chen Verdict.

Judge Tsai said:

One person’s greed has caused chaos throughout the whole country.

This single statement shows the whole problem of Judge Tsai.  Coming from a Judge, it shows the great bias, hatred, thoughtlessness and lawlessness in Taiwan.  When the history looks back on this, what will it says I wonder…But this statement I hope will be kept in record forever, as the evidence of KMT’s backwardness and assault against the basic principle of the Rule of Law.

Update: Just for the record keeping.  This is from yesterday’s 大話新聞.  In this  section, the news video part shows the vice President actually invites officials in the presidential office to join KMT!  This is really F**K UP! (Sorry, just cannot find words to describe it).  It is like we are back to the time when I am a kid (or even before I was born).

Wu’s Up, Liu’s Down, Nothing’s Different

Taipei Times’ Report.

This is a sudden and interesting development.  Ma and Liu certainly surprise many by this sudden step down, because just a week before the announcement, Liu seems very confident to continue as the premier in conferences and interviews.  It looks like Ma finally realizes Liu is already burnt to ashes and can no longer cover him, therefore he has to change the shield.  However, as I mentioned before, I don’t think this makes a difference.  Especially the substitution choice, now Premier Wu, does not seem too impressive.  During his time as the mayor of Kaohsiung City, he did almost nothing in helping improving the city, especially the extremely urgent water pollution problem.  (the stinky river, citizens have to buy bottle water etc)  That is why he lost the mayor election to Mr. Hsie of DPP, and Hsie was able to improve Kaohsiung city so fast after he took over as the mayor.

Furthermore, Wu is just a human shield of Ma, so really it does not matter if Wu is a suitable choice (although indeed many, even people in KMT, think he is a poor choice).  Ex-president Lee said before, he was puzzled why those officials (including Liu), perform OK when they work for him, but perform poorly when they work for Ma.  Again, the root of the problem is Ma, and a reshuffle of cabinet is not going to change anything.  Of course, this is just my theory…still need to observe the further development down the road.  There are other speculations that maybe Wu is there for election purpose, since he is always a big contributor to KMT’s election strategies etc.  This is very plausible as well…but I wonder if Wu can sill work “his magic.”  Before people do not see Ma clearly, and putting up some makeups to make Ma looks nice is possible.  However, now a lot more people can see clearly who Ma true is, can Wu’s “magic” still work?

One weird thing is that the vice premier Eric Chu, was designated by Ma.  This is, in fact, un-Constitutional.  Why Ma did this is up for speculation.  However, once again, Ma breaks rules etc just because he feels like it.  Sometimes if it is convenient, he used loop holes to circumvent regulations and laws. (ex set Maokong Gondola as amusement structure instead of transportation structure to avoid environment assessment)  However, if the rule is small and not usually noticed by others, he just breaks them.  Such behavior is bordering the edge of the classical definition of tyranny.  Fortunately, there are still elections that can hold him in check.

On the bright side, the economy of Taiwan, like the rest of the world, shows some sign of recovery.  I am not sure how long and how well this recovery will go (and I wonder how many people can be sure).  As I mentioned before, I think the economy of Taiwan will recover even if the government sucks, because the society in general is vibrant.  As the economy starts to recover, unemployment rate will start to decrease, hopefully.  However, IMO, the government, especially the Ma government, is holding Taiwan back from achieving greater economic prosperity.  Also, even though the economy is recovering, a lot of economic problems and issues remain, or even get worse.

The funny thing is, as Mr. Lin pointed out, the TAIEX index went up dramatically around the time Dalai Lama came for the visit and China “gets angered.”  Mr. Lin noticed that if we apply pan-blue media’s logic in market analysis, we will conclude that angering China makes the stocks go up, or that Dalai Lama visits help it to go up.  Of course, both are ridiculous, as any sane person knows, the recent rise of the index is not abnormal, comparing with the indices from around the world.

An Example Demonstrating The Similarity Between KMT and CCP

To demonstrate my opinion that KMT and CCP are made out of the same sh*t, here is another example:

This might not look like a big deal, but actually it is.  It demonstrate KMT’s authoritarian nature (the same authoritarian nature as CCP’s).   First the Taipei City forces those elementary students to got watch the game, and now they want them to wave particular flag and cheer for particular national team (in this case, the Chinese team).  This is just outrageous.

To cheer for which team or to wave which national flag should be a personal choice, even for young students.  Is waving Chinese national flag part of the educational curriculum?  If not, why should the students wave them.

Some adults have this mentality: “well, they are just kids, who cares.”  But that cannot be more wrong.  Kids are the most vulnerable members of our society.  It is our responsibility to protect their rights, and cannot let them be used by the government institutions for some arbitrary purpose against their will.  (Kids are forced to go to school, of course.  However, “going to school” is not some arbitrary purpose setup by the government.  It is a long established tradition of human society to educate our young.)

WSJ Sees the Tree, but Not the Forest

  1. Taipei Fault Lines: Ma Ying-jeou can’t mollify China all the time.

The Sept 2. Opinion Asia of Wall Street Journal, through Dalai Lama’s visit, seems to see one problem of Ma’s policy: the one-sided appeasement and kowtowing to China does not benefit Taiwan overall.  Once again, it shows how Dalai Lama is like a “light.”  A lot of problems of Ma’s policy is revealed by the visit.  But I cannot help but wonder if WSJ only sees the tree, but not the forest, because of the last paragraph:

Compared to past threats and protests from Beijing as the Dalai Lama visited other countries, China’s behavior this time is tame in some respects. Even so, it is difficult not to wish that Mr. Ma would meet with the Dalai Lama himself. Whatever fallout there may be from China in the short term, in the long term he will be doing a great service to both Beijing and Taiwan—by reminding Chinese leaders that the Taiwanese people will refuse to compromise their political freedoms even as economic and commercials ties with the mainland flourish.

I find it a bit naive, a bit too much wishful thinking.  It seems WSJ still has some hope for Ma, thus suggesting to the long term benefits of Taiwan (and China), he should have meet with Dalai Lama.  WSJ seems to think that the only reason Ma did not want to meet with Daila Lama is because he wants to avoid angering China.

That of course, would be the conclusion if one only focus on this Daila Lama visit and the so-called “warming” relation and the so-called “flourishing economic ties” between China and Taiwan.  However, like I mentioned before, this is probably just the tree.  If one can see through the fog created by the pan-blue media, pulls the view point back a bit, and looks at what Ma has done and said, over the past 1 year, one might come to suspect that Ma is not just avoiding angering China, but on the road of annexation (intentionally and unintentionally). 

If one pulls the view even further back, and look at his past career and what he did when he was a student in Harvard, one realizes such conclusion by WSJ, and indeed those by a lot of of other western media on Ma, are perhaps too hopeful and naive.  “This man,” Ma Ying-jeou, is a lot worse than those journalists know.