Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Tsai’s Visit to the US a Success

Tsai’s visit to the US looks like a great success.  The messages (especially about Taiwan Consensus) from the DPP side seems to be well conveyed to the US officials and diplomats.  Communication seems like a simple task but in Taiwan’s case it’s very difficult, and this visit seems like a great break through in communicating DPP’s thinking to the US…this is something DPP was not able to accomplish for many years.  Of course, expecting this visit to result in some sudden major changes would be unrealistic, but so far this looks like a great improvement.

So it looks like selecting Tsai as the Presidential candidate was indeed the right choice, or the best choice for DPP and Taiwan in the current circumstances.  It looks like her style is going through things step by step at the right pace, and be well prepared.  DPP first completed its 10 years policy outlook, and then have a well prepared visit to the US to convey the ideas to the decision makers and Taiwanese in the US.  Nothing is rushed or half-baked.  I am more and more convinced that Tsai is the right type of leader Taiwan needs right now.

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Thought On DPP’s 10 Years Policy Outlook (十年政綱)

Recently I tried to spare some time reading DPP’s 10 Years Policy Outlook (十年政綱).  I did not read the whole thing because I am more interested in only certain sections that contains topics in economy, domestic development, government finance, national security, foreign policy, strategy and education.  But the thing is indeed very comprehensive, covering wide range of topics that would be interesting to different group of people who are concerned about Taiwan’s future.

Some after thought on this:

Vision & Direction: the 10 years policy outlook IMO is well written strategy paper.  Everything stated within is aligned with a clear general strategy.  Thus it provides a clear vision and provided strategic directions on how to reach that vision.

Parts I Like: I especially like the section on national strategy, foreign policy and regional development strategy.  I also think it is an improvement that DPP considers the national security issues seriously, which a lot of politicians in Taiwan fail to do I think.

Feasibility: IMO overall the plan is feasible within 10 years, but some parts would be a lot more difficult than the others.  Also, things could change in the next decade, so future adjustment to the policy is also possible.  However, the purpose of the paper is to convey the general principles and strategies of DPP’s national policy.  In other word, it is trying to set a right direction, not yard sticks.  On this DPP is indeed acting more mature and responsible than KMT, which set some ridiculous and childish benchmarks (633, stock index reaching 20,000 etc) to woe the electors.

In conclusion, I think the direction set by the paper is correct.  The implementation will depends on Tsai and her team’s ability to execute, number of legislator seats DPP can get and other factors.  However, correct direction IMO is most important…what use is a fast car if you keep driving in the wrong direction.  Plus, lots of evidences have shown that DPP’s ability to execute exceed that of KMT (in terms of more economical and higher quality in less time).

UPDATE: another thought just occurs to me.  A lot of people feel that many reform (of different degrees) have to be made (example: the justice system), and DPP, with its experience during Chen’s term and the public feedback over the past 3 years seem to have recognize that, as can be felt within this 10 years policy outlook.  However, if DPP is going to accomplish what is specified with this paper, it will have to challenge some of the existing special interest group.  On this front DPP’s ex-president Chen has not been very successful, and KMT actually also have used the support of these types of group to bring Chen down.  Therefore, DPP should think ahead about how to overcome these types of challenges.  One thing it needs to do IMO is to use the 10 Years Policy Outlook not only to gather support for election, but also to gather support of reform if DPP wins the election…

Ma’s Incompetence Gave Taiwan Another Chance

The presidential election is coming in a few month, and once again this could be a turning point…or not, we shall see.  But the fact of the matter is, Ma’s incompetence has given Taiwan another chance.  This might sound kind of counter intuitive, because if the President of Taiwan and his/her team are competent, then they will be able to provide Taiwan with a chance of further prosperity.  If they are incompetent, then they will wipe away opportunities and chances of better future.  However, it is so, because the direction Ma is taking is a completely wrong one.

If you are on a transportation vehicle heading toward a cliff running at full, and you already have lost control over it, you would most likely wish that this vehicle is a donkey instead  of a F-1 racing car, so you can jump off without getting killed.  This is exactly the situation Taiwan is facing now.

Many people bash Ma’s incompetence over the years, from burning the government treasury which creates huge debt, to lack of readiness and capability and crisis management, to over emphasis on media coverage without putting any real thought into how to manage the government and plan for Taiwan’s future….etc etc etc.  All these are valid and important, but I think what worries many, deep inside their hearts, is that Ma is leading Taiwan toward a point of no return.  The way Ma and China coordinate to bring Taiwan further and further into China’s orbit is quite evident in the past 3 years.

On the other hand, despite his incompetence, he is still able to fool many.  Unfortunately despite all his incompetence he is still a very good actor, and the media, whose industry consist mostly of traditional pan blue supporters, is able to give him a stage.  Plus the KMT have a complex web of connections in the local governmental organization, and of course they have a huge amount of “illegal” fund.  All these still give Ma plenty of support.

But, Taiwan is indeed blessed with another chance.  If Ma is a competent leader and if his team is very competent, they will be able to do an even better job at sugar-coating and misdirection…and less people will be able to recognize the problem and the risk.  Because of his incompetence, he busted his promises during election (such as 633…well that one and stock index to 20,000 are just too big of a bullshit even extremely competent people will not be able to accomplish), which cause more people to examine and realize that he does over promises and lies many times…