Archive for the ‘Foreign Relation’ Category

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.

China Expansion

Michael Turton’s blog brought out some interesting new development.  And also this report linked on his blog.

Firstly a big applause to Charles Tannock, chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group.  Finally a 3rd party that has the balls to stand up to WHO chairwoman Chan and her master in China.  He also focused on the main issue, which is the change of status.  This is indeed very good.

However, there is indeed the branding issue, namely the poor name, Chinese Taipei, which was agree upon by KMT 30 years ago.  The name simply brings confusion and should be changed eventually.  I think mostly KMT agreed to this name because there is a “Chinese” in it.  Once again, KMT’s “China” policy put Taiwan in a bad spot.  Nevertheless, this is separated issue that need to be dealt with over the long term… (again, this is the reminder to Taiwanese, be vigilant about names and status, because once those are set, they are difficult to change)

The South China Sea situation really got me thinking…China is indeed trying to expand and flex its muscle where-ever possible.  In the past, China was only aggressive against Taiwan.  But now it seems its ambition is indeed much larger.

This is indeed very contradictory to the usual picture painted by Chinese official and western (or Chinese) media.  Chinese officials always use phrases such as “peace” and “economic development” whenever possible.  Western media very often focus solely on Chinese economic development…probably mainly because that’s what most westerners want to know, where is the hot market etc.

Like Mr. Turton pointed out many times before, China now shift its attention and ambition else where now that it subdue Taiwan through Ma.  Therefore, there are now rising tensions else where.  In another word, China is the source of the tension, and it just shifts it around.  It is also interesting to note that China seems to always deal with others in the divide and conquer fashion.  Before, it be-friendly the ASEAN countries to isolate Taiwan.  Also, it forces Philippine to turn against Taiwan.  Now it is dealing with ASEAN countries on the South China Sea problem individually, not as a whole.  As pointed out by the Asian Sentinel article, some ASEAN countries don’t want to attract China “attention” and therefore do not show support for Vietnam and Philippine.   What we all should know though, is that this is a divide and  conquer strategy…therefore one cannot avoid the tension, eventually the “tension” will turn to you.  In this situation, the best thing to do is actually to unite and resist.  But boy…I don’t think optimum scenario will happen because most of the politicians in Asia Pacific are short sighted bureaucrats that would rather avoid troubles than think in the longer term.   Plus each countries have their own agenda of course.  But we will see what happens.

So it is quite clear…China is indeed trying to expand its influence.  Be it South China Sea or WHO.  And the only way to stop this is probably for everyone  to  just have some balls, like Mr. Tannock.

Update: another European Parliament member that is friendly to Taiwan, Hans van Baalen, visited Taiwan and talked to students.  I like his view point and advice.  And kudos to 林睿哲 for the successfully invitation.

The Discrimination and Injustice of International Community

The recent WHO leaked document and various other things happening in the international community got me thinking.  While Ma and China are the main culprits behind these unilateral change of Taiwan’s status that severely insulted Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, I also feel that the international organizations are extremely friendly toward China and discriminate Taiwan.

Think about it, the US and all these international organizations keep saying Taiwan should keep “Status quo,” especially before 2008, during Chen’s administration.  (Can’t change constitution, can’t change name,…etc etc…these f****** practically try to meddle Taiwan’s own business)  But now they are the one that seem overly eager to change Taiwan’s status to “Province of China”.  It really makes me feel a great sense of betrayal.

While these “intellectuals” give their big talk on human rights and “helping the poor, environment and world peace…blah, blah, blah.” (Chinese officials in WHO says the same shit.) their organizations create process and norm that changes Taiwan status and discriminate against Taiwan.  It just seems that China has a much easier time controlling and influencing these so-called international organizations.  Well, actually, these organizations are basically China’s whores in a sense.

Now why is this?  I do not know…but yea these organizations and the scum bags that filled them disgust me more and more.  But I suppose there is not much we can do except somehow defend Taiwan from these farts and let those organizations rot.

DPP Has a Much Better Grasp About Foreign Relation

Check out this clip and listen to the DPP legislator.  He has a much better grasp about the severity of the recent Taiwan-Philippine-China problem (much better insight than the KMT and pan blue media’s shallow emotional reaction).  As he pointed out, Ma is simply useless because he only complaints to Philippine but does not complaints to 陳雲林 and China, who is the one truly responsible.  Philippine is not a dumb ass.  It knows that Ma cannot offend China, so why should Philippine listen to Taiwan at all? 

For some reason, some people think that KMT and Ma is better at diplomatic relationship than DPP, but this incident clearly shows the opposite.  KMT and Ma really act like a bunch of idiots and whores in this one.  I think the primary reason why DPP had difficulty in diplomacy during the Chen administration, especially with the US, is because KMT still controls majority of diplomats.  The diplomats, instead of facilitating communication between Taiwan administration and the outside world, sabotaging communication and relationship.  This is very evident after the Chen administration, when these same diplomats (like the famous 郭 stationed in Toronto) start to show their true color by leaning toward China.

DPP needs to learn this lesson well.  The current ROC diplomats cannot be trusted fully.   Some counter measure and diplomats loyalty assessment is required.

Perhaps Too Naive?

王丹 and some pan green members now form some sort of platform or something like that, in an attempt to “influence” China, especially younger Chinese generation, toward democracy.  While I respect their intent, and understand what 王丹 is trying to do, I am very conservative and cautious whenever someone said that Taiwan can help China becoming democratic.  I feel those type of idea is way too naive, and I feel people have been using this type of pursuation to accomplish their own purpose and put Taiwan in danger.

There is no real difference between someone who said that “Taiwan can make China stronger by being part of China, ” and “Taiwan can influence China and help China become democratic by building a ‘platform’.”  Both are China centric thinking that fail to put Taiwan’s interests as first priority.  Therefore, it put Taiwan in a dangerous situation.  For example, business men in the 80s and 90s use these type of reasoning to get the government to open the flood gate, which resulted in huge out pour of Taiwanese capitals into China (some directly, some through Hong Kong, and some even circuvent the law).  The result: a much stronger China and a weakened Taiwan.  And do they actually steer China into the “democratic” direction?  Absolutely not.  China has increased its spending on military and now Taiwan’s options have been severely limited.  Other neigbouring countries also start to feel the heat.  SE countries felt threatened, South Korea feel constant pressure and threat from North Korea, which is backed by China.  Japan also felt threatened.  All these start from the justification that huge investment into China will help it democratize.  How wrong those people are.  Now, are we going to try that once again.

Now you might say, “this sounds really selfish.”  Yes, it is selfish.  For Taiwan to prosper and survive, it has to think of its own interest first.  If Taiwan is really strong, then perhaps it can help others with its limited capacity.  But now it is severely weakened, in economic, political and strategic term.  Especially now it is still in danger of being sold out by KMT, or losing its democracy and liberty.  I am confident that Taiwan could survive and emerge stronger, but it is weak right now.  Would you try to crack a rock by throwing an egg at it?

One of 王’s argument is that Chinese people are changing etc.  The problem is…I heard these a hundred times before as well, and I really question it.  Perhaps there are people who want more liberty in China, but I also heard that a lot of Chinese who don’t really care, and a lot are strong supporters of CCP.  Hong Kong used to be extremely prosperous, but do people in Hong Kong during that time really cares about politics and their rights?  Not necessarily.

IMO, Taiwan is simply too fragile to do anything significant.  If stronger nation such as US, UK and Japan failed to have any influence, how could Taiwan?  I think, in Taiwan’s best interest, it might actually be better if Taiwan can influence the smaller countries in Asia Pacific regions, instead of trying to move a giant block of rock like China.  In most of the Asian countries, democratic systems are still in a pretty crappy state.  Taiwan might have bigger impact in forming platforms with those smaller nations instead of forming platform with China.   Hong Kong might also be a potential target.   The point is, Taiwan’s power is limited, and it cannot do much with China.  In fact, it might get swallow when it move closer to China in any ways or forms, and that is what I really worry about.

But all these are not the real priority right now in Taiwan.  Taiwan is still an infant in terms of its democratic and legal systems.  One cannot hope for an infant to do much other than trying to survive and grow stronger.  I would thank god if this infant survive when it is right beside a giant greedy dragon.

AP Controversy

Taipei Times had some detail report of this controversy.  For me though, this is but a further confirmation of Ma’s twisted mind and his intent for China’s annexation of Taiwan.  Yea, he came up with a bunch of explanation and saying that AP wrote it wrong etc, but that does not really matter.

Ma lied a lot before, and this is not the first time he said one thing in English and then later said another in Mandarin.  AP is not so innocent neither.  This reporting agency consistently kisses China’s ass and put Taiwan down.  However, I don’t think a reporting agency will actually report an interview that is too far from the truth.  Most importantly, however, is the fact that even after Ma’s “fixes,” what he said is not that much better. 

The truth is, Ma and those around him has an agenda, and they are pushing hard toward their goal while sacrifice Taiwan’s well beings and sovereignty.  It does not really matter that much what he said before, because all those are just cover ups.  His actions in the past 2 years have spoken louder than words indeed.

Some People Still Cannot Jump Out of the Box

It is quite interesting to observe that some academia or politicians still cannot jump out a box which China has set up during their policy thinking.  Take an example, the FTA with Singapore.  This is a small and older news, but from the development of FTA with Singapore we see how pan blue always based their policy on China centric thinking.

For example, no one seems to care about just what exactly are the benefits of signing a FTA deal with Singapore, and indeed, what exacly are the benefits and problems of signing a FTA with ASEAN.  Now it seems people only care about signing deals because it’s a “trust” issue with China and because Ma promised to sign FTAs after signing ECFA with China.  They seem to sign FTA for FTA’s sake.  Let’s really clarify:  FTA is just an economic agreement, it’s not some holy grail.  It’s not a the more the merrier type of deal. 

And certainly, signing FTA does not mean “peace.”  Look at China’s expansionism mindset after its signing of FTA with ASEAN.  Now all of sudden South China sea is China’s “core” interests when traditionally the area is occupied and governed by international communities around the area.  Same with Japan and China: after years of increasing trade and foreign investment into China, Japan’s coast guard got hit by a fishing boat and the fiasco starts.  Tension certainly does not decrease after years of trade, but China certainly has become more assertive and arrogant.  Now it looks more and more like China wants everything in the western Pacific.  This development certainly does not go well to all the other nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Going back to the main topic.  I am not saying signing FTA with Singapore is a bad thing, but Taiwan needs to have a Taiwan centric thinking when signing this deal.  Otherwise, this type of deals will only be a tool of pro-China politicians and a waste of time and money, because they will not be negotiated with Taiwan’s interests in mind.

The Devil is in The Details

As more information about ECFA come out, it becomes clearer how terrifying it is.  What people focused on before (the economic side, “early harvest” lists etc) are actually quite miniscule comparing to the core problems of ECFA.

As indicated by 大話新聞, in section 3a and 3b,  clause 11 and 13 of ECFA is a total sell out!

One clause states that anything signed afterward under the ECFA framework automatically considered part of ECFA.  This basically gives the free reign to KMT and CCP leaders over what pacts to sign without any public supervision if ECFA is passed.  The other clause setup an organization (經合會) governed jointly by KMT and CCP.  Note that this basically replace the WTO platform, and once gain, it’s KMT and CCP, not government to government.  Therefore, once again, there is no supervision to this organization, and it gives KMT leaders significant power outside and above the government.

There might even be other clauses that can cause significant disadvantages to Taiwan which we don’t even know yet.

The only hope to actually stop it is, of course, DPP winning both the legislature yuan in 2011 and presidency in 2012.  However, KMT and CCP might still find ways to manipulate Taiwan economically and politically.  All I can say is that the biggest danger ECFA causes is not the economic problems, even thought they could be significant, but political problems because ECFA simply exists outside of the system.  Here, we also once again witness KMT’s worst habits of equating the party as the government.  KMT could devastate Taiwan’s democratic system if it is not stopped in time.

One thing that really puzzles me is how fearless Ma and 江丙坤 is.  The flaws in ECFA is so obvious and alarming, they really have a lot of guts putting them in.  Especially 江 because his son is doing business in China.  Do they feel that Taiwanese won’t care?  Or are they naive?  Or maybe they think others are stupid?  I don’t really know.

KMT Really Likes to Misinterpret Others’ Idea

KMT is once again at it.  Now Ma invite a bunch of economics and business “masters” to Taiwan, to create the sense that all the masters support ECFA etc.  The problem is, do these masters truly understand what ECFA is?  Do they know the political implication, not just economic implication?

Furthermore, do Ma really understand these “master’s” work?

I think the answers to all these questions are NO.

While I really like the work of some of these masters, such as Michael Porter’s “On Competition,” I really don’t see how some of these work can be link to ECFA or an economic policies that depends on China.  For example, you can actually uses the theories and principles in “On Competition, ” such as the Diamond theory, combined with the past experience and current situation of Taiwan to argue against policies similar to ECFA.  Furthermore, “On Competition” emphasizes the importance of industry cluster and  the role government has in it, not on FTA or shit like ECFA.  And I have no fucking clue how Christensen’s work can be related to ECFA at all.   As for 大前研一, I think he is full of it.  So I don’t really care what he says.

Also, as pointed out by Ghost_twtw in another one of his nice blog, No ECFA (No FTA) does not mean NO TRADE.  Japan and the US trades a lot with each other but they have no FTA.  However, KMT is now trying to lose people’s focus and equate NO ECFA with NO TRADE.  Any rational people will know immediately this is BS, but as shown before during 2008 presidential election, KMT media can turn pure BS into gold (people who forgot can go to YouTube and immerse themselves in Ma’s presidential election campaign commercial once again)…and some morons will actually believe in them.  Therefore, DPP needs to be aware of this tactics used by KMT and counter effectively.

Ah…Where is A-Bian When You Need One

Stock falls…that is not surprising.  What is surprising for the pan-blue is perhaps why signing ECFA did not boost the stock.  The only stocks that went up are the airlines. While many factors affect the stock price of airlines, one has to wonder if ECFA boost their stocks.  But does Taiwan really wants more air traveling between Taiwan and China?  Right now there are far more Taiwanese flying to China than Chinese flying to Taiwan.  More air travel could mean devastation to the domestic service sector.  But Taiwan probably does not want more Chinese tourism neither, given that already with small number some Chinese tourists are wreaking havoc in Taiwan.  So what’s the benefit, for Taiwan, of airlines doing more business with China?  Probably none.

The pan blue media, unlike during the Chen administration era when they just blame every stock market fall on domestic policies or on Chen himself, start to blame it on Europe this time.  Errr…yea, Europe.  What the heck does Europe have to do with Taiwan I don’t really know.  I mean…come on, the financial crisis has been going on for 2 years there already.

And…who is that guy that said during election that TAIEX can reach 20,000 if Ma got elected, and later said it’s a JOKE?

I wonder if those so-called analyst missed the good old time.  It is quite an easy to explain everything with A-Bian after all.  Ah, where is President Chen when you need one…