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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

A Cause for Concern, Does Ma Ying-jeou Know What Time It Is?

The elections of December 5th are past and one marked result is the fact that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has regained power in its former stronghold, Yilan County. Ma Ying-jeou as both President of the country and Chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had zealously and extensively campaigned there to prevent this, putting both his own reputation and the party's on the line. Despite this, the people voted in the DPP candidate. Whether this can be seen as an indication that the people of Taiwan are developing a growing mistrust of their president whom many are beginning to call the phony pony, is one matter. But there is another matter, that of Ma breaking the law in his campaigning.

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One third of the nation are idiots

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) has once again found himself in hot water and this time it is of his own making.

In an interview with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-friendly UFO Network on Tuesday, Wu said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) cross-strait policy continued to abide by the principle of “no reunification, no independence and no war.”

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Kaohsiung Incident a good reminder

Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident of 1979. It was a watershed in Taiwan’s political history, as it galvanized the democratic opposition in Taiwan and overseas Taiwanese into action, and thus ushered in the beginning of the end of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) martial law and one-party police state.

In Taiwan itself, the event is being commemorated with a series of activities, including seminars, a photo exhibition and a concert in Kaohsiung. The irony of the situation is that one of the defendants in the “sedition” trial that followed the Incident was Chen Chu (陳菊), now mayor of Kaohsiung.

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Are human rights still on the agenda?

As the world celebrates International Human Rights Day tomorrow, Taiwan will also be presented with an opportunity to reflect on its progress, or lack thereof, in safeguarding human rights over the past year.

Recent events are likely to cast a pall on Taiwan’s image. Just last week, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Deputy Secretary-General Maa Shaw-chang (馬紹章) announced that the Taichung City Government would designate a 30,000-ping (nearly 100,000m²) “protest zone,” or “opinion plaza,” so that protesters could make their voices heard during the fourth round of negotiations between SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) later this month.

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Where the buck stops

In state elections in the US on Nov. 3, the Democratic Party lost out. These were the first elections since US President Barack Obama took office, but many saw them as a local affair, not as a mid-term test for Obama. Rather than blaming Obama, the Democratic Party swallowed the bitter pill. On Saturday it was Taiwan’s turn to hold local elections. Although the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) won the top posts in 12 out of 17 cities and counties, losing only Yilan and Hualien counties among those seats it had held, public opinion sees the results as a defeat for the KMT and blames President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the KMT chairman, for the losses.

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ECFA: Letting the public decide

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) recently said in an interview that the government would only sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China under three conditions: if the nation needs it, if the public supports it and if there is legislative oversight. The three conditions appear to be reasonable, but the government is using them to deprive voters of their right to make decisions.

First, does Taiwan really need an ECFA with China? We must ask whether the “one China” principle is the premise for the government’s negotiations on an ECFA with Beijing: In other words, does the government view Taiwan as part of China? This is something the government must make clear to the public.

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2015-12-26 Taiwanese Shrine Initation & Marytr-Spirit Enshrine Ceremony
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Newsflash

The US, the UK and the EU protested a decision by a Chinese court to uphold the 11-year prison sentence for Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), a political dissident convicted last year on subversion charges after promoting a manifesto calling for China to become a democracy.

“We are disappointed by the Chinese government’s decision to uphold Liu Xiaobo’s sentence of 11 years in prison on the charge of ‘inciting subversion of state power,’” US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said in a statement yesterday. “We believe that he should not have been sentenced in the first place and should be released immediately.”