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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Taiwan: Where's the Beef? It's not with the USA but with Ma. Who Else?

A week past on Saturday November 14, thousands of Taiwanese took to the streets of Taipei to express their growing concern over the present government's continued mismanagement of the nation's international affairs. In line with this, the Legislative Yuan has been deadlocked on an amendment to the Act Governing Food Sanitation. The issue of course has been the recent agreement of President Ma Ying-jeou to the import of American beef. Don't misunderstand this. It is not a matter that Taiwanese do not like American prime rib, T-bones or filet mignon; they love it. What Taiwanese are upset with is the continuing slipshod manner of negotiations and apparent deal-making that the Ma government is trying present as fait accompli for the people and the legislature to accept.

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The UN Snubs Taiwan Again: Who is the Joke of Ma Ying-joke On?

With the recent revelation of the United Nations past snubbing of Taiwan (it rejected in June the two human rights covenants signed by Ma Ying-jeou), the pitiful saga of Taiwan's President Ma continues. It is no wonder that many continue to call him Ma Ying-joke, for despite this and numerous other humiliations, Ma still claims that his China-friendly, China-centric policy is working. But the question or joke for Taiwanese is that it is working for what? This particular snubbing was in June for example, yet Taiwan's public has only been made aware of it now. If the policy is working, why the cover up until now?

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Negotiating Taiwan’s sovereignty

Since taking office last year, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has many times assured the public that his administration will deal with economic issues first and not engage in political negotiations with China until Beijing removes the missiles aimed at Taiwan. However, the Ma administration has reneged on this pledge, just as it has on so many other promises it has made.

In reality, political contacts between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have already commenced in various hidden forms.

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Nan Shan deal: Too much at stake

The government’s regulatory agencies last week lashed out at a Hong Kong consortium’s plan to sell 30 percent of its stake in Nan Shan Life Insurance Co to Chinatrust Financial Holding Co. However, the Nan Shan deal has also put the regulatory agencies’ credibility to the test, with the public watching closely if they will approve the deal eventually.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong-listed China Strategic Holdings Ltd — which, along with private equity fund Primus Financial Holdings Ltd, had purchased a 97.57 percent stake in Nan Shan last month from American International Group Inc (AIG) for approximately US$2.15 billion — announced unexpectedly that it planned to sell 30 percent of the Nan Shan shares to Chinatrust Financial for US$660 million.

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Obama’s Chinese lesson

US President Barack Obama’s visit to China was most notable for his hosts’ refusal to play his game. Nothing could have been more symbolically ludicrous and deflating for Obama and the dignity of the office of US president than speaking before a bunch of hand-picked university students taking part in a “town hall” address in Shanghai. Never mind that the students were mostly or all members of the Chinese Communist Party, that they asked vetted, even infantile, questions or that the students who sat behind Obama — and were thus visible to TV and online audiences — behaved as if they couldn’t understand a word.

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SEF-ARATS talks subvert Taiwanese sovereignty

The resumption of talks between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) has been flaunted by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as one of his major political achievements. With the fourth round of talks between SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) scheduled for next month, how should we assess these high-level talks?

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Newsflash

Former President Chen Shui-bian should be released from custody since his family had agreed to return funds from overseas accounts to Taiwan, his son Chen Chih-chung said yesterday.

The former head of state has been detained since Dec. 30, 2008 as a suspect in cases of corruption and money laundering. Expectations that he would be released rose after his relatives agreed last week that Switzerland could wire about NT$700 million into accounts designated by Taiwan prosecutors.