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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Taiwan's Great ECFA Debate that Never Was and Probably Never Will Be

Ma Ying-jeou has been president of Taiwan for almost two years and Taiwan's economy still flounders. Like a one-trick pony, Ma seems only capable of playing the run-to-China card, but so far his panda and tourist gambits and direct flights have done nothing. His advisors have no other pro-offered plans or proposals. So as desperation mounts for the past year he has been touting an unknown economic framework agreement (ECFA) with China. Despite previous failed experiments, this will be Taiwan's salvation. That is great but despite his claims of transparency and openness, no one still knows what Ma's ECFA will entail. Not to worry, says Ma, just give me a blank check and I will take care of everything. That of course is what a growing number of Taiwanese fear, i.e. that Ma will take care of everything so that there will be no Taiwan left.

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Keating impressed by visit to Taiwan

Just after Admiral Timothy Keating retired from the US Navy as head of the Pacific Command, the largest of the US’ combatant forces, he climbed into a civilian airplane and flew to Taiwan, where he had been forbidden to visit while on active duty.

The admiral and his wife, Wanda Lee, who were guests of the government, did a bit of sightseeing during their visit last month. Then he embarked on a three-day round of meetings with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), other senior officials and top officers of the armed forces.

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Seeking a man of substance

Twenty months into his term, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has seen his approval ratings tumble almost monthly, with the latest poll by Global Views magazine’s survey research center hitting a new low of 23.2 percent.

In an obvious attempt to woo back supporters, Ma traveled to Hualien on Sunday and paid a special visit to Chiang Mei-hua (江美華), a Ma fan who drew the attention of the media — and the Presidential Office — after her son disclosed on his blog that his mom had lost her admiration for Ma because of the government’s poor performance.

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What Haiti earthquake can teach Taiwan

On Jan. 12, the Caribbean nation of Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake which shattered most of the buildings in the nearby capital of Port au Prince, including the presidential palace and killed over 110,000 Haitian citizens and residents from other countries and made at least three million people into instant refugees amid devastated infrastructure.

Although the magnitude of the earthquake was considerably less severe than the 7.6 magnitude temblor that struck central Taiwan on Sep. 21, 1999 and killed over 2,000, the epicenter of the Jan. 10 quake was located near the Haitian capital and other highly populated areas and the damage was magnified by widespread poverty and the poor building quality.

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Ma is on the wrong track for Taiwan

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou needs to rapidly learn the fundamental lesson that a political leader needs both to attract sufficient public support to win elections and to cultivate a sustainable public support through dialogue, transparency and consensus-building to exercise effective governance in a democratic society.

The need for such a lesson was shown by Ma's fist-shaking gloating over the 'successful" use by the kMT's nearly three-fourths legislative majority last Monday to ram undemocratic revisions to the Local Government Act as a "beautiful campaign" and his instruction to the KMT legislative caucus to continue to "act like a ruling party" by using the same heavy-handed tactics to overwhelm any further "irrational boycotts" by the opposition DPP.

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US arms sales crucial for Taiwan

The Obama administration is preparing a new arms package for Taiwan. Ironically, selling weapons to Taipei may be the best way for Washington to get out from the middle of one of the world’s potentially most volatile relationships — the one between China and Taiwan.

Relations between the two are improving, yet the former continues to point more than 1,300 missiles at the latter. The threat of military force remains a backdrop to expanding economic and tourist contacts across the Taiwan Strait.

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

The latest poll released by Global Views magazine yesterday showed that 59.6 percent of respondents were not satisfied with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) performance, while 42.2 percent said they had reservations about the new Cabinet’s performance under Ma’s leadership.

Meanwhile, 42.9 percent of respondents said they have confidence in the new Cabinet, while Ma’s approval rate rose 5.3 percent last month to 28.2 percent, the poll by the magazine’s Survey Research Center showed.