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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Classical Chinese proposal is a bad idea

Minister of Education Wu Ching-chi (吳清基) has proposed changing the maximum proportion of classical Chinese in high school Chinese textbooks from 45 percent to 65 percent. The change will apply from the next academic year. The classical Chinese that Chinese intellectuals Hu Shih (胡適) and Chen Duxiu (陳獨秀) fought against 90 years ago is making a comeback in our high school curriculums.

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The appeal system for detention is not fair

The Supreme Court sent the Taiwan High Court’s judgment to extend former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) detention back to the High Court last week, saying its reasons were inadequate. But the collegiate panel handling the case at the High Court decided to extend Chen’s detention anyway, citing almost exactly the same reasons.

This has again highlighted the nation’s problematic custody system. Can the same collegiate panel be expected to overrule a decision it has made previously? Can the High Court simply ignore the concerns cited by the Supreme Court?

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Taiwan, China, and freedom

Michael Turton has repeatedly made the point that the closer Taiwan moves to China, even as talks remain restricted to economic issues (for the time being), the farther away Taiwan moves from democracy.

Now, my nose tells me that there will be plenty of skeptics to this theory, especially as the connection is not so linear. After all, why must it be so? There are so many other possible outcomes. Maybe nothing will really chance in Taiwan. Or maybe Taiwan will make China more democratic through osmosis, right?

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The Control Yuan and scapegoating

For obvious reasons, all eyes have been on the Control Yuan’s review of the government’s response to Typhoon Morakot. Soon after the typhoon hit Taiwan and the devastation in the south became apparent, Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien (王建煊) reacted to the government’s incompetent response with the classic line: “I was so angry that I wanted to scold and kill people, but I didn’t know who to blame.”

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) did, however. His first public criticism was directed at the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). Someone or something had to be immediately accountable, and the easiest target was a bunch of civil-service meteorologists with no opportunity to defend their organization or their individual professionalism.

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Balancing US, PRC comfort zones

When Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was elected president, the immediate US reaction was to heave a sigh of relief because Ma’s pro-­China policies were expected to relax the tense cross-strait relationship. In practice, things have turned out slightly differently, as “pro-China” became “submit to China,” and this raised flags in the US, as can be seen from a series of recent events.

When the new director of the American Institute in Taiwan, William Stanton, visited Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) on Sept. 30, he said that “people overseas had some different thoughts” on the trial of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Why would he risk being accused of interfering with Taiwan’s internal affairs by bringing up this case? Clearly because the US now feels it is no longer a clear-cut judicial matter.

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Taiwan's core interests under PRC attack

Taiwan's 23 million people were send an explicit notice Wednesday of the "clear and present" threat posed to our hard-won democratic freedoms by the Chinese Communist Party-ruled People's Republic of China and facilitated by the China-centric right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government under President Ma Ying-jeou.

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

Democratic Progressive Party legislators Lin Shu-fen, left, and Chen Ting-fei, right, at a press conference in Taipei yesterday, urge President Ma Ying-jeou to clear up allegations that he met with one of the nation’s top bookmakers in September.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Presidential Office and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday denied President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met privately with one of the nation’s most powerful bookmakers in September, insisting that the president has handled all political donations in accordance with the regulations.

The Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported that Ma held a closed-door meeting with bookie Chen Ying-chu (陳盈助) in Chiayi on Sept. 10 when campaigning in the city. According to the magazine, Chen is allegedly in charge of major underground betting activities on local elections.