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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Is China as stable as it says it is?

One noticeable aspect about China these days is the cockiness and arrogance of its rulers, which manifests itself both at home and abroad. This has come with a new sense of entitlement about China’s central place in global affairs.

US President Barack Obama’s visit to China last month, where he spent more time than in any other country during his tour of the region, helped confirm Beijing’s conviction about its “manifest destiny” as the new Middle Kingdom.

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Enough talking — let’s see results

In a speech to mark the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) 115th anniversary on Nov. 21, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), in his capacity as party chairman, said the party should be thankful to the people of Taiwan.

“We are extremely grateful to the people of Taiwan who let the KMT, which was out of power for eight years, return as the governing party,” Ma said. “We need to be humble and cherish this precious opportunity. We need to strive to hear the people’s voice and let the people be the real master of the country.”

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It’s time for electoral retribution

While campaigning in Yilan ahead of this Saturday’s local government elections, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) broke a ban on publicly discussing election-related opinion polls when he mentioned support figures for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates and those for the opposition.

Since taking control of both the executive and the party, Ma’s behavior has become increasingly irresponsible. If voters do not teach him a lesson in the elections and allow the KMT to emerge unscathed from these blunders, Ma is likely to pay even less attention to public opinion in future.

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Exit Saito, enter uncertainty

The resignation yesterday of Masaki Saito, Japan’s de facto ambassador to Taiwan, marks a new chapter in ailing ties between Tokyo and Taipei. The question is whether this represents a chance for the relationship to start afresh between the Taiwanese government and a new Japanese administration, or augurs a further deterioration.

Saito’s position became increasingly untenable earlier this year after he suggested that Taiwan’s international status is unresolved. The fact that this was true did not lessen the awkwardness of his injection into the debate on Taiwan’s sovereignty and identity. With a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government in power, and no shortage of KMT legislators ready to assail Japan over the smallest perceived slight, Saito learned the hard way that diplomacy and truth-telling are rarely soulmates.

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Taiwan Under Ma Ying-jeou, More Smoke and Mirrors as the Cross-strait Sell Out Continues

As Ma Ying-jeou works his shady cross-strait deals, he tries to flash the carrot of how China will save Taiwan. Forget the fact that the Chinese dumped poisoned milk products etc. on Taiwan. Forget the fact that the great China tourist influx failed. There, not only did the numbers not materialize, but even the few tourists that came, how shall we put it, were cheap. They did not spend much. Certainly not as much as the Japanese or even the Koreans whose tourists Ma should have promoted more in the first place. But let us return to the cross-strait promises. Again, the reality is proving the opposite. Opposite, unless you want to say that under Ma the rich will get richer, but the poor will get poorer. Examine the recent housing news.

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Lies, obfuscation and hypocrites

Responding to a recent article by Kyodo News Agency titled “When Taiwan-Japan relations run afoul, there’s always Hatta Yoichi,” the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Tokyo last week once again highlighted the government’s tendency to obfuscate and its refusal to acknowledge public apprehension about its policies.

The office called a passage in the report “groundless” that read “while Ma has wooed China, restarted formal negotiations across the Taiwan Strait and signed trade agreements with Beijing, Taipei’s relations with Tokyo have mostly stagnated.” Yet the office did not meet the allegations directly, choosing instead to rehash the old platitudes of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — no unification, no independence and no use of force — while adding that the ongoing negotiations with China are “based not on political but rather economic objectives.”

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Newsflash

Wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt while making his weekly trip around the country to promote Taiwanese nationalism, Su Beng (史明) is widely revered as a man of action devoted to socialism and Taiwanese independence.

Born in 1918, Su is expected to be released from a hospital in Japan where he has been treated for uremia and kidney problems since late last month, with a group of activists planning to greet him at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on his return.