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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

KMT's policy leaves it flat-footed

The director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), Wang Yi, has given Taiwan the jitters by suggesting the opening up of the Taiwan Strait median line. Such discussions had always been held behind closed doors and bringing it out into the open challenges the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) policy of avoiding discussion of unification, independence or armed conflict.

The KMT has only itself to blame because it has taken satisfaction in its ability to maintain cross-strait peace since it returned to power last year and it feels it should receive full credit for the international acclaim over the detente across the Taiwan Strait.

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Hard to tell friends from enemies

News that a close relative of a senior military intelligence official is living in a hostile country would be enough to set alarm bells ringing in most countries. Such a revelation would probably lead to the official in question being forced to recall his relative or being disciplined in some way.

Not so in Taiwan.

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Lee’s gesture puts spotlight on Ma

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s latest gesture, which keeps one of his campaign promises, puts President Ma Ying-jeou in a bad light.

On Monday, Lee announced that he would donate 33.1 billion won (US$26 million) — more than 80 percent of his total personal wealth — to a scholarship foundation to help “those who really need it.” Prior to this latest donation, in March last year — a month after taking office — Lee donated the entire salary for his five-year presidency to help low-income households amid the global economic downturn.

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Xinjiang and Taiwan’s silence

The Chinese government has its admirers for being able to temper diplomatic difficulties by spreading money through the region and integrating its economic structure with the US and other major economies.

But when it comes to managing regions dominated — now or in the past — in population terms by non-Han peoples, China remains in a political Stone Age in which brutality, torture, terror, unchallenged propaganda, racism, colonialism and media blackouts are essential tools of governance.

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Ma and Beijing’s agenda

A Beijing-initiated rumor made its rounds last year regarding an aborted military plan to invade Taiwan in case the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate prevailed.

The fact that the innuendo was made public after — not before — the election, showed Beijing’s lack of confidence in its effect on Taiwanese voters.

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Is Ma Ying-jeou Becoming the Kiss of Death?

The latest word and joke about Taipei is that Ma Ying-jeou is fast becoming the kiss of death to anyone that has anything to do with him. What started this rumor? Well first Ma shook the hand of Yankee's pitcher Wang Chien-ming. Wang had previously been a 19 game winner in several seasons but after shaking hands with Ma, Wang is struggling. He has won only one game this year. Then there is Hilary Clinton; Ma shook her hand and she shortly afterwards fell and broke her arm. Next, Ma was scheduled to meet Managua Mayor Arguello, but he went out and committed suicide. Also on Ma's list for meetings was President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. Ma had met him in the past and was scheduled for a two day visit on Ma's current trip to Latin America. But before Ma arrived a military coup was staged in Honduras and Zelaya had to flee.

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Newsflash

Japan’s Interchange Association — Tokyo’s representative office — confirmed yesterday that Representative Masaki Saito has resigned but said the resignation would not take effect until its board of directors approves it.

There was immediate speculation that the career diplomat’s surprise move was linked to remarks he made at an academic conference in May at National Chung Cheng University, remarks that were widely criticized at the time by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers.