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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Forcing Taiwan's KMT to Face the Reality of Loss

The death of a dream and the loss of a country are terrible things to face and admit. It has been sixty years since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost its civil war in China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) drove them into exile. Sixty years! But even though sixty years have passed, many KMT members have still not gone through the five stages of the grieving process and come to accept that loss. Instead, they remain locked in one or other of the earlier stages of grief (denial, anger, and bargaining). Acceptance is too hard a pill to swallow, but as the KMT wallows in its grief, denial and pity, Taiwan suffers.

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Taiwan-China ECFA unequal from start

Delegations from Taiwan and the People's Republic of China launched negotiations in Beijing earlier this week toward a controversial "economic cooperation agreement" that is being vigorously promoted by President Ma Ying-jeou's rightist Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government as a panacea for our economic future.

Unfortunately, the talks, which are taking place under the framework of the non-official platform between Taipei's Strait Exchange Foundation and Beijing's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, promptly began with a major degradation of Taiwan's international status.

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Chinese QDII an opiate, not savior

The local stock market has recently been the target of speculative investment from China’s qualified domestic institutional investors (QDII), but after a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cross-strait financial supervision took effect on Jan. 16, the bubble that had been growing for so long finally burst when the Financial Supervisory Commission announced an investment limit for Chinese QDII of US$500 million.

This figure was one-60th of the US$30 billion that certain media outlets had talked about when trying to hype the issue. Although the reported figure was later changed to US$1 billion, that figure was still twice the final amount. The overall market value of the Taiwanese stock market is more than NT$20 trillion (US$624.4 billion), so the NT$16 billion that China’s QDII will be allowed to invest will be a drop in the ocean. This shows how all the talk about Chinese QDII investment was a deliberate fabrication by the government to trick investors into thinking things were looking good, and a topic that big market players and pro-unification media blew out of all proportion.

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‘UDN’ sees an evil US plot in Haiti

In a commentary on Jan. 19 on the role of the US in relief efforts in quake-devastated Haiti, the Chinese-language United Daily News went on the offensive on what it claimed were signs of US imperialistic machinations in the impoverished country.

The opening sets the tone for the article: “[A]n international dispute broke out as the Haitian International Airport in Port-au-Prince has been put under the control of the US Armed Forces and the US has prioritized the evacuation of its own citizens,” UDN wrote. “Rescue airplanes from around the world have even been refused clearance to land. According to a foreign news report, France has lodged a formal protest to the US Department of State.”

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Challenging censorship in China

Google should be commended for its courage in standing up against Big Brother in China after announcing its plan to stop censoring search results on its google.cn platform — a condition imposed on the US Internet giant when it entered the Chinese market in 2006.

Two weeks have passed, however, and Google has yet to end censorship on its platform. This tells us that it is remains caught between its business interests in China and the universal principle of Internet freedom it should stand for.

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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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Newsflash

Long-term independence advocate Su Beng (史明) was hospitalized in Tokyo yesterday with uremia and kidney problems.

Sources close to Su said that his condition is serious and doctors are mulling whether to begin dialysis — a treatment for kidney complications — because of his age.

Born in 1918, Su turned 91 in September.