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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Cao Cao would be much amused

It is no small irony that the visit last week of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) would bring to the fore a potentially damaging rift within the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

No sooner had Chen returned to China than the party’s old guard — personified by former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) — accused the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of mishandling a decision to avoid holding major banquets for Chen.


Taiwan's DPP must offer China policy alternatives

The week-long protest against the secretive talks between China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yun-lin and Strait Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Ping-kun for Taiwan's Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government launched by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and other Taiwan-centric political and social groups started with legitimate and effective actions to "check and balance" President Ma Ying-jeou's China - tilting policy but regretfully ended Thursday with an unexpected clash between a fundamentalist group and Taichung City police.


Taiwan's Prosecutors Continue to Abuse Their Power

Taiwan's prosecutors continue to abuse their power in the Chen Shui-bian case as they set out on yet another fishing expedition. They recently announced a fourth round of indictments (22 people) in Chen's case. So far they have called in just about anyone and everyone that ever shook hands with Chen or offered to buy him a cup of coffee.

Why are so many indicted? Despite having kept Chen in jail so long that he cannot prepare a proper defense, the prosecutors do not have a solid case of their own. They need to continue fishing. They need to find someone who they can threaten, bully or cajole to at least forge or fabricate a story to comply with their position. Or they hope by constant indictments to force Chen to bargain with them.


Taiwan leaders must push for Liu Xiaobo's freedom

During a five-day visit which ends today, the chief negotiator on cross-strait relations for the authoritarian People's Republic of China for Taiwan affairs has repeatedly declared that Beijing will "absolutely respect" the expression of different opinions within Taiwan society regarding the cross-strait talks and on whether to welcome his journey.

These pious declarations by Association for Relations Across the Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin, a former director for Taiwan affairs for both the PRC government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party, have been discordant with his own statements that Beijing will not "waver" in its current policy direction on Taiwan due to these "different voices."


How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China's strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world's poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was "the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility", said Christian Aid. "Rich countries have bullied developing nations," fumed Friends of the Earth International.


Improved ties mean a declining economy

Heavy investment in China by Taiwanese businesspeople will have many negative effects on Taiwan in the long run. I will limit my discussion to just two.

First, large amounts of investment in China by Taiwanese means that less money is invested in Taiwan, and this slows down the rate of domestic industrial upgrade. Since the majority of Taiwanese businesspeople can use their existing technologies to manufacture products in China, they have no need to conduct research and development or to invest in Taiwan, nor do they face any immediate pressure to improve the quality of their business operations, which means industrial upgrades here have slowed and will continue to do so.

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A new resolution formally calling on US President Barack Obama to move toward a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Taiwan has been introduced into the US Congress.

The resolution was signed by Democrat Robert Anderson and Republicans Scott Garrett and John Culberson.