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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

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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Putting the brakes on education

In a speech on Wednesday to the nation’s civil servants, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said that maintaining sovereignty and ensuring the interests of Taiwanese remained the guiding principles of the government’s cross-strait policy.

“We should not do things that are not beneficial to the public. Those who execute cross-strait policies should act as gatekeepers when necessary and step on the brakes where necessary to maintain these principles,” the premier said.

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ECFA just a step to annexing Taiwan

After Taiwan and China sign an economic cooperation and framework agreement (ECFA), WTO regulations require that a free-trade agreement (FTA) be signed within 10 years.

In addition to tariff exemptions, an FTA requires the signatories to deregulate their service industries, including the retail, wholesale, food and beverage, tourism, hotel, entertainment, media, bank, insurance, communications, transport, health, education, consulting and brokerage industries. This could give rise to an influx of Chinese service industry manpower in Taiwan.

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

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday invited President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to initiate cross-party talks within one week on amending the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to include articles requiring that cross-strait political negotiations be subject to referendums.

Speaking at a press conference at DPP headquarters in Taipei, the DPP presidential candidate said cross-strait talks should not happen unless both sides approached the table without political preconditions. Any political discussion that is relevant toward the definition of a country must hold to “three musts” — must have sovereignty, must be democratic and must be peaceful — and be subjected to a nationwide referendum, she said.