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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Now for the overseas fifth column

Isn’t it ironic that the more China becomes a major global player; the more it shows signs of insecurity?

One encounters this all the time, whether the communist leadership is attempting to deal with dissidents, the Dalai Lama or, more recently, Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the World Uyghur Congress.

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The Ma Ying-jeou myth perishes

I am not sure if it was divine justice, but Typhoon Morakot destroyed the President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) myth overnight, tearing his mask off so furiously that even children could see his true colors.

Indeed, many do not know how to describe Ma.

“This man,” as CNN called him, could be called a “shameless thief,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson called Napoleon III.

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Ma’s lack of competence, humility is all on show

During his visit to the disaster areas in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was quoted as saying, “But I’m here now, aren’t I?” Such a reaction shows the Ma administration’s aloofness and lack of empathy for disaster victims.

Since the typhoon wreaked havoc in southern Taiwan, we have witnessed the incompetence of Ma and his government and their attempts to shirk responsibility on various occasions.

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Legislation that befits a disaster

The hits just keep on coming.

If Typhoon Morakot was not a sufficiently traumatizing experience for the land and people of central and southern Taiwan, and if the central government’s indifference to the environmental destruction and death toll was not enough to induce general rage among victims, then the Cabinet’s clumsy draft legislation for reconstruction could make up the gap.

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The Kuayue drill: Chinese goodwill?

Those who argue that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) cross-strait policies are bearing fruit would have rejoiced at news earlier this month that, for the first time in decades, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held a major drill that did not include a Taiwan scenario.

On Aug. 12, the South China Morning Post reported a drill codenamed Kuayue (“Stride”) 2009 had been launched, mobilizing 50,000 heavily armed troops from four military zones — Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou — over thousands of kilometers. Ni Lexiong (倪樂雄), a Shanghai-based military specialist, said the unprecedented maneuver reflected the new circumstances in the Taiwan Strait.

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What next for the disaster zones?

Two weeks have passed since Typhoon Morakot brought disastrous floods and landslides to southern and central Taiwan. According to the three-stage view of disaster relief, we have now entered the second phase: short-term recovery.

However, many tasks associated with the first phase — emergency rescue — have not been completed. For example, defining disaster zones, exhuming bodies, evacuating the injured and so on. The window of opportunity for most of these tasks has passed. The authorities have come under a lot of criticism for their slow response, and the government’s abilities to handle the disaster are not up to scratch.

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Newsflash

Having walked more than 11,000km around the world to promote freedom, human rights and independence for Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s nephew Jigme Norbu began his first “Walk for Tibet” campaign in Asia yesterday in Taipei, and will walk more than 400km to Kaohsiung in 13 days.

“We [Tibetans and Taiwanese] are in the same situation, we should help each other, and we come here to seek help,” Norbu said in an interview with the Taipei Times in Taipei on Thursday. “China is right next door, and maybe they can take over Taiwan one day just like they did in Tibet, we need to let the world know that we need to stop China’s illegal occupation of other countries.”