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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

China misreads Taiwan ‘dissidents’

The relationship between Hong Kong’s stalled demand for full universal suffrage and Beijing’s plans for unification with Taiwan came to the fore late last month when Hong Kong played host to a high-profile Chinese Communist Party (CCP) representative. Du Qinglin heads the party’s United Front Work Department and came from Beijing to aid what he called the “difficult and complex” task of national reunification.

Du’s assignment was to officiate at inaugural ceremonies for the Hong Kong branch of China’s Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification. The organization, established in 1988, now has chapters in more than 80 countries and works primarily among Chinese communities to promote relations across the Taiwan Strait. A branch was set up in Macau five years ago.


Snapping Ma out of complacency

Seven days after Typhoon Morakot wreaked havoc in southern Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou finally realized how serious the situation is and called a national security meeting. The government’s slow and disorganized response to the disaster has angered victims and stirred criticism across the political spectrum and from the international community.

Ma’s Cabinet ministers may hold doctorate degrees, but they have failed the test this time, with Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi and local government heads busy blaming each other while the military “awaited orders” to join rescue efforts.


A disaster that could have been less painful

With flooding caused by Typhoon Morakot wreaking severe damage in southern Taiwan, experts must now consider how such a disaster could have been repeated 50 years after the notorious flooding of Aug. 7, 1959. Over the past two years, Taiwan’s ability to handle disasters has deteriorated. Compared with their disaster response measures last year, the incompetent bureaucrats in President Ma Ying-jeou’s government have made no progress.

First, Ma criticized the Central Weather Bureau for “misleading” the government last year, and he has done so again this time.


Typhoon Morakot and the Many Names of Ma Ying-jeou

With the onslaught of Typhoon Morakot, Ma Ying-jeou's leadership skills proved sorely lacking. So as the country of Taiwan struggles to recover, it is time for its citizens to give President Ma a second look. Not just a second look but a long hard second look. This is the man that promised them 6-3-3 and gave them 3-3-6. This is the man who lived on promises but never had a good track record for performance as Mayor of Taipei. This is the man who ironically is already talking like he should be re-elected in 2012. And finally, this is the man that wants the people to give him complete blind trust and not ask for details as he presses for a potentially dangerous ECFA agreement with China.


Risks of Obama giving in to China

At the G20 meeting in London in April, Beijing persuaded Washington to engage in a serious discussion of Taiwan’s future at the next meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama. Earlier press reports said Hu might visit the US to attend the opening of the UN General Assembly next month and call on Obama at the White House. However, the latest report from Washington is that Obama will visit Beijing in November.


The price of incompetent leadership

It is now a week since Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan. Amid growing public anger, the government is struggling to demonstrate that it can handle this crisis and its formidable ramifications.

Even now, thousands of people remain trapped in mountain villages — running out of food and running out of time. The risk of disease is growing. Official rescue efforts, including military helicopters and special squads on the ground, are finally beginning to resemble an operation that reflects a disaster of this enormity.

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China yesterday launched a new warning to other countries not to interfere in its affairs in Tibet and Taiwan.

Washington irked Beijing in January when it approved the sale of a US$6.4 billion package of arms to Taiwan, and then again a month later when US President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House.