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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Raising the red lantern over Taroko

Earlier this month, Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) said he had extended an invitation to Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) to produce an outdoor show at Taroko Gorge.

The news drew little attention, and it has yet to be announced whether Zhang, whose production company has created the Impression series of shows in West Lake, Lijiang and Guilin, has accepted the invitation, though his company has reportedly dispatched a team to assess the feasibility of the project. Still, the invitation itself is troublesome, showing local officials’ willingness to turn to China for talent when there is plenty of it right here in Taiwan. It is simply inconceivable that no one in the Taiwanese artistic community would be capable of orchestrating an outdoor show in Taroko. Neither Kaohsiung nor Taipei found it necessary to go abroad to find people to put together the opening and closing ceremonies of last year’s World Games and Deaflympics.

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KMT turns back clock on Taiwan media reform

President Ma Ying-jeou and other leaders of his rightist Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) administration seem to believe that the plunge in his approval ratings to 20 percent and the sweep of three legislative by-elections on Jan. 10 by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are due to a failure to please fundamental KMT supporters.

Based on this "re-examination," the KMT has decided to "act like a ruling party" with "complete governance" and has reverted to the style of rule it adopted during its period of authoritarian rule or "one party dominance."

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Google’s wake-up call to the world

Google’s announcement on Jan. 12 that it would pull out of China because of hacking and restrictions on searches keyed on the google.cn platform was a shot heard around the world.

While the shot fired in 1775 by a US minuteman in Concord, Massachusetts, was a sign that the colonies were no longer willing to endure restrictions imposed by a repressive British Empire, the Google shot may be a wake-up call to those in the business and political communities that have chafed under restrictions imposed by Beijing.

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The benefits of putting up a fight

After Internet giant Google stood up to China and announced that it might pull out of the Chinese market in response to censorship and hacking activities there, it will be very interesting to see how things develop.

Transnational corporations with investments in China must strike a balance between ideology and profit — a balancing act that applies especially to Google, as its services touch on the free flow of information, a freedom that is highly sensitive to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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A sergeant at arms wouldn’t help

Images of brawling legislators are a common sight in Taiwan — and this embarrassment appears unlikely to end any time soon. Rational negotiation and compromise are rare in Taiwanese politics.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金浦聰) has suggested that the legislature follow the example of other countries and employ a sergeant at arms in the legislature to maintain order by commanding guards when things get out of hand.

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KMT asserts ownership of Taiwan prosecutors

The impeachment by the Control Yuan of Supreme Public Prosecutor Chen Tsung-ming Tuesday marks the reassertion of ownership over Taiwan's prosecutors by the President Ma Ying-jeou's ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and has grave implications for the defense of judicial independence and basic human rights for all Taiwan citizens.

On Tuesday, the Control Yuan voted by an eight to three margin to impeach the chief public prosecutor and file an injunction to force his resignation three years before his fixed term was scheduled to end only a week after a similar vote failed for lack of evidence.

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Newsflash


Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je in this file photo taken in Taipei on Wednesday, said he will speak to Farglory chairman Chao Teng-hsiung next week.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government’s current contract with Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) for the construction of the Taipei Dome is “ridiculous,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

“I think this contract is simply ridiculous,” Ko said. “How could it be possible to draft a contract that we have absolutely no way of defending?”