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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

One third of the nation are idiots

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) has once again found himself in hot water and this time it is of his own making.

In an interview with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-friendly UFO Network on Tuesday, Wu said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) cross-strait policy continued to abide by the principle of “no reunification, no independence and no war.”


Kaohsiung Incident a good reminder

Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident of 1979. It was a watershed in Taiwan’s political history, as it galvanized the democratic opposition in Taiwan and overseas Taiwanese into action, and thus ushered in the beginning of the end of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) martial law and one-party police state.

In Taiwan itself, the event is being commemorated with a series of activities, including seminars, a photo exhibition and a concert in Kaohsiung. The irony of the situation is that one of the defendants in the “sedition” trial that followed the Incident was Chen Chu (陳菊), now mayor of Kaohsiung.


Are human rights still on the agenda?

As the world celebrates International Human Rights Day tomorrow, Taiwan will also be presented with an opportunity to reflect on its progress, or lack thereof, in safeguarding human rights over the past year.

Recent events are likely to cast a pall on Taiwan’s image. Just last week, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Deputy Secretary-General Maa Shaw-chang (馬紹章) announced that the Taichung City Government would designate a 30,000-ping (nearly 100,000m²) “protest zone,” or “opinion plaza,” so that protesters could make their voices heard during the fourth round of negotiations between SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) later this month.


Where the buck stops

In state elections in the US on Nov. 3, the Democratic Party lost out. These were the first elections since US President Barack Obama took office, but many saw them as a local affair, not as a mid-term test for Obama. Rather than blaming Obama, the Democratic Party swallowed the bitter pill. On Saturday it was Taiwan’s turn to hold local elections. Although the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) won the top posts in 12 out of 17 cities and counties, losing only Yilan and Hualien counties among those seats it had held, public opinion sees the results as a defeat for the KMT and blames President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the KMT chairman, for the losses.


ECFA: Letting the public decide

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) recently said in an interview that the government would only sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China under three conditions: if the nation needs it, if the public supports it and if there is legislative oversight. The three conditions appear to be reasonable, but the government is using them to deprive voters of their right to make decisions.

First, does Taiwan really need an ECFA with China? We must ask whether the “one China” principle is the premise for the government’s negotiations on an ECFA with Beijing: In other words, does the government view Taiwan as part of China? This is something the government must make clear to the public.


Ma silent on crucial issue of sovereignty

Diplomacy depends on eloquence to promote the nation’s viewpoint and secure national interests, and that is why a mute can be engaged in many things, but not diplomacy. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his administration may not be mute, but they certainly do not know how to approach diplomacy.

In his recent visit to brief Taiwanese leaders on US President Barack Obama’s visit to China, American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt said Washington’s understanding was that respect for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity was related to the issue of Tibet and Xinjiang and had nothing to do with Taiwan.

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A survey released on the eve of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) official telephone poll to pick its candidate for next year’s presidential election showed that its frontrunners had a very good chance of beating President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — but not necessarily each other.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily survey showed Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who took a leave of absence as DPP chairpedson to concentrate on the primaries, has a slight advantage over former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as the polls open, although both would win over Ma by double-digit figures.