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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Dubai World and Chinese illusions

Is the world financial crisis rearing its ugly head again? Dubai World, the biggest state-owned conglomerate in Dubai, the second-biggest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates, has fallen into financial difficulties, and a few days ago asked its creditor banks for a half-year delay on repayments of nearly US$60 billion in debt. This move sparked fears among investors everywhere that the global financial crisis is heating up again and triggered big falls in European, American and Asian stock markets.


Is bad news not so bad in China?

News that 10 journalists were charged with covering up a mining accident in China’s Hebei Province is an intriguing development in a state wary of free media.

Reporters being charged for failing to cover a story involving corruption is a far cry from the usual news of them being browbeaten after publishing embarrassing material. But the journalists not only failed to report the story — they are accused of accepting US$380,000 in bribes from officials to stay quiet.


Voters can check PRC political pressure

The seven million Taiwan citizens who vote in Saturday's "three - in - one" local elections should keep in mind that their ballots will be seen globally as well as domestically as a confidence vote in the China-tilting policies of President Ma Ying-jeou and his right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party government.

Among the interested observers will be the leadership of the People's Republic of China's ruling Chinese Communist Party, who are already pushing to include political issues in the talks between the KMT and the CCP after the signing of nine agreements on economic and transportation and legal issues and the launching of talks toward an comprehensive "economic cooperation framework agreement" (ECFA).


ECFA spells doom for local service businesses

After signing the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with Beijing, Taiwan will have to open most of its service sector businesses to China within a limited period of time.

The production value of Taiwan’s service sector exceeds 70 percent of the nation’s total economic output, and service sector employees make up 60 percent of the total work force. Within the service sector, commercial services — including the retail, wholesale and hospitality industries — account for 20 percent of the nation’s total output. With 2.5 million employees — 25 percent of Taiwan’s work force — it is the sector with the biggest work force.


Is China as stable as it says it is?

One noticeable aspect about China these days is the cockiness and arrogance of its rulers, which manifests itself both at home and abroad. This has come with a new sense of entitlement about China’s central place in global affairs.

US President Barack Obama’s visit to China last month, where he spent more time than in any other country during his tour of the region, helped confirm Beijing’s conviction about its “manifest destiny” as the new Middle Kingdom.


Enough talking — let’s see results

In a speech to mark the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) 115th anniversary on Nov. 21, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), in his capacity as party chairman, said the party should be thankful to the people of Taiwan.

“We are extremely grateful to the people of Taiwan who let the KMT, which was out of power for eight years, return as the governing party,” Ma said. “We need to be humble and cherish this precious opportunity. We need to strive to hear the people’s voice and let the people be the real master of the country.”

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Exiled Uighur leader Rebeiya Kadeer speaks at a press conference at her office in Washington on Friday.

Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer on Friday accused Taipei of bowing to Beijing’s pressure in refusing to allow her to visit Taiwan and demanded an apology from the President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration for linking her and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) to “terrorists.”

“I am filled with regret, I am very disappointed,” she said during an emotional press conference in her Washington office.