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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

An open letter to Wang Jin-pyng

Dear Mr Speaker, Wang Jin-pyng (王金平),

As strong supporters of a free and democratic Taiwan, we would like to call your attention to a number of concerns we have regarding the ongoing negotiations between the Taiwanese and Chinese governments to arrive at an economic cooperation framework agreement.


ECFA a threat to food security: experts

Legislators and academics yesterday warned that signing an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China could potentially undermine Taiwan’s food security because the nation’s food self-sufficiency rate is alarmingly low, about 30 percent, and Chinese suppliers of agricultural products would be able to influence Taiwan’s food markets.

They said unless efforts are made to improve the nation’s food self-sufficiency, the trade pact the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government is seeking to sign with Beijing next month would mean China would gain significant control over wheat and corn imports and prices of wheat-derived foodstuffs, animal feed and meat products, putting Taiwan’s food security at risk.


Chinese Nationalists make fifth raid on democracy radio in Taiwan

Ocean Voice radio, 95.9 FM, in Taichung, Taiwan has been raided for the fifth time since February by the Republic of China in-exile. The Chinese government of Ma Ying-Jeou currently controlling Taiwan refuses to grant the pro-independence radio station a license in an effort to shut down its pro-democracy programming.

Ocean Voice staff members were subjected to four arrests last year but remain dedicated to keeping Ocean Voice on the air. ROC censors changed tactics this year and in February raided the radio station’s Kellong facility.


Prosecuting war by other means

On its own, the widening gap in military capabilities in the Taiwan Strait — in which the Chinese air force will enjoy a more than two-to-one advantage in combat aircraft by 2014-2015 — is a worrying development. Equally disturbing, however, are recent signals from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that he does not accord the nation’s ability to defend itself against Chinese aggression the importance it deserves.

Not only did Ma claim last year that the country’s No. 1 enemy was mother nature, he has also cut the number of military exercises simulating a Chinese invasion. There is even evidence that Taiwanese officials in Washington have not really pushed for sale of the F-16C/D combat aircraft the nation so desperately needs to level the playing field. All of this, added to Ma’s remark that he would “never” call on the US to fight on Taiwan’s behalf — which he subsequently had to qualify, given the political storm it created — points to a president who does not take defense seriously.


Lies, damned lies and statistics

Yesterday marked President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) second year in office and the midway point of his four-year term.

In the build-up to the anniversary, the media has been awash with surveys and polls rating almost everything, from Taiwan’s current economic situation and support for a planned economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China, to Ma’s popularity and even his chances of re-election against prospective opposition presidential candidates in 2012.


Pro-Taiwan resolution introduced

South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson, founding co-chairman of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, has introduced to the US Senate a resolution supporting Taiwan’s efforts to gain observer status at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The resolution states that observer status for Taiwan would contribute both to the fulfillment of the ICAO’s mission and to the success of its global strategy — based on international cooperation — to address aviation security threats.

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Braving the rain, a group of protesters yesterday marched from Taipei’s Longshan Temple (龍山寺) to the Executive Yuan calling on the government not to prevent the rightful expression of popular will on a proposed cross-strait trade pact through a referendum.

The Executive Yuan’s Referendum Review Committee is slated to convene a meeting on June 3 to decide whether a referendum question proposed by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) conforms to the requirements of a referendum proposal.