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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Ma living up to Web-created name

Shortly after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came to power in May 2008, the nation’s netizens came up with a new definition for the Chinese character huang (騜) to describe the new president. This amusing combination of the characters for “horse” (馬, Ma’s surname) and “emperor” (皇), actually seeks to make a serious point, by highlighting Ma’s seemingly absolute power, based on his Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) control of the executive branch and its majority in the legislature.

While some may find the reappropriation of this character silly, it nevertheless reflects netizens’ lingering concerns about one-man rule and the idea that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

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Now they oppose partisan politics

Ever since the controversy-plagued Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was signed in China last week, the pan-blue media have highlighted the need for bipartisanship and speed in reviewing the trade pact at the legislature.

In a Sunday editorial, the Chinese-language China Times wrote that while the ECFA needs to be screened by the legislature, “we would hate to see the trade pact delayed endlessly and Taiwan’s crucial chance of a comeback nixed because of partisan struggle.”

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Activists say Ma, CCP conspiring

Dozens of activists protested yesterday against a trade pact with Beijing they claim is the result of a conspiracy between the Taiwanese and Chinese governments.

The demonstrators assembled outside the legislature, which is currently in recess, chanting slogans against the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

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Chinese dissident trapped in limbo

A Chinese dissident seeking refuge in Taiwan accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of failing to speak up for human rights in China and said he feared he could face a lengthy prison sentence, or worse, if deported back home.

Cai Lujun (蔡陸軍), a 53 year-old former businessman who escaped China disguised as a fisherman almost three years ago, spent more than three years behind bars in a Chinese prison after he posted a series of online articles criticizing Beijing’s leadership and blasting the Chinese Communist Party for what he called “holding fake elections.”

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Trade deal safety-valve shrouded in mystery

Last Tuesday in Chongqing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was signed into being. Both sides touted the agreement not only as an economic deal that would bring further prosperity to Taiwan and China, but also as a sign of growing cooperation and what essentially amounts to an institutionalization of peaceful relations (although it must be added that President Ma Ying-jeou’s [馬英九] administration has repeatedly said no political issues were discussed).

The signing drew praise from other countries and members of the international community. Sources such as the Wall Street Journal praised the pact. The US welcomed the deal. Everyone seems to find the deal a huge step in a positive direction.

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Protesters demand full review of ECFA

Dozens of demonstrators yesterday staged a protest outside the legislature to demand that lawmakers stringently review the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that Taiwan and China signed on Tuesday.

Wearing T-shirts with the inscription “the people are the masters” and billing themselves as a non-­violent protest group, the group silently marched around the building holding placards reading “an ECFA referendum is a basic human right.”

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Newsflash

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure needs to be overhauled so that controversial projects can be reviewed more thoroughly and political responsibility is more clearly defined, environmentalists said yesterday.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) today will hold its fifth EIA meeting related to a controversial petrochemical project planned by Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co for a wetlands area in Changhua County.

Environmental activists have criticized the EIA process, calling its as flawed.