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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Ma is whittling sovereignty away

On Wednesday, China once again put conditions on the government of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). This time it was Wang Yi (王毅), director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, who set the conditions by saying that, as long as the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can work together to oppose Taiwanese independence and uphold the “1992 consensus,” that will be the political guarantee for cross-strait cooperation.


The vendor and the president

By now almost everyone in Taiwan must be aware of the story of Chen Shu-chu (陳樹菊).

Chen, a single woman who only completed elementary school, has spent the best part of her life selling vegetables at her local market in Taitung, donating a staggering NT$10 million (US$315,000) to local charities in the process.


‘Peace talks’ with PRC a trap — just ask Tibet

It has recently been suggested that Taiwan should sign a “peace agreement” with China in the belief it will help reduce tensions in the Taiwan Strait. In general, the term “peace agreement” refers to anything aimed at bringing an end to a bloody conflict such as an armistice signed by warring states, a ceasefire agreement between two sides in a civil war or methods to resolve a border dispute with a neighboring nation. Not one of the 192 member nations of the UN has signed any form of “peace agreement” with Taiwan and yet still somehow manage to peacefully coexist with Taiwan. The one exception is of course China.


KMT assets’ magical vanishing act

On the insistence of President and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the KMT recently outlined a new “three noes” principle — “no private settlement, no loose handling and no messing up.” This came in response to a court decision that People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) can now legally withdraw NT$240 million (US$7.65 million) related to the Chung Hsing Bills Finance case and deposited with the court several years ago.

The KMT has pledged to recover the money and donate it to charity. By taking this rare tough stance, Ma has indicated that the KMT wants to resolve the dispute in line with public opinion and based on law, reason and emotion. What a statement!


Who loves ‘MIT’? Not the president

Anyone who surfs through TV channels these days could easily find themself watching a government-sponsored commercial promoting the use of “MIT” (Made in Taiwan) products.

The TV spot, featuring a string of celebrities showcasing domestically made goods such as towels, socks and bedding is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ “Love MIT” campaign launched in December last year.


Do You Know Where Ma Ying-jeou Stands on the Boundaries of Taiwan?

By a strange confluence of events, the day after I spoke with Chen Shui-bian, I attended a conference by Ma and shook hands with him afterwards. At Ma's conference on ECFA, In an effort to get him on record, I had asked him about the boundaries of the ROC as he saw them.

I have also added at the end what I found as Article 4 of the Constitution; but I could not find the Article 10 of the amendments that he spoke of; it was something different in my copy. I didn't want to presume to talk for Ma.

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Members of the National Food Safety Alliance voice their opposition to allowing US beef imports in Taiwan outside the legislature in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denied that the AIT was “menacing” Taiwan, as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) put it, by tying a resumption of trade talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to the US beef issue.

Whether Taiwan would allow imports of US beef containing residues of the leanness-enhancing animal feed additive ractopamine was an issue affecting relations between Taiwan and the US, AIT spokesperson Christopher Kavanagh said.