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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Taiwan's Prosecutors Continue to Abuse Their Power

Taiwan's prosecutors continue to abuse their power in the Chen Shui-bian case as they set out on yet another fishing expedition. They recently announced a fourth round of indictments (22 people) in Chen's case. So far they have called in just about anyone and everyone that ever shook hands with Chen or offered to buy him a cup of coffee.

Why are so many indicted? Despite having kept Chen in jail so long that he cannot prepare a proper defense, the prosecutors do not have a solid case of their own. They need to continue fishing. They need to find someone who they can threaten, bully or cajole to at least forge or fabricate a story to comply with their position. Or they hope by constant indictments to force Chen to bargain with them.


Taiwan leaders must push for Liu Xiaobo's freedom

During a five-day visit which ends today, the chief negotiator on cross-strait relations for the authoritarian People's Republic of China for Taiwan affairs has repeatedly declared that Beijing will "absolutely respect" the expression of different opinions within Taiwan society regarding the cross-strait talks and on whether to welcome his journey.

These pious declarations by Association for Relations Across the Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin, a former director for Taiwan affairs for both the PRC government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party, have been discordant with his own statements that Beijing will not "waver" in its current policy direction on Taiwan due to these "different voices."


How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China's strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world's poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was "the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility", said Christian Aid. "Rich countries have bullied developing nations," fumed Friends of the Earth International.


Improved ties mean a declining economy

Heavy investment in China by Taiwanese businesspeople will have many negative effects on Taiwan in the long run. I will limit my discussion to just two.

First, large amounts of investment in China by Taiwanese means that less money is invested in Taiwan, and this slows down the rate of domestic industrial upgrade. Since the majority of Taiwanese businesspeople can use their existing technologies to manufacture products in China, they have no need to conduct research and development or to invest in Taiwan, nor do they face any immediate pressure to improve the quality of their business operations, which means industrial upgrades here have slowed and will continue to do so.


Another self-inflicted shot in the foot

Vaccination is the best way to protect against influenza. The government, with vaccines sourced from home and abroad, launched an inoculation program on Nov. 1 for those considered at high risk of contracting A(H1N1), or swine flu. It subsequently launched a nationwide immunization program on Dec. 12, hoping to shield the population against the global epidemic.

Despite the government’s all-out campaign, and despite incentives such as cabbage, towels and stationery offered at some locations, the inoculation rate remains short of the targeted 30 percent of the population. Department of Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) said the inoculation rate was around 20 percent as of Tuesday.


KMT, CCP hit gas pedal for 'one China' market

The ruling parties of Taiwan and the authoritarian People's Republic of China unmistakably signalled yesterday their common intention to accelerate Taiwan's economic integration into the PRC-led "one China market" under the guise of an "economic cooperation framework agreement."

In the wake of the symbolic setback suffered by Ma's right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) in the Dec. 5 "three-in-one" local elections, pundits have been divided on whether the polls would compel the Ma administration to slow down or accelerate the negotiations for the controversial trade pact.

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A representative of the Control Yuan gives a presentation in Taipei yesterday about a farmhouse owned by former Pingtung County commissioner Su Jia-chyuan, as the Control Yuan announced its resolution to impeach Su.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Control Yuan yesterday voted 6-4 to impeach former Council of Agriculture (COA) chairman Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) for illegally constructing a luxury farmhouse on agricultural land without engaging in any agriculture.

“Su used his administrative privileges during his terms as Pingtung County commissioner, minister of the interior and COA chairman to build a farmhouse on an agricultural land as a mansion for his own use. None of the equipment or the remaining land were found to be used for agriculture, which constitutes a violation of the Agricultural Development Act (農業發展條例),” the Control Yuan told a press conference following a meeting to discuss the case.