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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Transparent media games

This week, it seemed that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was on the verge of bringing substance and hard numbers to the debate on the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China. The Presidential Office announced that Ma would hold monthly press conferences on the matter — a welcome development for all those who still don’t have a clue as to what any of it means, what they stand to gain and what they risk losing.

Then it was announced that foreign media organizations would be banned from attending, let alone asking questions. In a laughable concession, however, they would be allowed to sit in another room and watch the exchange on television.


There’s more to it than arms sales

Last month, the US government announced that it would sell Taiwan arms worth US$6.4 billion. The package is intended to counterbalance China’s growing military might, maintain balance in the Taiwan Strait and send a signal to Washington’s Asian allies that the US keeps its promises.

The decision has drawn a strong reaction from China, which is threatening to impose sanctions on US companies involved in the sale. Official Chinese media reported that the Chinese public “supports” such sanctions. In addition, US President Barack Obama, ignoring China’s warnings, has announced that he will meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama later this month, thus bringing more tension to an already tense relationship.


Taiwan's Double Standard and the "Dogs of Bias"

Taiwan's former President Chen Shui-bian has been in jail since December 30, 2008 (over 400 days). The change in judges requested by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to keep him there has extended his imprisonment for the third time. This time it is for two more months. His case reeks of the double standard that has never left Taiwan's prosecutorial function and the courts since the one-party state days of the KMT. While Ma Ying-jeou's former law professor Jerome Cohen and scores of professors have written open-letter after open-letter to point out these inconsistencies and erosion of justice, all the Minister of Justice (MOJ) and the Government Information Office (GIO) do is to laugh and try to create a veneer of legitimacy over Ma Ying-jeou's government.


Cohen Points Out the Continued Hypocrisy of Ma Ying-jeou's Government I

The hypocrisy and pretense fostered by the government of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou is once again demonstrated by Ma's former law professor as he observes how Ma's Minister of Justice attempts to make Taiwan emulate China. An edited version of this text appeared in English in the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) on January 20, 2010 under the title "Under Threat," and appeared in Chinese on January 21, in the China Times (Taiwan) (中國時報)(台灣). by Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. It is important to read this to understand the continuous and disparate double standard that Ma's people place Taiwan under. Wake up Taiwan!


No more face to lose over MRT woes

After some Taipei city councilors thought the Muzha-Neihu MRT line’s slew of mechanical problems might be linked to an unlucky name, the Taipei City Government spent about NT$1 million (US$31,200) in October on new maps and signs to rename the line the Wenshan-Neihu Line, which it said sounded more elegant and luckier.

Hopefully, no Taipei City Government officials really believed changing the name from Zhahu to Wenhu would put an end to the line’s breakdowns.


Democratic liberty is fundamental

As one of the signatories of the open letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) (“An open letter to Taiwan’s president,” Nov. 13, 2009, page 8), I would like to respond to the article by Government Information Office Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) (“Taiwan’s political liberties not eroded,” Jan. 26, page 8). I identify a sign of progress in the letter: He states that the government will give “due attention to possible flaws in our judicial system” and continued by stating that it will “keep pushing forward on these fronts.”

I look forward to actual steps that go beyond mere words. Civil liberties are fundamental to democratic nations because they protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens and put limits on governments.

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Statements have been entered into the US Congressional Record to mark the 66th commemoration of Taiwan’s 228 Massacre.

New Jersey Democratic Representative Robert Andrews and New Jersey Republican Representative Scott Garrett are leading a call for all members of the US Congress to lend their names to “commemorating this important historical event.”

In separate statements published in the Congressional Record, Andrews and Garrett recounted the history of the massacre.