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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Balance of power sees Ma aligned with China

In 1972, before then-US president Richard Nixon’s visit to China, US national security adviser Henry Kissinger was expounding his “balance of power” theory. This saw the US working with China to keep the Soviet Union in check over the next 15 years. Another 20 years on, the US president has changed tack, teaming up with Russia against China.

This rotation of the triangle of relations between the three powers took place almost 20 years later than Kissinger had predicted, but now we have US President Barack Obama’s administration concentrating once more on US-Russia relations: They recently signed the first nuclear weapons pact between the two countries in two decades. The US has clearly decided its best bet is to lean toward Russia to keep China under control.


ECFA, Another Insult from the People that Gave Taiwan 6-3-3

Only a complete dunce totally of touch with Taiwan's reality would claim ignorance of Ma Ying-jeou's infamous 6-3-3 promise in all its foolhardy glory. This campaign promise of the 2008 presidential elections came about when Ma's so-called A-Team of economic advisors told him that 6-3-3 was easily achievable and he should have no fear of promising it. It was of course a gross misread of the economic scene from the git-go. Despite all the back-tracking that it would have to wait until a nebulous transformation in 2016 when Ma could comfortably escape as well as attempts to blame it all on outside forces, the reality remains it was bad advice and a total economic misread.


The Cabinet’s shortsighted PhDs

The Cabinet may claim to be a body of doctoral degree holders, but they are often incapable of explaining their ever-changing policies. This was true of the US beef import debacle and it applies both to an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China and to the draft industrial renewal act that the legislature is about to vote on. On the eve of the vote, the Cabinet suddenly announced that it would cut the 20 percent business income tax rate in the draft to 17 percent. That cut will cost the government NT$30 billion (US$956 million) in lost tax revenue.


Taiwan needs boost in creativity, not more cuts in taxes

Initially billed as a means to simulate industrial innovation and research and development, the draft Statute to Encourage Industrial Innovation has turned into yet another program to provide a "low cost" environment for Taiwan businesses with scant concern for the cultivation of long-term sustainable competitiveness based on high value added, robust product and service quality and creativity.

Initially approved by the rightist Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) Cabinet in May 2009, the draft bill was advertized as a means to promote research and development, innovation and manpower training and provide ways to solve the needs of business for capital and land.


Obama must act before it’s too late

A crisis is gathering in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s status as an independent democracy is being undermined daily as the momentum for its annexation by the People’s Republic of China inexorably gains strength. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to implement the cultural and economic integration of Taiwan with China, aiming for the signing of a peace accord before the end of 2012. The fall of Taiwan would be a geostrategic disaster for the US and would most likely deprive US President Barack Obama of his chance for re-­election in November 2012.


What the US president should tell Hu Jintao

On April 12 and 13, US President Barack Obama’s administration is convening a nuclear security summit in Washington. This is an important event with potential to make the world a safer place. Only days ago, it was announced that Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) would also attend the summit.

After the turnaround in China’s position — it had earlier indicated little interest in attending the summit with a high-level delegation — Obama had a lengthy telephone conversation with Hu. The call took place on April 1, when Obama’s plane had just landed at Andrews Air Force Base after a fundraising trip to New England.

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Former president Chen Shui-bian is escorted by security staff following a medical procedure in a hospital in Greater Taichung on Dec. 13, last year. Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay yesterday denied involvement or giving instructions on a judiciary hearing on Chen’s medical parole request.
Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times

The Taiwan High Court yesterday rejected former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) application for medical parole, saying his case should be taken up in the administrative court.

The High Court added that the decision could be appealed in the Supreme Court.

The judges said Chen’s parole case relates to his treatment at prison facilities controlled by the Ministry of Justice’s Agency of Corrections, so it comes under the jurisdiction of the administrative authority.