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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

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.


Excuse our ‘technical issues’

It was a slap in the Taiwanese government’s face when negotiations on a cross-strait mechanism to avoid double taxation broke down at the last minute on Monday.

However, it should be a precious lesson for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration: Haste makes waste.


US should stop fooling around and back Taiwan

Policymaking is always an art of finding a balance between continuity and change: Governments want to maintain what is perceived as good or beneficial for their respective countries and at the same time make progress in the right direction. Circumstances change and force people, organizations and governments to adapt to the new circumstances.

The US itself is built on the precept of change. The nation was born out of the belief that Americans have the vision, ingenuity and perseverance to make the world a better place. Thus, our policies have always supported change … in the right direction. That is why it is peculiar that in one specific area we cling to the “status quo” — our policy toward Taiwan.

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National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), a member of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) private medical team, on Saturday called on the government to “let Chen go home,” saying that the incarcerated Chen’s condition is deteriorating.

Ko, who plans to run as an independent in the upcoming Taipei mayoral election, issued the call at an event organized by the Ketagalan Foundation, which was founded by Chen.