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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Morakot: Ma Ying-jeou's idea of land restoration?

When asked by ITV correspondent, Ma Ying-jeou blamed the victims for not evacuating. In fact, the worst hit village, Hsiao-lin, did evacuate but the places they were supposed to go to in the evacuation plan were also affected by the flood and mudslides. So those who made to these places were still in great danger. As Hsiao-lin had been identified as one of the areas sensitive to floods and landslides, if the residents had been relocated by the government before, this tragedy could have been prevented.

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Morakot's first scalp was a true scapegoat

During separate press conferences with local and foreign media on Tuesday, President Ma Ying-jeou announced that Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrew Hsia — who came under fire over a leaked memo ordering overseas missions to decline offers of aid in the wake of Typhoon Morakot — had tendered his resignation.

That Ma would make this information public implies that Hsia’s resignation has, for all intents and purposes, been accepted.

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Expansive China faces foreign resentment

Algerian shopkeeper Abdelkrim Salouda has witnessed China’s global economic expansion first-hand and he does not like it, especially since he was in a mass brawl this month with Chinese migrant workers.

“They have offended us with their bad behavior,” said Salouda, a devout Muslim who lives in a suburb of the Algerian capital. “In the evening ... they drink beer, and play cards and they wear shorts in front of the residents.”

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Morakot has revealed the true Ma

What world does President Ma Ying-jeou live in? After Typhoon Morakot, it is a world of images — images past and images present. It is a world of imaginary images that have been built on, fostered and fashioned by years of faulty Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) paradigms and reinforced by their propaganda.

In the mind of Ma, his party and his spin-masters, image has always trumped performance. Taiwanese are finally realizing this and realizing that regardless of his words, Ma has no idea what it is to be Taiwanese.

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Ma has China in mind, not Taiwan

President Ma Ying-jeou has been roundly condemned for his and the government’s lackadaisical attitude to the human suffering caused by Typhoon Morakot.

The lack of empathy shown to victims by Ma and senior Cabinet members in the days after Morakot struck has left a bad taste in the mouth of many that is not likely to fade. This could impact on the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) performance in December’s local elections, not to mention Ma’s chances of re-election in 2012.

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Chinese aren’t going to end the economic crisis

China is heading for big trouble. Fearful of a political backlash from the sort of deep recession being suffered in the west, Beijing has embarked on a program of reckless expansion that is providing short-term gain at the expense of long-term pain.

This is an unfashionable view. The conventional wisdom is that China has taken the bold steps necessary to tackle the global downturn, and that its mixture of Keynesian pump-priming and Leninist centralised control will help drag the rest of the world back to prosperity.

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Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling, left, and Covenants Watch chief executive Huang Yi-bee display their visitor permits at the UN Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
Photo: courtesy of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights

Taiwanese rights campaigners on Wednesday testified before the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances about China’s detention and trial of human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲).