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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Pitfalls and possibilities in Obama’s Taiwan line

As US President Barack Obama prepares for his visit to Japan, South Korea, China and Singapore, it is worthwhile to consider a number of issues that affect US-Taiwan-China relations.

On two of the three sides in this triangle, we have relatively new actors at the political helm: the Obama administration in the US and the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

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USC's Annenberg School for Communication Brings Soft Power to Taiwan: Part II

In session two of the conference, Jeffrey Cole Ph.D. Director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC addressed new trends in media technology advances and their relevance for Public Diplomacy (PD). He pointed out how the environment and the ways you reach people are constantly changing. He contrasted how people in previous decades would suffer withdrawal if there was a newspaper strike; today's people would suffer more if the internet of mobile phone use was disconnected. TV was introduced mainstream in the home in 1948 - though this author can remember watching Notre Dame vs. Army on TV in a Chicago tavern in 1947. (Of course I had accompanied my father there, I may be old but not that old). TV had a way of bringing people together (but actually radio did that previously with the difference that while listening to programs on the radio in a family circle, one could be doing other things as well - whereas with TV, one had to focus on the screen).

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How can East Asia achieve democracy?

Remembering the events that brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall

On November 9, 2009, Germans will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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The crucial place of a democracy’s referendum

The Cabinet’s Referendum Review Committee has turned down a referendum proposal relating to the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) that the government wants to sign with China, citing various preposterous reasons.

It is truly shameful of the government to claim that Taiwan serves as a democratic model for the rest of Asia when Taiwanese cannot express an opinion on major policies involving national development.

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USC's Annenberg School for Communication Brings Soft Power to Taiwan: Part I

"National Security, Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Smart Power: Future Directions for Smart Nations," isn't that a mouthful. Yet that was the long and unusual title for the conference on October 29, 2009, a conference sponsored by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Four of the six featured speakers came from the University of Southern California's (USC) Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. So what did they have to say about smart power for smart nations especially small but smart nations? Below is a summary.

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November, Week One: As the World Turns in Taiwan

A variety of things are happening as the world turns in Taiwan, November 2009. First there is the import of "health threatening" beef products from a signed agreement with the USA. The Ma government approved the signing, but now is hesitating and looking for an out as members of Ma's own party, the opposition party and the general population are objecting to it. Why Ma approved it and what deals he may have worked out or thought he was working out with the USA seem to be blowing up in his face and add credence to his growing reputation as Ma the Incompetent. It is unsure where this is going, but one thing is certain that Ma will begin to distance himself as he always does from the decision. He will either place the blame on the Premier or will try to counter with a dodge statement like, "We approved the import of health-threatening beef, but we did not tell the people that they should buy it." Regardless, with this debacle, the population of Taiwan is increasingly worried as Ma the Incompetent ploughs ahead with his desire to also sign a non-transparent ECFA agreement with Taiwan's enemy across the Strait.

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Newsflash

Fears surrounding the commercial debut of the China’s Beidou satellite navigation system last week have centered on the development by the Chinese military in recent years of a bomb kit that can transform “dumb” bombs into “smart” ones.

Chief among them is the Lei Shi-6 (LS-6) “Thunder Stone” precision-guided glide bomb first unveiled by the Luoyang Optoelectro Technology Development Center in late 2006. The guidance “fit,” which is attached to conventional bombs and has deployable wings, can support a number of bomb weights, from 50kg to 500kg, Jane’s Defence Weekly reported last year.