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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Why the US will lead the ‘Asian century’

Not a week passes, it seems, without a big-picture thinker releasing a big-picture book or giving a big-picture sermon describing the gradual eclipse of US hegemony in Asia. True, US power will inevitably decline in relative terms as Asian giants such as China and India rise. But, at least as far as Asia is concerned, arguments about the end of US hegemony ring hollow. For one thing, the US was never a hegemon in Asia. Only some US post-Cold War triumphalists thought it was. The nature of US power and the exercise of its influence was always much more clever and subtle than most assume. In fact, as India and China rise, the US could actually find itself in a stronger position.

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Typhoon Morakot, a Painful Reminder of Ma Ying-jeou and the Peter Principle

With the government's mis-handling of Typhoon Morakot, many have finally come to realize how Ma Ying-jeou exemplifies the Peter Principle--a person that rises to the level of his/her incompetence. For perceptive Ma-watchers this was already evident when Ma was mayor of Taipei. Unfortunately for Taiwan, the general public is often distracted and swayed by promises (Ma's forte) rather than performance and so it only listed to Ma and elected him to the Presidency based on his 6-3-3 promise of economic prosperity. Chang Jung-feng, the National Security Council deputy secretary-general under Lee Teng-hui recently spoke to this and gave the public a painful reminder by saying. "Now as president, he (Ma) is expanding the scope of his ineptitude from the municipal level to a national scale."

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Ma criticized at home and abroad

The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou is facing its first real crisis since taking office in May last year. Criticism of its mishandling of the disaster created by Typhoon Morakot is coming from every quarter, both from the pan-green camp and traditionally blue villages hit by the catastrophe. The international media, which made Ma its darling, is joining the fray, with CNN International holding a public vote on the question: “Should Taiwan’s leader stand down over delays in aiding typhoon victims?”

In a further sign of media bungling, the Government Information Office (GIO) retracted a request that the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents’ Club instruct correspondents who signed up for a press conference with Ma today to submit their questions to the GIO prior to the media event — which the club adamantly refuses to do.

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Ma Ying-jeou's Government Continues to Try to Flip-Flop its Way Out of Blame

If you remember when the USA and Japan immediately offered aid to Taiwan in the aftermath of the destructive typhoon, Ma's government refused that aid. Then, as embarassment rose, it was declared that they accepted it and the first statement was in error. A typo was blamed. Well tommorrow, Ma will meet with the Taiwan Foreign Correspondent's Club (TFCC) and again we have the flip-flop.

At first the Government Information Office (GIO) sent an email to the TFCC saying that Ma would only accept questions that were written out and submitted beforehand. The TFCC president immediately refused and issued this statment to members.

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China misreads Taiwan ‘dissidents’

The relationship between Hong Kong’s stalled demand for full universal suffrage and Beijing’s plans for unification with Taiwan came to the fore late last month when Hong Kong played host to a high-profile Chinese Communist Party (CCP) representative. Du Qinglin heads the party’s United Front Work Department and came from Beijing to aid what he called the “difficult and complex” task of national reunification.

Du’s assignment was to officiate at inaugural ceremonies for the Hong Kong branch of China’s Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification. The organization, established in 1988, now has chapters in more than 80 countries and works primarily among Chinese communities to promote relations across the Taiwan Strait. A branch was set up in Macau five years ago.

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Snapping Ma out of complacency

Seven days after Typhoon Morakot wreaked havoc in southern Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou finally realized how serious the situation is and called a national security meeting. The government’s slow and disorganized response to the disaster has angered victims and stirred criticism across the political spectrum and from the international community.

Ma’s Cabinet ministers may hold doctorate degrees, but they have failed the test this time, with Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi and local government heads busy blaming each other while the military “awaited orders” to join rescue efforts.

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Newsflash

Charred body of Dhondup

DHARAMSHALA, October 22: In less than 48 hours of the self immolation of Lhamo Kyab on Saturday in Sangchu county, another Tibetan man from the same county has set himself on fire earlier today in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

Sonam, a monk of Drepung Monastery in South India, said Dhondup, 61, of Hor Khagya (spelled as pronounced) set himself ablaze at 9:47 am (local time) on the main road near Labrang Monastery in Sangchu County, Eastern Tibet. He became the oldest Tibetan from Tibet to end his life due to self-immolation.