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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Can the ECFA train be stopped?

Notwithstanding the lack of rigor in Taiwanese polling, there is food for thought in a survey by Taiwan Thinktank that claims 60 percent of the public have reservations about the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wants to sign with China sometime next year.

The poll also suggested a majority believes that the fourth round of cross-strait talks between Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), scheduled for next week, should be delayed over concerns of a replay of the violence that accompanied Chen’s previous visit.


Taiwan, As the World Turns in December: Ma Turns to his Spin-doctor King Pu-tsung

The December 5 election results were not a big loss for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but they did show the continuing ineptness of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou. As both President and KMT Party Chairman, Ma could blame no one else. He put his image on the line as he campaigned heavily throughout the country, and especially so in the County of Yilan where the KMT lost handily. Ma tried to explain it all as a matter of the economy (Ma's campaign promise of 6-3-3 is becoming 3-1-1) but whatever the reasons Ma gave, the outcome was clearly another vote of non-confidence in Ma.


What 'Formosa' means for today's Taiwan

The coincidence of the 30th anniversary of the Kaohsiung or "Formosa" Incident and the 61st anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights yesterday provides an important moment for reflection on both the Taiwan's difficult democratization and the state of our democratic society after 19 months after the restoration to governance of the former party of authoritarianism.

Exactly three decades ago in Kaohsiung City, a riot broke out between police and supporters of the democratic movement attending a banned demonstration called to commemorate International Human Rights Day organized by "Formosa" monthly, the self-designated "magazine of the Taiwan democratic movement."


Taiwan needs no more 'King-makers'

In an apparent effort to recover his declining popularity and hopefully rebuild the collapsing credibility of his ruling right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), President and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou made a stunning decision last week to appoint his former top aide and ex-Taipei City deputy mayor King Pu-tsung as KMT secretary-general.

Coincidently, Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ying-wen tabbed former interior minister Su Chia-chyuan as the opposition party's new secretary-general days after its rebound in the December 5th "three-in-one" local elections.


Wu ‘blows his top’ at inefficiency

At a Cabinet meeting this week, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) expressed dissatisfaction with administrative inefficiency. If high-level officials must blow their top before civil servants start doing what they’re told, he said, why doesn’t he simply create a “blowing my top” chop to use? The deteriorating efficiency of Taiwan’s government institutions has been lamented throughout the country, and it has been a millstone around the neck of Taiwanese competitiveness for years.


A lapse or a strategy? It’s a worry either way

The most significant outcome of last Saturday’s elections was the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regaining power in its former stronghold of Yilan County.

Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), as both president of Taiwan and chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), had zealously and extensively campaigned there to prevent this, putting both his and his party’s reputation on the line.

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Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) office yesterday issued a statement denying allegations that Chen had taken advantage of his overseas trips to transport cash abroad.

The statement came in response to a story published by the Chinese-language China Times yesterday that quoted Palauan President Johnson Toribiong as saying that an unidentified wire of NT$1.4 billion (US$40 million) was routed through Palau’s Pacific Savings Bank in 2005 to the US and other countries.