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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Ma’s ‘pragmatism’ is a sham

After years of blasting the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for “creating trouble” in the Taiwan Strait by seeking admission into the UN — at one point under the name “Taiwan” — the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) under President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) vowed to engage in “pragmatic” diplomacy to better ensure the interests of the nation.

One important aspect of this strategy was to seek admission into “specialized” branches of the UN rather than join the world body as a whole, efforts that, under former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), always irked Beijing and, some said, caused unnecessary tension, given Beijing’s assured vetoing of any such initiative. The UN’s inflexible “one China” policy, meanwhile, also made this objective unattainable.

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Taiwan: Where's the Beef? It's not with the USA but with Ma. Who Else?

A week past on Saturday November 14, thousands of Taiwanese took to the streets of Taipei to express their growing concern over the present government's continued mismanagement of the nation's international affairs. In line with this, the Legislative Yuan has been deadlocked on an amendment to the Act Governing Food Sanitation. The issue of course has been the recent agreement of President Ma Ying-jeou to the import of American beef. Don't misunderstand this. It is not a matter that Taiwanese do not like American prime rib, T-bones or filet mignon; they love it. What Taiwanese are upset with is the continuing slipshod manner of negotiations and apparent deal-making that the Ma government is trying present as fait accompli for the people and the legislature to accept.

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The UN Snubs Taiwan Again: Who is the Joke of Ma Ying-joke On?

With the recent revelation of the United Nations past snubbing of Taiwan (it rejected in June the two human rights covenants signed by Ma Ying-jeou), the pitiful saga of Taiwan's President Ma continues. It is no wonder that many continue to call him Ma Ying-joke, for despite this and numerous other humiliations, Ma still claims that his China-friendly, China-centric policy is working. But the question or joke for Taiwanese is that it is working for what? This particular snubbing was in June for example, yet Taiwan's public has only been made aware of it now. If the policy is working, why the cover up until now?

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Negotiating Taiwan’s sovereignty

Since taking office last year, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has many times assured the public that his administration will deal with economic issues first and not engage in political negotiations with China until Beijing removes the missiles aimed at Taiwan. However, the Ma administration has reneged on this pledge, just as it has on so many other promises it has made.

In reality, political contacts between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have already commenced in various hidden forms.

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Nan Shan deal: Too much at stake

The government’s regulatory agencies last week lashed out at a Hong Kong consortium’s plan to sell 30 percent of its stake in Nan Shan Life Insurance Co to Chinatrust Financial Holding Co. However, the Nan Shan deal has also put the regulatory agencies’ credibility to the test, with the public watching closely if they will approve the deal eventually.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong-listed China Strategic Holdings Ltd — which, along with private equity fund Primus Financial Holdings Ltd, had purchased a 97.57 percent stake in Nan Shan last month from American International Group Inc (AIG) for approximately US$2.15 billion — announced unexpectedly that it planned to sell 30 percent of the Nan Shan shares to Chinatrust Financial for US$660 million.

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Obama’s Chinese lesson

US President Barack Obama’s visit to China was most notable for his hosts’ refusal to play his game. Nothing could have been more symbolically ludicrous and deflating for Obama and the dignity of the office of US president than speaking before a bunch of hand-picked university students taking part in a “town hall” address in Shanghai. Never mind that the students were mostly or all members of the Chinese Communist Party, that they asked vetted, even infantile, questions or that the students who sat behind Obama — and were thus visible to TV and online audiences — behaved as if they couldn’t understand a word.

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Newsflash

The Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC) is beset with problems when it comes to authorizing powers to central and local governments, Taiwan Society president and historian Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said yesterday, adding that the nation needs a referendum on writing a new constitution and stressing that the existing Referendum Act (公民投票法) must be amended to do so.

Chang made the remarks as Scotland’s historical independence referendum took place, to decide whether it would leave the UK and become an independent nation.