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Home The News News Magazine lists Ma as one of world’s ‘gutsiest’ leaders

Magazine lists Ma as one of world’s ‘gutsiest’ leaders

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has been selected as one of the world’s “gutsiest” leaders in the September-October issue of the humorous US public affairs magazine mental_floss.

The author of the article, Jennifer Drapkin, said all the people in it have had unbelievable lives.

Describing Ma as the “world’s best marriage counselor,” Drapkin said Ma shared a deeply held desire with his former dictator mentor, Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), to “reunite” China and Taiwan.

The so-called “1992 consensus” was “a masterpiece of diplomatic ambiguity” that opened up a dialogue with China and led to increased commerce “between the two nations,” Drapkin said.

It also helped Ma gain a reputation as a savvy politician, which, she said “along with his general handsomeness got him elected mayor of Taipei in 1998. (In a poll of Taipei women, asking which public figure they would most like to father their children, Ma was the resounding winner.)”

After being elected president of Taiwan in March last year by campaigning on the idea of a “Great China market,” Drapkin said Ma reaffirmed his belief in “one China” and Taiwan’s relationship with China improved almost immediately.

“Now, about 3,000 Chinese tourists arrive to invade Taipei’s shopping malls each day,” she said. “And when China offered Taiwan the pandas Tuan-tuan and Yuan-yuan again, President Ma gladly accepted them.”

Improved cross-strait relations also ameliorated ties with Washington, she said, adding that the global economic crisis has unfortunately dealt a blow to Ma’s administration.

“But many economists believe that with money pouring in from both China and the United States, Taiwan may be on the road to recovery,” she said.

Will Ma’s dream of “reuniting” Taiwan and China come true? Drapkin asked.

“Many foreign affairs experts would tell Ma to keep dreaming,” she said. “Today, they are giving each other pandas. Anything is possible.”

The five “gutsiest” world leaders selected by the magazine are Ma, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

A blogger with the nickname Tumwijuke commented on Museveni’s selection as one of the world’s gutsiest leaders as “a laugh,” saying they did not get the magazine in Uganda but he was “itching to read the misinformation contained therein.”

According to the magazine’s Web site, mental_floss is “an intelligent read, but not too intelligent — the sort of intelligence that “you hang out with for a while, enjoy our company, laugh a little, smile a lot and then we part ways.”

Source: Taipei Times 2009/09/07



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Newsflash

Voters’ confidence in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) surpassed that of her Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) counterpart, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), for the first time since the two took charge of their respective parties, a poll released yesterday by the Chinese-language Global Views magazine (遠見) showed.

Public trust in the DPP also surged to a new three-year high, the survey showed.