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Lobbyists' merger leaves Taiwan out in the cold

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Taiwan has lost out to China in the merger of two Washington-based lobbying companies.

While the details are being kept secret, the giant Patton Boggs has in effect taken over the boutique Breaux Lott Leadership Group.

Both companies make a living by “lobbying” or persuading members of the US Congress and other politicians to adopt policies promoted by their clients.

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US analysts urge Washington to pay attention to ECFA

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While the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will have modest global economic effects, the geo-economic implications are significant enough to demand strategic attention from the US, two US international economists said in a recent study.

Daniel Rosen and Zhi Wang of the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote that the ECFA underscores the importance of securing US economic engagement of the first order in Asia.

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US may be considering Asia-Pacific policy shift

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Former US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia Randy Schriver said that US President Barack Obama’s administration may be “on the verge” of changing its policies toward Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

While not spelling out the possible change in detail, Schriver strongly hinted that it could result in a Taiwan arms sale freeze.

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Think tank urges ECFA debate

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Taiwan Thinktank yesterday urged the legislature to debate the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) article by article, to abolish what it called the “unconstitutional” cross-strait economic cooperation committee and establish a supervisory mechanism to oversee future cross-strait accords. It said failure to do so would give undue power to “unaccountable” and “un-elected” individuals.

Taiwan Thinktank executive director Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) called on the legislature to hold public hearings and debate the accord article-by-article and vote on each provision.

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DPP chair accuses KMT of opaqueness

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of failing to open its negotiations with China to public scrutiny.

“There have been many areas in which the KMT government hasn’t been transparent when dealing with cross-strait issues,” Tsai said during a campaign stop in Taipei City.

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Idealism shapes US foreign policy, AIT director says

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American Institute in Taiwan Director William Stanton said yesterday US policy toward China was shaped by idealism and that the US will not walk away from Taiwan.

“From a Machiavellian point of view, the easy thing would be to just not sell arms to Taiwan any more, simple, but we go on doing that,” Stanton said at a Taipei Salon lecture hosted by the Lung Yingtai Cultural Foundation.

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US deploys three subs in Asia

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Three Ohio-class nuclear submarines — heavily armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles — are now making a show of US military power closer than usual to China.

US defense analysts, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the vessels were in place to demonstrate US commitment to nervous allies in the region.

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Newsflash


Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers call for the cessation of construction on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District, New Taipei City, during a meeting of the Economic Committee yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Photo: CNA

Motions demanding that state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台灣電力公司) suspend construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) and rejecting the company’s budget proposal for the year were passed yesterday by the legislature’s Economics Committee.

The motions, initiated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, shot down Taipower’s plan to spend NT$11.7 billion (US$392.99 million) on the plant this year, including NT$10.7 billion of construction work that has already been outsourced.