Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

 
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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

US beef and the curse of Yu Wen

Those familiar with Taiwan’s political scene will recall the name Yu Wen (余文), a Taipei City Government staffer during President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) stint as mayor from 1998 to 2006. Following Ma’s indictment in 2006 for misusing his special allowance, Yu became a fall guy in some observers’ eyes, serving nine months in jail for failing to keep Ma’s accounts in order.

The term “Yu Wen” has since become part of Taiwan’s political lingo. It refers to a government official or agency that serves as a scapegoat and takes the heat for higher-ups.

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Who is Worse, the Thief or the Fence?

The word fence has different meanings. As a noun, it can denote a barrier or divider. Robert Frost has the well known line, "Good fences make good neighbors," in his poem "Mending Wall." In a different realm, the verb "to fence" describes a sport of swordsmanship where opponents use blunted foils, epees or sabers to register hits on each other. But there is third totally different meaning. The noun fence also can describe a person who receives and sells stolen goods or who acts as a conduit for stolen goods; this is the meaning that Taiwanese need to become aware of because it concerns their President.

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US-China relations remain crucial

If one were to go by the apparent bonhomie in US-China relations since the administration of US President Barack Obama came to power, it would be fair to surmise that there has been a significant shift in US policy toward China in favor of cooperation and collaboration.

However, this is only part of the story.

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By all means, please interfere

The focus of this weekend’s ASEAN summit in Thailand was, as one would expect, the economy. With representatives from six extra countries attending talks — Australia, India, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea — all eyes were on the future of Asia’s growing economic strength.

But the summit also brought ASEAN’s human rights body to fruition after years in the making. Considering the poor records of many of ASEAN’s members, that should have been cause for applause. Rights groups both within ASEAN countries and abroad are, however, concerned that the body is little more than show.

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Newsflash


Stephen Yates, former US deputy national security adviser to former US vice president Dick Cheney, speaks yesterday at a forum in Taipei organized by the World Taiwanese Congress and Taiwan Nation Alliance.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

As US President Donald Trump’s administration is committed to its “America first” foreign policy, Taiwan-US relations should be reoriented toward increased business ties, defense cooperation and a high-level dialogue mechanism, Idaho Republican Party chairman Stephen Yates yesterday told a forum in Taipei organized by the World Taiwanese Congress and the Taiwan Nation Alliance.