Friday, February 25, 2011

Solution to Mainland Dilemma is Political Reform

Solution to Mainland Dilemma is Political Reform
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 25, 2011

A butterfly fluttering its wings in Beijing, could touch off a storm in New York, This is the famous "Butterfly Effect" outlined in Chaos Theory. On the other hand, could a butterfly fluttering its wings from afar, touch off a storm on Mainland China?

Tunisia has undergone a "Jasmine Revolution." It has driven out Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the strongman who ruled the country for 23 years. This was followed by a similar revolution in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 30 years, was forced to step down. The butcher who ruled Sudan for 30 years, has also announced that he will not seek another term. Muammar al-Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 40 years, has imposed a bloody crackdown on democratic protesters. Sparks from these flames in North Africa and the Middle East are now drifting toward Mainland China.

A second wave of "Jasmine Revolution" protests may occur on Sunday. Pro government media outlets dismissed the previous wave of protests as a "walk in the park," as "nothing more than a few people engaged in performance art." But if this was "performance art," then the endless stream of petitioners in Beijing are also enaged in "performance art." Those protesting the illegal demolition of their homes, those who hanged themselves in the ruins of their homes, are also practioners of "performance art." Urban squatters who cannot afford even a tiny room, are also "ants" engaged in "performance art." Those who gather and block streets, creating "mass incidents" are also enaged in "performance art." These people may indeed be a "minority." But the Jasmin Revolution in Tunisia was touched off by an unemployed college graduate who immolated himself. Who could have predicted that collective anger suppressed for decades would find an outlet in his act of "performance art?"

In fact, the Beijing authorities are acutely aware of the people's dissatisfaction. Even the People's Daily has acknowledged that Mainland China "faces more and more painful problems." Jasmine blossoms have yet to appear in the streets. Nevertheless the CCP leadership gathered last week at the CCP Central Party School to discuss appropriate responses. Hu Jintao stressed the need for three "maximizations." Maximize those factors inspiring social vitality. Maximize those factors encouraging social harmony. Maximize those factors preventing social disharmony. Alas, these three "maximizations" contradict each other. If one wishes to "maximize those factors inspiring social vitality," how can one possibly "maximize those factors preventing social disharmony?" Hu Jintao's answer was, "Further strengthen and improve information network management. Improve the management of virtual society," In short, "under the unified leadership of party committees, the government will strictly regulate the Internet."

The word "Jasmine" has been blocked, Even the word "tomorrow" has been blocked. Beijing is keeping close tabs on the Internet. But its approach harks back to the thousand year old Great Wall. Back then the Great Wall created a closed regime. It closed off the people. It closed off the nation. In the end the enemy arrived wave upon wave from the sea. China, under attack from advanced warships and their powerful guns, was nearly partitioned and wiped out. Today, the Great Wall lies in ruins. Officials are doing everything possible to erect a Great Wall on the Internet. But their efforts will be futile. Instead, they will merely encourage the people to undermine the wall out of spite. If the government blocks the word "Jasmine," Internet users will simply use "Rose" or "Peony." Is the CCP really prepared to block the words for every flower known to man?

In fact, the Beijing authorities and the people sporting jasmine blossoms, are all thinking the same thing. They are all yearning for freedom and democracy. Beijing considers them a scourge. But evading problems instead of facing them merely intensifies one's fears. For example, the Tiananmen Indicent occurred 22 years ago. Yet the CCP is still unable to confront the pain.

The science of economics tells us that "whatever is unsustainable, will be sustained for long." Mainland China has long faced "growing pains." Even Premier Wen Jiabao has warned that without political reform, the fruits of economic reform cannot be sustained. Zhongnanhai is deeply anxious. It senses the urgency. It realizes the importance. Otherwise, why would Premier Wen Jiabao say such a thing?

The CCP authorities ought to have more confidence in themselves. The CCP's achievements in economic reform over the past 30 years are clear for the world to see. But now it must reform itself politically as well. Otherwise it will be building a tower on quicksand. Spontaneous change is called reform. Forced change is called revolution. Look at the fate of collapsed authoritarian regimes. Reform or revolution. The CCP must take the initiative. The reason why should be clear.

Mainland China is not the Middle East, The current wave of "pollen" may make the Beijing authorities cough and wheeze. A few anti-histamines and it will pass. But the CCP authorities will be the only ones experiencing hay fever. The public on the Mainland loves flowers. None of them are about to chop down trees to eliminate the cause of hay fever.

A turbulent Chinese Mainland will make world peace impossible. Taiwan will also remain vulnerable. The Chinese Mainland endured the bloody Cultural Revolution. Those in the know on Mainland China have issued a "farewell to revolution" declaration. They have done so out of bitter experience. But some social contradictions can only be alleviated by a democratic revolution. This is a classic dilemma. How can Mainland China implement democracy with "Chinese characteristics?" This is not merely a problem for the Chinese people. It is a problem for mankind as a whole.

2011.02.25 03:29 am











Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deciphering Tsai Ing-wen's Gobbledygook

Deciphering Tsai Ing-wen's Gobbledygook
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 24, 2011

Yesterday Tsai Ing-wen presided over the opening ceremony of a think tank. Many people were eager to hear her views on cross-Strait policy. But what she said left them in an impenetrable fog.

Tsai Ing-wen said that the KMT is moving toward "peace and reunification," and toward "peace and inevitable reunification." She said the DPP advocates "peace and differentiation," and "peace while seeking differentiation." Tsai Ing-wen was setting herself in opposition to the KMT. Logically speaking therefore, she should have said that she advocated "peace without reunification." She said others advocated "peace and reunification." But she lacked the guts to say that she advocated "peace without reunification." Instead, she said that she advocated "peace and differentiation." What is she doing, other than playing evasive word games?

Ma Ying-jeou has never advocated "peace and reunification," and "peace and inevitable reunification." These are charges leveled against him by Tsai Ing-wen. Ma Ying-jeou advocates "no [immediate] reunification, no independence, and no use of force." He loudly proclaimed "no reunification." Tsai Ing-wen, on the other hand, indulged in tongue twisting word games, and spoke of "peace and differentiation." She was afraid to say "peace without reunification." Tsai Ing-wen may find it difficult to say "no independence," the way Ma Ying-jeou did. But why was she afraid to say "no reunification?" What is she evading? What is she hiding?

Tsai Ing-wen has often played the "strategic vision" card. In April of 2010, during the "Two Ying's Debate," she played the "strategic vision" card. She argued that ECFA would cost the United States its strategic regional advantage. Instead, the US praised ECFA to the skies. She claimed that Taipei/Washington relations and cross-Strait relations were the best they have ever been. Professor Tsai appears oblivious about her own limitations. Once again, she has played her "strategic vision" card. She said "Taiwan must be positioned within the international framework. Only by giving political consideration to future relationships can we ensure the necessary strategic depth."

What is this, if not incomprehensible gobbledygook? How can such arguments unseat Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait policy? Does the Ma administration's cross-Strait policy not position the Republic of China within the international framework? Globalization and the rise of Mainland China have heavily skewed the two sides' economic status, Under Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, the Taiwan independence movement rushed headlong into a brick wall. Attitudes regarding the two sides have changed on Taiwan. Otherwise, how could the two sides have reached a consensus on "peaceful development?" How could they have signed ECFA? What is all this, if not "positioning Taiwan within the international framework?" What is all this, if not the ensuring of "strategic depth?" In fact, Tsai Ing-wen's pretensions of "strategic vision" were discredited during the Two Ying's Debate. Now all we see, is the emptiness of her rhetoric.

Tsai Ing-wen criticized Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait policy. She said the Ma administration had fallen into "a trap set by [Mainland] China." But she did not say that Beijing had also fallen into a "no [immediate] reunification, no independence, and no use of force" trap set by Ma Ying-jeou. Tsai Ing-wen condemned the Ma administration for its "Chinese identity and Chinese core values." But she did not say that the Ma administration's 1992 Consensus and One China, Different Interpretations reaffirm the Republic of China and the core values of the Republic of China. Tsai Ing-wen is the one who is trapped within a fallacy. She mistakenly equates opposition to the Peoples Republic of China wtih opposition to the Republic of China. That is both sad and ridiculous.

Frank Hsieh advocates an "Overlapping Consensus on the Constitution" and "One Constitution, Different Interpretations." His proposals may be considered esoteric. But it is one way of looking at things. Su Tseng-chang advocates "survival as the highest value," and "democracy as the foundation." It too, is empty rhetoric, But at least he knows enough to conceal the fact. He does not attempt to spin it as evidence of "strategic vision." By contrast, Tsai Ing-wen, who has been playing word games for years, could offer only an incomprehensible "peace and differentiation," and "peace while seeking differentiation." As a result, those who expected the most from her, are the ones most deeply disappointed.

Tsai Ing-wen should let the public know what she favors and opposes vis a vis cross-Strait relations. She once advocated the two states theory. What about now? She once objected to the 1992 Consensus and ECFA. What about now? Beijing says that opposition to Taiwan independence and adherence to the 1992 Consensus are prerequisites for cross-Strait exchanges and interaction. What about Tsai Ing-wen? The Ma administration advocates "no [immediate] reunification, no independence, and no use of force." It upholds the 1992 Consensus, and One China, Different Interpretations. What about Tsai Ing-wen? Or, as a recent editorial asked, Tsai Ing-wen once led bloody street protests against Chen Yunlin. If the Democratic Progressive Party returns to power, will it agree to let him visit?

National identity, constitutional interpretation, and cross-Strait policy are major issues. The Democratic Progressive Party must provide the public with a thorough accounting of its positions on these issues, before the 2012 presidential election. Tsai Ing-wen is attempting to muddle through by playing word games with "peace with differentiation" and "peace while seeking differentiation." This is irresponsible, dishonest, incompetent, or all three.

Yesterday Tsai Ing-wen announced this incomprehensible policy. She failed even to mention her promise to "continue the cross-Strait policy of the previous administration in the event she is elected." That is how irresponsible she has been. She has become a great disappointment to many voters. We feel compelled to ask Tsai Ing-wen, "Are even you satisfied with your own performance?"

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.02.24











Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Defend Taipei's Interests, Demand Respect from Manila

Defend Taipei's Interests, Demand Respect from Manila
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 23, 2011

The Philippines recently deported a number of Republic of China citizens suspected of fraud to Mainland China. Taipei has retaliated by such measures as putting a freeze on Filipino laborers. Yesterday, President Ma met with Special Envoy Manuel Roxas. He sternly criticized the Philippines, using language unprecedented in its harshness. This move by the upper levels of government told the international community that Taipei was determined to defend the ROC's sovereignty and dignity.

President Ma has long been soft spoken and gentle in his demeanor. But when he met with Special Presidential Envoy Roxas from the Philippines, and pointed out the three mistakes Manila had made, his manner was stern. Fourteen ROC suspects were expelled from the Philippines. Philippine officials said they were extradited. They were expelled, but they were not repatriated to the Republic of China. This constitutes a violation of international law and international practice. The suspects held Republic of China passports. The Philippines claimed that they failed to cooperate, that they failed to submit their travel documents. The suspects' attorney obtained a court order from the Philippine court. But the Philippine government ignored its own laws, and illegally deported the suspects to Mainland China.

President Ma demanded that the Philippine government assume responsibility for is mistakes, and apologize. He said "My country will watch to see how your country deals with the incident. This will indicate how bilateral relations should develop." Seldom in Republic of China history has a president spoken so sternly to a foreign guest. Seldom has our government retaliated against a foreign government so harshly.

Roxas was dispatched to Taipei by President Benigno Aquino III. The purpose was to appease Taipei, by communicating directly, in order to turn things around. But Manila still refuses to admit that sending the suspects to the Mainland was a mistake, Manila reasons that the case was investigated by public security officials from the Mainland. The information came from public security officials on the Mainland. The victims were from the the Mainland. Beijing's desire that the Mainland judicial system investigate and prosecute the case struck Manila as reasonable. In truth, many mistakes were made in handling the case. Manila has also begun legal proceedings, congressional hearings, and congressional investigations. Similar cases have occurred before. ROC suspects were never prosecuted after being sent back to Taiwan. Manila feels these suspects will be dealt with more effectively if they are turned over to Beijing, which Manila considers better at fighting crime.

The Philippine Special Envoy held a ten hour long marathon session with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but still refused to apologize. This is why. Frankly, if Manila knew it had made a serious mistake, it should have apologized right then and there. Now it has sent Rojas. It is hoping that if he puts a nice spin on the matter, and allows Taipei to blow off some steam, the storm will quickly blow over. Sending a special envoy is of course a gesture of goodwill and a sign of respect. But mere lip service suggests that Manila has underestimated Taipei's anger.

During these diplomatic representations, Taipei must have a clear objective, namely, to safeguard the national interest. Manila's motives may have been well intentioned. But its actions treated Beijing as the guardian of Taipei's international affairs. This our government considers absolutely unacceptable. In order to teach Manila a lesson, and to prevent the international community from getting the wrong impression, Taipei is demanding that Manila apologize. The government is taking a tough stand. It is responding to a public backlash. It is also keeping an eye on future developments. It must make a grand gesture, as preventive medicine.

Manila may or may not be willing to eat crow and apologize. But Taipei must adopt stern measures, in the hope that similar cases will be handled the correct way. Manila must commit to international law and international practices. In the common fight against crime, it must fully respect Taipei's rights and interests. It must ensure that this incident remains an isolated one that is never repeated.

According to the "consensus reality" negotiated by Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang and Roxas, Philippine officials have agreed to take discipline the officials for dereliction of duty. This is something it should have done in the first place, in accorandance with the rule of law. The Philippines is willing to discuss the establishment of mutual legal assistance mechanisms for combatting transnational crime. Taipei and Manila should actively promote such measures. They must not allow the matter to drop. Manila hopes to sign an "economic partnership agreement" with Taipei. Taipei may not need such an agreement. Obviously there is no reason to "reward" Manila at this moment.

Diplomatic negotiations require clear objectives and bargaining chips. Taipei's objective is clear, It must play its chips wisely. Taipei has put a freeze on Filipino workers. Those impacted are admittedly the economically disadvantaged, and the businesses on Taiwan who employ them. Such a freeze may not directly impact the decision-making officials. But the Philippines is a nation that relies on the export of labor. Therefore the impact of such an action must not be underestimated. President Aquino III in particular, is under attack at home. He too hopes the storm will blow over, as soon as possible. Therefore, Taipei must continue its hard bargaining. It must be firm but rational. It must ensure that its national interests are not hurt again.

Internationally, Taipei is in a tough spot. But that is exactly why it must not lose hope. That is why it must demand respect. Others treat you the way you tell them to treat you. Taipei must take concrete action to ensure that the international community understands its aspirations.

捍衛台灣利益 向菲律賓爭尊嚴
2011-02-23 中國時報











Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Would Chen Yunlin Still Be Able to Visit with the DPP in Power?

Would Chen Yunlin Still Be Able to Visit with the DPP in Power?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 22, 2011

Chen Yunlin is not being allowed to visit Tainan City. Lai Ching-teh made this unfortunate declaration. But that is hardly the full extent of the problem. The problem goes far beyond this. If the DPP returns to power, will Chen Yunlin even be able to visit Taiwan? Will the SEF and ARATS still be able to conduct annual exchanges?

The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Forum debuted today at a spa in Chungli. Tomorrow Chen Yunlin will bring a group of Mainland entrepreneurs to Taiwan. The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Forum is the official mechanism for Vice Ministerial-level economic consultation and dialogue. Chen Yunlin's visit is a symbol of continuing cross-Strait economic coopetition. These two phenomenon represent a watershed in cross-Strait relations. They represent continued progress toward multifront, full range interaction. They represent the consolidation of cross-Strait "peaceful development."

These interactions are taking place on many fronts. Cross-Strait economic exchanges were originally driven by a random search for profits. Now governments on both sides are overseeing mutually advantageous integration. But this scenario may not have a chance to gel. Because next year's presidential election may lead to a third change in ruling parties. Cross-Strait relations will inevitably be put to the test. Today, the cross-Strait situation is one of peaceful development. It is a banquet in progress. But if the Democratic Progressive Party returns to power, will that mean the party is over? This is a serious question. It is not one that a Democratic Progressive Party administration can dismiss by promising to "continue the cross-Strait policies of the previous administration."

Suppose Chen Yunlin can no longer visit Taiwan. Suppose the OECD can no longer be held. The results will be unmistakable. In the language of the common people, "Who is going to buy grandma's hard boiled eggs?" "If we can't sell our groupers to the Mainland, to whom are we going to sell them?" In the language of politics and economics, "If cross-Strait economic and trade relations undergo a sea change, does Taiwan have an alternate plan?"

This is not scare-mongering. It may well be a case of history repeating itself. In July 1999, Lee Teng-hui trotted out his "special state to state relations" thesis. ARATS President Wang Daohan was scheduled to visit Taiwan in three to four months. Instead he announced that the SEF and ARATS no longer had any basis on which they could conduct dialogue and exchanges, and canceled his plans to come to Taiwan. Soon afterwards, cross-Strait relations underwent swift deterioration. After Chen Shui-bian took office, he repudiated the 1992 Consensus. Relations between the two organizations went from bad to worse. Today, the two organizations are mending fences. This represents cross-Strait peace, win/win, and consensus. But what about next year?

If the Democratic Progressive Party regains power, will Chen Yunlin still be able to come? On the one hand, it depends upon whether a DPP regime would allow him to come. On the other hand, it depends upon whether he would want to come. First, consider whether the DPP would allow him to come. Chen Yunlin first visited Taiwan in 2009. Tsai Ing-wen led a mob and laid siege to the hotel, closing off all access. The streets ran with blood. Last year she provoked disturbances in Taichung. Recently, he was in danger of running into into Green Camp local officials. Under the circumstances, in the event the Democratic Progressive Party regains power, and Tsai Ing-wen becomes president, what could they possibly say that would induce Chen Yunlin to come?

Now let us consider whether he would want to come. Chen Yunlin said the Mainland's economic policy vis a vis Taiwan is predicated upon certain political conditions. "If one day opposition to Taiwan independence vanishes, if the 1992 Consensus evaporates, everything may be subject to reconsideration." Back then, Wang Daohan did not come. Will Chen Yunlin refuse to come next year?

Lai Ching-teh, under pressure from Taiwan independence elements, canceled Chen Yunlin's visit, One can imagine the dilemma the Democratic Progressive Party would face in the event it returned to power. The DPP cannot simply say "If we return to office we will continue the cross-Strait policy of the previous administration." It cannot simply sweep its dilemma under the rug. If the Democratic Progressive Party returns to power, will Chen be able to come? Internally, it depends upon whether Deep Green hardliners take to the streets and make trouble. Externally, it depends upon whether a DPP regime would oppose Taiwan independence and uphold the 1992 Consensus. How would the DPP deal with these questions?

Should the DPP receive Chen Yunlin or not? That is the problem Lai Ching-teh faces. It is also the problem the Democratic Progressive Party would face in the event it returned to power. The DPP has harassed Chen Yunlin over the past several days. It may wait until the presidential election before it comes up with some plausible sounding rhetoric. If it returns to power and continues the previous administration's cross-Strait policy, will it continue to exchanges between the two organizations? Will it roll out the red carpet for Chen Yunlin, or will it attempt to humiliate him in the streets?

民進黨若執政 陳雲林還能來嗎?
【聯合報╱社論】 2011.02.22










Monday, February 21, 2011

Tsai Ing-wen Take Note: Players May Not Double As Referees

Tsai Ing-wen Take Note: Players May Not Double As Referees
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 21, 2011

Two controversies arose during the DPP presidential primaries. The first was over whether to nominate the candidates on the basis of a "nationwide poll," or whether to nominate the candidates on the basis of a "party member ballot." Those who advocated a nationwide poll prevailed. The other was over whether to hold a "traveling townhall debate," or whether "the less debate, the better." So far, the two sides are at loggerheads. Neither side has gained the upper hand.

Those who advocate "the less debate, the better," feel that political debate will inevitably result in fratricide. In 2008, Su Tseng-chang and Frank Hsieh went at each other, no holds barred. Even arguments such as "changing the subject cannot change the perpetrators' guilt" were trotted out. Those who advocate more debates, feel the party cannot talk only about the candidates, and not about policy. They feel that because party chairman Tsai Ing-wen has election momentum, and holds the upper hand, she is both a player and a referee. They think she avoiding debate to maintain her advantage. They think this is unfair to the other candidates. Annette Lu has accused Tsai Ing-wen of making empty promises. Her rivals imply that Tsai's momentum has not been tested during political debate.

After evaluating the situation, the DPP decided it was better to hold additional, in-depth political debates. One. Tsai Ing-wen is herself a candidate. She cannot be an impartial referee. She has the power to manipulate the rules to counter the moves of rival candidates. Two. The decision has been made to hold a nationwide poll. Therefore even more public debate should be held. This would allow the public to evaluate each candidate's political views, and to make decisions accordingly. This is particularly true because the current presidential election involves major political controversies that cannot and should not be avoided.

During past presidential elections, voters were regaled with such slogans as "new centrist path," "believe in Taiwan," or "consistent from beginning to end." Such slogans were mere soap bubbles. They sparkled on the outside, but werem empty on the inside. The current presidential election however, involves matters of flesh and blood. They include such matters as the 1992 Consensus, One China, Different Interpretations, One Naition on Each Side, ECFA, Three Links and Direct Flights, the Economic Cooperation Committee, and whether to continue the cross-Strait policy of the previous administration. Soap bubbles such as "believe in Taiwan" may help a candidate dodge the issues. But the candidates really must take a stand on issues such as the 1992 Consensus.

Frank Hsieh advocates an "overlapping constitutional consensus" as a replacement for the 1992 Consensus, and "One Constitution, Different Interpretations" as a replacement for "One China, Different Interpretations." But some within the party have denounced his proposals as an absurd mess. Taiwan independence elements say that it follows the the same internal logic as the One China Constitution. Su Tseng-chang meanwhile, advocates a "Taiwanese Consensus." He advocates the Resolution on Taiwan's Future. He maintains that "survival is paramount, democracy is the foundation." That of course, is merely another soap bubble. Frank Hsieh has confronted Su Tseng-chang. "How can you oppose One China, Different Interpretations?" "Do you accept the Constitution of the Republic of China in its entirety?" Chen Shui-bian also had his two cents worth. From inside prison, he blasted both Frank Hsieh's "constitutional consensus," and Annette Lu's, "1996 Consensus," as "sophistry." He said they were not as good as his own "One Nation, each Side." Tsai Ing-wen meanwhile, remains mired in opposition to ECFA, repudiation of the 1992 Consensus, claims that the Republic of China is an exiled alien regime, and assurances that if the DPP wins, it will continue the previous administation's cross-Strait policy. Tsai's position is a self-contradictory mess. Her "Political Platform for the Coming Decade" is all thunder and no rain. How can the Democratic Progressive Party wage a presidential campaign based on this mess? How can it govern the nation assuming it is elected? How can we avoid debating such matters? How can we not hold a series of in-depth debates?

Those who say "the less debate. the better," say they are concerned about preserving unity. But under the circumstances, any such "unity" would constitute complicity in fraud. It would evade debate in order to deceive the Green Camp party faithful. It would use the nationwide poll to provide false hope. It would blow yet another soap bubble to deceive swing voters. This trick was used during the five cities elections. What were "Happiness" and "Glory," but more soap bubbles? Does the DPP really think it can win the presidency merely by donning a pink T shirt?

Chen Shui-bian ran for president in 2000. To enable him to win, the DPP published its Resolution on Taiwan's Future. But then the DPP ruled for eight years. It attempted to ram through the "rectification of names," the "Referendum to Join the UN," "One Country Each Side," and the "Resolution for a Normal Nation." It has already shredded the Resolution on Taiwan's Future. How should the DPP presidential candidate sort out this mess before entering the debate? One. The candidate must help the party regroup, internally. Two. The candidate must explain the party's position to the public, Three. The candidate must declare the party's position to Beijing and the international community.

Tsai Ing-wen is both a player and a referee. Years ago, when she was MAC chairman, she prevented Chen Shui-bian from recognizing the 1992 Consensus and from restoring the National Unification Council. Today, she is vying for the presidency. When she stands for election, she must make clear her position on the constitution and cross-Strait policy. She must explain her position to the Green Camp and voters in public debate. Or does she intend to correct her "Five Noes" only after she becomes president, through her newly appointed Mainland Affairs Council Chairman?

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.02.21









Friday, February 18, 2011

Wu Shu-chen's Prison Term Should Balance Justice and Humanitarianism

Wu Shu-chen's Prison Term Should Balance Justice and Humanitarianism
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 18, 2011

Today, Wu Shu-chen will report to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office. She will then be sent to the Taichung Prison Annex Hospital for testing and evaluation. The results will determine whether she will be put behind bars. Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu said every step along the way would accord with the professional judgment of physicians. The DPP has argued that Wu Shu-cheng is unable to care for herself. Therefore they oppose having her serve. Green Camp elected representatives and local community leaders plan to stage protests.

Compared to Chen Shui-bian, Wu Shu-cheng's physical disability does make her prison term a more prickly issue. Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's sentences were handed down at the same time, last November. Chen Shui-bian has already been in prison two and half months. Wu Shu-cheng spent New Years, Chinese New Years, and the Lantern Festival at home. Only now has she been referred to the hospital for evaluation. As we can see, the Ministry of Justice has given her special treatment due to humanitarian considerations. Yet the Green Camp persists in its attacks. They have accused the Ma administration of "using the system to kill people." On the other hand, many others are waiting to see whether the Ma government will buckle under pressure, and whether it will use Wu Shu-chen's health as an excuse to let her escape justice.

Justice, humanitarianism, and politics are engaged in a three way tug of war. In fact, the problem is not confined to the Ma administration. It also reflects the DPP's inability to examine its own conscience when confronted by Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's corruption. Democracy on Taiwan has a malignant tumor. Normally speaking, anyone who commited the same offense as Wu Shu-chen, would be forced to serve a prison sentence. The prison system has long established evaluation criteria. The system has been in existence for many years. It has never run into any real problems. Now, in order to pander to Wu Shu-chen, the DPP is demanding that the system change its standards, It is demanding that the government custom tailor her prison sentence, in accorance with her individual requirements. This is hardly consistent with the concept of equal justice under the law.

Medical and humanitarian factors must be considered. Whether Wu Shu-chen is fit to serve time, requires careful medical evaluation. It also requires adequate prison facilities. If anything untoward were to happen in prison, the Ma administration would bear the brunt of any responsibility. Meanwhile, the DPP refuses to wait for the hospital assessment. It repeatedly asserts that Wu Shu-chen is "unfit to serve a prison term." It repeatedly accuses the Ma government of "politics before the law." In fact, the purpose of the DPP's moves are precisely that -- "politics before the law." In fact, the purpose of the DPP's moves is to exert political pressure on the administration of justice.

The political atmosphere is grave. The Ministry of Justice may stick to its self-proclaimed "non-intervention, non-interference, non-guidance" and "three noes." But PTC hospital physicians must conduct an assessment. Can they truly not be affected, psychologically and emotionally? Mobs outside the hospital raged. Can the physicians truly maintain their professionalism and objectivity? Can their assessment truly remain free from political influence? Suppose they make a clearly worded assessment? Regardless of whether Wu Shu-chen may or may not be required to serve time behind bars, can they truly avoid harassment by either Blue or Green camp supporters?

According to records, last year the PTC ruled that four convicts need not serve time. The Ministry of Justice has had over 500 such cases over the years. DPP legislators "reason" that so many "ordinary people" have not be required to serve time. Therefore why should Wu Shu-cheng? Their "reasoning" contains three fallacies. One. It reveals imperial arrogance. If the prince and the pauper commit the same crime, they must be treated the same under the law, Wu Shu-cheng must undergo the same testing and treatment as other prisoners. She cannot claim exemption on the basis of her status as "former first lady." Two. It inverts cause and effect. The other prisoners were assessed by physicians. Only then were they exempted, on medical grounds. They were not exempted before hand, before medical assessment. Many of them merely received temporary reprieves. Once their physical condition improved, they were forced to serve out their sentences. Three. It makes hypocritical appeals to "humanitarianism." Today's prisons are filled with sick people. Many convicts enter prison while sick. The DPP has never cared a whit for any of them. It blindly supports Wu Shu-cheng alone. What is the DPP's selective humanitarianism, except flagrant hypocrisy?

Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's corruption scandals came to light. Political turmoil followed. The Red Shirts took to the streets and demanded justice. Now, Chen Shui-bian has finally entered prison. Democracy and justice on Taiwan have take a giant leap forward. But many more of Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's corruption cases have yet to be tried. Whether Wu Shu-cheng must serve out her sentence, how the money she and Ah-Bian stole will be recovered, are all pieces of this unfinished puzzle. We hope that the Blue and Green camps will both take a step back. We hope they will give the physicians a chance to assess Wu Shu-Cheng's physical condition according to professional medical standards. These physicians must ignore Wu Shu-chen's status as "former first lady." They must treat her as an ordinary person. Ultimately, they must explain their decision to the public on the basis of scientific data. Their decision must reflect the demands of justice and humanitarianism, and not political pressure. Only such an approach can win the public trust.

In short, the assessment of Wu Shu-chen's health must be based on justice and humanitarianism. If political pressures are involved, the result will be a lie. Something untoward could happen to Wu Shu-chen while she serves out her prison sentence. She could then use her medical assessment as a shield, as an excuse to refuse to appear in court, or to do whatever she wants. This is not something the public would like to see. The physicians performing the assessment must exercise extreme caution.

2011.02.18 03:07 am









Thursday, February 17, 2011

One China: Undivided But Separately Administered

One China: Undivided But Separately Administered
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 17, 2011

President Ma spoke out recently at a Chinese New Years tea party. He said that in order to comply with the 1992 Consensus and "One China, Different Interpretations," from this day forward the government would refer to Beijing as "the other side" or "the Mainland," and not "China."

Ma's comments can be interpreted two ways. One. The "One China" in "One China, Different Interpretations," refers to the Republic of China. Therefore the other side must not be referred to as "China." Two. The "One China" in "One China, Different Interpretations," refers to a third concept of China, one that transcends both the Republic of China and the Peoples Republic of China. Both the ROC and the PRC are part of this Third Concept of China. Therefore the other side must not be referred to as "China."

Beijing has also moved toward this Third Concept of One China in recent years. The media on Taiwan is already in the habit of referring to the other side as "China." This has alarmed and worried the Beijing authorities. Such usage smacks of "Taiwan and China, One Nation on Each Side." In cross-Strait relations, when the public on Taiwan refers to the Mainland as "China," it reflects a sense of alienation and differentiation.

In the past Beijing proclaimed that "The PRC Government is the sole government of all China," and that "One China means the People's Republic of China." As a result, the Republic of China found it difficult to persuade other nations that it still represented China. Besides, Beijing was determined to "annihilate the Republic of China." As a result, Beijing "de-Sinized" the name "Republic of China," both internationally, and on Taiwan. This frustrated the public on Taiwan. They gave up all hope of being "China" or being "Chinese." They had been humiliated. They were fearful. Their political identity as "China" and "Chinese" was steadily diluted. It was gradually replaced by a sense of being "Taiwanese." In other words, Beijing's past insistence that "One China means the Peoples Republic of China" was the the root cause of the de-Sinicization of the Republic of China and the de-Sinicization of the public on Taiwan. In recent years, Beijing has begun to realize this. This is the main reason it has begun leaning toward a "Third Concept of One China."

Beijing has made several attempts to do so. For example, the so-called "Three New Phrases" argued that "There is only one China in the world. Both the Mainland and Taiwan are part of this one China." This definition of China connotes and denotes the "roof theory" and the "Third Concept." In another example, Beijing argued that "the cross-Strait status quo is defined in existing regulations and documents on Taiwan." Beijing was referring to the Republic of China's "One China Constitution." In yet another example, Hu Jintao reiterated that "Although the two sides have yet to be reunified, they nevertheless belong to one China." The status quo is perceived a "continued political confrontation -- a legacy of the Chinese Civil War of the late 1940s." The status quo is perceived as "an undivided but separately administered China." One might say that after 2008, new opportunities have been present to both sides. Beijing's cross-Strait policy has changed from the "annihilation of the Republic of China," to the "preservation of the Republic of China."

Compare President Ma's recent declaration to Beijing's. Both sides have have subtly altered their definitions of "One China." They no longer insist that either the Republic of China or the Peoples Republic of China is the sole government of China. Instead, they are attempting to establish a new way of thinking, in which Taiwan and the Mainland, or the ROC and the PRC, are both part of one China. They both view "One China" as a "Third Concept" or as the "Roof Theory."

The Ma administration speaks of "One China, Different Interpretations." Hu Jintao speaks of a China which "has yet to be reunified, but nevertheless remains a single China." Both are describing an "undivided but separately administered China," that is a "Third Concept of China." Do the two sides want "peaceful development?" Do they want to uphold "One China, Different Interpretations," or a China which "has yet to be reunified, but nevertheless remains a single China?" If so, then the public on Taiwan must feel that the Republic of China is part of China. Only then will they feel that they are part of China and that they are Chinese. If on the other hand, Beijing de-Sinicizes the Republic of China, it will de-Sinicize Taiwan. It will de-Sinicize the public on Taiwan. Consider cross-Strait affairs. A recent editorial argued that if we wish to sign a "peace agreement," we cannot refuse to recognize that the ROC government was one of the two warring parties, and must be one of the two peacemaking parties. This newspaper spoke of the "Glass Theory," in which Taiwan is the water, and the ROC is the glass. As long as the glass remains, so does the water. Once the glass is broken, the water spills out.

Neither side rules out cross-Strait reunification. But reunification will not be easy. We have been presented with a rare and fleeting opportunity. The two sides' "interim goal" should be to institutionalize and concretize "One China, Different Interpretations," or "One China which has yet to be reunified, but nevertheless remains a single China." This newspaper spoke of "connectedness," and how it was better than "unity." This is what it meant. "One China" must be promoted to the level of "roof theory," to the level of a "Third Concept." Actually this is merely an extension of President Ma's demand that the other side be referred to as "the Mainland," rather than "China." It is merely an extension of Beijing's statement that "the Mainland and Taiwan are both part of one China," It is what this newspaper meant by "Three New Phrases." "There is only one China in the world. Both the ROC and the PRC are part of that one China, China's sovereignty and territory must not be divided."

A New Concept has presented itself: an undivided but separately administered China. We urge both the ruling administration and opposition parties to consider this new direction.

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.02.17










Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Year's Economic Prospects Call for Cautious Optimism

New Year's Economic Prospects Call for Cautious Optimism
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 16, 2011

Tomorrow is the Lantern Festival. The New Year has begun, and is bringing people warmer weather and renewed hope.

Last year's economic growth was double-digit. The black clouds of the financial tsunami dissipated. ECFA, which dragged on forever, finally went from paper to reality. The early harvest list of 579 exports will gradually reduce tariffs, beginning this year. More long-awaited benefits are still to come. So much good news, all at the same time. We should be able to look forward to a good year.

But despite these positive omens, we must not take economic prosperity for granted. But must take things one step at a time. Long term indicators could turn negative. If that happens, not just Taiwan, but the entire world will feel the impact. When might it take effect? It could happen this year. It could happen in the first half.

In September 2008, the financial tsunami struck. With the US at the helm, governments the world over attempted to minimize its impact and to ensure an early recovery. They adopted all sorts of unorthodox monetary and fiscal policies. But they went too far. They severely distorted the global economy. For two years imbalances worsened. Bubbles appeared in developing countries. Their economies overheated. Developed countries experienced capital loss. They hoped to revive their economies, but lacked the ability. The result was one half of the world bloomed, while the other half withered. Fire and ice coexisted, side by side, in an abnormal structure. More and more urgent measures became necessary to turn things around, and set the global economy back on the road to normality.

Here lies one of the keys. the U.S. Federal Reserve was the first to suddenly drop interest rates to zero. This was a serious offense against the laws of the marketplace. When will the Fed stop engaging in such heavy-handed interventions, and allow interest rates to return to normal? The U.S. Government is selfish. It obstinately adheres to a ridiculous interest rate policy and refuses to make concessions. With quantitative easing in the second quarter, it added fuel to the fire. As a result, developing countries fear that interest rates rises will encourage carry trades. Hot money will become even more rampant. Bubbles will burst, currencies will be revalued, and export competitiveness will be lost, They have no choice but to follow suit, to sit back and watch as real interest rates plummet, or even turn negative. How long can such distortions be maintained?

In the second half of last year, the United States began bleeding capital. The economy is still recovering. Apart from unemployment, the indicators have significantly improved. If this trend continues, the Federal Reserve's zero interest rate policy will become less and less justifiable. The Fed is likely to suddenly declare an interest rate increase during the first half. Once the United States lets go, developing countries will be relieved. They will rally in response. Disaster looms. The global interest rate structure will return to normal. It may even increase due to inflationary pressure. By then, much of the hot money will rapidly return to the United States. Fire and ice will suddenly collide. Fueled by U.S. funds, they will be unleashed. Hot money in developing countries will unexpectedly depart. Interest rates will increase. This will lead to the bursting of one bubble after another. Taiwan has been the target of hot money over the past two years. The central bank has wracked its brains attempting to block hot money. But it has been powerless. When the hot money leaves and the bubble bursts, the negative impact will not be far behind. If the bubble bursts too hard and too fast, it will lead to the worrisome "double dip." That is not something to be taken lightly.

Another important factor is Mainland China. Mainland policy, combined with a sudden jump in salaries, could close the doors of the world's factory. In recent years, Taiwan's economic growth has been dependent upon the surplus from Mainland processing zones. If this situation changes, the impact on Taiwan's economy would be great indeed.

If the world's factory closes, the initial brunt would be borne by the Mainland economy. The impact would be massive. The outlook for the Mainland economy would not be optimistic. Not only would it lose exports. Imports would be unsustainable too. This year Taiwan anticipates a huge increase in the number of Mainland tourists. Strong domestic demand and expansion on the Mainland would lead to exports to Taiwan. If these expectations come up short, if they decrease instead of increase, they will deal a nasty blow to Taiwan. Unfulfilled expectations are particularly hard to bear.

Such developments are likely this year. We must face the facts. We must prepare for a rainy day. We must begin as soon as possible. These growth engines, these pillars of the economy, may be suddenly shaken. We must ensure that Taiwan's economy does not collapse. After all, if the world's factory closes its doors, Southeast Asia will surely replace it. The global economy will emerge from the twisted wreckage. Prosperity will return. ECFA, in particular, has thrown open the doors to freedom and liberalization. Taiwan now faces a new era, undreamed of in six decades. But only as long as we are not attached to appearances, only as long as we are willing to confront the future, The Republic of China Centennial will be an important beginning. It will be the starting point for a new era of prosperity.

新年經濟新局 要樂觀也應審慎
2011.02.16 02:56 am










Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Before Signing Any Peace Agreement, First Identify the Signatories

Before Signing Any Peace Agreement, First Identify the Signatories
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 15, 2011

Every now and again officials will talk about how they "look forward to strengthening cross-Strait political dialogue." The recent Obama/Hu Summit was no exception. Taipei's response was the same. "First economics, then politics. First the easy, then the hard." Everyone on both sides of the Strait knows that political dialogue cannot be avoided in the long run. The problem is that no one on either side knows where to begin. This newspaper suggests that the two sides should begin by concluding a "peace agreement," ending the civil war.

The concept of a cross-Strait peace agreement is an old one. Even Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian have suggested it. Lee sent secret emissary Su Chih-cheng to Beijing to propose the signing of a peace agreement. Beijing refused because Lee insisted that the agreement be on a nation to nation basis. Subsequently, American scholar Kenneth Lieberthal proposed an interim agreement, in which Taipei would not declare independence, and Beijing would refrain from using force. This provoked many lively discussions. In 2005, Lien Chan met with Hu Jintao. They cited a peace agreement as one of their five main hopes for the future. Ma Ying-jeou made a peace agreement part of his presidential campaign platform. During his 2009 Chinese New Year's speech, Hu Jintao spoke at length of an "end to hostilities, and the reaching of a peace agreement."

Hu Jintao said "Since 1949, the Mainland and Taiwan have yet to be reunified, but this does not mean that China's territory and sovereignty have been divided. It merely means that since the late 1940s, the Chinese Civil War has resulted in continued political confrontation." Based on such an understanding, Hu Jintao called for "an end to hostilities, and the reaching of a peace agreement."

His reasoning accords with historical fact as well as with logic. In other words, the cross-Strait status quo is the legacy and continuation of the Chinese Civil War. Therefore it is necessary to sign a peace agreement, The Chinese Civil War of the previous century lasted from 1927 to 1949. It continued in fits and starts for 22 years. During the eight year long War of Resistance Against Japan, the Civil War was officially on hold, but in practice it went on regardless. The warring parties were the National Revolutionary Army of the Central Government, and the People's Liberation Army of the Chinese Communist Party. This evolved into cross-Strait confrontation between the Republic of China government on one side, and the People's Republic of China government on the other. As a result of the Civil War, the two sides refused to recognize each other. They sought to destroy each other. A peace agreement would end the Civil War. The two sides would agree not to destroy each other. They would recognize each other, both as belligerents, and as peacemakers. In other words, if one wishes to sign a peace agreement one must first affirm the status of the two warring governments. Without first doing so, how can one possibly sign a peace agreement?

Such thinking inspired Hu's Chinese New Year's Eve speech. Hu mentioned "China" twice during his speech. But the China he mentioned was the China of 1949, prior to internal division by the Chinese Civil War. A peace agreement would address the "legacy and continuation" of this internal division. It would reconstruct a future China, a Third Concept of Chjina, and provide a framework for mutual interaction.

Talking about a peace agreement today, "post 2008," is especially meaningful. Talk of a peace agreement often provokes conflict between the two sides. But the cross-Strait situation is already peaceful. Civil War hostilities have already ended. Talk of a peace agreement now can only help consolidate the peace.

In recent years, Beijing has made a genuine effort to promote "mutual non-denial." For this, it deserves recognition. It should now pick up the pace, and move toward "mutual recognition." Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi said, "Peaceful reunification is not the Mainland annexing Taiwan. Nor is it Taiwan annexing the Mainland." This is a concrete expression of Deng Xiaoping's "It is not about you gobbling me up, or me gobbling you up." What exactly does "ending the Civil War, and reaching a peace agreement" mean? What it means is that the Republic of China will not annex the Peoples Republic of China, and the Peoples Republic of China will not annex the Republic of China. This is the only way to correctly identify the participants in the conflict, as well as the participants in any peace agreement.

Actually, the KMT and the CCP once signed a peace agreement, back in April 1949. At the time, the CCP had a military advantage. The CCP's proposed agreement called for the "abolition of the [ROC's] ersatz constitution and legal system." Talks broke down. Communist forces crossed the Yangtze River the very next day. The peace agreement was all about eliminating one's opponent. It was different from today's peace agreement.

Today, the two sides are "already peaceful." This is mainly because the two sides "do not repudiate each other, and are not annexing each other." The main reason for a peace agreement in an already peaceful environment, is to further consolidate the peace. It is to make that agreement explicit. It is to "put it in writing." Therefore we must acknowledge that we are dealing with the "legacy and continuation of the Civil War." We must identify the warring parties, and by extension, the parties that would be making peace. That is why we need a consensus on the "cessation of Civil War hostilities, and the reaching of a peace agreement." Only then can we establish a phased framework for a peace agreement. Only then can we make the proposition that "although the two sides have yet to be reunified, they are nevertheless still part of one China," a matter of established law.

Most people on Taiwan consider the Civil War a political cross they must bear, But we believe that citing the Civil War in order to promote a peace agreement can be a clever way to break the deadlock.

Beijing is aware of course that it cannot sign a peace agreement while simultaneously denying that the ROC government was one of the warring parties, and therefore one of the signatories of any peace agreement. Therefore, Beijing must overcome its resistance to "mutual recognition." It must see the peace agreement as a way to cut the Gordian Knot. This accords with historical fact. It also accords with logic.

2011.02.15 03:15 am












Monday, February 14, 2011

Tseng Ya-ni, Taiwan's Queen of Golf

Tseng Ya-ni, Taiwan's Queen of Golf
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 14, 2011

Who knew? She still has a baby face. Just last month, she celebrated her 22nd birthday. But yesterday she won the Australian Women's Masters Championship. Overnight, she became the queen of golf. Tseng Ya-ni became the number one ranked woman golfer in the world. It was too spectacular for words.

Yesterday, even before the final hole, the media swarmed around her. TV anchor persons talked about "Yani's outstanding performance." They expressed amazement at how much she had matured over the past two years. The audience spontaneously lined up on the green to applaud Tseng, and to pay tribute to this newest queen of golf. Tseng nodded to the crowd. She flashed her signature smile. She betrayed no special joy or pride. For Tseng, this day was long coming, and she took it calmly.

In recent years, athletes from Taiwan have shone in a number of sports. Wang Chien-ming and Kuo Hong-chi in baseball. Lu Yan-hsun and Chan Yung-chan have performed brilliantly in tennis, bringing glory to Taiwan. Tseng turned professional only four years ago, She has shone In international competitions since then. She has become a star who has caught the public eye. At age 22, she has been crowned the queen of tennis. That may strike some as incredible. But for Tseng Ya-ni, the title was hard won. Her biggest challenge now, is to hold on to the title.

She began training when she was only five. She was barely taller than the club. Yet she took on adults. Tseng is more experienced than other young golfers. When she was still in elementary school, she watched the U.S. Open for the first time. She boldly declared, "I want to compete in this game." As a result, her parents turned this 12 year old over to the airlines. They "air shipped" her to golfing venues the world over. Flight attendants even stuck "special attention" stickers on her. Tseng Ya-ni, with her unique style, has made a place for herself in the golfing world.

Tseng's success is no secret. It is her self awareness and indomitable will. During junior high, she became junior women's amateur champion. She had no competition. As a result, she found herself in a predicament -- lack of motivation. Her mother demanded that she make a choice between academics and sports. Many athletes on Taiwan have faced this same dilemma before. In the end, most chose to quit sports. But Tseng Ya-ni told her mother, "I have no intention of giving up on either." She decided then to discipline herself. Seven years later, this queen of golf, brimming with self confidence, emerged into the spotlight.

Tseng Ya-ni once revealed how she would secretly watch golf champions and learn from them. The champions she learned from included Australian champion Mark Webber and Swedish legend Annika Suolunsitan. She learned how to maintain her golf rhythm, how to overcome psychological pressure, and how to correct the weaknesses in her putting. She had ambition. But more importantly, she was willing to confront her own weaknesses, and to practice tirelessly. She even used her spare time to practice English. She wanted to be able to express herself more accurately and fluently. She the inevitable day was coming closer and closer. She knew she had to make advance preparations, Interestingly enough, when Tseng rose to the number 2 position last year, she suddenly experienced a sense of unreality. Her ranking showed that she had already surpassed her childhood idols.

At the tender age of 12, Tseng Ya-ni resolved to become "number one in the world." Yesterday she fulfilled her dream. This dream was achieved through a strength of will difficult for outsiders to imagine. But her dreams of glory came true. They are something everyone on Taiwan can share in. Last year, a company on Mainland China offered her a one billion dollar signing bonus, if only she would compete for the Mainland. But Tseng Ya-ni, who was born in Kueishan in Taoyuan County, was unmoved. Her halo shines increasingly bright. But she has chosen to use her fame for the common good. She became a spokesman for children with cancer. She chose to share her light and warmth with underprivileged children. This outspoken young girl is a ray of sunshine.

At age 22, Tseng Ya-ni has scaled the heights of the golfing world. She has achieved her "Impossible Mission." She has become a Taiwan golfing legend. But competition in sports never ends. She must now attempt to retain her title. Other young people look up to her. They are inspired by her. They follow in her footsteps. How should they go about doing so? The answer is in Tseng Ya-ni's confident smile.

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.02.14









Friday, February 11, 2011

Put an End to the Liberty Times' McCarthyism

Put an End to the Liberty Times' McCarthyism
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 11, 2011

Cross-Strait economic and trade exchanges are finally on track. Cross-strait financial exchanges, investments, official exchanges have all experienced considerable growth. These developments have been a shot in the arm for Taiwan's economy. But amidst this progress, a wave of reaction has struck Taiwan. This reactionary force demonizes anyone connected with cross-Strait trade and investment. It characterizes this progress as the "Invasion of Chinese capital." It calls everyone involved a "Communist." This new wave of McCarthyism is spearheaded by the Liberty Times.

Over the past twenty years, the world has undergone rapid globalization, A nation's economy can no longer remain hermetically sealed. A nation can no longer restrict its dealings to only a handful of other countries. Instead, it must expand its markets. It must invest in plants. It must engage in international cooperation. It must have global distribution and logistics. Otherwise it cannot compete globally. Taiwan businesses are attempting to position themselves globally. The Mainland boasts vast productive resources. Income growth has created a vast market. We enjoy cultural and linquistic advantages. Why on earth should we give them up?

Many Taiwan based enterprises have investments on the Mainland. This has helped them maintain their competitiveness. It has kept them close to their markets. Many OEM oriented industries have set up factories on the Mainland at the behest of their clients. Otherwise their orders would have dried up. They would have found it difficult to survive. If these businesses vanish from the increasingly competitive global arena, Taiwan's economy will decline. The plain fact is that flat panels, OEM chips, and other key industries and enterprises on Taiwan have invested heavily on the Mainland. Only by doing so have they been able to remain competitive in the global marketplace. ECFA has been signed. Mainland tourists have been allowed to visit. This has brought new prosperity to Taiwan. An increasing proportion of the revenues of many listed companies come from the Mainland. For many of them, the proportion exceeds one half. Many investors hold China themed stocks. They are aware of the benefits of setting up plants on the Mainland. They are aware of the profits to be made from Mainland sales. They are aware of the positive impact for Taiwan's economy.

But the Liberty Times holds a different world view. The Liberty Times longs to seal off Taiwan, to put a padlock on Taiwan. In 2002 and 2003, a public debate was held over the construction of chip fabs on the Mainland. The Liberty Times opposed the move. It alleged that allowing the move would result in a loss of competitiveness. Two years ago, negotiations over ECFA began. The Liberty Times opposed ECFA as well. It alleged that signing ECFA would result in the collapse of our economy. People would find themselves out on the street. Over the past two years, successful Taiwan businesses have returned to Taiwan, to list on the stock market, and to invest in the island. Yet the Liberty Times persists in its ravings. It persists in calling others "Communists." It persists in accusing others of "having Chinese coloration." It persists in accusing others of "using proxies to gobble up Taiwan businesses."

These businesses left their hometowns. They struggled to succeed on the Mainland. They established themselves commercially. They struck it rich. Now, they have returned to invest in Taiwan, to set up factories, or purchase businesses. The bottom line is they have created more job opportunities on Taiwan. They have created greater economic value. Yet they must endure baseless attacks from the Liberty Times. According to the Liberty Times, OEM chip plants and other industries should never have been built on the Mainland. ECFA should never have been signed. Taiwan businesses should never have been permitted to return to Taiwan to invest. The fact is, the Liberty Times deluded economic policies would have killed off Taiwan's economy long ago.

The Liberty Times belongs to the Federal Group. The Federal Group got its start in real estate. Its boss Lin Jung-san, is a former legislator, former Control Yuan member, and former Control Yuan President. During authoritarian rule, he obediently carried out political directives. The KMT routinely gained the support and obedience of "nativist" businessmen through land deals. These land deals delivered vast wealth into the hands of these "nativist" businessmen. When former Taipei County Chief You Ching recalled the Xinzhuang Satellite City case, he revealed that all landlords were required to donate land in accordance with regulations. Only Lin Jung-san failed to do so. When the KMT lost Taipei County to the DPP, he swiftly obtained construction permits. You Ching said "Lin Jung-san owes Taipei County."

The public on Taiwan has a high opinion of traditional industries. Those businesses able to export their products, to make money in foreign lands, or to earn foreign exchange, have been applauded by the public. But businesses which have engaged in land speculation, which have colluded with corrupt officials, which have abused land zoning to their private advantage, which have raked in billions in windfall profits, which have deprived ordinary people of housing due to rising prices, have been roundly condemned by the public.

Today, a company which amassed its wealth through real estate profiteering, uses its media mouthpiece to trumpet its "love for Taiwan." Meanwhile, other companies, which struggled far from home, which returned to Taiwan to invest in Taiwan, have been denounced as "Communists." How and when did such glaring double standards become the norm? The Liberty Times amassed a fortune from illicit real estate deals, at the expense of the Taiwan public. The Liberty Times then turned around and denounced companies which made an honest profit on the Mainland as "Communists." Such is the Liberty Times' "love for Taiwan." The 1950s McCarthy era sundered American society, and impacted many of society's elites. The Liberty Times must cease its McCarthyite demagoguery. Otherwise Taiwan will be similarly impacted as well.

中時電子報 新聞
中國時報  2011.02.11









Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wild Accusations of "Chinese Capital" and "Red Enterprises"

Wild Accusations of "Chinese Capital" and "Red Enterprises"
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 10, 2011

Recently the Liberty Times published a series of news reports. It referred to the head of the Want Want Group as "a Taiwan businessman named Tsai, heavily reliant on Chinese capital." The Liberty Times has repeatedly leveled wild accusations of "Chinese capital" and "Red enterprises." It has given the public a grossly misleading impression. Its conduct is reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution or the White Terror. We feel compelled to clarify the matter for the public, and to refute the distortions created by the Liberty Times.

Strictly speaking, so-called "Chinese capital" refers to strictly controlled Mainland government funds. The most obvious source of "Chinese capital" is of course, Mainland government funds. The next most obvious source is funds from state-owned enterprises. Other sources are less obvious. Most of the funding for some family enterprises may come from the private sector. But some funding may come from the government or state-owned enterprises. Other businesses derive no capital whatsoever from the Mainland government or state-owned enterprises. They merely sell their products on the Mainland. Yet the Liberty Times classifies even their profits as "Chinese capital." This is unheard of. The Liberty Times is the only entity in the world that defines "Chinese capital" in such an absurd manner.

According to the Liberty Times' novel definition, all Taiwan is under the shadow of "Chinese capital." Over 1600 companies are listed on Taiwan, Nearly 1000 have been plants on Mainland China. Technology companies account for nearly 90%. In the past, most Taiwan businessmen investing on Mainland China merely took advantage of the Mainland's cheap land, cheap labor, and other production factors. They manufactured export-oriented products, and turned the Mainland into the "world's factory." But in recent years the Mainland has undergone a transformation, to the global market. Private sector consumption has skyrocketed. All Taiwan-funded businesses have substantially increased their presence in the Mainland domestic market. These companies make money from the Mainland market. According to the Liberty Times' absurd definition, they have all become "businesses heavily reliant on Chinese capital."

These companies earn money selling products on the mainland. Back on Taiwan, they pay dividends to the investing public. Members of the public pay taxes on their dividends. The salaries of everyone in the government, from President Ma at the top, to civil servants at the bottom, come from government revenues. Therefore, according to the Liberty Times unique definition of "Chinese capital," President Ma and every civil servant on Taiwan is funded by "Chinese capital."

Taiwan-funded enterprises have grown strong on the Mainland. They have won a large market share. The public on Taiwan approves. Initially such success stories applied only to Taiwan's small and medium enterprises. The Chicken King grew strong on the Mainland. The Ting Hsing Group had a small food factory in Changhua. It became the largest instant noodle brand on the Mainland. Taiwan's RT-Mart invested heavily in Mainland China for ten years. It has now surpassed French retail giant Carrefour, and become the number one discount store on the Mainland. Others include Taiwan funded service sector industries, Daphne shoes, Natural Beauty, Les Enphants, Ou Difen Kelisiting lingerie, Christine bakeries, 85 Degree Centigrade coffee shop, Yonghe Soybean Milk. These and other large and small enterprises built their own brands on Mainland China. They created new business empires. After establishing themselves on the Mainland, these businesses returned to Taiwan to invest, or list on the Taiwan stock market, allowing investors on Taiwan to share in the profits.

Take global computer brand Acer, "the pride of Taiwan." Acer made a concerted effort to develop new markets on the Mainland. By the end of last year, it was number two in personal computer sales on the Mainland. One can hardly say that Acer made little money on the Mainland. According to the Liberty Times definition of "Chinese capital," Acer is also funded by "Chinese capital." Acer's sales pitch is highly flexible. On the Mainland, Acer stresses that it is "the pride of the Chinese people." It stresses that it is an "international brand, with local values." According to the Liberty Times' closed minded, inward looking definition of "local values," Acer's sales pitch amounts to "selling out Taiwan." But since cross-Strait financial liberalization, the [連合庫] and other public financial institutions have established branches on the Mainland. They are beginning to earn Mainland dollars. According to the Liberty Times' definition of "Chinese capital," aren't these state-owned banks under the influence of "Chinese capital?" Is the Liberty Times' view of the world reasonable and convincing?

The main business of the Want Want Group's Ilan Food Division is rice crackers. It is a 100% Taiwan owned enterprise. During the 90s it began investing in the Mainland, After 20 years of hard work, it successfully captured the hearts of Mainland consumers. After establishing a firm foothold on the Mainland, it returned to Taiwan to invest in the media. It issued TDRs. During 20 years of development, it never received a penny from the Mainland authorities or state-owned enterprises. All of its income was derived from the sale of products in the Mainland market. It returned to Taiwan to invest in the media. Its sources of funding have been closely scrutinized by the government. No "Chinese capital" is involved.

The Liberty Times however, has turned a blind eye to these facts. It persists in leveling risible allegations of "Chinese capital" against the Want Want Group and other businesses that have achieved success in the Mainland market. It persists in painting them as "Reds." It persists in misleading the general public. We are puzzled. These companies work hard. They develop new markets. They earn money from the locals. They send the profits back to Taiwan, to invest in new businesses, Do they really not "love Taiwan?" Do their actions really represent "domination by Chinese capital?" Others shut themselves up on the island of Taiwan. The engage in land speculation. They inflate real estate prices. They profit from local Taiwanese. They make it impossible for ordinary office workers to afford their own homes. Do they really "love Taiwan?" What right do such businesses have to accuse others of being "Reds?" What rigth to they have to accuse others of "domination by Chinese capital?"

胡亂界定中資 惡扣企業紅帽子
2011-02-10 中國時報









Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Proper Nomenclature Beneficial to Cross-Strait Relations

Proper Nomenclature Beneficial to Cross-Strait Relations
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
February 9, 2011

In his Chinese New Year speech, President Ma Ying-jeou gave government officials specific instructions. In all future documents, they must refer to the other side of the Taiwan Strait as "the Mainland," or as "Mainland China." They must not refer to it as "China." This would avoid confusion over the issue of sovereignty and "two Chinas." It would ensure that cross-Strait relations are based on the constitution. His remarks elicited different reactions from the Blue and Green camps. But in fact this was a simple matter of law, and fundamental to cross-Strait relations. It was what the government should have been doing all along.

Under the provisions of the ROC Constitution, the current cross-Strait situation is one in which "the nation has yet to be reunified." Therefore the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been classified as the "Free Region" and the "Mainland Region." Article One of the "Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Region and the Mainland Region" states that "This article has been specially crafted to ensure the safety and welfare of people in the Taiwan Region prior to national reunification, to regulate exchanges between the Taiwan Region and the Mainland Region, and to deal with such legal matters as may arise," The article explicitly defines the Taiwan Region as Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and any other areas under the jurisdiction of the government. The Mainland Region is defined as "sovereign territory outside the Taiwan Region belonging to the Republic of China." The competent authority in charge of cross-Strait affairs shall be the "Mainland Affairs Council."

Everything, from the constitution, to the law, to government entities, explicitly refer to the other side as "the Mainland." Logically speaking, official documents are the same as the law. Naturally they must accord with the law. They can hardly use concocted names. President Ma reiterated the government's position. He stressed that this was a description of the status quo. This status quo was derived from amendments to the constitution, and from the "Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Region and the Mainland Region." It has not changed since the establishment of the MAC, despite two changes in the ruling party.

DPP legislators have alleged that President Ma Ying-jeou's declaration demeaned our sovereignty. Their allegations are groundless. When the DPP was in power, then Premier Yu Shyi-kun was questioned in the Legislative Yuan. Yu ordered the various government agencies to refer to the other side as "Mainland China" or "the Chinese Communists." Yu Shyi-kun had no choice. As the chief executive of the Republic of China, he was duty bound by its constitution and laws. Besides, the other side refers to us as "Taiwan." We refer to it as "the Mainland." Who can complain? We have not repudiated the Beijing authorities' jurisdiction. But neither have we recognized their sovereignty. How exactly have we "demeaned" ourselves?

Following the five cities elections, the DPP held lively debates, in which they discussed new cross-Strait policies. Former DPP chairman and premier Frank Hsieh proposed "One Constitution, Different Interpretations." He proposed a return to his long held "One China Constitution." The DPP may refuse to recognize the 1992 Consensus. But it can not avoid the spirit of "One China, Different Interpretations" when dealing with cross-Strait affairs. The ROC Constitution, after all, implies "One China." On Taiwan, the term "China" means the Republic of China. On Taiwan, this is the lowest common denominator regarding cross-Strait policy.

Scholars have commented on President Ma Ying-jeou's declaration. They consider it a gesture of goodwill toward the mainland. They also think it may appeal to swing voters. The two may go hand in hand. Official documents are law. They represent the government's position, When government officials prepare official documents, or are questioned by legislators, they must do so in accordance with the law. They must refer to the other side as "the Mainland" or "Mainland China." Basically they must reaffirm the Republic of China. They must not repudiate the policies of the Republic of China "prior to reunification." The Mainland fears that Taipei's attempts to assert its sovereignty may pave the way for Taiwan independence. The government must dispel any such concerns. On the other hand, the government must firmly uphold the Republic of China's sovereignty. This is its public responsibility. The government must not neglect national sovereignty, merely because it is attempting to strengthen cross-Strait relations.

For the public on Taiwan, the constitution should be treated like air and water, essential to our national survival. It is not necessary to pay it constant lip service. But cross-Strait relations are increasingly intimate. Historical disputes over the two sides' sovereignty have yet to be resolved, If repeated declarations reduce controversy, why not? Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan spoke of Taiwan's seven major interests. But she failed to stipulate "under the framework of the ROC Constitution." As a result, scholars wondered whether her proposal was "unconstitutional." People were incredulous. Beijing characterized this as a "minor matter." Just to make sure, Ma Ying-jeou reiterated the government's position, He gave Lai Shin-yuan support. Cross-Strait exchanges are currently in full swing. The various ministries may be forced to deal with cross-Strait matters. The Lai Shin-yuan incident may become a problem for all government officials.

Cross-Strait exchanges have been going on for 24 years. People to people exchanges are warmer than ever. People refer to the other side using all sorts of names. These include China, the Peoples Republic of China, the Beijing authorities, the Mainland, Mainland China, even the Chinese Communists. The man in the street may not understand the distinction between "jurisdiction" and "sovereignty." The government is not about to tell private citizens what terms they should use when referring to the other side. Take the calendar for example. The private sector has long used the Western calendar for publication dates. But the government is not the private sector. All official documents must use "Year of the Republic" dates. When dealing with cross-Strait affairs and policy, the government must abide by the same laws. Only then can it avoid misusing words and generating controversy within a complex political environment.

對等稱呼 有利兩岸關係平順發展
2011-02-09 中國時報