Thursday, June 30, 2011

Next, Recover Funds Embezzled by Lee Teng-hui

Next, Recover Funds Embezzled by Lee Teng-hui
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
July 1, 2011

Lee Teng-hui and Liu Tai-ying used secret National Security Bureau accounts to embezzle over $7.79 million USD from the nation's coffers. As a result, they have been indicted by the Special Investigation Unit for corruption, money laundering, and other felonies.

When one stops to think about it, this case is truly bizzarre. Consider the way the case developed. Chen Shui-bian had a falling out with Lee Teng-hui. He repeatedly leveled allegations of embezzlement against Lee. That led to the Special Investigation Unit investigation. This major scandal occurred in 1999. But the indictment was delayed until today. During this period political considerations by opportunistic or fence-sitting justice officials prevented prosecution. All those involved, as well as those indicted, should enage in serious soul-searching.

The Special Investigation Unit discovered that Lee Teng-hui abused his authority to enrich himself at the public trough. In 1994, Lee Teng-hui took 10,5 million USD from secret national security accounts, ostensibly for foreign relations. Between 1995 and 1997, then National Security Bureau (NSB) Chief Ying Chung-wen made up the shortfall, using of NSB funds. The shortfall was only 89 million NTD. But Lee Teng-hui, Liu Tai-ying, and Ying Chung-wen arranged for the purchase of a building for the Taiwan Research Institute, to be used as a political base after their retirement. The two knew perfectly well that the NSB had already made up most of the funds. But they demanded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cough up over 10 million USD anyway, and return it to the National Security Bureau. From the very beginning , they made up their minds to wait until the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed the money over. They themselves would return only the final shortfall in the secret national security account -- 89 million NTD. The remaining 200 million NTD, or 7.79 million USD, was diverted into Lee's private accounts. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initially objected. But President Lee Teng-hui instructed Presidential Office Chief Su Chih-cheng to repeatedly pressure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the end, it agreed to pay back the money, and to act as the fall guy.

To cover up Lee's corruption, Liu Tai-ying and Yin Chung-wen agreed to use Hsu Ping-chiang and Liu Kuan-chun. In the name of an NSB secret mission, they ordered a domestic bank to open a U.S. account under a pseudonym. Then in the name of the National Security Bureau, they ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to transfer funds into that account. This would avoid an Internal audit by the National Security Bureau. Once the funds were transferred, a small amount was withdrawn and put back in the NSB secret account. Yin Chung-wen instructed Hsu Ping-chiang to issue 7500 travelers checks, totalling 7.5 million USD, along with 290,000 USD in cash, stuff them into two large fruit cartons, and deliver them to Liu Tai-ying. Apparently corrupt officals on Taiwan share certain predilictions. They love stuffing their dirty money into fruit cartons. President Lee Teng-hui and the National Security Bureau were no exception.

This huge sum of money in Liu Tai-ying's hands was hard to deal with. As a result, Liu Tai-ying sought out Yin Yan-liang for help in laundering the money. First, Liu Tai-ying used 400,000 USD for private purposes. Then he turned the remainder over to Yin. Yin used a number of dummy accounts to "donate" the money to the Taiwan Research Institute. At this point, Lee mysteriously misappropriated most of the stolen money, and Liu Tai-ying secretly pocketed some of the money as well.

In 2002, Liu Kuan-chun ran from the law. The media began reporting problems with the national security secret account, Hsu Ping-chiang realized he had been used. He sought out Yin Chung-wen, and asked him to straighten the matter out. In order to cover up Lee's crimes, Yin Chung-wen sought out Liu Tai-ying, and asked him to backdate receipts. He turned them over to Hsu Ping-chiang, who then turned them over to the National Security Bureau. Together they visited Ta Hsi in Taoyuan County, to meet with Lee Teng-hui and discuss how to falsify documents. They lied, claiming that the National Security Bureau had provided grants to the Taiwan Research Institute. They falsified evidence repeatedly. But the conspirators were unable to keep their story straight. This led prosecutors to conclude they were guilty.

Actually, the media reported on the case in 2002. The Taipei District Prosecutor's Office Investigated. The pertinent facts were rendered crystal clear. But prosecutors were subject to political interference, The only one indicted was Hsu Ping-chiang, a minor player. Yin Chung-wen was already deceased. Lee Teng-hui and Liu Tai-ying were not even mentioned. Such selective prosecution meant that the truth of the case could not emerge. Hsu Ping-chiang was merely following orders. That made it difficult to charge him with any crimes. As expected, Hsu Ping-chiang was found not guilty. The real perpetrators were not indicted until today.

By prosecuting this case, the Special Investigation Unit is "locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen." It is finally upholding justice. Most controversial of all is the National Security Bureau. Hsu Ping-chiang had been indicted. The Taiwan Research Institute improperly obtained public funds. These were established facts. The money had been fraudulently acquired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The National Security Bureau had hand delivered it to the Taiwan Research Institute. The National Security Bureau must bear responsibility. It must recover the money. But over the years, the National Security Bureau did nothing. It watched idly as public funds were embezzled. The prosecution has finally charged Lee Teng-hui with a crime. Now, does the NSB intend to recover the stolen money or not?

2011.07.01 03:02 am









Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Candidates for Elective Office Holding Government Positions: Not A Problem

Candidates for Elective Office Holding Government Positions: Not A Problem
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 30, 2011

Ma Ying-jeou and Wu Den-yi have formed a presidential/vice presidential ticket. Now the DPP is insisting that Wu Den-yih may not "run for elective office while holding down a government position." It is demanding that he immediately resign as premier, to preclude the abuse of administrative resources, and unfair election results. In response, Wu Den-yih has argued that "the law does not prohibit" candidates from holding down a government position. But he promised to maintain administrative neutrality.

Experience and logic tell us that '
The proposition that "candidates for elective office may not hold government positions" is a phony one. The DPP's demands are completely unreasonable. But Wu Den-yih's response left something to be desired also. The most obvious example is the last presidential election. The DPP's Hsieh/Su ticket did not include anyone in a government position. But Premier Chang Chun-hsiung, at the behest of Chen Shui-bian, abused the power of his office by offering "a perk a week," in a flagrant attempt to buy off the voters. That was the real catastrophe. Superficially the issue is "candidates for elective office who hold government positions." In reality the issue is the abuse of government resources with utter impunity. Does the ROC really wish to revisit this nightmare?

Now consider the matter from the perspective of political theory, The proposition that a "candidate for elective office may not hold a government position," is riddled with internal contradictions. First of all, in a democratic election, anyone seeking re-election as Chief Executive is clearly a candidate for elective office who holds down a government position." The DPP knows perfectly well that it cannot possibly demand that President Ma disqualify himself as as a candidate merely because he holds down a government position. Yet it makes this demand of his running mate. This puts the cart before the horse, and is utterly illogical. Secondly, under a democracy, the ruling party assumes total responsibility for any of its administration's failures. It accepts the judgment of the voters. When an opposition party takes aim at a specific individual however, its motive is clearly to engage in political harassment. Thirdly, the issue is not whether a candidate for elective office may hold down a government position. The issue is whether he or she has maintained administrative neutrality.

Suppose four years ago President Ma had emulated President Chen's strategy with Chang Chun-hsiung? Suppose he refrained from appointing Wu Den-yih premier, thereby enabling Wu to concentrate on the election? Suppose he had instead appointed a new, interim premier to handle the transition, specifically to dole out benefits for the sake of Ma's campaign? Suppose he had written voters a stack of rubber checks, to be paid for by what unknown party, by what unknown date? This "candidates for elective office may not hold government positions" rhetoric is ludicrous. Who has the cheek to say it is in the interests of the public?

Chang Chun-hsiung made a comeback. He doled out "a perk a week," throwing money about left and right. Even more frightening however, was the atmosphere of confrontation during the general election. The Chen regime totally ignored the public condemnation. It did whatever it pleased. After the Green Camp lost the election, Chang Chun-hsiung withdrew from politics. He evaded all responsibility. The candidate may not have held a government position. But holders of government positions engaged in rampant misconduct. Clearly the demand that "candidates for elective office may not hold government positions" is utterly beside the point.

Let's take a closer look. In May 2007 Su Tseng-chang resigned as premier. He resigned not because he was to be Frank Hsieh's running mate in the general election. He resigned not because he was taking the initiative to avoid a conflict of interest. He resigned because even though he enjoyed the advantage of being the premier, he still lost to Frank Hsieh in the party primaries. He resigned because he had no choice. Therefore helped Chen Shui-bian regroup and do battle. Yet the DPP would have the public believe that Chang Chun-hsiung's return as premier set an example worthy of emulation. The DPP would have the public believe that it demonstrated a commitment to the principle that "candidates for elective office may not hold government positions." That is simply a lie.

Lest we forget, in April that same year, Su Tseng-chang put on a show. He presented himself as a champion of the notion that "candidates for elective office may not hold government positions." But Chen Shui-bian asked him to stay on, and that was the end of that charade. Ironically, when Su Tseng-chang wanted to quit as premier, it was not to demonstrate strict adherence to the principle of political neutrality. It was because several presidential aspirants joined forces with DPP Chairman Pro Tem Trong Chai. They turned the screws and demanded his resignation, to ensure fairness in the party primaries. Therefore the DPP's insistence that "candidates for elective office may not hold government positions" was nothing more than the result of an internecine power struggle.

Furthermore, during the 2008 general election, Chen Shui-bian could no longer run for re-election. But he continued using the power of the presidency to manipulate the election. He used government resources to launch his "referenda" and to create chaos. As we can see, the problem is not candidates for elective office who hold government positions. The problem is officials who hold government positions abusing their power, even when they are not candidates for elective office. The problem is the government and the ruling party's lack of political integrity. The DPP is guilty of so many past abuses. Yet it can boast, with a straight face, and without changing color, that its "candidates for elective office did not hold government positions." One simply must learn how they do it.

The proposition that "candidates for elective office may not hold government positions" is utterly phony. The ruling and opposition parties must not turn it into a political football. It is farce that need be enacted only once, to know that it was a mistake. We need not play it out a second time. If Wu Den-yih reneges on his commitment to administrative neutrality, the public will render its judgment on election day. But being a candidate for elective office while holding down a government position in not a problem.

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.06.30










Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Two Yings Should Hold No Less than Four Debates

The Two Yings Should Hold No Less than Four Debates
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 29, 2011

Ma spokesman Yin Wei has challenged the DPP to a debate on ECFA. Tsai Ing-wen said "Many people want to debate Ma. Let private citizens debate him first."

Yin Wei's move was of course tactical, But the fact that he could provoke Tsai Ing-wen into such a response, is already a victory. Tsai Ing-wen should have said that once the election had began in earnest, she would debate Ma in depth. Recently she expressed "a willingness to sit down with [Mainland] China and discuss a sustainable framework for cross-Strait interaction." But now she wants the Ma campaign to debate private citizens. Tsai is clearly hedging her bets, both left and right. Yin Wei's tactical move flushed Tsai Ing-wen from her cover. It highlighted Tsai's evasiveness and her cowardice behind her bravado. Tsai continues to refuse to debate. The public is unlikely to understand or approve.

The two Yings showdown is the biggest difference between previous presidential elections. The candidates truly ought to engage in political debate. The Democratic Progressive Party held its presidential primaries in April. It held four debates over 12 days. By this standard, the two Yings ought to hold at least four debates during the presidential campaign. Actually this is far too few. But four ought to be the very minimum.

We suggest that the candidates hold at least four debates. The topic for these debates should be 1. Cross-Strait policy, 2. Allegiance to the nation and the constitution 3. Economic policy, 4. Other major national policy matters. One look at this framework is enough to tell us that four debates is insufficient. But four debates should be the minimum. Otherwise it will be difficult to expose the similarities and differences between the two candidates' platforms. It would betray the voters.

Cross-Strait policy, allegiance to the nation and the constitution, and economic policy are where Ma and Tsai and differ the most. Therefore these should be the topics debated. The debate should be in-depth. It must get to the bottom of the matter. The debate must address the issues. Failure to do so would leave the candidates' positions unarticulated. It would leave any shortcomings concealed and easy to evade. It would make it difficult to distinguish between truth and falsehood. Take cross-Strait policy. Ma Ying-jeou upholds the 1992 Consensus, one China, different interpretations, and no [immediate] reunification, no independence, and no use of force. Tsai Ing-wen rejects the 1992 Consensus. She refuses to uphold the principle of"no [immediate] reunification, no independence, and no use of force. Take allegiance to the nation and the constitution. Ma demands adherence to the "constitutional framework of the Republic of China." Tsai, by contrast, says the "Republic of China is a government in exile." Take economic policy. Ma wants to continue current policy. Tsai, on the other hand, proposes a "localized economy." She opposes "economic growth as a priority." She wants to overturn the "industry first, agriculture second" policy. She opposes "export-orientation." As we can see, Ma and Tsai are literally poles apart on these policies that bear on our national prosperity, How can we not hold debates over these ideas? How can we hold fewer than four debates?

Ma and Tsai are running for president. They are competing for the opportunity to determine national policy for the next four years. The two presidential candidates seek four years in power. The very least they can do is take two hours out to explain where they stand on cross-Straits relations, on allegiance to the nation and the constitution, on economic policy. We are essentially giving them four years in power in exchange for two hours of debate. Do the voters really have no right to expect a debate? Do the presidential candidates really have the right to refuse?

Debates should address specific topics. The "candidate interaction cross-examination" process used during the 2008 presidential debates should be preserved. This is one of the best ways to probe a political candidate. Otherwise, it will be too easy for a candidate to speak a totally different language, and talk right past the voters. For the most part, questions from the audience should be asked by professional journalists. Their record has been imperfect. But they may be better at grasping the essence than experts and scholars. As for the recent practice of allowing the public to ask questions, it may appear "democratic." But the debate is likely to degenerate into chaos, enabling candidates to evade serious questions. The debate would then be a total waste. This option should be discarded.

Two debates were held during the 2008 presidential election. Frank Hsieh predicted that Ma Ying-jeou would default on his "6:3:3" promises. His prediction came true. Frank Hsieh also predicted that if Ma were elected, cross-Strait direct flights would be delayed 10 years. But less than a year later, direct flights were a reality. Hsieh blasted what he termed a "one China market." He even characterized the general election as "a referendum on the one China market." He warned that "Taiwan men will be unable to find work. Taiwan women will be unable to find husbands. Taiwan children will end up as child labor in Heilongjiang.” The dire scenario painted by Frank Hsieh failed utterly to materialize. Ma Ying-jeou clearly won Frank Hsieh's "referendum."

The political differences between Ma and Tsai are even greater than those between Ma and Hsieh. The KMT and DPP are diametrically opposed on issues such as cross-Strait relations, allegiance to the nation and constitution, and economic policy, Ma seeks re-election. Tsai seek to displace him. Their policy platforms must be make clear to voters. They must publicly debate their pros and cons. After all, whoever wins the presidential election will not merely seize power. He or she will represent the will of the people regarding national policy.

During its party primaries, the Democratic Progressive Party held four debates, merely to nominate the party's candidate. Ma and Tsai are now running for president. They warrant more than four debates. Certainly they warrant no less than four debates. Ma and Tsai have the responsibility to work together to upgrade the quality of the election. Four debates is the very least they should offer voters.

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.06.29











Monday, June 27, 2011

The Free and Independent Travel Policy: It's Working

The Free and Independent Travel Policy: It's Working
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 28, 2011

The Free and Independent Travel Policy is now in effect. The first batch of 273 tourists from the Chinese mainland will arrive on Taiwan today. Many people regard this as a business opportunity, But even more importantly, the Free and Independent Travel Policy for tourists from the Chinese mainland will enable the establishment of direct dialogue between people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. It will provide them with an opportunity to communicate, and also an opportunity to establish cross-Strait peace.

Authorities on the two sides have a tacit understanding. The Free and Independent Travel Policy will initially be limited to 500 visitors a day. This is not spelled out explicitly in the provisions. Therefore it can be readily increased in the future. Based on 500 visitors a day, and a stay lasting 15 days, on any given day 7,500 visitors from the Chinese mainland will be traveling around on Taiwan under the Free and Independent Travel Policy. If the quota is increased to 1000 visitors a day, on any given day 15,000 visitors from the Chinese mainland will be traveling about on Taiwan under the Free and Independent Travel Policy. Add 4,000 to 5,000 visitors a day traveling around on Taiwan with tour groups, which stay on Taiwan seven to ten days. That means on any given day 40,000 to 50,000 tourists from the Chinese mainland are on visiting Taiwan. Over 36 million tourists from the Chinese mainland visited Hong Kong last year. Among these, 14.2 million visited under the aegis of the Free and Independent Travel Policy. Altogether, they spent around 750 billion NT. That means Taipei's Mainland tourist market has plenty of room for growth.

This is indeed a huge business opportunity, But the significance of tourists from the Chinese mainland, especially those traveling under the aegis of the Free and Independent Travel Policy, is not primarily business related. Rather, it is an opportunity for people to dialogue with each other. Consider the business opportunities. Everyone from the central government to local governments, is eager for visitors from the Chinese mainland. Even Tainan City Mayor Lai Ching-teh (DPP) complains about the lack of direct flights between Tainan and the Chinese mainland. The world's largest Dior flagship store will soon open in the Taipei 101 Building. EVA Air will soon invest 100 billion NT on 20 to 25 new airliners, to accomodate tourists from the Chinese mainland who wish to visit Taiwan. Even the 7-ELEVEN chain is preparing 60,000 "Free and Independent Travel Policy Gift Packages." These are all opportunities created by the Free and Independent Travel Policy. But the significance of the Free and Independent Travel Policy is hardly limited to cross-Strait business opportunities. If we look at the Free and Independent Travel Policy from the economic side alone, we are being far too myopic.

What have visitors from the Chinese mainland experienced? What insights have they gained? Taiwan has picturesque scenery. But so does the Chinese mainland. The Chinese mainland has second-tier cities that surpass Taipei and Kaohsiung economically. Tourists from the Chinese mainland come not to marvel at the scenery. They come not in pursuit of fashion. They come mainly because Taiwan and the Chinese mainland share the same history and cultural heritage. Today, the two sides are engaged in subtle political and economic coopetition. The most important experiences and insights tourists from the Chinese mainland have gained concern the contemplation of history and the exploration of culture. Pineapple cakes and oyster omelets fascinate tourists from the Chinese mainland not necessarily because they like the taste, but because they represent Taiwan. When tourists from the Chinese mainland digest their food, they are digesting 60 plus years of shared history, and of love and hate.

Most visitors from the Chinese mainland are private citizens. When they experience real life on Taiwan under the "Free and Independent Travel Policy" they are able to each people on Taiwan as human beings, heart to heart. They are able temporarily to escape official influence. They are no longer bound by travel agencies. They are engaged in "Free and Independent Travel." These few days may be the freest they have experienced their entire life. Today's Taiwan may or may not be different from, or better than the Chinese mainland. But if it is, it will not be a result of its scenery or its high-rise towers. It will not be a result of its oyster omelets or pineapple cakes. It will be a result of its Free and Independent Travel Policy, which enables visitors from the Chinese mainland to experience something unprecedented in 5000 years of Chinese history: democracy and freedom.

In a well known TV commercial, a tourist from the Chinese mainland says, "This we have on the Mainland. But this we do not." The Chinese mainland is a society that has everything. The only thing it doesn't have is democracy and freedom. For example, tourists from the Chinese mainland love to watch the 8pm evening political call in shows. That is something Taiwan has that the Chinese mainland does not. It is rumored that most visitors from the Chinese mainland feel that democracy on Taiwan is "compelling." But few believe that democracy and freedom can work on the Chinese mainland. But the most important experience and insight Taiwan can leave visitors, is the conviction that the quality and nature of democracy and freedom on Taiwan are such that they would work on the Chinese mainland.

Tourists from the Chinese mainland are passionate. They are easily moved. Many tourists from the Chinese mainland have the highest praise for bus passengers who give up their seats to the infirm, and escalator users who stand on the right. When businesses wait for tourists from the Chinese mainland to pay their bills, everyone on Taiwan should arrive at a tacit understanding. Why not greet tourists from the Chinese mainland with a free and democratic society? That way, when they leave Taiwan, what they will remember the most clearly will not be oyster omlets or pineapple cake, but democracy and freedom.

Do not fail the people who have made human contact. Do not betray the hearts and minds of the people as they dialogue with each other. Tourists from the Chinese mainland may take home with them pineapple cakes. These will last a few days at most. But if they come to respect and cherish freedom and democracy on Taiwan, that will be more important to cross-Strait peace than any business opportunities,

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.06.28









Friday, June 24, 2011

The Issue is Policy Achievements, not Current Responsibilities

The Issue is Policy Achievements, not Current Responsibilities
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 25, 2011

It has now been confirmed. Premier Wu Den-yih will be Ma Ying-jeou's running mate in his 2012 re-election bid. Also, Wu will not resign from his current position. The Green Camp has blasted him for holding on to his current position while running for vice president. They say this could undermine his neutrality as premier. Some in the Blue Camp are concerned that Wu may draw fire for this.

Actually, many government leaders have run for elective office while holding on to their current positions. This really shouldn't be an issue. For example, In 1996, during the first direct presidential election, the ruling KMT nominated President Lee Teng-hui as its presidential candidate, and Premier Lien Chan as its vice presidential candidate. No one in the entire country objected. In 2000, during the second direct presidential election, Lee Teng-hui reached his term limits. The ruling Kuomintang nominated Vice President Lien Chan for president, and as his vice presidential running mate, Premier Vincent Siew. Again, no one in the entire country objected. The reason was simple. When challenged by an opposition party, the ruling party runs on its record. This is standard party politics. If one wishes to challenge the ruling party's performance record, who is one going to challenge, if not those currently in office?

The first ruling party change in 2000 was followed by the 2004 presidential election. The incumbents, Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu, formed a ticket and ran for re-election. Both had job responsibilities. But no one asked them to resign. If every time an election comes around, elective officials must resign, how can a nation's government continue to operate? The DPP ruled for eight years. It changed premiers six times. The "party princes" took turns serving as premier. This may have mollified the party princes. But it led to major policy failure during the party's eight years in power.

By the time of the 2008 presidential election, Chen and Lu had both reached their term limits. The DPP nominated two former premiers, Frank Hsieh and Su Tseng-chang. To some extent this reflected the approach of the DPP party factions and party Elders. This enabled Chang Chun-hsiung, who had served as premier, to return to power. This allowed Hsieh and Su to dedicate themselves totally to the election campaign, and to avoid direct attacks by the KMT opposition in the legislature.

The affairs of the state should not be interrupted by elections. If a premier wishes to run for president, he may have to make appearances everywhere. But if he is merely the vice presidential candidate, the problem is not nearly so serious. After all, the vice presidency is merely a supporting role. The presidential candidate is the star of the show.

Of course, if the KMT or President Ma Ying-jeou feel that Wu Den-yih's candidacy makes him a target in the DPP's legislative campaign, it can ask him to resign. But that would be a political calculation. It would be irresponsible. As leaders of the ruling administration, Ma Ying-jeou's choice of Premier Wu as his running mate was motivated by his job performance. It was made to see whether the public approved of the Ma admininstration's job performance. This battle will be fought in the legislature.

From this perspective, the DPP has no reason to oppose or criticize Premier Wu's vice presidential bid. Instead, it should welcome it. Tsai Ing-wen and her running mate will be attending rallies all over Taiwan. Ma Ying-jeou's running mate, meanwhile, will be chained to the legislature, and attacked by DPP legislators from all sides. Any accomplishments cited by the KMT as part of it reelection bid, will be subject to harsh scrutiny in the Legislative Yuan. Wu Den-yih will have to stand on the front lines, and welcome the DPP's fire. If the Ma administration's job performance fails to win public approval, can Premier Wu and his cabinet resign en masse to take the blame? In other words, Wu Den-yih as vice presidential candidate, has become a member of Ma's election campaign. He is helping it formulate strategies and tactics. He is duty bound not to resign. He must become the Ma/Wu ticket's most eloquent champion.

Wu Den-yih is running while still in office. Could this lead to a violation of adminstrative neutrality? It could. But hopefully, it will not. For political appointees within the Executive Yuan, it is no problem whatsoever. Even if President Ma's running mate were not the premier, they would still be helping President Ma's reelection campaign. Suppose Wu Den-yih resigns, the premier is changed, and the cabinet is reshuffled? A newly appointed cabinet would need to get on track immediately, and trumpet the Ma administration's achievements. This has nothing to do administrative neutrality, and everything to do with party politics.

The DPP was in power for eight years. Consider the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections. Which one of these did not involve the full marshalling of the ruling party's administrative resources? The Referendum to Enter the UN alone aroused controversy. But the DPP failed to engage in the slightest soul-searching.

Of course, just because the DPP did something wrong, does not mean that the KMT should be permitted to do it as well. For example, the Ma administration must not mobilize civil servants to campaign on its behalf, to wave flags, and to shout slogans. Still less can it divert government resources to underwrite election propaganda. Former Xinbei City Bureau of Civil Affairs Chief Li Chien Lung invited over one hundred township mayors, county chiefs, city mayors, and borough chiefs to lunch with Ma and Wu. This activity was held after working hours. The invited guests were township mayors, county chiefs, and city mayors. Strictly speaking, they were not civil servants. But since these offices are now appointive offices. discretion should be the watchword. The DPP has demanded prosecution. Li Chien-Long immediately resigned his position.

As soon as Premier Wu was confirmed as Ma's running mate, he announced that he would maintain strict political neutrality. He would make no illegal use of administrative resources. His campaigning would not create delays or obstacles to the implementation of government policy. Premier Wu said the DPP should not fear that he cannot deliver. Democracy on Taiwan is diversified. Questionable conduct cannot escape public notice. Premier Wu will of course not betray his commitments. He will not give the DPP an opportunity to discredit him.

帶職參選不是重點 政績才是關鍵
2011-06-25 中國時報












Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Country, Two Governments: Blossoms from a Dead Branch

One Country, Two Governments: Blossoms from a Dead Branch
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 24, 2011

Chu Shulong is a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Chu published a paper at the Brookings Institute in Washington, advancing a "one country, two governments" concept. He urges the two sides to maintain the status quo of "one China, different interpretations." He says they should accept each other and recognize each other as the "central government" within "one China."

In the past, Beijing was strongly opposed to "one country, two governments." Chu Shulong knows this. Nevertheless he came forward with this proposal. He has promoted it three times in three years. Policymakers in Beijing however, have yet speak out against his proposal. As a result, scholars on Taiwan suspect Chu Shulong is "testing the waters." Their judgment is consistent with past experience.

Are policymakers in Beijing intentionally releasing a trial balloon? Perhaps they are playing along with the release of a trial balloon? Will this this line of thought become Beijing's policy? If so, it would be the biggest change in Beijing's policy in 60 years. To use Chu Shulong's language, the "central governments" in Taipei and Beijing must go from mutual denial of each other's status as a central government, to mutual acknowledgement of each other's status as a central government. Chu said that for officials on the two sides to address each other's leaders as "Mister" is abnormal. What he means is that when Chen Yunlin met Ma Ying-jeou, he should have referred to him as "President Ma."

Actually, Chu Shulong's understanding is a variation on the "big roof theory." Many variations of this cross-Strait perspective exist, on Taiwan and internationally. Even on the Mainland one hears talk of a "national sphere theory," of "Confronting the Existence of the Republic of China," and of how "Beheading (the Republic of China) is not easy." They all go around in circles. But they all arrive at the same spot. Today, Chu Shulong's proposal has caught the public eye, because for Beijing, "one country, two governments" remains taboo. Also, "one country, two governments" cuts the Gordian Knot at the crux of the cross-Strait impasse. Both the government and the opposition on the Mainland must surmount this political taboo. They must transform "one country, two governments" into a long-term solution for the cross-Strait impasse. This would constitute a macro level contribution to cross-Strait development.

Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office has refrained from commenting on Chu Shulong's proposal. Chu Shulong has not been shy about the topic, and continues to grant interviews. This suggests that the incident may have gone beyond the "testing the waters" stage. We suggest that the Taiwan Affairs Office respond with something along the lines of "we respect diversity of thought," or with a mantra such as "all issues are open to discussion." Otherwise it should continue saying "no comment." It should not burn its bridges, because "one country, two governments" does not violate the "one China principle."

The ROC government is holding its presidential election. This is not the time to discuss issues such as "one country, two governments." But if "one country, two governments" becomes a topic in future cross-Strait policy discussions, it will inevitably reduce consideration of Taiwan Independence as an possibility. The "one country, two governments" proposal may not be 100% consistent with the "one China, different interpretations." But it could be considered a variation on "one China, different interpretations." We should view it positively, as well-meaning. Both "one country, two governments" and "one China, two governments" start by recognizing the status quo. They maintain the status quo, then attempt to improve the situation; Therefore if actual policy debate begins, and a well thought out policy is presented, most of the public on Taiwan will understand and accept it.

Chu Shulong insists that "one country, two governments" already exists. The KMT government in Nanjing at one time recognized the CCP's Border Region Government. He said that "one country, two governments" has already been incorporated into the "five visions" issued by the KMT and CCP, and many other arguments advanced by Beijing, He said the two sides "already see things this way, but have yet to implement them." His perspective is credible. There is evidence for it. Yesterday this newspaper published an editorial, reiterating a "third concept of China, a China with divided rule, but undivided sovereignty and territory." At the macro level, this could be considered part of "one country, two governments." The difference between the two is that the "third concept of China" has slightly different connotations.

Actually, "one country, two governments" is the most straightforward "big roof theory." But past political constraints made mention of it taboo, As a result, a wide range of euphemisms for "one country, two governments" that shied from using the expression "one country, two governments." began to appear. Everyone assumed the expression "one country, two governments" could not longer be used. But Chu Shulong reintroduced it into the cross-Strait dialogue. Was he really "testing the waters?" Or did both the government and the opposition on the Chinese mainland give this taboo word a free pass? If so, this may enable the two sides to seek common solutions to cross-Strait problems.

If one examines the details of the "big roof theories," and "one country, two governments," one discovers a multitude of variations on "one country, two governments." None of them however, are at odds with the main thrust of the cross-Strait thought, without which there can be no solution. The "one country, two governments" concept was considered dead. Now however, it has once again made headlines. It can be likened to a bloom emerging from a dead branch, It comes as something of a shock, but also as a ray of hope.

2011.06.24 02:55 am










Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Peace Agreement: An Interim Solution

A Peace Agreement: An Interim Solution
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 23, 2011

The whistleblower website WikiLeaks has published a message sent by the US Department of State. The message said that Mainland Chinese President Hu Jintao established a research group in 2006, in the hope of making a major breakthrough in cross-Strait relations. It said he hoped to find a cross-Strait framework acceptable to both sides, midway between the "one country, two systems" model and the "two states" model.

Based on what we know of Hu Jintao's actions on cross-Strait relations over the years, the report seems credible. On March 22, 2008, Ma Ying-jeou was elected president of the ROC. Four days later, on March 26, President Hu Jintao spoke on the hotline with US President George W. Bush. Hu said that "The Chinese mainland and Taiwan will resume negotiations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, The parties acknowledge that there is only one China, but agree to define the term in their own way." Nine months later, on New Year's Eve, Hu announced his "Hu Six Points." Hu said that "The nation faces special political circumstances. It is not yet reunified. Nevertheless the two sides can begin pragmatic discussions." Hu Jintao's two statements represent some of the most innovative thinking on cross-Strait policy in a long time.

During the March Bush/Hu hotline conversation, Hu referred to "one China, different interpretations." On New Year's Eve, when Hu announced his Hu Six Points, he conceded that the nation was not yet reunified, and that it faces special political circumstances, but that pragmatic discussions could nonetheless begin. His remarks had two implications. One. He conceded that the nation is not yet reunified. He implied that the special political circumstances were acceptable, and must be accepted. Hu formally reaffirmed his previous statement, "Although the two sides have yet to be reunified, they nevertheless remain part of one China." In the past, this was unacceptable, because "not yet reunified" was considered acquiescence to divided rule. Two. Hu went so far as to speak of special political circumstances and pragmatic discussions. In effect, he conceded that there were options in cross-Strait political relations other than reunification. One could imagine political relations under special circumstances in which the nation is not yet reunified.

Consider Hu Jintao's policy from this newspaper's long-held perspective on cross-strait relations. We would say that Hu has moved from "goal orientation" to "process orientation." He has moved from "reunification" to "reconnection." His is contemplating a "third concept of China" that transcends both the ROC and the PRC. He understands the "glass theory," which states that the ROC is the glass, and Taiwan is the water. As long is the glass remains intact, the water is contained within the glass. Once the glass is broken, the water runs off.

According to WikiLeaks, Hu Jintao is seeking a solution midway between the "one country, two systems" model, and the "two states" model. Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" model cannot be applied to the ROC, It is hard to imagine the Republic of China not holding presidential elections, and instead electing a Special Executive. If the "two states theory" means "one nation on each side," that is unacceptable to both the government and the opposition on the Chinese mainland. The model midway between the "one country, two systems" model and the "two states" model is midway between "total reunification" and a "permanent split." It is a means of establishing political relations between the two sides under circumstances in which the nation is not yet reunified. It is a way to ensure that "although the two sides are not yet reunified, they are still part of one China." It is a way to ensure "different interpretations."

In fact, the phrase "Although the two sides have yet to be reunified, they nevertheless remain part of one China" is the same as "one China, different interpretations." This however, is confined to the level of thinking and language. It has yet to be legalized and institutionalized. Hu Jintao is probably referring to this when he speaks of pragmatic discussions.

The first thought that comes to mind is a "quasi-confederation." This newspaper proposes a new three part statement of principles. "There is only one China in the world. The ROC and the PRC are both part of that one China. China's territory and sovereignty are indivisible." Scholars speak of "one China, three constitutions." All of these can be considered a "quasi-confederation." This however, may be aiming too high. This may be hard to achieve. What is needed is an "interim solution" to serve as a turning point.

A peace agreement would be just such an interim solution. A quasi-confederation would require a "third constitution" and a joint-confederation hierarchy. That would be no simple task. But the two sides could sign a peace agreement, in their capacity as warring parties in a civil war. They could do so on the basis of "one China, different interpretations," as expressed in both sides' constitutions. They could commit to a long term cease-fire and peace. They could establish a long term, bilateral, cabinet level "cross-strait peace and development conference." This might allow the two sides to legalize and institutionalize the concepts expressed in such phrases as "Although the two sides have yet to be reunified, they nevertheless remain part of one China," "special circumstances," and "one China, different interpretations."

If we wish to sign a peace agreement, we must first agree on its central premise. For example, it may not be possible for the two sides to reach an accord as "Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou" and as "Peoples Republic of China President Hu Jintao." But it may be possible for them to reach an accord as "the Taiwan authorities' President Ma Ying-jeou" and as "the Mainland authorities' President Hu Jintao." Absent agreement on this most basic of conditions, no peace agreement is possible.

If the authorities on the two sides are willing to pursue the matter, we hope they start soon. The two sides should refer to each other as "the Taipei authorities" and as "the Beijing authorities." For example, as "the Taipei authorities' Department of Health," "the Taiwan authorities' Economic Minister," "the Beijing authorities' Ministry of Culture" and "the Beijing authorities' State Council." They could even refer to each other as "the Taiwan authorities' President Ma" and "the Mainland authorities' President Hu." Hopefully the two sides will make good use of the opportunities afforded them in the next four to five years. If so, they can move toward signing a cross-Strait peace agreement. If by then they have not achieved a quasi-confederation, the two sides can still refer to each other as "the Taiwan authorities' President" and "the Mainland authorities' President" in their capacity as "warring parties in a civil war."

Consider the big picture. The two sides are engaged in coopetition. They have now reached a take profit point and a stop-loss point. A peace agreement is an interim solution that could consolidate the "special circumstances." It could uphold "a third concept of a China under divided rule, but undivided sovereignty."

The two sides enjoy a four or five year window of opportunity. They can begin by referring to each other as "the Taiwan authorities" and "the Mainland authorities." They can expedite an interim solution. They can establish a framework for peaceful development "under divided administration, but undivided sovereignty." They can establish mutual goodwill, change people's hearts and minds, and trade time for space. They can transform cross-Strait negotiations into a rational process. They can clarify their goals. We do not know whether the two sides in fact enjoy a four or five year window of opportunity. But if they do, this is it.

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.06.23













Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tsai Ing-wen Eager to Talk to Beijing: But Why Not Talk to the Voters First?

Tsai Ing-wen Eager to Talk to Beijing:
But Why Not Talk to the Voters First?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 22, 2011

During her recent trip to the Philippines, Tsai Ing-wen said that the DPP is willing to sit down with Beijing and discuss a "sustainable" framework for cross-Strait interaction. But the presidential election is only six months away. Why doesn't Tsai Ing-wen share her "sustainable" framework for cross-Strait interaction with her fellow citizens of the ROC? Or does Beijing rank higher in her political hierarchy than qualified voters of the ROC?

Tsai Ing-wen said she has been totally clear about her cross-Strait principles. She said some people have accused her of being deliberately ambiguous. She said her accusers are deliberately choosing not to understand.

Just what is Tsai Ing-wen's cross-Strait policy? She has voiced her opinion on a number of issues. One. She rejects the 1992 Consensus. Two. She is considering demanding a referendum on ECFA, or demanding that ECFA be sent back to the legislature for review. Third. She once said that "If the Democratic Progressive Party returns to power, it will continue the former administration's cross-Strait policy." Four. She proposes "Peace with differences. Peace while seeking common ground." Five. She has denied saying that the Macao model could replace the existing consultation mechanism. Six. She would replace a growth and export oriented economy with a "locally based economy."

Can these mutually contradictory statements really be considered "totally clear?" Can listeners really be accused of "deliberately choosing not to understand?" One. Tsai rejects the 1992 Consensus, purportedly because it "forfeits sovereignty and humiliates the nation." But where is her alternative? Two. Tsai insists that ECFA "panders to [Mainland] China and sells out Taiwan." But what does she plan to do about it? Does she intend to demand a referendum? Does she intend to send it back to the Legislative Yuan for review? Third, She says she intends to continue the previous administration's cross-Strait policy. if so, why not continue the previous administration's "One China, Different Interpretations" policy as well? Why not continue its policy of "no [immediate] reunification, no independence, no use of force?" If Tsai does not continue these policies, how can she continue the 15 agreements predicated upon these policies? Four. What exactly is "Peace with differences. Peace while seeking common ground?" What are the "differences?" What is "seeking common ground?" How exactly does she intend to go about "seeking common ground?" If she rejects the 1992 Consensus, can there be any peace to speak of? Five. She apparently realizes the Macao model is not feasible. Does she intend to preserve the existing consultation mechanism? Will Chen Yunlin be allowed to visit? When the time comes, will "President Tsai" once again climb onto a sound truck, to bait this visitor from the Mainland? Six. Does Tsai really believe that a "locally based economy" can do away with cross-Strait exchanges? If so, she should take a gander at the waves of Mainland tourists ascending to the top of the Taipei 101 Building and crowding the night markets.

Leave her ambiguous rhetoric aside for the moment. Tsai Ing-wen also says that "The ROC is a government in exile." But she has yet to explain herself. She remains totally unclear on whether she even recognizes the ROC. In which case, how can she possibly be clear on her cross-Strait policy? Also, what has become of Tsai Ing-wen's "Political Platform for the Coming Decade, Cross-Strait Edition" which she trumpeted for the past three years? It is not merely unclear. It has evaporated into thin air. Nothing more has been heard about it.

Tsai Ing-wen says she thinks the two sides need a "sustainable" mechanism for cross-Strait interaction. Is Tsai a rational and responsible presidential candidate? If so, then shouldn't she present her "sustainable" mechanism for cross-Strait interaction to the people? Only that would be consistent with the principles of "democracy, transparency, oversight" that Tsai purports to uphold. How can she seek to "sit down and talk" with the authorities in Beijing, when the general election is looming, and she continues to bob and weave and evade the issue?

Consider the cross-Strait views that Tsai Ing-wen have voiced lately. She has commented on the 1992 Consensus, on One China, Different Interpretations, on no [immeidate] reunification, no independence, no use of force, on ECFA and the 15 agreements, on direct flights and the influx of Mainland tourists, on the diplomatic truce, on ARATS and the SEF, and on the cross-Strait economic cooperation committee. To her, none of these are "sustainable" mechanisms for cross-Strait interaction. Even the Republic of China, in her eyes, is a "government in exile." It too, fails to qualify as a "sustainable" mechanism for cross-Strait interaction. What exactly does Tsai Ing-wen consider a "sustainable" cross-Strait solution? Before she talks to Beijing shouldn't she report to the people first?

Tsai Ing-wen is directing her rhetorical barrage at Beijing, She is attempting to force Beijing to respond to a "different sort of DPP." But Tsai Ing-wen has joined herself at the hip with Chen Shui-bian, Lee Teng-hui, Frank Hsieh, Koo Kwan-min and the Taiwan independence movement. Her campaign workers are either Chen supporters or Hsieh supporters. They are either Koo supporters or Taiwan independence activists. That being the case, how exactly is the DPP any different? Tsai Ing-wen stopped Chen Shui-bian from recognizing the 1992 Consensus in 2000. Even today she continues to reject it. How exactly is she any different?

Tsai Ing-wen remains unclear on cross-Strait policy. She is attempting to run for president on a deliberately ambiguous campaign platform. She may be trying to deceive Chen Shui-bian, Lee Teng-hui, Frank Hsieh, Koo Kwan-min and the Taiwan independence movement. She may be trying to deceive the authorities in Beijing. She is definitely trying to deceive ROC voters. Voters who support Tsai Ing-wen, especially advocates of Taiwan independence, are willing to support her merely so they can win the election and hustle her into the office of the president. Their strategy is to first win the election by deceiving the public. The details can be hashed out later. If that is the case, then Tsai Ing-wen's election bid is nothing more than a giant scam. If it is not exposed for what it is before the election, it will be exposed for what it is after she is elected.

Tsai Ing-wen says Beijing is willing to listen to the Democratic Progressive Party. But Beijing has already stated that "Cross-Strait exchanges are based entirely on the 1992 Consensus." Therefore, Tsai Ing-wen must first explain her "sustainable" cross-Strait policy to the voters. Today she disingenuously harangues Beijing with her rhetoric. What is she doing, but revealing her hidden insecurities?

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.06.22











Monday, June 20, 2011

Garrison Troops: Demonstrate Sovereignty Over the South China Sea

Garrison Troops: Demonstrate Sovereignty Over the South China Sea
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 21, 2011

More disputes have arisen over the South China Sea. The Republic of China is a nation that borders the South China Sea. It also occupies its largest island -- Taiping Island. From any perspective -- symbolism, sovereignty, or actual control -- the ROC undeniably has rights in the region. The ROC must not be silent on the matter of the South China Sea. But it must be judicious about how it expresses that sovereignty.

Nations claiming sovereignty in the South China Sea have recently begun increasing their military presence. They have engaged in military exercises, to prevent sudden military crises. For the first time, Beijing has entered South China Sea waters, and visited islands in the South China Sea. For three days and nights, it conducted maritime military exercises in regional waters. The Philippines, which is militarily weak, also dispatched old World War II warships to patrol the South China Sea. Vietnam has been among the most active nations in the region. It has held live-fire exercises. It has also implemented conscription. It has allegedly stationed troops on a Taiping Island sandbar. It is conducting reconnaissance, using high-tech electronic devices.

The Republic of China has also responded to the recent situation. Our Coast Guard regularly cruises the Tungsha and Nansha Islands ("Spratly Islands"). It sends a supply ship to the Tungsha Islands once a month. Taiping Island is more distant. Supply ships visit with the cooperation of the military each March, June, and September. The "Blue Sea 92" project was carried out in late June of this year. Chen Kung class, Chung Ho class, and 2000 ton "Satellite" Coast Guard cutters set out and performed their regular duties.

According to media reports, the Department of Defense will also be providing Seagull class missile boats, M41A3 Walker Bulldog tanks, and other weapons to forces stationed on Taiping Island. The Department of Defense denies these reports, calling them pure fiction. The Department of Defense said that the personnel stationed on Tungsha and Nansha Island are Coast Guard personnel. The Department of Defense says it has not dispatched troops to the islands.

Our government's initial response has been appropriately cautious. It has denied any military buildup, out of fear that other countries would take countermeasures. The ROC government would then be blamed for triggering an arms race. Actually, we have been sending supply ships to the islands every three months, for years. To suddenly halt such shipments for fear of criticism, would be an overreaction. It would unwisely sacrifice our rights, for no purpose. The long term challenge for the ROC is how to underscore our sovereignty and to ensure that we are heard on the issue of the South China Sea.

The Republic of China's official position on South China Sea sovereignty is based on its historical territory during the 1940s. The Southeast Asian countries are most concerned about the U-shaped map. That map represents Beijing's position on South China Sea sovereignty. When the DPP was in power, it attempted to draw a line between itself and Beijing on the issue, by making changes. In February 2008, Chen Shui-bian twice set foot on Taiping Island to trumpet his "Nansha Initiative." He called on countries neighboring the South China Sea to abide by the UN Charter and the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty, and to ensure the peaceful settlement of South China Sea disputes. He said the ROC was willing to accept the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, on the basis of sovereign equality. He said the ROC was willing to participate in the "South China Sea Code of Conduct" then under development. But cross-Strait tensions were running high at the time, and no country was willing to respond to Chen Shui-bian's proposal, for fear of offending Beijing.

When the KMT returned to power, our government's position on the South China Sea issue changed. The government reaffirmed that the islands belong to the Republic of China. The Ma administration repeatedly protested violations of ROC sovereignty in the South China Sea. It called upon countries to abide by the UN Charter and the principles and spirit of the United Nations Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. It urged the shelving of disputes, consultations and dialogue, and peaceful settlement of South China Sea disputes, avoiding unilateral moves that might undermine peace in the region.

Taipei has asserted its sovereignty over the Tungsha and Nansha Islands, in the name of the Republic of China. Beijing has asserted its sovereignty over the Hsisha Islands ("Paracel Islands") in the name of the Peoples Republic of China. Oddly enough, neither side has protested the other's position. This has caused other countries to doubt Taipei's position. Privately they have criticized Taipei, saying it has allowed itself to be influenced by Beijing. But realistically speaking, we would find it difficult to retreat from our long held position. We would be criticized on Taiwan for forsaking our established borders, as clearly delineated in the Republic of China Constitution. We would also find it impossible to explain our position to Beijing. Are we edging toward Taiwan independence? We would be caught on the horns of a dilemma.

That said, the Republic of China controls Taiping Island. That in itself amounts to a clear assertion of our sovereignty. Taiping Island is the region's sole source of freshwater. It is one of the few points in the South China Sea with runways for aircraft. It is small compared to other countries' islets and and reefs. But it has far greater strategic value. In future negotiations on the South China Sea, Taipei cannot be ignored.

How precisely will Taipei seek a seat at the negotiating table? For the ruling administration, this may be a dangerous trap. Handled improperly, it could leave the public deeply disaffected.

Taipei is not a member of the United Nations. We have no way to submit our government's data on our exclusive economic zone to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Protests from Beijing also make it impossible to negotiate with neighboring countries over maritime demarcations. They make it impossible for Taipei to sit at the same table with other Southeast Asian countries during negotiations on the South China Sea.

Any long term solution to this problem must begin with cross-Strait relations. Beijing must feel confident that Taipei is not attempting to create either "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan." In the short term, there will probably be no complications.

First, regarding our declaration of sovereignty, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes less and less mention of our historical territory. Instead, it has repeated its basic position on the South China Sea four times. "The ROC possesses sovereignty, but it sets aside disputes, reciprocates peacefully, and is willing to develop resources jointly." Our government must further allay the concerns of other countries. It must understand Southeast Asia's perspective. For example, it has reaffirmed its commitment to the South China Sea Code of Conduct.

Secondly, we should underscore our sovereignty as much possibly can. We can follow the example set by other nations. We can announce that we are granting approval for oil and gas mining. We can draw up plans for combating terrorism and piracy. We can conduct maritime search and rescue, humanitarian relief efforts, and joint naval exercises. We can dispatch our new underwater "Sea Research V" vessel to the South China Sea to conduct marine-related scientific investigation. We can draft plans for South China Sea bases. We can declare out territorial sea baseline. We can even restore the garrisons we once had. We can station Marines on Taiping Island, thereby expressing our determination to defend our sovereignty.

Thirdly, we must actively foster public interest in the South China Sea. We must ensure that the public supports the government's position on the South China Sea. Beijing and Hanoi are actively drawing up plans for travel and study to the region. Tourism involve risks. State sponsorship seems appropriate. For example, young people may wish to visit the South China Sea for summer eco-leisure activities. Enabling them to do so would encourage the younger generation to understand and attach importance to the South China Sea.

彰顯南海主權 何妨恢復駐軍
2011-06-21 中國時報
















Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ma and Wu: A Winning Ticket?

Ma and Wu: A Winning Ticket?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 20, 2011

No one was surprised when President Ma Ying-jeou formally announced that Premier Wu Den-yih would be his vice presidential running mate. Vice President Vincent Siew attended the press conference. The implication was that he was passing on the torch, and that the watchword was party unity. A Ma/Wu ticket comes neither as a shock, nor as a revelation. It is a sound and logical choice. As Ma Ying-jeou's deputy, Wu Den-yih has joined the campaign while still burdened with his responsibilities as premier. He will have to make an all out effort. Ma defended the government's record, attempting to consolidate voter support.

Most people know that Premier Wu has a way with words, When he was still in college he wrote an essay entitled "The Cross National Taiwan University Graduates Must Bear." It attracted the attention of none less than Chiang Ching-kuo. Before graduating, he wrote an "Open Letter to President Yan Cheng-hsing," entitled "Resign Your Position, Sort Out the Problems at National Taiwan University," welcoming the newly arrived NTU president. At the time, Yan Cheng-hsing was simultaneously holding down positions as Atomic Energy Commissioner and as President of the Executive Yuan Zhongshan Academy of Sciences. Yan called Wu into his office, and listened to what Wu had to say. Two weeks later, he resigned his part-time positions. He devoted his full attention to the National Taiwan University graduation ceremony. Such an exchange was unheard of back then. Even today it strikes one as improbable.

Wu Den-yih's parents were victims of the White Terror. In response to the article he wrote, Chiang Ching-kuo received Wu, humbly and graciously. This left Wu with a highly favorable impression of the Kuomintang. Wu Den-yih once worked at the China Times. But he did not remain a reporter very long. Chiang Ching-kuo hoped to inject new blood into the Taipei City KMT. Then Director of the Youth Corps Lee Huan dropped in on Wu. He wanted to recruit him. Wu Den-yih was taken aback. First of all, he was not from Taipei. Secondly, he had no money and no contacts. Lee Huan told him "If you have no money, all you need is ambition. If you have no contacts, all you need is character. If you are not from Taipei, all you need is to be from Taiwan."

Lee Huan's response was classic. How long has it been since anyone in the KMT has recruited a young person of courage, but without money or contacts? Lee Huan's words inspired Wu Den-yih to take up politics. Henceforth Wu would be known by his nickname, "Wu Kuo-yu," or "Tilapia Wu," after the fish. The implication was that Wu, like a Tilapia, was a hardy. He was always able to adopt to different environments, and make a soft landing, despite always being "parachuted in."

During his term as Taipei City Councilor, Wu Den-yih revealed that the Taipei Yanping branch bank was missing 250 million NT. Back then, that was a huge sum. Most serious of all, the branch manager was a "member of the royal family." He was Chiang Ching-kuo's cousin. That made no difference to Wu Den-yih. The branch manager was sacked and punished just the same. The general manager of the Taipei Bank was punished for inadequate oversight. Other national amd provincial banks were also investigated. Soon afterwards, Lee Huan and Song Shi-hsuan told him, "Well done. You eliminated a public menace. No need to be afraid that you offended anyone."

Upon expiration of his eight year term as Taipei City Councilor, Wu was drafted as Nantou County Chief. Locals mocked him as an "air dropped candidate." The election was hard fought. Among those running for local office at that time was Ilan County Chief Chen Ding-nan. Four years later, both won by landslides. Wu Den-yih spent the same amount on his campaign as before, but won 96 percent of the vote. As one can see, the people of Nantou County held him in the highest esteem. Eight years later, Wu and Chen were named the two best local government heads, by two separate opinion polls.

Many people know that Chen Ding-nan challenged the system of authoritarian rule, He declared war against the Star Chamber. But in fact, so did Wu Den-yi. A civil servant with the Nantou County Government was accused of corresponding with his mother on the Chinese mainland. Wu Den-yih read the accusation. He took time to understand the situation. Without a word, he burned both letters. He established a repuation as someone who listened to the people of the county. A young mother recalled how roads in Nantou County were difficult to navigate. They lacked street lights. She petitioned the county government. To her surprise, she received a personal response from the county chief himself, updating her on the construction progress. This left a deep impression on her. It showed her Wu Den-yih cared.

Soon afterwards, as mayor of a directly administered municipality, Wu Den-yih traveled south to Kaohsiung. Politically, he was a lone wolf. He had nothing to offer local political bosses, That hurt him badly in Kaohsiung. When he was Mayor of Kaohsiung, he liberalized the voting process, His opponent, Frank Hsieh, fabricated audio tapes, creating an election scandal. By the time the tapes were exposed as fakes, it was too late. Wu Den-yih's political fortune had reached its nadir. The KMT also had to confront the pain of ruling party change. Wu Den-yih immediately returned home, and ran for the legislature. He boldly entered the Legislative Yuan, becoming one of the staunchest fighters for the KMT during its time in the opposition.

Years of successes and failures at the county and municipal level, have made Wu Den-yih sensitive to the public mood. Now he has stepped up to the front lines. Now Wu Den-yih's political record, including his time as premier, will be put under the microscope, He may be the most important factor in Ma Ying-jeou's bid for re-election. He will inevitably be caught up in the contest. He need not worry about transition or succession. The Ma/Wu ticket is set. This ticket may give the KMT a new lease on life. The decision is up to the voters.

馬吳配能否勝選 考驗才要開始
2011-06-20 中國時報










Friday, June 17, 2011

Young Graduates Seek Employment Overseas

Young Graduates Seek Employment Overseas
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 17, 2011

June is when college students graduate. President Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President Vincent Siew spent most of this last weekend visiting universities and giving graduating students pep talks. But the the financial tsunami has taken its toll. Graduates emerging from college campuses today suffer from high unemployment. Even those who have found work, must endure low starting salaries.

The unemployment rate on Taiwan is seasonal. Between June and August, over 200,000 students graduate from college. They join the ranks of job seekers. The unemployment rate soars accordingly. That the unemployment rate increases between June and August each year is nothing to fear. That is merely a seasonal phenomenon. Of more concern is the period just before graduation. In late 2008, the financial tsunami slowed. Its impact however, is still felt on the job market. The United States and Europe both suffer from youth unemployment. The situation on Taiwan is no different. Today the youth unemployment rate is still higher than before the financial tsunami, by 1 to 2 percentage points. Many aspiring young people with Masters degrees and Doctorates are finding their ambitions thwarted by circumstances, Many of them held lofty ideals, only to have their dreams shattered. They look at the soaring cost of urban housing, and depression overwhelms them, We know how they feel.

According to DGBAS statistics, young people on Taiwan between 20 and 24 suffered a 12.4% unemployment rate in April. The 25 to 29-year-old youth unemployment rate was 7.2%. Youth unemployment remains much higher than the overall average. Worse still, the employment survey covered not just domestic employment. but overseas employment. In other words, take away overseas employment opportunities, and the unemployment rate for young people on Taiwan today would be even higher.

The government is trying to understand these unemployment and employment trends. Each month it surveys 20,000 households regarding their employment situation. The survey counts the number of people registered at any particular household, rather than its long term residents. Anyone registered as a member of a household on Taiwan is counted. It matters not whether he or she works in Shanghai, Kunshan, Singapore, or Ho Chi Minh City. He or she is counted as part of Taiwan's workforce. This accounting approach, which includes overseas employment, naturally helps reduce the unemployment rate on Taiwan. But in fact these were not employment opportunities created on Taiwan.

Precisely how many people from Taiwan are employed overseas? We have no exact figures, only occasional studies, conducted by various agencies. But the DGBAS surveyed various industries. In recent years, overseas employment has continued to increase. Between January 2008 and March 2011, surveys of households showed that private employment increased by 300,000. Industry surveys showed an increase of only 19 million people employed. Surveys of households included overseas employment. Surveys of Industry included only domestic employment. If not for increased overseas employment, such discrepancies would not have appeared.

Now increase the time frame to ten years. Over the past decade surveys of industry show employment increasing by only 90 million people. Since surveys of households show employment increasing by 140 million people, the gap between the two is even more apparent. This shows that for nearly a decade overseas employment has been increasing. When the government boasts that employment has increased and unemployment has declined, we must not be too happy. This probably includes the contribution of overseas employment. We on Taiwan have not created any significant employment opportunities.

Some may argue that surveys of households include foundations, research institutions, cram schools, and religious groups. In part this is because industry surveys failed to include them. Naturally differences will arise between the two. But we find it hard to believe that over the past decade surveys of households showed 500,000 more people employed than surveys of industry. We find it hard to believe that the number of teachers, priests, and monks increased so drastically. If our above reasoning is correct, then the statistical difference is the result of significant changes in overseas employment over this period.

It is important to distinguish between domestic employment and foreign employment. High-ranking officials have long assumed that long term employment growth means that government policies took effect. In fact such growth was probably the result of increased overseas employment, and utterly unrelated to government policies. Domestic employment must be distinguished from foreign employment. Otherwise it will be difficult to verify the effectiveness of industrial policies and employment policies. The government will then misjudge how ordinary people actually feel.

How can the government distinguish between domestic and overseas employment? It must get to the root of the statistical sample. It must count the number of long term residents rather than the number of people registered at any particular household. This will enable it to better estimate domestic and overseas employment. It will also enable it to better estimate the total number of jobs created by various counties and municipalities. But so far the government has not compelled those working or studying in other counties and municipalities to register where they work. Currently the government has only household registry data, and no long term resident data. Overseas workers who fail to return to Taiwan within two years are reclassified as non-residents. Otherwise, they remain registered residents. The government must make changes. It must cease using household registries as its statistical base. Domestically, doing so fails to show employment opportunities within various counties and municipalities. Internationally, it fails to account for the number of people employed overseas.

Accurate employment statistics will enable the government to more readily count absentee ballots for future presidential or legislative elections. The government must compile statistics on the long term residents. These statistics will be vital when estimating the economic strength of our nation, The ruling administration must take on this task. It must make comprehensive plans, give the problem higher priority, and form inter-ministerial groups to ensure its early completion.

中時電子報 新聞
工商時報  2011.06.17











Thursday, June 16, 2011

Judges Law: Assurances and Expectations

Judges Law: Assurances and Expectations
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 16, 2011

After much hardship and nearly 24 years time, the Judges Law is finally seeing the light of day. It has been passed by the legislature. If it were brandy, it would be "XO," or Vieille Reserve.

Over 24 years, the draft bill for the Judges Law was witness to many social changes. Different values led to trade-offs and tug of wars, and finally to today's result. Judges enjoy a status not accorded most civil servants. But their impartiality and their ability to monitor themselves have been called into question. They now face harsh outside scrutiny.

The Judges Law has made it through the legislature. It first appeared in 1987, 1988. We hope the Judges Law will define the status of judges, segregating them from ordinary civil servants, and underscoring the independence of judicial authority. The law was drafted just as martial law was being lifted. Party politics was still in its embryonic stage. Judges were attempting to break free from a powerful executive. The most controversial aspect of the draft bill set limits on judges' participation in political parties, judges' authority to choose their own assignments, and the authority exercised by judge's councils.

Party politics and judicial independence have evolved. Judges and political parties interact with each other. Concerns about interaction between the administration of justice and the sentencing process have diminished. Outside interference has disappeared. But judges are still incapable of disciplining themselves. Observers have begun demanding efficiency, quality, and integrity. They have begun demanding a system of oversight for judges that includes outsiders. As a result, a system of oversight has been brought forth to discipline judges, drawn from the civil service. Discipline, appointments, and transfers will be turned over to this system of oversight, underscoring the judges' independence.

Judges are striving to maintain their independence. But they have failed to uphold social justice. Judges set themselves above others. They receive salaries far larger than others. When the system of oversight deals with judicial misconduct, the Executive Yuan, the Examination Yuan, and the Control Yuan will be reluctant to rubber stamp its findings. Judges cannot brush aside the dissimilar law that enables prosecutors to cover for judges. Unsatisfactory performance increases the need to oversee judges. The selection of outside personnel to oversee judges will require Control Yuan intervention. The Judicial Personnel Committee must be reformed. At one time lower level judges used this committee to resist pressure from higher level judges. They flexed their reformist muscles, from the bottom up. The doors must be thrown open. Outsiders must be permitted to participate, investigate, and oversee qualifying examinations and transfers for judges.

This is all rather ironic. Judges engaged in collective corruption. They handled sexual assault cases inappropriately. They handed down vastly differing sentences for the same crime. The public could no longer look on passively. Out of touch judges resigned under pressure. The Judges Law, which repeatedly failed to pass, received a new lease on life.

The birth of the Judges Law has affirmed the independent status of judges. It has established a system of oversight, and generous provisions for early retirement. As we can see, the public still respects the judiciary. It still grants them unique assurance not granted most civil servants. But their integrity, their right to discipline themselves, and their job proficiency will all be subject to close scrutiny. Demands that judges be subject to oversight, have resulted in legal opinions that threaten judicial independence. Judges feel pressured. They feel shame. If judges are to discipline themselves, oversight must be fast acting and effective. A system of self-discipline must be worked out. Otherwise outsider oversight will be futile. Who is qualified to be an outsider overseer? Which matters must be overseen? Will the Personnel Evaluation Committee include outsiders who will undermine its independence?

The oversight process will be time consuming. Once the oversight process is established, judges guilty of misconduct will be turned over to the system of oversight. Can the system of oversight exact punishments closer to public expectations? Can it eliminate unfit judges? Will the public believe that judicial self-discipline has led to change? That needs to be seen.

The Judges Law has thrown open a door. Judges, lawyers, and legal scholars will be recruited. They will acquire greater access to the court system. They will loosen up the rigid court system. Court verdicts must not be the product of legal hacks, painting by the numbers. Academic theory and practical application must come together. The court system must become more human, and closer to the people.

The Judges Law cannot solve all the problems undermining the credibility of the judicial system. But the ruling and opposition parties have successfully passed the bill, after twenty years of effort. We anticipate a brighter future for the justice system. Judges should be grateful for the trust the public has given them. They must join those seeking justice within the legal system. The Judges Law has established an independent judiciary. Judges must abide by judicial ethics. They must keep their distance from political parties. They must stay away from the lure of money. They must avoid violating people's rights. They must not procrastinate. They must not abuse their power. They must offer sophisticated legal opinions, fulfill their jobs in a professional manner, and serve as guardians of justice.

The Judges Law has been passed. The people have had their eyes opened. They await increased oversight. Judges enjoy special pay, special retirement benefits, and special disciplinary procedures. But their extraordinary independence implies extraordinary responsibilities. The Judges Law gestated for 24 years. It is a law meant to protect. It is also a law meant to eliminate. Judges must not exceed their brief. Only then can they maintain genuine independence.

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.06.16