Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Modus Vivendi Does Not Equal A Diplomatic Truce

A Modus Vivendi Does Not Equal A Diplomatic Truce
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 29, 2008

President Ma Ying-jeou has made a number of low-key visits and given a number of talks, including one on Kinmen. These talks have revealed the new tone of Ma's diplomacy. They have also conveyed his hopes for "Cross-Strait Peace, Diplomatic Truce" to Beijing. But Beijing blocked Taipei's attempt to become a WHA observer in May and recent attempts by Taipei's allies to help us join United Nations agencies. This tells us that if Taipei is the only party serious about a Modus Vivendi and a Diplomatic Truce, then its efforts are in vain.

President Ma took advantage of his visit to elaborate on his Modus Vivendi. Reconciliation and cooperation would replace scorched-earth confrontation. It would establish a new diplomatic strategy, even as it attempted to expand Taipei's breathing space. But President Ma's remark that Taipei probably wouldn't be able to increase the number of its allies was inappropriate and incomprehensible.

Taipei has long been mired in a diplomatic dilemma. Its sovereignty, dignity, and international breathing space have long been suppressed. The public on Taiwan yearns for international recognition. It hopes the nation's sovereignty will be respected and recognized. Is that wrong? We want to fly our own flag. We want to call our nation by her official name. Is that wrong? If a foreign country truly identifies with the Republic of China, and hopes to establish diplomatic relations with us, should we refuse? Do we still want the international community to recognize us as a nation?

Ma's Modus Vivendi will avoid wasting resources in a diplomatic tug of war. The public on Taiwan detests checkbook diplomacy. The international community views it with a jaundiced eye as well. Obsolete practices should be discarded. The current cross-Strait atmosphere is one of reconciliation. Beijing has temporarily stopped crowding Taipei's international space. Taipei has gotten a temporary respite from nations attempting to play Taipei against Beijing.

But this is a fragile state of affairs. It could change at any time. If we cease defending our sovereignty, if we cease fighting for our survival, we will have bound our own hands and feet in advance, without receiving anything concrete in return. For a vulnerable nation faced with a powerful enemy, fighting for its survival, this is too naive and too risky.

Take for example participation in this year's United Nations activities. We have made a strategic adjustment. No more high-profile attempts to join the UN under the name Taiwan, as either a member or an observer. Instead, we seek merely to join peripheral organizations. Compared to the past, this is a comparatively pragmatic approach. Taipei must first interact with the international community. Only then will it receive international support. But such interaction is bound to test Beijing's bottom line. After all, if international organizations open their doors to Taipei, that will directly impact Beijing's One China Policy. The One China Policy is flexible when applied to cross-Strait interaction, but not when applied to the international community. This is no surprise. Noisy attempts to "Join the UN" met with failure. Current low-key, pragmatic attempts to join peripheral organizations have met with the same results. This shows that for the moment at least, Beijing has no intention of yielding ground.

It has no intention of responding to the Ma administration's pragmatic approach to United Nations membership. This means that even if Taipei adopts a lower profile, in the short term at least, it will receive little in return. Joining the United Nations is difficult. We don't need to be in a hurry to fight the toughest battles.

That does not mean however that we can relax our defense of the Republic of China's sovereignty. Sovereignty is not a bargaining chip. Sovereignty is non-negotiable. The legitimate defense of sovereignty must not be confused with reckless provocations on behalf of Taiwan independence. If any high-ranking government officials are entertaining thoughts of bargaining away our sovereignty, then they are neglecting their duties, betraying the nation's interests, and betraying the public trust. If the Republic of China's survival is undermined, the results may be irremediable. Those in power must be judicious.

The new administration has been in office for three months. The larger environment has undergone a downturn. Only the lifting of controls on cross-Strait exchanges has yielded immediate and tangible results. As a result, the public may be too eager to accommodate Beijing. If the Ma administration is overly dependent upon Beijing's goodwill, it may become confused about what is in the national interest. At the very least, it may confuse the public and the international community.

No high-ranking government official is willing to sacrifice the Republic of China's sovereignty. But when it comes to the details, it is better to be safe than sorry. We must hold on to our chips. Our backs are to the wall. We cannot blindly trust the other side's goodwill. Since Ma Ying-jeou became president, he has actively promoted cross-Strait reconciliation. But we must be prepared. No matter how good cross-Strait relations may be, irreconcilable conflicts remain. There will inevitably be confrontation and even conflict. President Ma Ying-jeou must show the public on Taiwan his determination. The public must believe he knows how to deal with Beijing, and is able to defend the Republic of China's sovereignty and national interests.

中國時報  2008.08.29
爭取外交空間 非休兵才有活路

馬 英九總統先後藉著低調出訪,金門談話等作為,不僅展現了新的外交基調,也一定程度向大陸傳達了企望「兩岸和平、外交休兵」的理念,然而從今年五月提案成為 WHA觀察員,到最近友邦提案讓台灣參與聯合國機構,中國都一概封殺。這意味不論是「活路外交」還是「外交休兵」,如果只有台灣這一邊表達善意,恐怕依舊 是徒勞無功。


台 灣一直處於外交困境,主權尊嚴及國際生存空間受到嚴重封殺打壓,民眾長期以來始終渴望國際社會承認我們的國家地位。一個國家希望主權地位受到尊重與認可, 有什麼不對?我們希望自己國家的國旗能飄揚、國名能被正式使用,難道錯了嗎?萬一有某個國家真的認同台灣,有意和我國建交,而且沒有獅子大開口,難道我們 要拒絕嗎?到底在國際社會中,還要不要人家承認我們是個國家?

「活路外交」主張不要虛耗資源進行外交角力,那是沒 錯,台灣民眾厭惡銀彈外交,國際社會的觀感也不佳,舊有的作法確實應該改弦易轍。在目前兩岸和解的大氣氛下,中共暫時放緩壓縮台灣國際空間的動作,對企圖 兩頭喊價的國家冷淡以對,台灣得以稍有喘息,的確也是事實,但這個事實存在得非常脆弱,隨時可以消失。我們如果就此停下在國際間捍衛主權、爭取生存的動 作,還沒得到具體獲利就先自縛手腳,對於一個面對強敵陷於生存危機中的弱勢國家,這恐怕太天真也太冒險了一點。

以今 年參與聯合國的活動為例,策略上已經都做了調整,不再高調地要求以台灣名義加入成為會員或觀察員,而是尋求參與外圍周邊組織的機會。相較於過往,這已經是 比較務實的作法,因為台灣必須先建立與國際社會的綿密互動,才能爭取更多國際支持。只不過這勢必將對中共的底線形成嚴酷考驗,畢竟在國際組織中替台灣開一 扇門,就會直接衝擊到中共的一中政策,而一中政策的彈性現在還只存在於兩岸互動間,並沒有應用在國際社會上。而情勢發展也確實沒有令人意外,昔日敲鑼打鼓 要「入聯」不成,如今低調務實的尋求參與專門機構照樣不成,充分顯示北京現階段似乎無意以任何善意,來回應馬政府在參與聯合國上的務實調整。這也意味,就 算台灣在參與聯合國上放低姿態,恐怕短期內換不到什麼,只是聯合國本來就是高難度挑戰,我們也不必先忙著撿硬仗來打。

不 過,這絕不意味著我們在捍衛台灣主權上有絲毫的放鬆,主權是不能拿來當籌碼的,維護主權的動作亦然。對於主權的正當防衛,不能與昔日冒進的台獨挑釁混為一 談。如任何政府高層存有這樣想法,不但是對自己職責的輕忽怠惰,更將是對國家利益及人民付託的嚴重背叛。而且,台灣的國際生存如果因此而受到傷害,其結果 可能無法彌補,當政者不可不慎。


我 們相信政府高層沒有人願意犧牲台灣主權,但在許多細節的處理上,必須步步為營慎重以對,不能在手上不留籌碼、背後毫無退路的狀況下,一股腦地信賴對方的善 意。馬英九就任總統以來,積極推動兩岸和解,但大家必須有心理準備,兩岸目前再怎麼交好,有些基本矛盾終究存在,還是會有出現對立甚至直接衝突的時候。馬 英九總統必須向台灣民眾展示決心,讓大家相信,他能夠和中共打交道,更能夠捍衛台灣的主權利益。

The New Administration's First One Hundred Days:

The New Administration's First One Hundred Days:
Just Squeaking By
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 28, 2008

The Ma administration has been in office for nearly 100 days. It has undergone three months of turmoil. President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Liu Chao-hsuan's satisfaction ratings have rebounded significantly from a month ago. But given the larger economic picture and the market outlook, the Ma administration has little cause for joy.

According to a recent China Times poll, Ma Ying-jeou's approval rating jumped 10 percentage points, to 46 percent. Liu Chao-hsuan's approval rating also reached a new high at 42 percent. Public confidence in his administration rose to 59 percent. But 42 percent of the public remained unhappy with his cabinet's performance. Among his cabinet members, Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng received the highest approval rating. The logical conclusion is that the Ma administration's and Liu cabinet's increased approval ratings reflect increased dissatisfaction with the Chen family's money-laundering scandals. The public supports the Ma administration primarily because they want clean government and prosecution of corruption. But the economic downturn is also a reason for the Chen Shui-bian administration's downfall. For the public on Taiwan, scandals must be investigated. But the economy must also be revived. After all, the economy is the peoples' lifeline.

Unfortunately the Council for Economic Planning has issued a "blue light" warning for July, indicating an economic recession. Leading economic indicators show an integrated score of 107.4. Since last November we have experienced nine consecutive months of decline. July export orders fell to an annual rate of only 50.52 percent. Orders from mainland China fell 1.73 percent, establishing record lows for recent years. Given these figures, one can hardly expect the public to be pleased with the government's handling of the economy.

During the Liu cabinet's first month in office, it declared its determination to implement the Ma administration's policies. It promised to increase economic growth to 6 percent. Three months later, this check has bounced. Liu Chao-hsuan admitted bluntly, "Since we cannot achieve it, all we can do is explain why not." Why isn't the economy growing as fast as predicted before the presidential election? One. Global growth is slower than expected. This includes the US subprime mortgage crisis, which has had more serious repercussions than expected. Two. Mainland tourism to Taiwan. Domestic consumption has not been as great as expected. Policies to stimulate domestic demand will require more time to take effect. Unfortunately time waits for no man. Premier Liu is a smart man. He is well aware of his situation. Ma Ying-jeou can't give Liu much more leeway during Ma's first term.

The Liu cabinet took office two months ago. It hastily responded to rising oil prices. It got its lumps attempting to curb inflation. Liu set a six month deadline for himself when he introduced his budget and policy measures. Soon afterwards, the typhoon season began. Premier Liu was forced to deal with flood control problems that have been out of control for years. He revised his six-month budget and policy plans, and started over, determined to take a longer term approach to problems. This time he gave his cabinet and the administration a one and a half year time frame. Frankly, both the six month and one and a half year time frames are bizarre and unprecedented. The Chen Shui-bian administration set for itself five year and eight year time frames, and would have preferred time frames that stretched past 2008 or even 2012.

Liu Chao-hsuan doesn't have as much time to spare. The Liu cabinet's department heads are seasoned veterans who have returned to the battlefield for one last battle. They cannot allow themselves that much time. The county magistrate and city mayor elections will be held next year. The legislative elections will be held the year after that. Premier Liu's cabinet can serve only as Ma Ying-jeou's vanguard. After that, the baton gets passed to a "Committee to Re-elect the President." But if the vanguard has nothing to show, it will be impossible for any re-election committee to win a second term. The challenges the Liu cabinet faces are daunting.

How much has the Liu cabinet done over the past three months? Actually, quite a bit. It has allowed direct cross-Strait weekend flights, something prohibited for the past eight years. It has allowed mainland tourists to visit Taiwan. It has lifted the cap on mainland-bound investments. It has allowed Taiwan businesses to return to Taiwan and list their companies on the Taiwan stock exchange. Unfortunately cross-Strait economic policy has failed to achieve the expected results. Merely loosening cross-strait restrictions on the economy has a limited impact. Does the administration have another card it can play? So far, we see nothing. Premier Liu has been in office nearly 100 days. He told the media that after the Olympics he would start anew, implementing policies much more rapidly. Premier Liu knows that if cross-Strait policy measures can be implemented more swiftly than in the past, the economic situation may improve more swiftly than originally expected. The question is, can they be? What if the mainland economy declines following the Beijing Olympics? For the moment we can't say. The only certainty is that if the Liu cabinet bases its economic performance exclusively on uncertain mainland factors, the risk is considerable.

The Ma administration's polls numbers have rebounded this month. The Legislative Yuan has adjourned. The Chen family's money-laundering scandal has erupted. The Liu cabinet is outside the storm circle. But the Legislative Yuan will convene again in September. The Liu cabinet will inevitably have to face these problems. Only alleviating the domestic and international factors behind Taiwan's economic slump will win public applause.

中國時報  2008.08.28
百日新政 只能算勉強及格



偏偏經建會才公布的七月份景氣燈號轉入代表低迷的藍燈,其中可判斷未來景氣走勢的領先指標綜合分數一○ 七.四,是自去年十一月起,連續第九個月下滑。七月外銷訂單年增率降到只有五.五二%,來自中國大陸的訂單更遽降為一.七三%,均創下近年新低,從這些數字看來,要民眾對政府施政感到滿意,當然困難。






Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Southern Front and the Taiwan Independence Treasury

The Southern Front and the Taiwan Independence Treasury
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 27, 2008

Chen Shui-bian said that when he applied for State Affairs Fund reimbursements, he submitted personal invoices. He said he did so for the sake of the "Southern Front Project." At the time the DPP maintained that "A Bian is innocent." But A Bian's latest explanation is even more outrageous. Chen Shui-bian and his amen corner are telling us that the vast sums transferred to the Chen family's overseas accounts amount to a "Taiwan independence treasury," and that freezing these accounts is an attempt to throttle the Taiwan independence movement.

Chen Shui-bian and the Green Camp face a money-laundering scandal. They are responding to the crisis in two ways: One. They are attempting to diminish their feelings of guilt. Two. They are attempting to create moral justifications.

One. The Chen family has referred to the funds in a number of different ways. Wu Shu-chen says it is all "Chen family money." Chen Chih-chung says they are wedding gifts. Huang Jui-ching says the money belongs to her father, Huang Bai-lu. Today however, everyone says the money is "leftover campaign funds." The current spin takes into account a number of legal considerations. But its primary political appeal is that it conceptually launders "Chen family money" and converts it into what the Green Camp can begin to think of as "our money."

Chen Hsing-yu threw a public tantrum, saying Taiwan independence needs money, election campaigns need money. What she meant was that the money was not dirty. It has a sacred purpose. The money already spent may or may not have been spent legitimately. But how is the Chen familly going to explain away the money transferred overseas? According to Chen Shui-bian, "The money was transferred out of the country by Wu Shu-chen. I knew nothing about it." But he added "I know Wu Shu-chen did not transfer the funds out of the country for the Chen family. It was to be used for international diplomacy on behalf of Taiwan, after I left office."

First Chen said "I knew nothing about it." Then he said "I know the money was to be used for international diplomacy on behalf of Taiwan." Taiwan independence leaders are not calling Chen Shui-bian on his self-contradictory lies. Astonishingly enough, they have hitched a ride on them, and developed their previously mentioned "Taiwan independence treasury" thesis. The Chen family has also taken advantage of the situation to convert "Chen family money" into "our money." In this deluded, self-induced hypnotic state, Chen Shui-bian and Deep Green leaders' feelings of guilt have rapidly diminished. Their feelings of moral rectitude have been rapidly enhanced. If Chen Shui-bian takes the next step and donates the funds to the Green Camp, the Green Camp will find it even easier to defend their "Taiwan independence treasury."

Two. The DPP Central Standing Committee has set the tone. Chen's prosecution for corruption is to be spun as "the Kuomintang and [mainland] China colluding to persecute Chen Shui-bian and the DPP." In other words, in order to oppose mainland China and the KMT, one must support A Bian. Chen Shui-bian has launched an all-out counteroffensive. He is no longer saying "I did something the law does not allow. I shamed Taiwan." Instead he rails against a "political vendetta," against a campaign to "exterminate his entire family," and against a "Cultural Revolution-style political struggle." Chen Shui-bian has totally sidelined Tsai Ing-wen and other "non-mainstream" elements within the DPP. Kao Chun-min of the Presbyterian Church has given Chen's "counteroffensive against a political vendetta" his seal of approval. One pastor said: "If we can forgive Chen Chin-hsing, why can't we forgive Chen Shui-bian?" He conveniently forgot that Chen Chin-hsing was tried by the nation's legal system, and donated his organs after his execution for kidnapping and multiple murders. Does Chen Shui-bian really want to be compared to Chen Chin-hsing?

Three. Chen Shui-bian has repeatedly pointed the finger at Lee Teng-hui. He said Lee transferred 70 million NT in public funds into the account of the Taiwan Comprehensive Research Institute, and one billion NT overseas. Chen is extending his battlelines. He is also attempting to undermine Lee Teng-hui's status as the standard-bearer for the Taiwan independence movement. A simple quid pro quo has been struck. Chen Shui-bian is supporting independence because he lusts after wealth. Taiwan independence leaders are supporting A Bian because they lust after Taiwan independence.

The leadership of the Taiwan independence movement and the DPP have actually decided to use the "Southern Front Project" and "Taiwan independence treasury" lies to deceive themselves and others. By unconditionally supporting Chen Shui-bian, they have exposed the moral bankruptcy of the Taiwan independence movement and the DPP.

The Taiwan independence movement has reached the stage where its concepts, its conduct, its image have all been discredited. In fact, Chen Shui-bian bears the greatest responsibility for the movement's decline. Yet Taiwan independence leaders continue to support A Bian. They refer to a non-existent "Taiwan independence treasury." They maintain that "Chen Shui-bian knew nothing." They maintain that "Wu Shu-chen did it all on her own." They are attempting to diminish their collective feeling of guilt. They are attempting to enhance their collective feeling of moral rectitude. What is this, if not the setting of the sun? What is this, if not the end of the road?

The DPP's tone, meanwhile, is not being set by Tsai Ing-wen, but by Kao Chun-ming. The DPP has again been hijacked by Chen Shui-bian and the Taiwan independence movement. Tsai Ing-wen has been undermined and marginalized. The DPP has become Chen Shui-bian's lackey, despite the fact that Chen Shui-bian is no longer a party member. DPP leaders are using the pretext that the "KMT is colluding with [mainland] China to persecute Chen," and that "Taiwanese are being bullied" to justify supporting A Bian. They are attempting to diminish their collective feeling of guilt. They are attempting to enhance their collective feeling of moral rectitude. What is this, if not self-deception?

In fact, ever since the January legislative elections and the March presidential election, the consensus is that Chen Shui-bian's brand of Taiwan independence is the least appealing form of Taiwan independence. The consensus is that the DPP which has been hijacked by Chen Shui-bian is the least sympathetic form of the Democratic Progressive Party. For the past several months, the public has assumed that the Taiwan independence movement and the Democratic Progressive Party would distance themselves from Chen Shui-bian and undergo a metamorphisis. No one expected them to permit Chen Shui-bian to hijack them again.

When the money-laundering scandal first erupted, Taiwan independence elder Huang Chao-tang said "We hope Chen Shui-bian vanishes from the face of the earth forever!" But Chen Shui-bian has not vanished. He now looms above Huang Chao-tang, awaiting his apology.

2008.08.27 06:42 am













Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Can They Pass All Blame onto Wu Shu-chen?

How Can They Pass All Blame onto Wu Shu-chen?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 26, 2008

When First Son Chen Chih-chung and First Daughter in Law Huang Jui-ching's returned to Taiwan, they spoke to the media. Their manner was composed as they swore that they were merely figureheads for dummy accounts, that Chen's mother Wu Shu-chen handled all the money within the family, and that his father knew nothing. Everyone, including Chen Shui-bian, concerned parties, Chen Chih-chung, and Huang Jui-ching told the same story. They repeatedly emphasized that Wu Shu-chen was in charge of all the money within the Chen family. No one else in the family knew anything whatsoever.

If the prosecution and the public swallow their story, then Chen Shui-bian, former head of state, former spiritual leader of the Green Camp, along with the young, eager to learn Chen Chih-chung and his wife, may get off scot-free. According to those close to Chen Shui-bian, Wu Shu-chen's health is extremely poor. If these cases go to court, would she be able to withstand the strain? Or would it be a recapitulation of the State Affairs Expenses case, during which she repeatedly applied for sick leave? If she cannot stand trial, how can the overseas money-laundering investigation proceed? Furthermore, Wu Shu-chen is not a government official. Even assuming prosecutors track down the funds, what then? Whose money is it? Is it Wu Shu-chen's dowry? is it Huang Jui-ching and Chen Chih-chung's wedding gifts? Is it Huang Jui-ching's father Huang Bailu's investments? Is it Chen Shui-bian's leftover campaign funds? Chen Shui-bian or Chen Shui-bian's family may have overseas accounts. They may have disappointed their supporters and damaged Chen's image as the "Son of Taiwan" But the prosecution might not be able to prove that the funds in these accounts were acquired illegally. Even if Chen is fined, his losses will not be that great.

Therefore, as far as protecting Chen Shui-bian and the DPP is concerned, allowing Wu Shu-chen alone to shoulder all political and legal responsibility is definitely the least costly alternative. Is this the former First Family's damage control strategy? The public cannot be sure. The public however cannot help but be flabbergasted watching Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching coldly push all responsibility onto Chen Chih-chung's mother Wu Shu-chen.

The public is baffled. Chen Chih-chung is preparing to study for a Juris Doctor degree. He has to be aware of the complex political and legal consequences of his family's involvement in offshore accounts or even suspected money-laundering cases. If Wu Shu-chen was the only person who knew all the facts, then the responsibility and pressure she will have to bear will be immense. Given her physical and mental condition, how can her son and daughter-in-law display such cavalier indifference to her circumstances? How can Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching remain so calm, so matter of fact, so unconcerned? Knowing full well that Chen Chih-chung's mother is in big trouble, how can they remain at such ease? If the Chen family can teach their children to remain so calm, so masterful, then they truly are a breed apart.

By contrast, Chen Hsing-yu, another of Chen Shui-bian's children, threw a fit of hysteria. This left the public wondering. The differences between the members of this family truly are great. One throws a public fit even before matters have come clear. The other acts as if nothing is the matter even as the money-laundering scandal looms ever larger, and shifts all responsibility onto his physically frail mother.

If the overseas accounts really were masterminded from beginning to end by Wu Shu-chen alone, then Wu Shu-chen will know no peace from this day forward. She has no idea how many times she will be forced to appear in court, how many times she will be denounced by strangers. Wouldn't Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching be reluctant? Wouldn't they be upset? But they weren't. This young couple revealed no such emotions whatsoever, leaving people utterly baffled. Were they really that cold-blooded? Or had they rehearsed their response in advance, resulting in their on the scene reaction? Their statements were a little too perfect. Their extraordinary calm was a dead giveaway, because it was too far removed from a natural human responses.

Secondly, Wu Shu-chen can't even appear in court for questioning. The sums involved are immense. She must control their source of origin, the amounts paid out, determine which elections need how much support. To properly allocate all these funds is a complex task. How much energy does it require? Wu Shu-chen may be smart. Her mind may be sharp. But how could her physical health possibly withstand the strain? If on the other hand, she is able to assume responsibility for such complex financial issues, such as which funds to transfer where, which shell company to open where, that means she has energy to spare. In which case, how difficult can it be to appear in court?

Furthermore, this is hardly Chen Shui-bian's first election. Would he really not know the amount of funds remaining following each campaign? He was able to say without hesitation that he contributed three to four hundred million dollars to the DPP. Would he really not know the amount left over after each campaign? Where they eventually wound up? Would he not care? Would he not be curious? Supporters donated the funds to Chen Shui-bian, not to Wu Shu-chen. Campaign subsidies are distributed to candidates. If Chen Shui-bian was totally indifferent to their fate, wouldn't he be just a little irresponsible? How many families on Taiwan transfer billions of dollars overseas, without the husband knowing anything about it? Is this even the least bit credible?

These overseas accounts all had to be handled by Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching. They saw hundreds of millions in funds transferred here and there. They never once asked Chen Chih-chung's mother what they were all about? They never once mentioned the matter to Chen Chih-ching's father? Chen Shui-bian never knew anything? Wow, this family's security measures certainly are tight. Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching help his mother Wu Shu-chen open overseas accounts and make overseas deposits, but say nothing about them. Yet Chen Shui-bian shares all sorts of sensitive information relating to party comrades' campaign funds with his son and daughter in law? And yet Chen Shui-bian told his daughter, who has never gotten involved in politics, how much he gave this person and that, inspiring Chen Hsing-yu to cry out on his behalf? Just exactly what sort of secrets cannot be spoken of in the Chen Shui-bian home? The answer is apparently beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals. What can one say, except that this is a strange family indeed!

中國時報  2008.08.26


如 果這個說法為檢方、社會大眾採信,曾經擔任國家元首、身為綠營精神領袖的陳水扁,以及年輕向學、前途一片大好的陳致中夫婦或許就可以全身而退;而據親扁人 士指出吳淑珍的身體健康極差,未來如果又要因相關案件頻上法庭,她熬得下去嗎?會不會又像國務機要費的案子一樣,一路請假到底,如果是這樣,海外洗錢案怎 麼繼續查下去呢?再說,吳淑珍又沒有公務人員身分,就算查到了又能怎麼樣呢?這些錢到底是吳淑珍的嫁妝、陳致中黃睿靚結婚時的禮金、黃睿靚父親黃百祿的投 資、又或者是選舉結餘款,只要檢方無法證明這些海外帳戶裡的錢是非法所得,就算陳水扁或者陳水扁家族有海外帳戶,讓支持者失望、讓他的「台灣之子」形象受 損,或者補點罰款,其他的,畢竟損失不大啊!

所以,從保護陳水扁甚至於民進黨的角度來說,讓吳淑珍一個人一肩扛起所有的政治與法律責任, 的確是「成本最低」的一個選擇。然而,姑且不論這是不是陳水扁家族以及者支持者「損害控制」的策略,看到陳致中和黃睿靚這對夫妻幾乎是完全不帶感情地全往 媽媽吳淑珍身上推,真的還是讓人感到十分訝異。

首先讓人不解的是,陳致中是準備要念法律博士的人,他不可能不知道這次家族涉及的海外帳戶 甚至疑似洗錢一案,後續的政治、法律問題有多複雜繁瑣,如果確實所有的事都只有吳淑珍一個人知道,那她未來將要承受多大的責任和壓力,以吳淑珍的身心狀 況,身為兒子、媳婦的人難道一點都不會為媽媽擔心嗎?為什麼陳致中和黃睿靚可以表現的如此平靜、說得如此理所當然,沒有一點憂慮神色?在明知媽媽麻煩大了 的情況下,還可以如此泰然自若,陳家能把孩子教得這麼冷靜、這麼有大將之風,實有過人之處。


試 想,如果這整起事件真的從頭尾都只有吳淑珍一個人在操盤,那就意謂著吳淑珍此後的日子不平靜了,她不知道要上幾次法庭,她要面對多少人的指責甚至咒罵…想 到這裡,陳致中和黃睿靚應該會不捨吧,會不安吧,沒有!這對年輕夫婦完全沒有這方面的表現。這實在讓人不解,是他們太冷酷了呢,還是這些應對場面早已演練 過了,以致於臨場反應、用字遣詞幾達爐火純青。但他們的過於鎮定反而是一大破綻,因為太不合人情。

其次,吳淑珍連出庭應訊都沒有辦法承 受,這些金額龐大的資金,她既要管各路不同來源是怎麼來的,又要管要給誰多少,哪個人選舉需要多少錢,要妥善發落,這是多麼複雜的工作,需要多少能量才能 辦得好;吳淑珍或許頭腦非常精明、心細如絲,但她的身體健康狀況能承受嗎?她既能總攬如此複雜的財務問題,還要決定把錢匯到哪裡,在哪裡開個紙上公司什麼 的,顯見精力不差,那當時出個一、兩次庭,有那麼難嗎?

再者,陳水扁不是第一次選舉,他會不知道每次選會有結餘款,他都能夠那麼明確地說 出捐給了民進黨有三.四億元,他會不知道歷次選舉有結餘,這些結餘的下落到底如何,他會不關心、不好奇嗎?支持者是捐款給陳水扁不是捐給吳淑珍,選舉的補 助款是發給候選人的,陳水扁完全不聞不問,會不會太不負責任了一點?台灣有幾個家庭可以匯幾億元到國外,然後做老公的人還一點都不知情?這合理嗎?

這 些海外帳戶的開戶、轉帳都需要陳致中與黃睿靚辦理手續,眼看著幾億的錢轉來轉去,他們不但不會開口問一下媽媽這是怎麼回事,甚至在這過程中,連對老爸提一 下都沒有,以致於陳水扁說他這一路以來什麼都不知道,哇,這家人的「保密防諜」也未免做得太嚴密了吧。陳致中、黃睿靚幫媽媽吳淑珍開戶、轉帳都不講,陳水 扁卻跟兒女大談理當是同黨同志間敏感話題的選舉款,跟向來不涉政治的兒女講給了這個人多少錢、給了那個人多少錢,讓陳幸妤為老爸猛抱屈。到底在陳水扁家什 麼才是「不能說的祕密」,恐怕不能以常理判斷;只能說,這家人還真的很奇特!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Marginalization of Tsai Ing-wen

The Marginalization of Tsai Ing-wen
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 25, 2008

The DPP Central Standing Committee has resolved that the party will participate in the August 30 "One Hundred Day's Roar" protest march. This development has at least three implications for the DPP.

One. The Central Standing Committee maintains that Chen Shui-bian's prosecution is a case of the "Kuomintang and [mainland] China colluding to persecute the DPP and Taiwan." It intends to rationalize its conduct as "Supporting A Bian means Loving Taiwan. Loving Taiwan means Supporting A Bian."

Two. The protest march is being led by pro-independence elements. Rival elements within the Democratic Progressive Party who consider the timing "inopportune," and believe that the party ought to "live to fight another day," are in the minority and on the defensive. This shows that the DPP remains under the sway of pro-independence elements. The DPP did not participate in the August 9 Taiwan church group demonstration and the August 20 Taiwan Solidarity Union demonstration against Ma Ying-jeou. Yet it remains committed to independence and is unable to prevent itself from being hijacked by pro independence elements.

Three. Most importantly, the situation shows that the DPP hyas repudiate Tsai Ing-wen's new ideas and new direction. Tsai Ying-wen's leadership has being marginalized. Tsai Ing-wen has bowed to pressure to participate in the march. This shows that Tsai Ing-wen is unable to lead the DPP. This shows that she and the DPP have already been hijacked by Chen Shui-bian and pro-independence elements.

The most shameful response of the Green Camp and the DPP following the outbreak of the Chen Shui-bian money-laundering scandal, was to feign surprise and shock, to pretend they had suddenly awoken from a dream, and to declare: "Who knew Chen Shui-bian was like this?"

Even Tsai Ing-wen played along. "So the rumors were true!" In fact, Chen's Taiwan Development Corporation scandal, SOGO scandal, State Expenses scandal, long ago exposed Chen Shui-bian's shameless and despicable conduct. Pro-independence forces within the Democratic Progressive Party have long maintained that A Bian was innocent, and argued that "Supporting A Bian means Loving Taiwan. Loving Taiwan means Supporting A Bian." Did they really not know what kind of person Chen Shui-bian was?

Now that Chen Shui-bian's money-laundering scandals have been exposed, the Democratic Progressive Party and pro independence elements are feigning surprise and shock, and acting as if they had suddenly awakened from a dream. Some want him to "vanish from the face of the earth." Some want him to commit hara kiri or drown himself in the ocean. Even Tsai Ing-wen went along with the pretense, saying "So the rumors were true." In fact of course Chen Shui-bian is still the same old Chen Shui-bian he always was. The only difference is some supporters think it's time the DPP changed its tune and disassociated itself from Chen Shui-bian.

Who could have guessed that following a bout of political wrangling, the DPP would again decide to take to the streets on August 30? The "non-mainstream faction" within the DPP which wants to disassociate itself from greed, independence, and Chen Shui-bian has lost the struggle to change the party line. The KMT underwent an internal struggle between "mainstream" and "non-mainstream" factions. Then Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui represented the "mainstream." Tsai Ing-wen by contrast, does not represent the "mainstream." Her direction for the party has been repudiated. Her leadership has been marginalized. She represents the "non-mainstream."

Why is the DPP protesting? For whom is it protesting? The theme of the August 30 protest march is "defending sovereignty, filling bellies, and demanding sunshine." Defending sovereignty has reportedly been changed to "defending democracy." Filling bellies has reportedly been changed to "defending the people's livelihood." Demanding sunshine, i.e., demanding a sunshine policy, was added at the last minute. What we would like to know is, why was "defending sovereignty" changed to "defending democracy?" What was the DPP attempting to evade? Whether Ma Ying-jeou is leaning toward Beijing can be debated. But what grounds to Taiwan independence elements have to demand the "defense of Taiwan's sovereignty?" As for "filling bellies," the Democratic Progressive Party wants blame Taiwan's economic plight on the KMT, which took office only 100 days ago. Shouldn't the DPP take a hard look at its long held policy of "Support A Bian, even if it means starving to death?" As far as "demanding sunshine" is concerned, the least the DPP can do is not spin Chen Shui-bian's prosecution for corruption as "political persecution by the Kuomintang and [mainland] China." The least the DPP can do is revoke Chen Shui-bian's party membership.

Chen Shui-bian has spun his criminal prosecution as "political persecution." The August 30 protest march has already become a "Supporting A Bian means Loving Taiwan. Loving Taiwan means Supporting A Bian" demonstration. The protest march proves two things. One, that Taiwan independence forces have already made a comeback, and two, that Tsai Ing-wen has already been marginalized.

The public on Taiwan already knows the DPP's logic like the back of its hand. The DPP is using "loving Taiwan" as cover for "supporting A Bian." It is using "protesting against Ma" as cover for "supporting independence." Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Marchers might not utter a single slogan in support of A Bian. But they will not be able to conceal their support for A Bian in the guise of "opposition to political persecution." Marchers might not wave a single banner in support of Taiwan independence. But they will not be able to conceal the fact that Taiwan independence elements have hijacked the DPP and Tsai Ing-wen. The mainstream faction consists of Chen Shui-bian and Taiwan independence elements. They may or may not constitute a numerical majority. The non-mainstream faction consists of Tsai Ing-wen and others. They may or may not constitute a numerical minority. The protest march is in fact an arena for Green Camp infighting -- one in which the mainstream faction has already crushed the non-mainstream faction.

This is extremely unfair to Tsai Ing-wen. The DPP has made her chairperson, in name only. It is not helping her achieve her political goals. This is a harsh test for Tsai Ing-wen. The Tsai Ing-wen who will take to the streets on August 30 will not be the real Tsai Ing-wen.

2008.08.25 03:41 am













Friday, August 22, 2008

Is This Merely the Tip of the Iceberg?

Is This Merely the Tip of the Iceberg?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 17, 2008

Not long ago, Chen Shui-bian self-righteously denied that he had any overseas bank accounts. But soon afterwards, the Swiss Ministry of Justice sent a letter to the ROC requesting information. Chen Shui-bian's overseas account names and account numbers were exposed, and Chen belatedly admitted that he did indeed have overseas bank accounts. Not long ago, the DPP party hierarchy was still "affirming" Chen Shui-bian's courage and willingness to face justice. Soon afterwards, confronted by Green Camp supporters' wrath and denunciations, the DPP pressured A Bian and A Tseng to resign from the party. But what good are these belated apologies and disclaimers?

Chen Shui-bian issued a cursory apology. The DPP made a single page statement. But how much evil can an apology and a statement compensate for, this late in the day? The DPP party hierarchy lined up in a row. It bowed to the public. It denounced Chen Shui-bian in harsher terms than the Blue Camp. But how much evil can lining up, bowing, and denouncing Chen compensate for, this late in the day?

Rewind and replay the past eight years. Do they not seem like some kind of absurd farce? When Chen Shui-bian stood on a podium inciting a war of reunification vs. independence, solemnly vowing to "rectify" the name of the nation, to author a new "Taiwanese" constitution, and to hold a plebiscite for Taiwan independence, he was busy setting up dozens of secret overseas bank accounts. When Chen Shui-bian provoked Blue vs. Green polarization, tore society in two, and accused others of "selling out Taiwan," he was busy transferring vast sums of money into these same accounts. Review Chen Shui-bian's high-minded declarations over the past eight years, at all the vows he made with head raised high and chest thrust out. Then compare them with his greed, corruption, and endless lies. Were his victims really limited to Green Camp supporters alone? Everyone on Taiwan paid a price. A price that can hardly be considered trivial.

At a time like this the hearts of diehard Green Camp supporters must be colder than ice. Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen has been running hither and thither, in a desperate attempt to raise funds -- one hard-earned dollar after another, gathered from supporters, many of whom worked hard for their meager income. Some have donated their life savings, only to make the horrifying discovery that their hard-earned donations were merely a pittance compared to what A Bian has in any one of his overseas accounts.

Assume for the moment that these vast sums actually were "leftover campaign funds." How dare Chen Shui-bian desposit them in his own family's overseas accounts, and leave nothing to the near bankrupt DPP? How many people must donate money and time to wage an election campaign? How many people must fight shoulder to shoulder for a common cause? A Bian would rather watch as the DPP's finances dwindle, and as diehard supporters contribute their life savings, all the while depositing "leftover campaign funds" into his secret accounts. Needless to say, the DPP has been forced to cancel all its fund-raising dinners. How will the Democratic Progressive Party ever again be able to ask people for campaign contributions?

Fund-raising difficulties are one thing. The most embarrassing problem for the DPP is how to restore its once clean image. While Chen Shui-bian was blasting the KMT for treating the national treasury as its party treasury, he was establishing his own little overseas exchequer. When Chen Shui-bian was vowing to fight for Taiwan, he was using all sorts of pretexts to amass a personal fortune. Given the ugly reality, is it really enough for the DPP to disown Chen? For the past eight years, from top to bottom, DPP officials rallied to the defense of their corrupt leader. How many meetings did they convene? How many press conferences did they hold? How many dissenters did they denounce? How many people did they drag down with them? How many supporters sweated and wept -- all for naught? How many Blue vs. Green confrontations took place -- for no reason? How many scars are waiting to be healed? All so that Chen and his family could accumulate hundreds of millions of dollars in their overseas accounts.

Do not assume that only the DPP has suffered, and that only Green Camp supporters have been betrayed. Everyone on Taiwan has paid a price. A national leader who rose to power by trumpeting his honesty and integrity, turned out to be greedy and corrupt beyond belief. A political party that won the public trust by trumpteting its honesty and integrity, defended a corrupt leader to the bitter end. During the entire process, not one person stepped forward to uphold right and wrong, or condemn those responsible. Who will ever again believe the repeated assurances of political figures? Who will ever again believe the noble declarations of any political party? Who will not suspect that behind these assurances and aspirations, lurk calculation and greed?

The public on Taiwan was just beginning to feel proud of the Republic of China's democratic achievements, when A Bian and his family's record of wrongdoing made it feel ashamed. This shameful page is destined to remain an indelible part of Asia's history. Future discussions of global corruption will forever note this period in Taiwan's history.

Most saddening of all, this may be only the beginning. Further investigation has uncovered one scandal after another. Mounting evidence shows these were not merely "leftover campaign funds," and that the source of the funds is even more shocking. What has been uncovered so far is merely the tip of the iceberg. More accomplices, more incidents, and more evidence are coming to light. We can now say that the damage inflicted and the humiliation suffered is not over. More surprises and more embarrassments await.











Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beijing's Olympics vs. Hitler's Olympics

Beijing's Olympics vs. Hitler's Olympics
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 21, 2008

The whole world is talking about the Beijing Olympics, including Taiwan. Topics of discussion include: How good were the opening ceremony performances? Will the Olympics become an economic asset or economic liability for the Beijing government? Are the Beijing Olympics a clone of the Nazi Olympics? The answer depends on whom you ask.

The consensus is that: The Beijing Olympics weren't merely a sporting event. They were a finely-honed public relations campaign, skillfully orchestrated by the mainland authorities. It may be an indicator of the Chinese mainland's future direction.

Zhang Yimou's opening ceremony provoked some lively controversy. Those who approved praised it as "an extravaganza." Those who disapproved dismissed it as "just a bunch of people." Interestingly enough, the West seemed to adopt an "Emperor's New Clothes" position on Zhang Yimou's "Tale of China." They were afraid of accusations that they "didn't understand the Orient." But many Chinese netizens were offended and indignant at Zhang Yimou's relentless depiction of the Chinese people as armies of ants. It is of course a simple matter to use computer animation to create armies of ants. But Zhang used thousands of live performers to create something little different from computer animation. This may be something China is good at. But it is also something some Chinese think is nothing to be proud of.

Forget everything else. The very fact that there is such a diversity of opinion about Zhang Yimou personally, and that opinions are so polarized, shows that China is very different from what many people assume and expect.

In fact, widely divergent evaluations of China did not begin with the Beijing Olympics. Over the past 20 years, some have said that China is a sleeping lion that has just been awakened, or a giant that is rising to its feet. Some have touted the "Coming Collapse of China" or the "China Threat." Today Hu Jintao is in Beijing hosting the Olympic Games. Some have compared him to Adolf Hitler hosting the Olympic Games in Berlin. These two Olympics are separated by 72 years. Should such comments be seen as objective historical prophecy, or merely anticipatory schadenfreude?

Zhang Yimou has offered us a look at his hand scroll of China's history. But what does the portion yet to be unrolled have in store? In any event, Hu Jintao is not the same as Hitler. The world of the 21st century is not the same as the world of the 1930s and 1940s. The Chinese people are not the same as the German people. In short, the Beijing Olympics are not the same as Hitler's Nazi Olympics.

Hitler's Third Reich perished before Germans even got a chance to reflect upon and to oppose Hitler. Today's China, by contrast, has experienced the Cultural Revolution. Mainland Chinese know about the insanity of tyrants and the stupidity of mobs. They have witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They recognize the dangers of secession. They experienced the June 4 Tiananmen Incident. They have had 19 years to reflect on it. Will China produce a Hitler? They are in substantial agreement about Mao Zedong's mixed legacy. Will mainland Chinese again become Red Guards? Will they drown in a sea of blood? The answer is not necessarily. That is because Hitler and the German never got the chance to regret their choices. China by contrast, has.

Forget everything else. Just take a look at mainland Chinese netizens' evaluation of Zhang Yimou's opening ceremony, and you will know that they didn't necessarily like Zhang Yimou's ant-like depiction of China and the Chinese people. Some people think Hu Jintao's Olympics is a clone of Hitler's Olympics. These people will probably not be able to influence China's domestic evolution. But they may be misled by their own schadenfreude.

For example, on Taiwan Lee Teng-hui touted "China's Coming Collapse." Abroad, he touted the "China Threat." This was the primary basis for his "Avoid Haste, Be Patient" policy and his turn to Taiwan independence. But the positive changes on the Chinese mainland over the years have not been to Lee Teng-hui's liking. Therefore observers on Taiwan must pay attention to the changes on the mainland. If they blindly equate the Chinese mainland with Hitler's Germany, and allow themselves to be carried away by their own obsessions, they risk misleading themselves.

Returning to Zhang Yimou, the entire opening ceremony stressed one word, "harmony." Thirty years ago, the Cultural Revolution denounced Confucius and praised Qin Shihuang. Now, 30 years later, the opening act in the Beijing Olympics was the grand procession of Confucian scholars. Three thousand Confucian scholars dressed in traditional robes and hats symbolized China's mainstream Confucianist values. Beijing wants to use the Olympics to demonstrate to the outside world its peaceful development, and to demonstrate to the public at home its harmonious society. Of course, the outside world and domestic opinion may not follow Zhang Yimou's script. But at the very least the Beijing Olympics theme of harmony is rather far removed from Hitler's Olympics theme of militarism. The theme of Hitler's Nazism was militarism. The theme of China's reform and liberalization, by contrast, is humanity and the unleashing of human creativity.

In fact, mainland China's peaceful development is a key variable for Taiwan. Beijing has not promised not to use force. Nevertheless, its overall trend has been toward "harmony." In recent years, the two sides have moved toward "maintaining the status quo and creating a win-win scenario." Beijing has gradually changed its thinking regarding the Taiwan Strait. Because if Beijing uses force against Taipei, it is bound to destroy internal and external harmony. The consequences would be unthinkable and unmanageable.

The Beijing Olympics and Hitler's Olympics are not necessarily comparable. Probably no one in the world wants Beijing's Olympics to become Hitler's Nazi Olympics. More importantly, political leaders on Taiwan would not find it easy to establish cross-Strait relations with Beijing if the Beijing Olympics were anything like Hitler's Nazi Olympics.

2008.08.21 03:03 am













Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yeh Sheng-mao, Traitor to the Bureau of Investigation

Yeh Sheng-mao, Traitor to the Bureau of Investigation
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 20, 2008

Chen Shui-bian's family has engaged in money-laundering. Late last year their activities were exposed by an international anti-money laundering organization. Foreign prosecutors repeatedly asked our government to assist their investigation. To everyones' surprise, they were repeatedly blocked by our executive branch. Most contemptible of all, Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao buried the case for seven months, forfeiting the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot.

Late last year the Egmont Group, an international money-laundering prevention and control organization, discovered that First Daughter-in-Law Huang Jui-ching's account exhibited an abnormal number of large transactions. The group noticed that these huge sums were not commensurate with Huang Jui-ching and her husband's income. On January 28, Cayman Islands prosecutors informed the ROC Bureau of Investigation Money Laundering Prevention Center, asking for its assistance in their investigation. When the Money Laundering Prevention Center informed the Prosecutor General's Office, Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao cited "issues of sensitivity" as an excuse to personally pass the case on to Attorney General Chen Tsung-ming. As expected, nothing was heard of the case after that. As a result of the change in ruling parties in May, Swiss prosecutors made the connection between the case and Chen Shui-bian, and notified our Ministry of Foreign Affairs twice over the past six to seven months. Otherwise, Yeh Sheng-mao would have covered the crime up completely, dropping it forever down the memory hole, leaving nary a trace.

Whether Yeh Sheng-mao or Chen Tsung-ming were derelict in their duties will have to await the Ministry of Justice's final report. Based on the two officials' rhetoric however, Chen Tsung-ming's role needs further clarification, while Yeh Sheng-mao's crime of concealing public documents is all too clear. One. Yeh Sheng-mao removed documents that the Money Laundering Prevention Center issued to prosecutors. He neither turned them over to Chen Tsung-ming, nor returned them. This already qualifies as a cover up. Two. Chou Yu-yi, the Director of the Money Laundering Prevention Center, asked Yeh Sheng-mao whether he had turned the documents over to Chen Tsung-ming, twice. But Yeh was never able to show Chou a signed receipt for the documents. Obviously Yeh was lying. Three. Yeh Sheng-mao repeatedly changed his story. First he said that Chen Tsung-ming submitted a document. Later he said Chen merely made an oral report. Still later he said the case was on hold due to the election. Finally he said the reason he hadn't taken any action on the case whatsoever was that he was "busy planning his retirement."

Yeh Sheng-mao repeatedly changed his story, contradicting himself. But he was unable to disguise the fact that he covered up a crime. This was not merely a case of misprision of felony. On the one hand he concealed evidence from prosecutors. On the other hand he fabricated lies to mislead the Money Laundering Prevention Center, hoping they would shelve the case. This constitutes a serious dereliction of duty. If Yeh Sheng-mao is guilty of misprision of felony, and also of informing Chen Shui-bian about the matter, helping him plan his escape, destroying relevant evidence, then he is also guilty of violating civil service laws against leaking secrets and destroying evidence. No matter what, Yeh Sheng-mao, as Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, abused his authority covering up crimes. He kept the judiciary in the dark for seven months. He sat on his hands and refused to investigate the case. He betrayed the nation's system of justice. Everyone should denounce him.

Chen Shui-bian ruled for eight years. He reduced a civil service system that ought to have remained politically neutral, into a chameleon that changes its colors with the political winds. Yeh Sheng-mao's outrages against justice, are merely the tip of the iceberg. In recent years, such outrages have proliferated, including the Sogo Gift Certificates case and the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit case. Bureau of Investigation officers are suspected of tipping off politicians, and even tutoring them on how to evade prosecution. Yeh Sheng-mao himself is suspected of leaking information to Green Camp bigwigs in the Hualien Gravel scandal and other scandals. When the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, who stands on the frontlines of the judicial process, engages in such conduct, it's no wonder Liu Kuan-ping, ROC Representative to Switzerland, had the chutzpah to withhold documents provided by Swiss prosecutors from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Did Chen Tsung-ming ever received an oral report of the case from Yeh Sheng-mao? Did he refuse to accept the case because it was a hot potato? Further investigation is required. The Money Laundering Prevention Center created a case file and filed official documents. Did Yeh Sheng-mao apply pressure from above to prevent further action? Were civil servants passive and fearful of controversy? Did they adopt a self-imposed, wait-and-see attitude? All these possibilities should be investigated. Especially since the case involves the heads of both the Bureau of Investigation and the Special Investigative Unit. The Special Investigative Unit must recuse itself and be replaced by other investigative bodies.

Foreign judiciaries are working together to track down transnational crimes. Our executive and judiciary, meanwhile, have been diligently sheltering criminals, and burying other nations' case files. How despicable. How shameful. How pathetic. Chen Shui-bian enriched himself by laundering money. He shamed Taiwan. He paralyzed prosecutors and investigators. Yeh Sheng-mao was his hatchetman, his accomplice, and a traitor to our entire justice system.

Yeh Sheng-mao knew the law and broke the law. The Ministry of Justice must not show him one iota of mercy. Yeh Sheng-mao covered up crimes. He deliberately wasted seven critical months of time. Prosecutors and investigators must work together to uncover the truth behind the money laundering case. Only the truth can purge our justice system of this unprecedented black mark against its honor.

司法叛徒葉盛茂 還我七個月來!
2008.08.20 03:17 am









Monday, August 18, 2008

Taiwan Awakes! Baseball and Money-Laundering

Taiwan Awakes! Baseball and Money-Laundering
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 18, 2008

On the afternoon of August 15, thunder and lightning danced in the skies above Taipei. In Beijing, the Chinese Taipei baseball team lost to the China team, 7 to 8. In Taipei, as a result of the international money-laundering scandal, Chen Shui-bian announced his resignation from the DPP. The press referred to the baseball loss as a "national day of mourning." It referred to the exposure of the money laundering scandal as a "national day of shame." That day was July 15 on the lunar calendar, the day of the Ghost Festival.

Baseball and democracy are two things Taiwan is most proud of. They are two pillars of mainstream consciousness on Taiwan. But on August 15, Black Friday, lightning crackled in the skies above Taipei. In sports we endured a "national day of mourning." In politics we endured a "national day of shame." Perhaps the timing was merely a coincidence. Nevertheless it sent everyone on Taiwan an alarming message.

Baseball is the national sport. That is not to say that Taiwan is invincible in baseball. But baseball now runs through every ROC citizen's veins. At least three generations on Taiwan have been baseball fans, beginning with the Red Leaf Little League, all the way up to Wang Chien-ming. Baseball developed at a time when Taiwan was relatively poor. Today baseball is an important element in the public consciousness.

Last Friday however, the Chinese Taipei team "actually" (That is how many of the media described it) lost to the China team. The media said this was a game the Chinese Taipei team could not afford to lose, but lost nonetheless. It could not afford to lose for three reasons: One. It would lose at the Olympics. Two. It would lose in Beijing. Three. It would lose to the China team. Before this, the Chinese Taipei team considered itself more advanced than the China team. It felt that losing a single game didn't necessarily mean that the Chinese Taipei team had fallen behind the China team. But losing this particular game seriously wounded "Taiwanese" pride and feelings of superiority. Especially since the Chinese Taipei team is currently one for four.

Democracy is "Taiwan's" pride. So-called "Son of Taiwan" Chen Shui-bian once boasted that he was the heir to 400 years of native Taiwanese tradition. Today however, he stands accused of corruption. His family's greed and corruption have undermined the nation's values. It is no exaggeration to say that their crimes are too numerous to list. Chen Shui-bian resigned from the party during the Ghost Festival. But Taiwan remains trapped in the political hell he and the DPP meticulously created.

The Taiwan independence movement has used democracy to undermine national identity, and to disown the Republic of China. But it has been unable to create a "Nation of Taiwan." The Taiwan independence movement has used democracy to tear apart the community, to claim that "I love Taiwan," but that "You are a traitor to Taiwan." Those who dissented have been told to jump into the Pacific Ocean. Democracy has been reduced to cutthroat election campaigns. Plebiscites have been reduced to tools for hijacking elections. Cross-Strait issues have been used to herd the public toward a populist dead end -- a Closed Door Policy. Diplomacy has been reduced to playing Washington for a fool. Government has been reduced to a hotbed of endless corruption and scandals.

Chen Shui-bian is an icon. He represents more than Chen Shui-bian the man. This erstwhile spokesman for "Taiwan's" democracy. was the Joshua of "Taiwan's" democracy. Chen Shui-bian's resignation from the DPP, represents his personal karma. But he also gravely wounded the DPP, which supported him and and abetted his corruption. He burst the bubble of "Taiwan's" democracy. Who can bear to watch as six decades of struggle on behalf of "Taiwan's" democracy produced such a "paragon of democracy" as Chen Shui-bian?

The baseball loss to the China team is a warning. The consensus regarding this loss is that the China team has improved, and that it was not a matter of luck. In other words, the Chinese Taipei baseball team, despite improvements, has failed to maintain its lead over the China team. Actually the dynamics of cross-Strait baseball reveal the changes on Taiwan during the 20 years since the lifting of martial law, and the changes on the mainland during the 30 years since economic reform and political liberalization. A ball is round. The cross-strait scenario is round. The global scenario is also round. Will the public on Taiwan awaken to this fact?

The degeneration of "Taiwan's" democracy is even more alarming. Chen Shui-bian once said that "democracy recognizes no taboos." But should "Taiwan's" democracy violate the taboo of national identity? Taiwan independence advocates never seem to tire of demeaning the Republic of China. But does that equate with the establishment of a "Nation of Taiwan?" Should "Taiwan's" democracy violate the taboo against dividing people along "ethnic" lines? We are all in the same boat. Who should be driven headlong into the Pacific Ocean? Should "Taiwan's" democracy violate the taboo against political corruption? President Chen used a fictitous "Southern Front Project" as a pretext to embezzle public funds. The National Security Bureau used diplomacy and arms procurment as pretexts to enrich Chen's wallet. The entire government has attracted the world's attention as an insatiably greedy den of thieves. Is not such a democracy squarely on the road to national perdition? When will the public on Taiwan awaken from its stupor?

Balls are round. One's opponents may be progressing. One's own progress may be inadequate. Democracy is also round, Democracy enables humanity to progress. But it can also enable a nation to perish. The world is round. Will Taiwan move toward the center, or toward the margins? Some say that August 15 was a "national day of mourning." Some say it was a "national day of shame." The public on Taiwan must be vigilant. The public on Taiwan must wake up.

2008.08.19 04:01 am











The Prosecution of A Bian Has Just Begun

The Prosecution of A Bian Has Just Begun
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 18, 2008

The Chen Shui-bian money-laundering case has reached the stage where the public is ready to stone him to death. Even the President of the Control Yuan, whose duty is to determine legal responsibility, has openly spoken out on about the matter, reflecting public demands for the Chen family to commit hara kiri. In terms of moral stature, Chen Shui-bian now rates with kidnapper and murderer Chen Chin-hsing. He has essentially been convicted in the court of public opinion. His coffin has yet to be nailed shut, but his epitaph as already been written. In fact, in terms of the judicial process, we have only just begun to discover the truth.

Chen Shui-bian's press conference and apology was anything but a confession. He has been aware of his plight for a long time. He has cooly marshalled his forces. With his lawyers at his side, he struck a preemptive blow. He used misdirection. He confessed to a lesser crime to evade prosecution for a far more serious crime. What passed for an apology, was in fact an attempt to evade justice. In fact he failed to confess to any crime whatsoever. Instead he threw in the kitchen sink while pretending he was serving up God's own truth. One of the key issues is how much money is actually involved? Where did the money come from? Who handled it? Who knew about it? When did they know about it? Former President Chen is playing it close to the vest. The most important question is: Whose money is it? If it belongs to the nation, how can we get it back? The Chen Shui-bian family long ago jetissoned any moral scruples they might have had. They are willing to do anything to keep the immense wealth they accumulated over the years. They are using all sorts of arguments to create confusion. They have already succeeded in making matters more complicated and confusing than they really are. When it comes to legal thrusts and parries, they have already seized the initiative.

Speaking of revealing the truth, the public has endured an eight year nightmare. It surely knows A Bian is hiding the truth. He is a master at all manner of underhanded tricks. He is adept at using his authority to transform politicians and businessmen into his minions. Ostensibly the victim of the March 19 Shooting Incident, A Bian made sure that prosecutors and police identified Chen Yi-hsiung, a dead man unable to defend himself, as the assassin, and hastily closed the case. Abusing the power of the executive, he ensured that even the Grand Justices' constitutional interpretations obstructed the Truth Commission's investigation, and kept the truth hidden until today. His son in law Chao Chien-ming, his son in law's father, along with other family members and cronies, engaged in unbridled corruption under Chen's aegis. When Red Shirt Army members took to the streets, the DPP excommunicated the "Eleven Brigands" and backed Chen 100 percent. Legal proceedings against the Chen and Chao families drag on. Nobody is asking questions about A Bian's involvement in the transfer of funds. Instead, Red Shirt Army protest leaders have been subjected to criminal prosecution. The State Affairs Expenses case is a classic example. Out of thin air, Chen Shui-bian, invoked criminal immunity and confidentiality privileges and got off scot-free. He exploited Wu Shu-chen's poor health to the hilt. The Grand Justices' constitutional interpretation process has been reduced to a tool by which Chen can obstruct the trial process. It has allowed the Grand Justices to willingly provide him with confidential legal advice. The judicial process is supposed to disover the truth. But before the evidence was declassified, it was at a complete loss what to do. Just exactly who in A Bian's family lusted after money as if it were life itself, and amassed vast sums of it? Who forced corporate giants to compete with each other paying tribute, or else find themselves entangled in lawsuits, bankrupt, out of house and home, with no one to complain to? Rumors flew. But the judicial system merely watched with folded arms, not daring to approach. What is the truth? So far no one has bothered to ask.

To defend his family's vast enterprises "in the public interest," Chen is fighting tooth and nail. The truth has suddenly been laid bare. Investigators and prosecutors are not up to the job. Former Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao has already confessed he received word early this year, but neglected to take action. Prosecutor General Chen Tsung-ming made the mistake of denying that Yeh Sheng-mao reported the facts to him, face to face. Should the Control Yuan investigate, and find out just exactly who told whom, or who didn't tell whom? Did Chen Shui-bian receive advance reports, allowing him to take countermeasures? The Ministry of Justice received confirmation about the money laundering operation from the Swiss government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Why then were Chen Chi-chung and his wife allowed to leave the country? Why was no action taken before A Bian made his move? Are prosecutors incompetent? Or are they pulling their punches? Are they adept at internecine struggles, but too cowardly to enforce the law?

Let's not forget that A Bian has never pulled his punches when dealing with the judiciary. His record speaks for itself. He sees the Prosecutor General as his subordinate. Without the slightest hesitation, he openly accuses prosecutors and investigators of colluding with legislators to leak state secrets. If court rulings fail to meet with his approval, he has never been known to mince words. He has openly blasted the Kaohsiung and Taipei Courts for being politically incorrect. If the judical system gets in his way, even if the individuals involved were his mentors or marriage witnesses, they are unlikely to escape political retribution. The current Prosecutor General is one of Chen Shui-bian's hand-picked nominees. The public should not have to worry about prosecutors' determination to prosecute cases. But Chen Tsung-ming and Huang Fang-yan are such close friends, the public cannot help being skeptical. Doubts about political considerations are particularly difficult to shake off such in the prosecution of the Discretionary Fund case, given the diametrically opposite way in which Blue Camp and Green Camp defendants were prosecuted and the lack of any unified opinion. The examples are clear for all to see. The Grand Justices recently ruled that if the Premier did not take part in the appointment process, Executive Yuan personnel appointments were unconstitutional. This was an attack on the constitutionality of the appointment of the Attorney-General and on the legitimacy of the Special investigative Unit's handling of Chen's corruption case. The Prosecutor General wants people to believe he is a virtuous official. But he clings to his office, and leaves the impression that he is subject to political manipulation. When confronting Chen Shui-bian he leaves the impression that he is ready to do battle, that his team can unravel the mystery, discern the details, and uncover the truth. Are they merely incompetent? Are they pulling their punches? Are they adept only at internecine struggles? Whatever they are, they are unable to get to the truth.

The impartial and incorruptible Eric Chen and Tsai Shou-hsun have been unable to do anything about the Chen family's power. Public sentiment may be on their side, but it is not enough to galvanize an incompetent or corrupt prosecution. When the case reaches the courts, whether at home or abroad, the evidence must be unassailable. Only then will we get a criminal conviction, and in addition demand civil compensation. Is our law enforcement team up to the challenge?

中國時報  2008.08.18

陳水扁涉及洗錢案,似已到了國人皆曰可殺的地步!甚至連職司追究法律責任的監察院長,也不忌諱公開發言的分際,忘情地應和民眾要求切腹的俚語。從政治道德 面上說,陳水扁正猶如當年的陳進興,恐已罪狀定讞,人未蓋棺而評論先定。從司法追訴面看,真相的發掘,其實才剛剛開始。

不要以為陳水扁 的道歉記者會是在自首自白。他知情已久,從容布陣;帶著律師,主動出擊。看他指東打西,避重就輕;名為道歉,實為脫罪,根本沒有承認犯罪,和盤托出事實真 相的意思!特別最關鍵的究竟有多少錢?錢是那裡來的?誰在搬運?誰知其事?何時知情?統統諱莫如深。最重要的問題是:錢是誰的?如果是國家的,怎麼拿回 來?陳水扁一家早已毫無政治道德顧忌,為了保住多年來千方百計賺得的鉅額財富,藉由種種說詞故布疑陣,已經成功地使得事情更為撲朔迷離。在司法攻防上,早 就占盡先機。

說到揭露真相,國人八年夢覺,應知阿扁本人就是掩蓋真相、無所不用其極的大內高手;精擅於藉用熏天權勢,驅使政客商賈與公 權力機關為其爪牙。他是三一九槍擊案受害人,卻支持檢警輕率認定死無對證的陳義雄為凶手草草結案,又動用行政權力甚至大法官釋憲排山倒海防阻真調會調查, 至今真相難明;其婿趙建銘父子與其府內所屬,藉其庇蔭貪腐無節,紅衫群眾上街,民進黨誅排十一寇全力相挺,至今司法程序未盡,此中阿扁有何瓜葛無人追問, 反而是紅衫運動諸君子相繼面臨刑事制裁;國務機要費案尤其經典,阿扁以無中生有的手法,將刑事豁免與機密特權,舞出漫天雲霞,又將吳淑珍的健康發揮的淋漓 盡致,大法官釋憲程序也成了阻滯審判的工具,還讓大法官心甘情願地為他提供事後隔空指定機密的法律諮詢,致使發現真實的司法作業,在註銷機密之前一籌莫 展;至於阿扁一家,究竟有誰嗜財如命,聚歛無度,讓企業鉅子們競相朝貢報效,官司纏身、家破人亡也無處訴苦?更是謠言滿國,卻始終司法袖手,近身不得,真 相如何,迄今無人問津。

此際阿扁為了保衛其家族偌大產業「從事公益」的機會而全力拚搏,一下子就讓檢調機關不是對手的真相戳穿。前調查 局長葉盛茂已然自承年初得訊,疏於行動;檢察總長陳聰明則矢口否認當時葉盛茂曾經面報。監察院該不該調查一下,究竟是誰告訴了誰?還是誰沒告訴誰?阿扁當 時是否已獲報告,才有當下的好整以暇?法務部既從外交部得知瑞士方面洗錢查證,為何能讓被查證的陳致中夫婦從容離境?為何在阿扁出手前了無動靜?檢調機關 究竟是無能?還是放水?或是勇於內鬥,卻怯於執法?

不要忘記阿扁對司法可是絕不手軟,紀錄斑斑。他視檢察總長為部屬,總是喚入府內交代 辦案原則;他在群眾面前指責檢調人員勾結立委洩密,略無遲疑;審判見解不順其意,他也向來不假辭色,高雄與台北的法院,均曾公開受到政治叱責;司法擋路, 就算是授業恩師、結婚證人,也難倖免其政治勢力的摧殘。現在的檢察總長原係阿扁欽點提名,國人本不該因此擔心其有無辦案決心,但是陳聰明與黃芳彥的交情如 何,怕是揮之不去的疑問;檢方在特別費案中難以擺脫政治顧忌,首鼠兩端而不統一見解,歷歷在目;大法官最近認定行政人事任命若無行政院長參與即屬違憲,更 為檢察總長任命的合憲性、特偵組辦案的正當性成為攻擊痛腳,恐添變數。如果檢察總長予人好官自為,戀棧其位,可受政治左右的印象,面對阿扁滿門精英嚴陣以 待,他的團隊能夠抽絲剝繭、明察秋毫,成功地在法院之中發現真實,揭露真相嗎?無論是無能,還是放水,或是內鬥為能的檢調機關,必然都無法揭露真相!


Friday, August 15, 2008

A Ray of Sunshine from Switzerland: Arrest Chen Shui-bian!

A Ray of Sunshine from Switzerland: Arrest Chen Shui-bian!
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 15, 2008

Yesterday Chen Shui-bian finally admitted that the Chen family does indeed have secret overseas bank accounts, and that they have transferred vast sums of money abroad from Taiwan. Only day before yesterday, Chen Shui-bian, speaking through his lawyer, claimed that his family did not have any overseas accounts. He claimed that all his assets had already been placed in a trust, and that they had nothing whatsoever to hide.

Today, a ray of sunshine from Switzerland traveled thousands of miles to Taiwan, and subjected Chen Shui-bian's Big Lie to the light of day. Federal prosecutors in Switzerland discovered that Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching (Chen's son and daughter in law) opened six bank accounts in Switzerland and other locales, using their own names and company names. In addition, the couple circulated over 30 million dollars through a company in the Cayman Islands. Swiss prosecutors concluded that the couple was laundering money, and froze their accounts. Once again, Chen Shui-bian has become an international media star. Once again, to invoke Chen Shui-bian's own slogan, "It's Taiwan's first time, and the whole world is watching!"

This latest development reveals two things. One. Chen does indeed have overseas accounts. Six accounts have been discovered in this instance alone. Chen and his wife also have a money-laundering operation in the Cayman Islands. Two. The sum involved is almost one billion NTD, in this instance alone. It is believed this sum constitutes merely a small percentage of the Chen family's assets. One can imagine therefore how vast Chen Shui-bian's assets must be. That Taiwan's "democracy" could permit such corruption is shocking.

Over the past two years, Chen Shui-bian and his family members have repeated time and again that they "have no overseas accounts," that all their assets have been declared. Now Swiss prosecutors have laid bare their lies. Chen Shui-bian must now tell a hundred new lies to cover up his original lie. Chen Shui-bian's first new lie is that the money transferred was leftover election funds.

Chen Shui-bian, seeing Swiss prosecutors officially initiating an investigation, knew he could no longer afford to stonewall. As a result, he confessed to a lesser crime hoping he might escape prosecution for far more serious crimes. Chen alleged that this huge sum of money was leftover campaign funds. Whether this is credible will have to await the prosecutors' decision. In any event, Chen Shui-bian has already pleaded guilty to at least three crimes. One. money-laundering. Two. falsely declaring election expenses. Three. receiving illegal gifts. The Special Investigative Unit can no longer turn a blind eye to Chen's crimes.

Of course, we can hardly take Chen Shui-bian at his word on the nature and origin of this money. If he is indicted for corruption, he will be serious trouble. Based on Chen Shui-bian's past record, skepticism is entirely justified.

Chen Shui-bian has already mapped out his escape route, and divided his troops in two. Let's look at the crime itself. One. He claims the money is leftover campaign funds. Two. He claims Wu Shu-chen transferred the money on her own initiative. He knew nothing about it. Three. He claims the money will be donated to international charities. Let's look at his spin control. One. He is attempting to evade prosecution by equating himself with Lee Teng-hui, Lien Chan, James Soong, Ma Ying-jeou, and Vincent Siew. Two. The biggest bombshell he dropped involved the Zanadu Development Corporation scandal. He claimed that Lee Teng-hui used dummy accounts to transfer one billion NT out of the country.

A Chinese expression says that "all crows are equally black the world over." It means that all criminals are equally evil the world over. That said, the public has been given a chance to see just how black someone like Chen Shui-bian can be.

Chen Shui-bian is like a trapped animal. Prosecutors haven't even begun to prosecute his State Affairs Fund case. Now his secret overseas bank accounts have been exposed. Chen Shui-bian would surely prefer to "shake the foundations of the nation" than allow the Investigation of his scandals to proceed smoothly. The public demands justice. But if Chen Shui-bian has any say about the outcome, justice will remain a chimera.

The Special Investigative Unit must investigate immediately. It must prevent Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-liang from leaving the island. If Chen Shui-bian is suspected of corruption or some other major crime, he must be arrested and taken into custody. Chen Shui-bian is a defendant with zero credibility and no sense of responsiblity. This is something the public understands. For example, in the State Affairs Fund case, Chen abused his authority as President and colluded with aides to fabricate a fictitious "Southern Front Project." His utter shamelessness is clear to see. If someone were to suddenly step forward and perjure himself, claiming to be the owner of Chen's secret overseas accounts, no one would be surprised. If that were to happen, the rule of law would be trampled into the dust, and justice abused. Furthermore, Chen Shui-bian and his wife are accomplices. If they are not promptly separated, how can one prevent them from coordinating their testimony?

Sure enough, the State Affairs Fund case is merely the tip of the Chen Family scandal iceberg. The overseas Swiss account is merely the pinnacle atop the mountain of gold that comprises the Chen Family's vast assets. The dawn rays from Switzerland have reached Taiwan. If we cannot restore truth and justice to the ROC legal system, how can we face the public?

Under the circumstances, we once again advise Chen Shui-bian to look into his heart and honor the rule of law. We further urge the DPP not to politicize Chen Shui-bian's corruption scandal. Of course we hope that the Special Investigative Unit and the courts will allow this ray of Swiss sunshine to transform our democracy, underscore the rule of law, and re-energize our system of justice!

2008.08.15 03:02 am












Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chen Shui-bian's "Little Envelopes" and "Big Reservoir"

Chen Shui-bian's "Little Envelopes" and "Big Reservoir"
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 14, 2008

Corruption suspects should watch their attitude.

The Special Investigative Unit has classified Chen Shui-bian as a corruption suspect and issued him a summons. In his defense, Chen Shui-bian is invoking the "Big Reservoir Theory." He has declared that he will reveal more "state secrets" to the public prosecutor. His unrepentant attitude after committing such major crimes is deeply offensive.

Based on recent legal precedent, the so-called "Big Reservoir Theory" applies only to the "signed receipt required" portion of the Discretionary Fund, i.e., the portion that "does not require invoices." Chen Shui-bian is accused of falsifying the "invoices required" portion. Each expense must be written off, The Prosecution has ascertained that Chen Shui-bian used false invoices in order to receive illegal reimbursements.

The problems Chen Shui-bian and his wife face have to do with their "Little Envelopes." They have nothing to do with any "Big Reservoir." We need only look at Prosecutor Eric Chen's letter of indictment regarding this issue. Based on current knowledge, Chen Shui-bian and his wife engaged in the following acts: Wu Shu-chen collected invoices. She placed them in envelopes. She ordered them hand delivered to Thomas Chan at the Presidential Palace. Thomas Chan enclosed the fraudulent reimbursements in envelopes. The amounts ranged from several thousand NTD to 500,000 NTD. Chan ordered them hand delivered to Wu Shu-chen.

What do these "Little Envelopes" have to do with the "Big Reservoir?" Nothing. Chen Shui-bian had the temerity to boast that not one dime of money went into "private pockets." But how does he intend to explain away the money that went into Wu Shu-chen's "Little Envelopes?" Chen Shui-bian cannot possibly be unaware that "signed receipts required" and "invoices required" are entirely different matters. He cannot possibly be unaware that the "Big Reservoir" and the "Little Envelopes" are entirely different matters. Does he actually believe his transparent attempt to confuse the public will succeed?

Chen Shui-bian declared he would reveal more "state secrets" to the Special Investigative Unit. This is obviously an attempt to confuse the public. One. Wasn't Chen Shui-bian in a big hurry to demand the return of "state secrets" from the court? Why is he now so eager to deliver more "state secrets" to the Special Investigative Unit? Two. Chen Shui-bian is no longer in office. How is he obtaining illegal access to all these "state secrets?" Three. Chen Shui-bian is claiming that "information in his mind" constitute "state secrets." Would Chen have us believe that even information without document numbers are "state secrets?" Four. So far the public merely wants to know whether the files already turned over to the Courts are "state secrets." Could it be Chen Shui-bian is attempting to confuse the public by deliberately offering more "state secrets" to the court? Five. Chen Shui-bian is without a doublt attempting to mire the investigation and prosecution of his corruption case in a procedural quagmire by relentlessly trotting out "state secrets."

The extent of Chen Shui-bian and his wife's crimes may be subject to debate. But their attitude after committing these crimes is utterly reprehensible. They now want to offer up an endless succession of "state secrets" in an attempt to obstruct justice. This is clear evidence of "unrepentant behavior." They refuse to admit guilt. They refuse to express remorse. Their conduct will not help them during any legal proceedings against them. It is unlikely to win them any public sympathy.

Chen Shui-bian misappropriated public funds by using false invoices from the Grand Hyatt Hotel and other sources. He ordered them delivered to Wu Shu-chen in a Presidential Office envelope. This of course constitutes corruption. Afterwards, Chen Shui-bian, with the help of his aides, had the temerity to fabricate a fictitious "Southern Front Project" to cover up his crimes. This is an aggravated crime. Wu Shu-chen's fainting in court, and refusal to appear in court thereafter, constitute contempt of court. Furthermore, Chen Shui-bian's belated classification of evidence "top secret" was an attempt to conceal a crime. Chen's demands for constitutional interpretations, his efforts to delay the trial, to force President Ma to declassify "state secrets," to intimidate Ma Ying-jeou by demanding that he be prosecuted for "treason," his threat to "reveal state secrets," are all attempts to prevent his prosecution for corruption. Given Chen Shui-bian's lack of repentance, how can he possibly win public sympathy and understanding?

Chen Shui-bian and his wife are unwilling to own up to what they did. Their attitude may well increase public antipathy toward them. During the long investigation and trial, it may drag the DPP's public image through the mud, and even lead to social divisions. Chen Shui-bian's litigation strategy and lack of repentance are likely to alienate the public and influence political developments.

Chen Shui-bian and his wife's first crime was corruption. Their second crime was to cover up their corruption by lying and obstructing justice. If their lack of repentance leads to public opposition to a presidential pardon, then that is their choice.

2008.08.14 03:17 am











Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ROC Diplomacy: A Modus Vivendi

ROC Diplomacy: A Modus Vivendi
When an editorial in the
China Times editorial
A Translation
August 13, 2008

Yesterday President Ma Ying-jeou led a delegation to Central and South America, making his first state visit since becoming president. He also took concrete steps to implement his diplomatic "modus vivendi." We hope he has a successful trip, and will create more diplomatic space for the Republic of China.

President Ma was invited to the inauguration ceremony for the new President of Paraguay. He took the opportunity to visit the Dominican Republic along the way. He transited the United States and Panama. In sharp contrast with his predecessor, his trip was a simple matter. By comparison, his staff was minimal, and his itinerary uncomplicated. Past state visits were burdened with all sorts of ulterior motives. Often the transit through the US was more important than the destination in Latin American. This undermined the primary task of diplomacy, and harmed the national interest.

President Ma is determined not make the same mistake, and is attempting to mend fences. His trip will be purely diplomatic in nature. His most important task is to strengthen diplomatic ties. He is not using his transit through the United States as a photo op for personal aggrandizement. He is not using the cities he transits, the duration of his transit, or the level of diplomatic protocol he is accorded to score points in Washington. He is not politicizing his transit through the US with a great deal of fanfare. Everything has been kept minimal, including the psychological burden on Taipei and Washington. In the past, the more the two sides engaged in horse-trading, the more relations degenerated, and the more feelings were hurt. We have finally liberated ourselves from that nightmare.

Before departure President Ma said his diplomatic modus vivendi protects the rights and interests of the Republic of China. It firms up diplomatic relations with our allies. It restores mutual trust among nations with which we lack relations. It restores the international community's confidence in the Republic of China -- a confidence which has been lacking for the past eight years. Basically Ma's diplomatic modus vivendi and cross-strait reconciliation are two sides of the same coin. They are efforts to allow the two sides to move away from a zero sum game of lethal warfare, and to move towards peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding, and mutual respect.

So far Beijing has responded favorably to President Ma's initiative. It has refrained from approaching diplomatic allies who threatened to switch sides. Beijing appears to understand that to a "take no prisoners" approach to the ROC's International space might well lead to a Pyrrhic victory. The price paid would be high, and would not necessarily be conducive to the eventual goal of reunification.

Of course a diplomatic modus vivendi cannot rely entirely upon our opponent's charity. For one, goodwill may be fleeting. For another, if one lacks sufficient strength, one will lack the courage to face future changes, and make future decisions. The ROC cannot put its fate entirely in the hands of others, especially a hostile opponent. Many people think that relaxed cross-strait relations have resolved our diplomatic predicament. Such thinking is much too naive. Cross-Strait relations and the ROC's diplomatic situation are of course closely related. But the ROC has no bargaining chips. How can it afford to make concessions?

Therefore any diplomatic modus vivendi must look not only to Beijing. It must look also to the world. Mainland China has enjoyed a rapid rise in both political and economic status. The ROC can no longer retain its allies merely by throwing money around. But the ROC need not succumb to pessimism and despair. We must change with the times. We must recognize and reaffirm our own value.

To the international community, the ROC has science and technology, economic success, and a strategic location. It also has something often neglected, but of profound importance to civilization. Among ethnic Chinese societies, the ROC enjoys the most freedom and democracy. It is the most lively and diverse, the most inclusive and open. It has successfully integrated the best of both east and west into something culturally unique. Most countries are not interested in participating in United Nations activities. But wherever the Cloud Gate Dance Theater goes, its performances always cause a sensation. Culture is one of the ROC's most precious assets. Unfortunately it has not been given adequate attention or support. If we wish to gain greater international recognition for our diplomatic modus vivendi, we must encourage cultural development, participate in international cultural activities, and invest greater resources and energy.

Traditional concepts of international law and the existing geopolitical situation are obviously hostile to the ROC's continued existence. The international community has little incentive to reconsider the ROC's participation in international activities. If Taipei continues to butt heads with Beijing within this legal framework, it will seriously deplete the nation's strength, while reaping little in return. A better strategy would be to achieve some sort of reconciliation with Beijing, and at the same time enhancing relations with other nations, increasing interaction with the international community.

For the past few years, discussions about ROC membership in international organizations have focused almost entirely on the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Every year we squander vast resources attempting to break down the doors to the United Nations. But waving flags and shouting slogans outside the WHO gets us only domestic news coverage. In fact, the international community is large and diverse. The ROC can contribute to many NGOs free of political coloration. We need not take on the most difficult challenges first. Besides increasing exchanges with the international community, the ROC must also create an environment friendlier to foreigners. Existing laws and regulations must be relaxed. Our foreign language ability must be strengthened. Making the younger generation internationally competitive is an even higher priority.

The ROC can break out of its isolation only from the bottom up. First people. Then officials. On this will provide us with a diplomatic modus vivendi. We hope President Ma's modus vivendi will demonstrate more dynamism and substance.

中國時報  2008.08.13



馬總統決心不再重蹈覆轍,並且努力修補昔日的過錯。將出訪回歸單純的外交功能,以鞏固邦交為最重要的任務,不藉過境美國大搞個人造勢,不在過境地點、天數 或禮遇上向美國討恩惠,也不再將過境大張旗鼓政治化。既然一切趨於單純,台美的協商事項和心理負擔都減少許多,雙方終於能從過去「喬」來「喬」去,「喬」 到待遇愈來愈差、情緒愈來愈糟的噩夢中脫身。



然而,活路不能光依靠對手的施捨,不只是因為善意可能轉瞬即逝,也因為如果本身沒有足夠的實力,將不會有足夠的膽識來面對未來任何變局,乃至作出任何決 定。台灣不可能將命運毫無保留地交在別人手上,何況還是一個長期敵對的對手。很多人以為兩岸關係和緩就能解決外交困境,這實在太過天真了。固然,兩岸關係 與台灣的外交處境息息相關,但沒有任何籌碼的台灣,又有什麼條件交換到足夠的讓步與善意?


對國際社會來說,台灣除了在科技、經濟成就、戰略地位外,還有一項被忽略、但很深刻也很重要的價值〡〡文明。在華人社會裡,台灣是迄今最民主自由、最活潑 多元、最包容開放、最能融合東西自成人文特色的一塊土地。談參與聯合國,各國多半興味索然,但雲門舞集不管到哪裡演出,都會造成轟動。文化是台灣最珍貴的 價值,可惜一直未受到足夠重視與支持,「活路外交」如果想為台灣爭取更多國際認同,就應該對鼓勵文化發展、協助參與國際文化活動,投注更多資源與心力。

很明顯地,傳統的國際法理念與現行國際政治運作,對台灣的存在是不友善的,目前也缺乏為台灣重新思考參與模式的誘因。台灣如果一直在這個法律架構裡和中共 硬碰硬,會嚴重耗損國力,收穫也相對有限。比較好的策略,是在法律架構裡和中共維持某種和解,同時豐富對外關係的內涵,綿密累積與國際社會的互動。

在參與國際組織活動上,過去幾年焦點幾乎全放在聯合國和世衛組織上,我們每年為衝撞不可能打開的聯合國大門而花費大量資源,在世界衛生組織大會外搖旗吶喊 也只能搏自家版面,其實國際社會很大、很多元,許多不具政治色彩的NGO中有很多活動,台灣可以作出貢獻的,不必先挑最難的叩關。此外,要加強與國際社會 的交流,台灣也必須營造一個對外國人更友善的環境,現行許多法規都必須大幅鬆綁。而加強外語能力,培養年輕世代的國際競爭力,更是當務之急。