Friday, October 31, 2008

The Democratic Progressive Party's Befuddlement over "Friendship" and Cross-Strait Relations

The Democratic Progressive Party's Befuddlement over "Friendship" and Cross-Strait Relations
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 31, 2008

The Democratic Progressive Party recently held a protest march. Its banners read "No to Tainted Products! Defend Taiwan!" and "No to China! Down with Ma!" But on the columns to which these banners were fastened, one sign read "Defend Chen Complex," and the other "Anti-Communist Thought." The Democratic Progressive Party believes it has demonstrated its ability to mobilize supporters. In fact it has revealed its blind spots.

Chen Shui-bian is a scandal-ridden former head of state. Yet he was he invited to march in the front ranks of the October 25 protest. Key DPP members and grassroots supporters fell over each other fighting for the chance to be photographed with him. To the vast majority on Taiwan, the images were chock full of irony. For standing beneath banners reading "No to Tainted Products!" was none other than the most "Tainted Product" of all. Lacking either the will or the way to engage in desperately needed soul-searching, the DPP could only rail hysterically against sundry tainted products from across the Strait. The DPP not only took the easy way out, it also put the cart before the horse.

The march highlighted Chen Shui-bian's return to power. It also marked the Democratic Progressive Party's return to violence. Wang Ting-yu's attack against Zhang Mingqing at the Confucian Temple and Kuan Pi-ling's attack against Hung Hsiu-chu in the legislature show that the DPP has already veered back towards demagoguery and violence. This can hardly be considered a positive development, either inside or outside the party. Particularly noteworthy is how the Democratic Progressive Party seized on the contaminated milk powder issue in its anti-China campaign. It made no effort to discuss the issues. Apart from trying to cut itself off from the Mainland and instilling hatred against our compatriots, the Democratic Progressive Party offers no viable long term alternative for cross-strait relations.

The DPP is unable to make a clean break with Ah-Bian. Chen's supporters say they are upholding high-minded principles. They say they value "friendship." This is truly mind-boggling. If a modern day political party can't even distinguish between what is public and private, how can it preside over what is public and private? No matter how many people within the party were Chen Shui-bian's beneficiaries, these are private matters. In the face of the nation and society, political parties must uphold higher principles of justice. If they disregard right and wrong and talk only of "friendship," then the Democratic Progressive Party has been reduced to an Ah-Bian Fan Club.

Chen's supporters probably do not constitute a majority. So why is the DPP so easily dominated by such a minority? The main reason is the Democratic Progressive Party has been unable to alter its radical nature. As an opposition party the Democratic Progressive Party often had to resort to radical means to cope with the ruling KMT. It eventually won victory after victory. Unfortunately it was unable to change even after becoming the ruling party. It long ago succumbed to extreme views within the party. This led to the party line diverging significantly from mainstream public opinion. This eventually led to a loss of power and the loss of years of accumulated political assets. Yet the DPP remains under the sway of a small number of people on the radical fringe, who have taken the entire party hostage.

Just look at the Democratic Progressive Party's "anti-China" strategy. After eight years of being played for all it is worth, its policy has run into a brick wall. Logically speaking it ought to adjust its strategy. Unfortunately, no new thinking is allowed within the DPP. All anyone hears is the same tired "Green Camp Anti-Communist Thought." Early day anti-communist thought on Taiwan was based on the global backdrop of the Cold War. The KMT stood head to head with the CCP on the front lines, firing real bullets. But the Cold War is over. Millions of people travel back and forth across the Strait each year. Even the United States has said that in the wake of the global financial crisis the engine of the global economy will be Mainland China. Yet the Democratic Progressive Party is still shouting "Hate China!" slogans. Even more ridiculous is how the Democratic Progressive Party's anti-China strategy is being used not against the Chinese Communist Party, but against Ma Ying-jeou, to divide Taiwan. During the Red Shirt Army protests Shih Ming-teh was denounced as a "Chi-Com fellow traveler." Today Ma Ying-jeou is being denounced as a "traitor to Taiwan." The DPP's "anti-China" policy is apparently purely for domestic consumption.

How exactly does the Democratic Progressive Party want to relate to Mainland China? Is it rejecting any and all cross-Strait exchanges? If so, to what extent? The Chiang/Chen Meeting has proposed four major policy changes relating to direct shipping and direct flights. Why hasn't the Democratic Progressive Party uttered one word of criticism? When something like the contaminated powdered milk incident occurs, how exactly are consumers and manufacturers on Taiwan supposed to fight for their rights and their interests without negotiating with the other side?

The Ma administration's cross-Strait policy needs oversight of course. Mainland threats against Taiwan must be countered. But these require careful handling. If the DPP invokes its "Nation of Taiwan" merely to avoid dealing with cross-Strait issues; if it shouts "Arrest Communist Bandit Chen Yunlin!" merely to threaten the Chiang/Chen Meeting, will that offer Taiwan a way out? The chairmen of the seven major industrial and commercial organizations support of cross-Strait exchanges. They support the Chiang/Chen Meeting. If the Democratic Progressive Party stubbornly insists that their support is merely a "false impression," which side of history is it standing on?

Chen Shui-bian is the DPP's standard-bearer. Wangding Yu is the DPP's hero, the man who pushed Zhang Mingqing to the ground. The DPP opposes the Chiang/Chen Meeting. The DPP opposes Taiwan's industrial and commercial organizations. The DPP holds high the banner of the "Nation of Taiwan." Are we to understand that this is the DPP's cross-Strait policy?

2008.10.31 03:11 am


作 為貪腐弊案纏身的卸任元首,陳水扁在一○二五率眾走在第一大隊,受到黨內要角及基層群眾的爭相簇擁;這個場面,看在多數國人眼裡,其實充滿反諷意味。因 為,站在「反黑心商品」大字底下的,不正是飽受議論的「政治黑心商品」嗎?無力對內部政治道德作深刻反省,卻只能隔海借偶發的黑心商品議題叫囂,這不僅顯 得避重就輕,也簡直是本末倒置。

這場遊行所凸顯的,不僅是陳水扁的復辟,還有民進黨重新走回街頭路線與暴力路線。王定宇在孔廟對張銘清施 暴,管碧玲在國會對洪秀柱動粗,都顯示民進黨已向激情暴力轉進。就黨內外看,這都不是積極正面的發展。更值得注意的是,民進黨這一波反中訴求雖抓住毒奶粉 的議題,但在論述上卻毫無開展,除了企圖拉出一個隔絕、仇恨的海峽,人們看不出民進黨對兩岸關係的前景有何長遠可行的瞻矚。

民進黨無法與 扁切割,挺扁派力守的一個大道理說是基於「情義」,這實是不可思議的事。作為一個現代政黨,若連最基本的公、私分際都無法辨別,如何主持公是公非?不管黨 內多少人受過陳水扁提拔或其他好處,那皆是個人「私情」;但面對國家社會,政黨有更高的「公義」原則必須護持。放著大是大非不顧,卻只談沾親帶故,民進黨 已形同扁友會了。

整體觀察,挺扁派在黨內其實未必居於多數,但為何民進黨最後仍輕易被少數派把持?主要原因,恐與民進黨長期以來無法自我 調整的激進本質有關。民進黨過去在野時經常採取激烈手段以小搏大,每每得逞;可惜它執政後仍不知調整,一直屈從黨內偏激意見,導致黨的路線大幅偏離民意主 流,終致失去政權及長年累積的政治資產。然而,民進黨少數人至今仍對激進搏命遊戲樂此不疲,並用以挾持全黨。

再看民進黨的「反中」戰略, 經過陳水扁八年的消耗已然推車撞壁,照理說應調整策略再戰;可惜,人們看不到民進黨的新思考架構,卻只聽到滿嘴的「綠色反共八股」。早年台灣反共,不僅基 於全球冷戰的大背景,國民黨也必須真槍實彈在各個陣線與中共交手。但冷戰情勢早已解除,每年兩岸有數百萬人次的交流,連美國都說金融海嘯後的全球經濟有待 中國作為引擎,民進黨卻還在高喊仇中口號。更可笑的是,民進黨的反中戰略其實不是用來對付中共,而是用來打馬及撕裂台灣;紅衫軍時把施明德說成「中共同路 人」,如今又把馬英九說成「賣台」。這樣的「反中」策略,其實只是專搞「內銷」的政治生意吧?


馬 政府的兩岸政策當然需要監督,中共對台的威脅也不能不加防範;但這需要細緻的經營與對應。民進黨若以「台灣國」的邏輯來處理兩岸問題,用「把陳雲林共匪抓 起來」的思維來騷擾「江陳會」,能給台灣帶來什麼出路?民進黨若將七大工商團體理事長支持兩岸交流以及江陳會視為「假象」,會不會使自己站到歷史的對立 面?


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Special Investigative Unit's Impact on Taiwan's Political Situation

The Special Investigative Unit's Impact on Taiwan's Political Situation
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 30, 2008

Chen Shui-bian's crimes are too numerous to count. Can justice be restored in his wake? One. He must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Two. He must be subjected to the judgment of society, thereby establishing standards for right and wrong.

Given Chen Shui-bian's mortal sins, the judgment of society should be harsher than the judgment of the courts. The judgment of the courts will be borne only by the Chen Shui-bian family. The judgment of society will become an indelible part of the nation's political heritage.

Political monsters such as Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong did not live long enough to be subjected to legal judgments or legal punishments. They have however been subjected to the judgments of society and the judgment of historians. Such judgments help heal society's wounds, and are essential to rehabilitate society. Nazism is subject to both legal and social sanctions in today's Germany. Mao Zedong was never legally prosecuted. But he has been subjected to severe moral condemnation, both inside and outside China. Only an unflinching assessment of political monsters such as these can reestablish society's moral standards and leave a correct historical verdict. Only then can Germany be reborn. Only then can mainland China go forward. Only then can civilization progress.

How should Taiwan deal with political monster Chen Shui-bian? One. The legal aspect. The State Affairs Expenses scandal erupted three years ago. Chen Shui-bian lost his immunity from criminal prosecution on May 20, over five months ago. But he has yet be charged. Two. The social aspect. Chen Shui-bian has been running about seeking political support. On October 25 he was greeted by demonstrators at Jingfu Men, shouting "Ah-Bian, Way to Go!" What sort of moral judgment is this? What sort of contempt for right and wrong is this?

If Chen Shui-bian's combination of phony Taiwan independence and genuine corruption results in this political confidence man marching into prison with his head held high, as the "Standard Bearer of Taiwan Independence," then what has become of justice?

When the overseas money-laundering case first erupted, we made several recommendations. One. Take Chen Shui-bian into custody. Two. Examine Public Prosecutor Eric Chen's case files on the State Expenses scandal. Proceed with the trial, but continue investigating. Based on the nature of the case, on legal procedures, and on legal practices, the Special Investigative Unit had sufficient grounds to arrest and detain Chen. Alas, the Special Investigative Unit settled on doing nothing. The case snowballed until it became more and more difficult to resolve. As long as their investigative and prosecutorial strategy conforms to the law, prosecutors should choose the path that minimizes the cost to society. The strategy the Special Investigative Unit chose has led investigators up a blind alley, It has made it more difficut to indemnify society. It has been a complete bust.

Over the past few months Chen Shui-bian has spent over 100 million NT rallying political support. On October 25, Chen Shui-bian appeared in public without a bullet-proof vest, even though hundreds of police officers were forced to wear them. Whither proportionality? Whither justice?

The Special Investigative Unit says it does not consider politics, that it only cares only about the law. Really? Then why did it allow the August 30 protest march to delay its interrogation of Chen Shui-bian? Why didn't it hold the interrogation as originally scheduled? Why did it allow Chen Yunlin's visit to delay its interrogation of Chen family members? The Special Investigative Unit said "the former president must be treated with respect." What is this, but considering politics? Otherwise, why have Yu Cheng-hsien and Chen Ming-wen been arrested, while Chen Shui-bian remains free as a bird? What's worse, Chen Shui-bian has taken advantage of the latitude given him to accuse the Special Investigative Unit of conducting a political vendetta, . and to recast himself as the "Standard Bearer of Taiwan Independence." Shouldn't the Special Investigative Unit be concerned about how it determines its legal strategy? After all, the Special Investigative Unit should be more than a bunch of legal hacks. If the Special Investigative Unit must consider extraneous issues whiled investigating Chen Shui-bian, it will provide Chen Shui-bian with maneuveuring room. It will undermine right and wrong. Is this really what the Special Investigative Unit has in mind?

The Special Investigative Unit must handle all cases in accordance with the law. No exceptions. But they have many options at their disposal. The Special Investigative Unit should ensure justice even while minimizing the cost to society. The political climate on Taiwan today has allowed Chen Shui-bian to come back to life, even as it has sentenced the DPP to death. Society is again threatened by divisions. People feel is slipping out of their grasp. The "Great Silent Majority" feels its confidence shaken. All because of the Special Investigative Unit's legal strategy.

The public is concerned about the progress of Chen's investigation, prosecution, and trial. They are even more concerned about right and wrong. As long as the investigation, prosecution, and trial are conducted in a lawful and reasonable manner, the Special Investigative Unit ought to respond to public demands for justice. When the investigative process betrays the public trust and and undermines public confidence, what is this but a "miscarriage of justice?"

Investigators have been able to surround the center only by attacking the perimeter. The Special Investigative Unit must be discreet in its prosecutions. If they are determined to make a clean sweep, they may wind up prosecuting some cases too hastily, thereby allowing Chen Shui-bian to walk. The public looks forward to Chen Shui-bian's prompt prosecution. . It also expects to see more detailed investigations of separate cases.

2008.10.30 03:03 am



政 治惡魔如毛澤東及希特勒,其實在世皆未接受司法審判及法律制裁;但他們身後所受社會評價與歷史批判,卻是療癒正義創傷,及重建政治文明所不可或缺。納粹如 今在德國的法律上及社會道德上皆受制裁,毛澤東則在法律上未受到制裁,但在道德層次對他的批判,無論在中國或在世界,皆已相當深刻;唯有對這類政治惡魔建 立正確的社會評價及歷史批判,德國才能重生,中國才走得下去,人類的政治文明才能向上提升!

台灣應如何面對政治惡魔陳水扁?一、以司法偵 審言,自國務費案爆發以來已逾三年,若自五二○陳水扁消失刑事豁免權以來亦已超過五個月,但陳水扁迄今尚未被起訴;二、就社會評價言,陳水扁四處取暖,甚 至於一○二五景福門前接受遊行群眾高呼「阿扁加油」,這算是什麼道德評價?這又算是什麼大是大非?


海 外洗錢案爆發之時,我們就曾主張:一、考慮收押陳水扁。二、應當先就檢察官陳瑞仁所辦國務費案補足起訴的程序;一面審判,一面偵查。就扁案的性質言,及就 法律實務的程序及實體言,特偵組當時皆有足夠的理由及條件如此作為;但是,特偵組卻選擇了現在這一個放任陳水扁趴趴走的策略,案情則陷入如雪球愈滾愈大愈 難收尾的困境之中。偵審策略只要合法,司法當局自然應選擇最能實現公義及最能減少社會成本的路徑;但特偵組如今選擇的策略,非但使偵查工作泥足深陷,亦不 啻使社會正義受到難以彌償的傷害,已經完全失去比例平衡。


特 偵組說,眼中無政治,只問司法。但是,何以八三○遊行日原要約談陳水扁而不約?又何以因陳雲林來訪而明顯推遲了約談扁家被告?特偵組辦案,在心理上存有 「尊重前總統」的心情,這其實就是一種政治考慮;否則,何以余政憲、陳明文皆押,陳水扁卻能囂張至今?何況,陳水扁運用這樣的空間,四處指控特偵組「政治 追殺」,並大力修補重建其「台獨旗手」的政治形象,難道特偵組在比較及選擇各種合法策略時不應有此種顧慮?特偵組畢竟不應是「法匠」,若在偵辦陳水扁時顧 慮多端,以致提供陳水扁進行政治操作的空間,毀了社會正義的大是大非,難道這是特偵組的思維?

特偵組必須「依法辦案」,這一點絕不可有任 何折扣。但在法律手段的選項中,特偵組必須作最能實現公義及最能降低社會成本的選擇。台灣政局形成今日局面,陳水扁大復活,民進黨鑽入死胡同,社會再出現 撕裂危機,及多數人民覺得正義難伸,政治中樞威信動搖,皆與特偵組所選擇的偵查策略有相當關聯。


當 然,偵查工作進行至今,現在也只能順著「邊緣包圍核心」的策略繼續走下去。但我們仍建議特偵組必須作一定程度的分割起訴;倘若心存作出「完全起訴」的經典 演出,恐怕又會將一些罪案支脈草草帶過,形成為陳水扁吃案的局面。國人盼望扁案早日偵結起訴,同時也期望看到更細緻的「分案偵辦」。

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Will Chen Yunlin Meet With President Ma?

Will Chen Yunlin Meet With President Ma?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 29, 2008

Two major obstacles stand in the way of Chen Yunlin's visit. One. Will he apologize for the melamine contaminated milk incident? Two. Will he address Ma as Mr. President?

ARATS has already sent SEF a letter of apology for the contaminated milk incident. ARATS and the SEF have agreed to establish food safety measures. Tensions over the issue will ease. But a stickier issue remains. How will Chen Yunlin address President Ma?

When SEF and ARATS were originally created, the thinking was the two organizations would neither recognize nor repudiate the other. The two organizations would not recognize each other as belong to a nation or a government. They would instead, acting as intermediaries, refrain from repudiating each other and proceed to negotiate and resolve national and governmental matters.

This model has never led to disputes, at least until now, when Chen Yunlin is about to meet President Ma. One. When Jiang Zemin met Koo Chen-fu, or when Hu Jintao met Chiang Pin-kung, they were Party General Secretaries meeting with the Chairmen of SEF. Two. In fact, Koo Chen-fu and Chiang Pin-kung have no problem acknowledging leaders on the other side as "President." But Beijing, in order to avoid reciprocity with Taipei, does not greet visitors under the title of Secretary General. Three. In order to avoid controversy, visitors from the Mainland, including ARATS, have never set foot in ROC central government agencies or paid official visits to ROC central government officials. If Chen Yunlin meets President Ma, it will be for the first time, and he will be the first person to do so. Four. President Ma currently holds only one title -- president. Even if he were serving as party chairman, it would be inadvisable to meet Chen Yunlin in that capacity. After all, this is no longer a One Party State.

The issue has become controversial partly because of President Ma's missteps. In mid-June, the two sides announced a second Chiang/Chen Meeting, to be held in Taipei. The media immediately raised the issue of how Chen Yunlin would address President Ma. Reportedly, without going through his staffers, President Ma openly volunteered, for the first time, that Chen "can address me as Mr. Ma." Ma's remark provoked a number of reactions. One. The public had trouble accepting President Ma making concessions before negotiating. Two. The dispute has dragged on since June. During these four months, the issue has become a political football. Three. Ma's reference to "two regions" and the Green Camp's mocking reference to Ma as "Regional Governor Ma" have added fuel to the fire. Chen Yunlin's visit to President Ma has become the focus of a political struggle on the island. The two sides must use all their wisdom to deal with the problem.

This is a difficult problem for President Ma. It is also a difficult problem for Chen Yunlin. If Ma Ying-jeou is not "the Republic of China's leader," then why is Chen Yunlin meeting with him? Does it make sense for Chen to meet with Ma, but simultaneously refuse to recognize his status as "President of the Republic of China?" During Chen Yunlin's visit, the Office of the President of the Republic of China will be decked out with ROC national flags, as usual. The legislature will be in session, as usual. All levels of the court system will render legal judgments, as usual. Schools will teach, as usual. Opposition parties will hold protests everywhere, as usual. The Republic of China will not undergo any changes because of Chen Yunlin's visit. The public on Taiwan will naturally ask, why can't Chen Yunlin address Ma as President Ma? This is no longer a problem that can be solved by intermediaries such as SEF and ARATS.

There are two ways to approach this issue. One. President Ma can meet Chen Yunlin in his capacity as president. The Taiwan authorities' press releases will state that "President Ma met with Chen Yunlin." As long as Beijing does not protest, this may be regarded as significant progress in cross-strait relations. Two. How Chen Yunlin addresses Ma must be clearly determined. If Taipei and Beijing insist on their own positions, they may as well not meet.

It hinges upon Beijing's forbearance and vision. Seven months have passed since the March 22 presidential election. The cross-Strait climate has undergone dramatic, earth-shaking changes. Zhang Mingqing was recently assaulted. Beijing bit its tongue. The contaminated milk scandal erupted. Beijing offered a letter of apology. All of Beijing's actions reveal a desire not to undermine cross-Strait relations or the Chiang/Chen Meeting. Beijing's forbearance is not merely a display of short term self-control. Beijing is now aware of how difficult it is to maintain cross-Strait relations. The authorities on both sides agree on the general direction. Therefore the issue of how Chen Yunlin should address Ma YIng-jeou must not be allowed to undermine this agreement.

Beijing's thinking on Taiwan has changed. It has changed from "The Republic of China is dead!" to "We must maintain the status quo" and "We subscribe to the 1992 Consensus." The subtext of the 1992 Consensus is "One China, Different Interpretations." Beijing must realize that without the "Republic of China" the two sides cannot achieve win-win. Chen Yunlin need not meet with President Ma. But he must not hurt the feelings of the public on Taiwan.

Will the two sides use their heads and solve these problems? We will have to wait and see.

2008.10.29 02:59 am




這 個模式,在陳雲林會見馬總統以前,不生爭議:一、江澤民見辜振甫,或胡錦濤見江丙坤,皆是以黨總書記的身分接見海基會董事長。二、其實,辜振甫與江丙坤亦 可「承認」對方的「國家主席」之身分;但北京為免台北要求「對等」,不以國家主席身分會客。三、向來,對岸包括海協會來台訪客,皆不入我方政府機構且未正 式拜會中央政府官員,故未生爭議;陳雲林若見馬總統,則為第一次、第一人。四、但是,馬總統只有總統一個職銜,即使兼黨主席,亦不宜以黨主席身分接見,因 為畢竟已非黨國一體。

此事演成今日如此尖銳的局面,部分原因是馬總統操作的錯失所致。六月中旬,兩岸宣布第二次「江陳會」將在台北舉行, 媒體立即提出陳雲林將如何稱呼馬總統的問題;詎料,可能完全未經幕僚論證的過程,馬總統幾乎在第一時間就主動公開表示「可以稱呼我馬先生」。此說引發的效 應是:一、國人不能接受馬總統未經任何折衝過程即作此退讓;二、此一爭議自六月擾攘至今,歷時四個多月,已經發酵成一個相當難解的民粹難題;三、「兩區 論」與「馬區長」成為話柄,更是火上加油。既然陳雲林見馬總統的稱謂已成為島內政治鬥爭的焦點,以「兩岸的聰明才智」(高孔廉語),難道還能不慎重應對處 理?

這是馬總統的難題,其實亦是陳雲林的難題。因為,倘若馬英九不是「台灣領導人」,陳雲林為何見他?見了他,卻不承認其「中華民國總 統」的身分,豈是「名正言順」?陳雲林到訪之日,中華民國總統府上掛著青天白日滿地紅的國旗,國會立法院正常運作,各級法院照常審判,學校如常教學,反對 黨也正在四處抗議示威;既然中華民國並未因陳雲林來訪而有任何改變,台灣人民自然要問:為何陳雲林見了馬總統不能稱總統?這已不是兩會的「白手套體制」可 解答的問題。


這 就要看北京方面當局的氣度及瞻矚如何了。兩岸氛圍,自三二二總統大選至今,僅七個多月,但其間之詭譎變化,猶如翻天覆地。最近,張銘清被毆事件,北京打脫 牙和血吞;毒奶粉事件,亦已修函致歉;一切作為,皆指向「不影響兩岸關係」、「不影響江陳會」;而這些表現也不僅是一時的隱忍自制而已,而應是已經警覺兩 岸關係的維持不易。兩岸當局既皆以大方向及大局為念,似乎亦不應使陳雲林的稱呼問題,傷害了大方向及大局。



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Chiang/Chen Meeting: The Meaning of the October 25 Protest

The Chiang/Chen Meeting: The Meaning of the October 25 Protest
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 28, 2008

On June 13 Chiang Ping-kuen and Chen Yunlin met in Beijing. They announced the commencement of weekend charter flights, with mainland tourists arriving on Taiwan. The Ma administration said its goal was three thousand visitors a day. Due to excessive restrictions, that goal has not been reached.

Even without such restrictions, they might not have been able to achieve three thousand visitors a day. But at least they would have experienced a significant surge in visitors, and the public on Taiwan might have gotten a taste of the possibilities of the administration's new policy. But mainland tourism to Taiwan has not had the anticipated effect, perhaps because Beijing was busy with the Olympics. The Ma administration's first shot misfired. Soon afterwards the political and economic situation rapidly deteriorated. Disappointment gradually changed the public's estimate of cross-Strait exchanges, and progress eventually came to a standstill.

Following the March 22 Presidential Election, Vice President-elect Vincent Siew seized the opportunity to participate in the Boao Forum on Hainan Island. This was followed by Lien Chan, Wu Po-hsiung, and Chiang Pin-kung visiting the mainland in rapid succession. The two sides announced the commencement of cross-Strait weekend charter flights and the arrival of mainland tourists on Taiwan. It was also agreed that the second Chiang/Chen Meeting would be held in Taipei in autumn. The Ma administration built up a considerable head of steam. No one imagined that Chen Yunlin would be greeted by cheering crowds tens of thousands strong. But neither did anyone expect it to become the hot potato it is today.

We have repeatedly stressed that Taiwan is a democracy. Cross-Strait policy must undergo the test of its democratic institutions. The two sides have arranged for a second Chiang/Chen Meeting. Cross-Strait policy entails peaceful negotiations. Nevertheless the Democratic Progressive Party objects to the Chiang/Chen Meeting. Tsai Ing-wen hopes Chen Yunlin will stay away. Wang Ting-yu shoved Zhang Mingqing to the ground. Chen Shui-bian is hoping to increase conflict. Maybe this constitutes another sort of cross-Strait policy. These two cross-Strait policies involve different kinds of thinking and different kinds of behavior. But they both must pass the test of Taiwan's democratic institutions. Only then will they represent public opinion and receive public support.

The demands set forth by the October 25 protest march have provided authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait insights into the public mood on Taiwan. The Chiang/Chen Meeting will establish exchange mechanisms. These include the expansion of weekend charter flights, chartered cargo flights, shorter, more direct flight paths, direct shipping, postal cooperation, and food safety measures. Yet the protestors made no mention of these important developments, because the Democratic Progressive Party can't make political hay from them. The public on Taiwan does not object to such provisions in the public interest. Instead the protestors stressed "national dignity," denounced "Regional Governor Ma," and wondered whether Chen Yunlin would address Ma as "President." They demanded "One Country on Each Side" and a "Nation of Taiwan." In fact, if one leaves Taiwan independence movement demands for a "Nation of Taiwan," a majority of the public shares their demand for "national dignity." Beijing has never responded appropriately to demands for "dignity." As a result, Taiwan independence still has a market.

The October 25 protest march has a message for the Chiang/Chen Meeting. One. Win/win cross-Strait policies must make win over peoples' hearts, and not just their minds. For example, mainland tourists arriving on Taiwan failed because there was plenty of thunder but very little rain. Two. Issues concerning Taiwan's "dignity" are of particular importance. Having witnessed the October 25 protest march, the Beijing authorities have a clearer sense of how obdurate Taiwan independence can be. How can one reunify such a Taiwan? How can one conduct cross-Strait relations without first maintaining the Republic of China's dignity?

Immediately after the assault against Zhang Mingqing, Beijing said the incident "would not affect cross-Strait relations," and "would not affect Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan." Such self-restraint deserves affirmation. Most remarkable of all was Zhang's response. "It was merely the extreme behavior of a very small number of people. It hardly represents the people of Tainan. Still less does it represent 23,000,000 people on Taiwan. " Zhang's mention of a majority vs. a minority involved other considerations. But it also showed respect for mainstream opinion on Taiwan. In this sense, the upcoming Chiang/Chen Meeting represents the future of cross-Strait negotiations. Beijing should not regard this as exclusively a dialogue between authorities, but as a dialogue with the public on Taiwan, even a dialogue with Taiwan's democratic institutions.

The Democratic Progressive Party has announced yet another protest march. It will hold an overnight vigil. It may even "shadow" Chen Yunlin. Antics such as these will embarrass both the host and the guest. But a few days of embarrassment are tolerable. This is a time to rethink the future. How can we create a win/win scenario? How should we respond to demands for "dignity" and to the majority preference for "neither unification nor independence?" Will the Chiang/Chen Meeting enable the public to accept the direction cross-Strait relations are taking?

Street protests in Taipei during the Chiang/Chen Meeting are a matter of appearances. The real historical judgement will be rendered by the majority on Taiwan. Authorities on both sides have made a concerted effort with the Chiang/Chen Meeting in Taipei. Yet their ability to touch the hearts of the public on Taiwan pales next to the internally divided Democratic Progressive Party. Why has it come to this? And what more can one say?

2008.10.28 05:25 am


倘 若當時就能打鐵趁熱,雖不能每日三千人,但也使來台陸客湧現,或許即可讓台灣民眾明確感受開放交流的能量;然而,也許北京當時忙著京奧,陸客來台的政策力 度迄未顯現。既然未能一炮打響,後來隨著政經大環境的急劇變化,兩岸議題在台灣民間的評價也因期待落空而漸漸變調,甚至急轉直下。

三二二 總統大選後,副總統當選人蕭萬長借題發揮赴海南島參加博鰲論壇,接著連戰、吳伯雄、江丙坤相繼登陸,兩岸宣布周末包機及陸客來台,又議定第二次「江陳會」 在「秋高氣爽」的時節於台北舉行,確實頗有一氣呵成的氣勢;當時,兩岸當局對陳雲林訪台,雖不至於想像出現萬民迎迓的場景,但一定未曾料到竟會出現今日這 等棘手的局面。

我們屢次強調,台灣是一民主社會,兩岸政策必須通過民主體制的檢驗。兩岸當局安排第二次「江陳會」,主張和平協商,這當然 是兩岸政策的表現;而民進黨反對「江陳會」,蔡英文希望陳雲林不要來,王定宇撂倒張銘清,與陳水扁挑唆升高衝突,這也是另一種兩岸政策的表現。這兩種不同 的兩岸政策體系,有其不同的思維及行為表現,皆將面對台灣民主體制的檢驗,亦可謂在相互爭取台灣民意的認同與支持。

一○二五大遊行的訴求 架構,可供兩岸當局觀察分析台灣民意。「江陳會」的主要議題是建立交流機制,如擴大周末包機、貨運包機、截彎取直、海運直航、郵政合作及食品管理等,但大 遊行對這些重大議題幾乎未發一語;這是因為民進黨對這類「利益議題」沒有反對的著力點,而台灣社會亦無反對這類「利益議題」的「可操作民意」。相對而言, 大遊行較有發揮的仍是國家定位之類的「尊嚴議題」;如「馬區長」、「陳雲林如何稱呼馬總統」、「一邊一國」、「台灣國」等。這類「尊嚴議題」,如果析離出 「台灣國」的台獨論述暫且不論,其實亦是多數台灣人的共同關切;反過來說,亦正因台灣的「尊嚴議題」始終未獲對岸合理回應,所以台獨迄今仍有政治市場。

一 ○二五大遊行帶給江陳會的訊息是:一、兩岸雙贏的「利益議題」必須能使民間有切身感受,如文首所論陸客來台的雷大雨小誠是敗筆。二、台灣定位的「尊嚴議 題」尤其重要,北京當局對一○二五遊行所顯露的台獨因素之頑強應有深刻印象;這樣的台灣如何「統一」?而若不能維持「中華民國」的基本尊嚴,兩岸關係又如 何維持得下去?

北京方面在張銘清事件發生後的第一時間,即定調為「不影響兩岸關係」,「不影響陳雲林訪台」;此種隱忍自制的表現應予肯 定。最令人注目的是張銘清的說辭,他說:「那只是極少數人的極端行為,不能代表所有的台南鄉親,更不代表兩千三百萬的台灣民眾。」張銘清的「多數/少數」 論述有其四面八方的考慮,但也表達了願意訴諸台灣的多數民意。在此一觀念下,此次江陳會及未來所有的兩岸交涉,北京方面應當皆不只視為兩岸當局的對話,而 亦應視為與台灣民意的對話,亦即與台灣民主機制的對話。

面對陳雲林來訪,民進黨已宣布將要遊行、守夜甚至「如影隨形」;這或許是兩岸當局 賓主皆覺尷尬難堪的場面。但是,幾天的難堪尷尬畢竟終可熬過,卻應在這個痛苦時段重新思考兩岸將來何去何從?「利益議題」如何創造雙贏?「尊嚴議題」如何 回應台灣多數「不統/不獨」的民意?總之,「江陳會」如何令台灣人民相信,兩岸互動循此下去,「大方向是正確的」? 


Monday, October 27, 2008

Talk to the Public from the Heart

Talk to the Public from the Heart
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 27, 2008

History may or may not remember this day. But President Ma's response to the October 25 protest march should not be to "listen humbly with an open mind." His response should be to accurately assess the protest's significance. He must ask himself why a political party that was on the ropes only half a year ago, could gather so much momentum in so little time? Was it merely economic factors? To put it another way, did purely economic factors motivate so many Green Camp supporters to take to the streets?

On the eve of the October 10 protest march, President Ma reiterated his cross-Strait policy. His tone betrayed his unease. "We have done nothing but implement policies promoted by the Mainland Affairs Council during Tsai Ing-wen's term of office. So why are we being accused of surrendering to Beijing?" "Why is it a sin for me to do what the DPP approved of?" This is the most interesting part of it all. The very doubts and dissatisfactions President Ma expressed contain the answers to his questions. Sorry, but what Tsai Ing-wen may do, Ma Ying-jeou may not. One might say this amounts to a double standard. But amidst Taiwan's Blue vs. Green disputes over the years, what issue hasn't been subject to a double standard? Tsai Ing-wen can get away with practicing double standards because she represents an opposition party. President Ma, on the other hand, cannot accuse Tsai of practicing double standards, wipe his hands, and walk away. If Tsai chooses to rail against Ma, there is nothing Ma can do.

When summing up one's situation, one must never indulge in wishful thinking. The Democratic Progressive Party failed to realize that the assault against Zhang Mingqing, left unchecked, might get out of hand. The assault gathered momentum, and led to the October 25 protest march. The progression seemed perfectly natural. An embezzler was transformed into a hero. A thug was also transformed into a hero. Given the atmosphere that has been created, can we really expect the DPP to be civil toward Chen Yunlin when he arrives for his visit? Some commentators may be confused about the Green Camp's political maneuveurs. Aren't they afraid of being hijacked by Ah-bian? Aren't they afraid of being branded a "party of violence?" These are foolish questions. The DPP was born in violence, and lives for confronations. If it fails to rally the troops during Chen Yunlin's visit, what would happen of the party's morale?

President Ma need not await Chairman Tsai Ing-wen's reasoned response. Even assuming she wanted to, the party would not allow her to engage in rational debate with him. Tsai's offer of a debate is mere posturing. It is tantamount to a refusal to engage in dialogue. President Ma's highest priority should not be to debate Tsai Ing-wen, but to dialogue with the public on Taiwan. President Ma is proabably unaware that this is why lost public approval.

Everyone knows how diligently the Ma administration has been promoting cross-strait reconciliation since it took office on May 20. What the Democratic Progressive Party couldn't do in eight years, the Ma administration did in three months. Over the past eight years, the two sides have remained deadlocked, with swords drawn and arrows nocked. Under the Ma administration the people are finally out from under the Sword of Damocles. This ought to be considered one of the Ma administration's major triumphs. . Why has Ma allowed the Green Camp to condemn it as a "major crime?" This is the Ma administration's biggest blind spot. It has expended enormous energy and effort promoting cross-Strait dialogue. But it has neglected to dialogue with the public on Taiwan. This has allowed the Green Camp to take advantage of its oversight.

The Ma administration has long under-estimated the extent to which public opinion on Taiwan has changed. In the wake of Lee Teng-hui's "two states theory" and eight years of Chen Shui-bian's "one country, each side" "cross-Strait relations" no longer exist, only "cross-Strait issues." The term "cross-Strait" has been reduced to a means of mobilizing voters. After the Green Camp's eight years in power, not only has the public's state of mind changed, . so has its tastes. The Ma administration has been in office only a few months. Turning the clock back eight years overnight is easier said than done. The past eight years have destroyed cross-Strait relations. Cross-Strait relations is not the only thing that needs to be rehabilitated on Taiwan So does our society's conscience. The two are linked. If one pays attention to only one, and ignores the other, one will naturally be accused of "tilting toward China." To relax cross-Strait relations, but fail to deal with cross-Strait resentments, will inevitably lead to the scenario of October 25.

Cross-Strait relations have been trampled underfoot for eight years. Reconstruction cannot be rushed. The Democratic Progressive Party has already created an intense "anti-China sentiment." How can one possibly change it overnight? Over the past several years, the Beijing authorities have denied the Republic of China diplomatic breathing room and the opportunity to participate in international activities. The memory of the contaminated milk scandal is still fresh in the public's mind. This can only reinforce the negative image the public has of the Mainland authorities. Much of the problem is psychological and emotional. The Ma administration needs to realize how little effort it has put into psychological rehabilitation. President Ma has used legal terminology from law books to explain his cross-Strait policy. He probably doesn't realize he is further alienating himself from the public.

Fortunately, it is not too late. The solutions to many of Taiwan's recalcitrant problems, are not intellectual, but emotional. If President Ma fails to get a phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, it doesn't matter. What matters is that he continue to communicate with the public, from the heart.

中國時報  2008.10.27

不論歷史會不會記住這一天,對於一○二五,馬總統此刻的功課,絕不該只是虛心傾聽,而是要正確解讀。他必須得思考:為什麼一個在半年前幾乎被打到趴的政 黨,還能在此刻營造出這樣的聲勢?僅僅只是基於大環境的經濟因素嗎?換個方式問或許更有意思:純粹經濟的因素,能動員那麼多綠營支持者上街嗎?

選在一○二五的前一天,馬總統再度透過訪談闡明了他的兩岸政策,他的語氣很清楚透露了不平:「為什麼蔡英文在陸委會任內所推動的政策,現在做到了,就被民 進黨罵是投降?」「為什麼民進黨當初認同的東西,現在會變成我的罪惡?」有趣的正是在這裡,馬總統的疑惑與不平,答案其實就隱藏在他的問題裡:很抱歉,蔡 英文可以的,馬英九就是不行!你可以說,這簡直是「雙重標準」,問題是台灣這幾年的藍綠糾葛,有什麼事不是「雙重標準」?重點或許是:蔡英文可以理直氣壯 地「雙重標準」,因為她代表是在野黨。馬總統卻不能拋一句「雙重標準」就兩手一攤,自認該做都做了,你要嗆我,我也沒辦法!

對情勢的研判,永遠不能一廂情願。張銘清先前被推打的效應,不僅沒有讓民進黨自覺情勢恐有失控,反而因為一○二五動員聲勢的激勵,讓一切都顯得理所當 然,A錢的變成是英雄,打人的也變成是英雄,當這種氛圍一旦形成,他們對即將到訪的陳雲林怎麼會客氣?有論者或許困惑綠營這樣操作,難道不怕被扁綁架,或 是被扣上「暴力黨」的帽子,這其實是個蠢問題,一個原本就靠抗爭起家的政黨,再不藉陳雲林來訪凝聚士氣,說不定整個黨的氣勢都散了。


從五二○就任以來,誰都看得出來,馬政府在推動兩岸和解上所付出的心力,許多在民進黨執政八年所做不到的事,馬政府在三兩個月就達成了。一個在過去八年幾 近乎劍拔弩張的情勢,在馬政府的積極調整下終於獲得疏緩,照說該是馬政府上任後的重大政績才對,怎麼卻被綠營形容得彷彿是「重大罪狀」般?這正是馬政府迄 今為止在推動兩岸政策上最大的盲點:花了十成十的智慧心力去推動兩岸的對話,卻吝惜與國內民眾對話,這個怠惰所留下的空隙,終於讓綠營找到了缺口,抓到時 機趁勢而起。

馬政府一直低估的是,經歷過李登輝後期的「兩國論」,再經過陳水扁八年的「一邊一國」,台灣社會的民意氛圍已經變了。過去十數年的歲月,嚴格的說並沒有 「兩岸關係」,只有「兩岸議題」。「兩岸」是被用來提供選舉動員的消費品,特別是經過綠營執政八年的悉心打造,甭說心態,連口味都變重了,馬政府才執政幾 個月,就想「一夕回到八年前」,談何容易?要知道,台灣需要重建的,不只是過去八年被摧毀的兩岸關係,還有過去八年被扭曲的社會心靈,這兩者間是連動的, 只顧一端,輕忽另一端,當然會被批「向中國傾斜」;只致力鬆綁兩岸關係,卻疏於緩解被撕裂的「兩岸情結」,結局就是我們在一○二五所看到的景象。

嘗試想想:一個已經被糟蹋八年多的兩岸關係,重建的步伐能夠躁進嗎?一個已經被民進黨強勢營造的「反中情結」,能在旦夕間就煙消雲散嗎?更何況,過去幾年 北京當局對台灣外交空間的打壓,對台灣國際參與的不留餘地,台灣民間迄今依舊是記憶鮮活,毒奶事件只是將這種意象更加強化而已。這中間所涉及的,有很大一 部分是心理的、情緒的層面。馬政府何不想想,在這方面的心理重建工程上,究竟下了多少工夫?在馬總統搬出法律用語的文書語言解釋他的兩岸政策時,他恐怕真 沒想到,他與民眾的距離,反而是愈來愈遠了。


Friday, October 24, 2008

Chen Shui-bian's Eight Year Web of Corruption

Chen Shui-bian's Eight Year Web of Corruption
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 24, 2008

Tug on the loose threads in the Chen family money-laundering scandal, and they will lead to string upon string of collusion between corrupt officials and special interests. The most shocking aspect is not that money and power were in bed together, but just how sordid their methods were. They were no different from those of organized crime groups. During his eight year term, Chen Shui-bian essentially sold the government to the highest bidder. His flagrant corruption is far more despicable than his incompetent governance.

Former Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao and former Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien have both been arrested. The Chen Shui-bian regime's corruption has reached new lows. These two officials' roles in the scandals was merely to obey orders and run errands. They sold their souls to help the Chen family amass illicit wealth and conceal its criminal acts. Chen Shui-bian's eight year regime has trampled the nation's system of justice into the dust. It has trampled the nation's civil service system under its boot, hollowed out its democracy, and undermined the rule of law. The legitimacy of "nativist rule" has been undermined to boot. Sadly, the Democratic Progressive Party doesn't seem to give a damn.

Neither local construction firms nor vast financial syndicates have escaped Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's clutches. Once the presidential palace or the presidential residence got wind of either bidding on local construction contracts or major financial policy reforms, they immediately became into Chen family ATM machines. Just look at First Son Chen Chi-chung's wedding. Besides flagrantly misusing Air Force One, all their expenses were charged to the State Expenses Fund, under "Confidential Expenses." Worse still, they set up channels by which major business consortiums would give million dollar diamond rings and million dollar gifts of cash as "wedding gifts." Hold a wedding. Amass a fortune. The epithet "corrupt" is woefully adequate to encompass Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's insatiable appetite. The entire government has become a money machine for a family consumed by greed. How ironic when Chen Shui-bian's pet mantra is "Love for Taiwan!"

So far the money-laundering scandal has exposed only the tip of the iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is alarming enough. One can only imagine what the rest of the iceberg is like. In fact, judging by the frequency of the Chen regime's corruption scandals, this sort of bottom-up chain reaction is no accident. Corruption scandals at the Central Government level alone are already too numerous to count. Examples include Kuo Yao-chi, former Minister of Transportation and Communications, who has been sentenced to eight years in connection with the Taiwan Railway Taipei Station bid-rigging scandal. Former Interior Minister Yen Wan-chin has been sentenced to 12 years in the second instance in connection with the Peitou cable car scandal. Former Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hou He-hsiung has been sentenced to 20 years for making sweetheart deals with flood control project contractors. Lin Chung-cheng has been sentenced to 16 years for his part in the Taiwan Development Corporation scandal. Additional scandals include the Department of Defense Taiwan Goals scandal, the PNG Ministry of Foreign Affairs scandal, and the Ministry of Finance "Second Financial Reform" scandal. One has to ask, is any ministry free from the stench of corruption?

Does the decadence and rot among Chen regime officials stem from DPP corruption? Or does it stem from the negative example set by Chen Shui-bian himself? The outside world has no way of knowing. But if Chen Shui-bian himself had not been so quick to descend into a mosh pit of corruption, if he still retained a shred of commitment to "reform," would he have sat back and watched as his lieutenants led his troops into the cesspool? Would he have opened a backdoor to his official residence for special interests?

Greed and corruption are two sides of the same coin. Only corruption is able to satisfy greed. Over the past eight years, there have been two presidential palaces on Taiwan. One is the Office of the President, located on Ketagalan Boulevard. The name on the door reads "Chen Shui-bian." It is responsible for policy. The other is the Underground Office of the President, located on Chongqing South Road. The name on the door reads "Wu Shu-cheng." She sets the prices. Wu Shu-cheng's greed could not be fulfilled without Chen Shui-bian's corruption. Of course, there would also be no money-laundering scandal today. Chen Shui-bian has harped endlessly on "reform." Wu Shu-chen has seized the opportunity to engage in wanton plunder. In the end, the entire family has been wound up in court. The myth of the Democratic Progressive Party "democratic reform" has also been swept into the garbage heap.

Chen Shui-bian has shouted "Transitional Justice" louder than anyone. But while he was waving one fist in the air demanding justice, his other hand was in the shadows, under the table, laundering money overseas. Chen Shui-bian is a master at political sleight of hand. He has led the public around by the nose until it is dizzy. In his eyes, the nation (guo) is merely a tool to amass wealth for his family (jia).

Over the past several months the public has seen a tiny corner of this vast web of corruption. This tiny glimpse alone has left it in shock. The latest revelation concerns millions, or even hundreds of millions deposited into the Chen family's overseas accounts by financial syndicates. When do judicial authorities intend to expose this vast web of corruption to the public?

2008.10.24 03:07 am


光是前調查局長葉盛茂、前內政部長余政憲相繼遭收押,扁政府的腐敗已創下空前紀錄。而這兩名首長在弊案中扮演的,不過是供使喚、跑腿的角色;他們出賣自己 的靈魂,目的只在幫扁家聚斂錢財及掩護非法。可見,陳水扁主政八年,不僅踐踏國家公義以聚斂個人財富,更是無情蹂躪官箴以掏空民主法治。本土政權的正當性 遭如此摧殘,可嘆的是,民進黨卻表現得不以為意的樣子。

小從地方型建商,大至大金控財團,都難逃扁珍聯手染指;地方工程發包,國家重大金改決策,一經府邸的通關密語,立即變成扁家發財變現的聚寶盆。僅看陳致中 的婚禮,除了大膽動用空軍一號,所有開銷甚且全移至國務機要費名下支付,尤有甚者,還安排了種種管道讓各大財團以百萬鑽戒、美金匯款向其申致賀意。一次婚 禮,一座金山。足見,一個「貪」字,已不足以形容扁珍的無饜胃口,可以說整個政府已被當成這個貪婪家族的牟利工具。諷刺的是,他最出名的口號還是「愛台 灣」!

洗錢案目前只露出冰山一角,即有如此驚人的弊情,往後的發展恐怕更是不堪。事實上,若對照扁政府過去八年的弊案頻傳,這種由下而上的連鎖引發,並非偶然。 陳水扁執政期間,光是中央部會發生的貪腐醜聞,已至屈指難數的地步。諸如:前交通部長郭瑤琪因涉及台鐵台北車站招商案,遭求刑八年;前內政部次長顏萬進因 涉及北投纜車弊案,二審被判十二年;前經濟部次長侯和雄在治水計畫涉嫌圖利廠商,遭求刑廿年;林忠正涉開發金弊案被判刑十六年。此外,更有諸如國防部的鐽 震案、外交部的巴紐案、財政部的二次金改,試問:還有幾個部會是乾淨的?


「貪」和「腐」是兩位一體,要有「腐」的推力,才能滿足「貪」的欲望。過去八年,台灣存在兩個總統府,一個是凱達格蘭大道的地上總統府,由陳水扁掛牌,負 責宣示政策;一個是重慶南路的地下總統府,由吳淑珍作莊,主持訂價決標。吳淑珍的「貪」,如果沒有陳水扁的「腐」,便無法遂行,當然也就不會有今天的洗錢 案。陳水扁不斷地製造「改革題材」,吳淑珍則亦不斷「借題發揮」以大肆搜刮;結果,終至把全家帶上法庭,也把民進黨的民主改革傳奇一起掃進垃圾場。

陳水扁是把「轉型正義」口號喊得最響亮的人。但就在他振臂高呼正義之際,他一隻手卻在桌子底下暗槓政策,另一隻手則在設法把錢洗到海外;這種政治魔幻寫實 手法,也只有阿扁能一人分飾多角,把全國人民哄得團團轉。在他眼裡,「國」只是為「家」聚斂財寶的一個超大型工具箱罷了。


Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 25: Chen Shui-bian's Stage, and the Democratic Progressive Party's Gallows?

October 25: Chen Shui-bian's Stage, and the Democratic Progressive Party's Gallows?
United Daily News editorial
A Translation
October 23, 2008

During the upcoming October 25 weekend protest march, the Democratic Progressive Party must address two issues. One. Internally, it must deal with Chen Shui-bian. Two. Externally, it must address cross-Strait policy.

The relationship between the DPP and Chen Shui-bian is certain to become even more tangled and contentious after the march. As for the DPP's cross-Strait policy, the march will send a message. That message is: Taiwan is becoming more regressive and violent. The United States, Mainland China, and the majority on Taiwan will feel even less confident about the island's future. The assault against Zhang Mingqing is merely a prelude.

During the August 30 protest march, the DPP temporarily shelved the Chen Shui-bian problem. But the march highlighted a harsh fact. The Taiwan independence movement has hijacked the Democratic Progressive Party. On October 25, the DPP will no longer be able to keep Chen Shui-bian down. The march will demonstrate how far the Democratic Progressive Party's cross-Strait policy has regressed.

Let's look at cross-Strait policy. The Democratic Progressive Party is still unable to deal with the "swift rectification of names, the authoring of a new constitution," and the "Resolution for a Normal Nation." On the surface the march is protesting "poisoned milk" and "Territorial Governor Ma." But the Democratic Progressive Party and the Green Camp's holy grail remains a "Nation of Taiwan." The DPP has demanded that the Republic of China flag remain in place during Chen Yunlin's visit. But during the weekend demonstrations, it is unlikely we will see a single Republic of China flag. The Democratic Progressive Party complains that the Chinese Communist Party refuses to recognize the Republic of China. But the DPP has never forsaken its goal of overthrowing the Republic of China and founding a "Nation of Taiwan." How is the DPP any different from the CCP? People have been listening to the Democratic Progressive Party's spin on cross-Strait relations for 20 years. The defects in its logic no longer require comment. The public has no intention of listening to what the Democratic Progressive Party says. It intends to watch what the Democratic Progressive Party does. Will the public endorse the DPP's "Nation of Taiwan" merely because it is protesting "poisoned milk?"

The Democratic Progressive Party will be held hostage by the Taiwan independence movement during the current march, just as it was during the August 30 march. This time the hostage taker will be Chen Shui-bian. The main items on Chen Yunlin's agenda are direct shipping, Cargo charter flights, making the flight paths more direct, and food safety. The Democratic Progressive Party should address these issues regardless of whether it agrees with the current administration. But the DPP's primary issue is "poisoned milk." One should protest poisoned milk of course. But the Democratic Progressive Party is using the contaminated milk issue to repackage its "Nation of Taiwan" demands. It is dealing with the contaminated milk incident purely from the perspective of a "Nation of Taiwan." The United States understands this. Mainland China understands this. The public on Taiwan understands this.

If the Democratic Progressive Party takes to the streets this weekend and waves only "poisoned milk" banners, but does not dare to openly advocate a "Nation of Taiwan," the march will be even more of a losing proposition than the one on August 30.

Let's look at Chen Shui-bian. Chen Shui-bian was first to suggest holding this protest. Even the slogans, "Oppose Black-hearted Merchants, Defend Taiwan's Sovereignty" and "Ma Must Apologize. Liu Must Step Down, Chen Yunlin Must Not Come" were Chen Shui-bian's handiwork. Chen Shui-bian and the DPP seem to be engaged in a copyright dispute.

The DPP is unable to make a clean break with Chen Shui-bian, because it is unable to make a clean break with Taiwan independence. The DPP is now watching idly as Chen's brand of Taiwan independence becomes the "Official Brand of Taiwan Independence." In the dispute over who owns the rights to the brand "Taiwan independence," the DPP has already lost to Chen Shui-bian.

Chen Shui-bian has already confirmed that he will take part in the march. The DPP hopes he will either split off from the procession before it reaches Ketagelan Boulevard, or failing that, refrain from ascending to the podium to speak. Chen Shui-bian is unlikely to honor either of these demands. Chen Shui-bian does not consider his participation in the march a "favor" granted him by the march organizers. After all, these marches were the result of his struggles since August 30. He naturally intends to use the October 25 march to consolidate his power and expand his influence. Chen Shui-bian has vowed not to "fight for the right to speak." But what if his claque shrilly demands that he be allowed to speak? Chen Shui-bian has vowed not to "fight over the microphone." But what if his supporters thrust a microphone into his hand?

Besides, even assuming Chen Shui-bian does not ascend to the podium to speak, that doesn't means the DPP has succeeded in making a "soft break" with Ah-Bian. As long as Chen Shui-bian joins the procession, the Democratic Progressive Party will appear to have endorsed Chen's brand of Taiwan independence. Chen Shui-bian has already picked his next battlefield. He has publicly endorsed Chen Tang-shan's candidacy in next year's Tainan County Magistrate election. Once Chen Shui-bian is afforded the opportunity to endorse two or three DPP candidates for county magistrate or city mayor, what is to stop him from endorsing every DPP candidate? When that happens, the campaign booster who dominates the media spotlight will be Chen Shui-bian, not Tsai Ing-wen.

On the surface the march is an "Anti-China, Anti-Ma" march. In reality the march is an internecine power struggle between Chen Shui-bian and the DPP. It is a copyright dispute. By the time the march has ended, the Democratic Progressive Party will have confessed to the nation and the world that its is still a hostage to Taiwan independence, unable to exorcise the demon of Chen Shui-bian. The spectacle of the October 25 protest march will not disguise the reality of a life and death struggle between Chen Shui-bian and the DPP. The event may be Chen Shui-bian's stage, and the DPP's gallows.

2008.10.23 02:45 am




先談兩岸政策。民進黨迄今仍未處理「及早正名制憲」的《正常國家決議文》,大遊行表面上的題材是抗議「毒奶粉」及「馬區長」等,但如今綠營及民進黨在骨子 裡的主體架構仍是「台灣國」。例如,民進黨雖然主張不可在陳雲林的面前撤走國旗,但周末的遊行中恐怕仍不會見到國旗大隊;民進黨抗議中共不承認中華民國, 但民進黨亦迄未放棄「台灣國」,二者可謂殊途同歸。民進黨這樣的兩岸論述,國人已看了超逾二十年;其中蹊蹺,已是不言可喻。既如此,國人當然不只看民進黨 「表面」說什麼,而是要問民進黨「到底」在幹什麼。難道國人會因抗議「毒奶粉」,就贊同民進黨的「台灣國」?

此次遊行,正如八三○遊行,民進黨再次被台獨挾持;而此次遊行更被陳水扁挾持。無論如何,陳雲林來訪,主要議題是海運直航、貨運包機、截彎取直,及食品安 全等重大事項;民進黨若是就事論事,或可正面反對這些議題,但民進黨的主要題材卻是「毒奶粉」。「毒奶粉」當然可以抗議,但民進黨若用「毒奶粉」的題材來 包裝「台灣國」的訴求,或用「台灣國」的角度,來處理「毒奶粉」事件;美國看得懂,中國看得懂,台灣主流社會也看得懂。




陳水扁已經確定將參加遊行,但民進黨有人希望他在抵達凱道集結區前半途脫隊,或抵達凱道後站在台下勿上台演講,這些要求似皆強陳水扁所難;因為,陳水扁不 會視參與遊行是主辦單位的「恩賜」,畢竟這些皆是他自八三○後自己掙扎纏鬥的成績,他當然要藉一○ 二五來鞏固並放大這個效果。陳水扁應允「不爭取上台講話」,但如果群眾起鬨要他上台呢?他也應允「不搶麥克風」,但如果有人不得不將麥克風交到他手上呢?

進一步言,陳水扁若不上台演說,那也不表示民進黨已成功地與扁「軟切割」;只要陳水扁走進了遊行隊伍,民進黨就形同為「扁記正字台獨」背書。陳水扁甚至已 指定了下一個戰場,他公開挺陳唐山參與明年底台南縣長選舉;想像可知,他只要能站上兩三位民進黨縣市長候選人的台,他就有機會站上所有民進黨候選人的台; 屆時,最受矚目的輔選者將是陳水扁,而不是蔡英文。



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Taiwan's Pride is Its Democracy, Not Its Fists

Taiwan's Pride is Its Democracy, Not Its Fists
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 22, 2008

If within a democracy one holds divergent views, the normal response is petitions or protests. Assaulting someone for holding different beliefs is beyond the pale. Vice Chairman of ARATS Zhang Minqin recently arrived in Taiwan to attend an academic conference. He was repeatedly met with shrill protests along the way. He joked that the public on Taiwan was giving him an "especially warm welcome." Zhang demonstrated remarkable forbearance. Alas, local Democratic Progressive Party officials incited their supporters to subject him to relentless harassment. They went so far as to assault Zhang and stomp on the car he was traveling in, caving in the roof. Democratic Progressive Party leaders used shockingly caustic language, openly calling him "The Enemy." They even added that "Zhang was lucky to get off so lightly." Who knew Taiwan's democracy would come to this? Who knew that the Democratic Progressive Party, which was once the ruling party, would actually consider assault and battery righteous behavior?

Ever since the Democratic Progressive Party was founded, it has hated being referred to as "a party of violence." We do not believe that endlessly repeated "isolated incidents" of violence are the essence of the Democratic Progressive Party. But these incidents happen over and over again, and the leaders of the Democratic Progressive Party never intervene. Instead, they abet and even further incite them for selfish partisan interests. The October 25 protest march is right around the corner. How can leaders of any self-respecting political party tolerate such socially divisive demagoguery?

Ironically, Zhang was assaulted in front of the Confucian Temple in Tainan, the first Confucian Temple constructed in Taiwan. Is this what has become of Confucius' teachings? When the fighting broke out, a group of elementary school children were on a field visit. They were so terrified they hid. Has the Democratic Progressive Party given the slightest consideration to the example they are setting for our children? Democracy is about counting heads. It is not about using ones' fists. The Democratic Progressive Party ruled for eight years. Has it still not learned the meaning of democracy? Taiwan faces a vast Chinese mainland. Its advantage has never been bigger fists. Taiwan's advantage has always been its democracy. Underneath democracy lies civilization. When has a prosperous and sophisticated Taiwan society ever resorted to fisticuffs to achieve victory?

The DPP vehemently objects to the Ma administration's cross-Strait policy. It can protest the Ma administration's policies in the Legislative Yuan, or even on the streets. But Zhang Minqin came to Taiwan to attend an academic conference. It is absurd to use him as a punching bag. What else has the violence achieved, other than underscore the Democratic Progressive Party's barbarism? Does mindlessly trampling the image of Taiwan's democracy beneath one's boots count as "loving Taiwan?"

Democratic Progressive Party officials refuse to reign in their more fanatical grass roots supporters. They have the temerity to refer to a visiting guest as "The Enemy," and to assert that Zhang was "lucky to get off so lightly." The public on Taiwan may have differing views on whether the mainland is "The Enemy." But even two countries at war have rules about how envoys are treated. Besides, cross-strait reconciliation has been the norm for years. The two sides' competition for international recognition, can surely be conducted in a civilized manner. Even the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's scorched earth diplomacy only resorted to money, not artillery. Besides, the ice in the Taiwan Strait has been melting for some time now. After May 20, DPP Yunlin County Magistrate Su Chi-fen even visited the mainland to promote the sale of Taiwan fruit. Mainland authorities may not have rolled out the red carpet for Su, but at least he was received with civility and politeness. No one assaulted him or threatened him.

Is the Ma administration's cross-Strait policy is moving too quickly or too slowly? The political class, the business community, and the grass roots may hold different views. But cross-strait exchanges have become an irreversible trend. Just before Formosa Plastics Group founder Wang Yung-ching died, he said his greatest regret was that cross-strait policy change was painfully slow. It was falling far behind the business community's requirements for sustained global competitiveness. If not for former President Lee Teng-hui's "Patience, No Haste" policy, Taiwan's industrial development would likely have reached a new milestone. Cross-Strait exchanges during the latter part of the Lee Teng-hui administration and the eight years Chen Shui-bian was in power, endured over a decade of stagnation. During this decade or so, non-governmental cross-Strait exchanges continually progressed. Since taking office, the Ma administration has eased restrictions on cross-Straits exchanges. If the Ma administration fails to take action, the private sector is not about to sit on its hands. The Ma administration has yet to fully implement its policies. Does the Democratic Progressive Party really want the people on the two sides to perceive each other as enemies? Particularly when the community is looking to mainland tourists to boost Taiwan's economy? The Democratic Progressive Party supporters' have a peculiar concept of hospitality. It is to frighten away tourists, and thereby chase away Taiwan's economic recovery.

Has the Democratic Progressive Party learned nothing from its eight years in office? Rampant corruption and endless demagoguery is precisely why the public on Taiwan has rejected the Democratic Progressive Party. Over the past eight years, A Bian's demagoguery has increased communal strife to potentially irreversible levels. The Chen Shui-bian regime has stepped down. But the Chen Shui-bian family continues to elude justice. It is expanding its mobilization of Deep Green forces, and intensifying social polarization. It is openly betraying expectations the public once had for a local political party. The Democratic Progressive Party has fallen into a vicious cycle, becoming a "party of violence."

Over eight years ago, the Democratic Progressive Party won the presidential election. It did not rely on its fists, but on its ideals. Today, the Democratic Progressive Party has lost power. But has it lost all its ideals as well? Demoralized individuals must pull themselves together. If the Democratic Progressive Party wants to stand straight once more, it must remember that Taiwan is a civilized society. Assaulting someone will not prove you are right. Hatred must not be permitted to spread. Come back to those who placed their faith in you. Transform the Democratic Progressive Party into a party of reason.

中國時報  2008.10.22
台灣自豪的是民主風度 不是拳頭

有 不同意見,陳情、請願、抗議都是民主常態,但是,因為有不同意見而出手打人,是絕對無法容忍的事。大陸海協會副會長張銘清來台參與學術會議,一路行來屢遭 嗆聲,他自我解嘲是台灣民眾給他「特別熱情的歡迎」,遭嗆者都能以如此心情面對台灣民眾的不滿情緒,很遺憾的,民進黨地方民代竟煽動支持者如影隨形地抗 議,甚至囂張到動手打人,躍上公務車踐踏洩憤;民進黨中央公職更以尖刻的言詞指來者是「敵」,如此行為已經算是客氣的了。沒想到,台灣民主走到今天,執政 過的民進黨人,還能如此理直氣壯地自認打人有理。

民進黨從創黨伊始,最痛恨被批評是「暴力黨」,我們也不相信一而再、再而三發生的「個別 事件」就是民進黨的本質,然而,這些反覆發生的事端,從不見民進黨領導階層有效約束,甚至縱容公職激化民眾情緒,以攫取一己一黨之政治利益,尤其一○二五 遊行在即,作為政黨的領導者,豈容社會仇恨情緒因為這些無恥政客的政治動機,一再渲染、擴散?

說來諷刺,張銘清遭毆的地點是在全台首學的 府城台南孔廟前,孔子教化為何物?打架紛亂的同時,正有一隊小學生魚貫進入參觀,嚇得孩子們左閃右躲,民進黨人想過沒有,這是什麼扭曲的教育示範?民主講 究的是數人頭,不是出拳頭,執政八年了的民進黨,難道還學不會民主的真義嗎?台灣面對偌大一個中國大陸,優勢從來不是拳頭比別人大,相反的,台灣的優勢就 是「民主」二字,民主的深層意涵是「文明」二字,什麼時候富而好禮的台灣社會,會以出拳打人取勝?


民 進黨中央公職面對基層激昂失控的行為,無力阻止,竟還認為對方是「敵」,打人的行為「算是客氣」的了。大陸是不是「敵」,或許台灣社會中還有若干不同見 解,但是,不要忘了,兩國交戰還有不斬來使的規矩,遑論海峽兩岸已經和解多年,兩岸在國際外交場域的競爭,用的也是文明人的方法,即使民進黨執政,搞出烽 火外交,用的也是鈔票而非大炮。更不要忘了,兩岸的冰融氣氛已成,五二○之後,民進黨籍的雲林縣長蘇治芬還登陸推銷台灣水果,不要說對方待蘇縣長為上賓, 至少客客氣氣,沒拿出拳頭唬人。

馬政府的兩岸政策是快是慢,政商界和基層社會,或有不同見解,但是兩岸交流早已成為不可逆轉的潮流,甫辭 世的台塑集團創辦人王永慶過世前,最遺憾的就是兩岸交流速度,遠遠在企業競逐世界競爭力之後。若非前總統李登輝的戒急用忍,台灣產業發展或已進入新的里程 碑,兩岸交流從李登輝執政後期到陳水扁執政八年,足足停滯了十數年之久,這十多年來,兩岸民間互通的腳步卻從來沒停過,馬政府就任以來,做的是政策鬆綁, 即使馬政府不做,民間也不會拖延等待,只是讓政府管理機制更難上正軌,難不成,民進黨人真要兩岸人民互為敵人嗎?尤其是,當社會普遍期待開放大陸觀光客能 更有效提振台灣經濟之際,民進黨激進支持者的待客之道,不是嚇跑台灣觀光的客人,而是嚇跑台灣經濟復甦的可能契機。

已有執政八年經驗的民 進黨到底深刻檢討過沒有?貪汙和無止盡的族群動員,正是台灣社會最厭惡而唾棄民進黨的主因,過去八年,因為扁政府的操作,讓社會仇恨升高到難以彌平;扁政 府下台了,卻還讓陳水扁為了扁家弊案解套,擴大深綠動員,激化對立情緒,硬生生摧毀一個曾經深受民眾期待的本土政黨的本質,民進黨卻還無知無覺地陷入打架 政黨的惡性循環。

八年多前,民進黨贏得總統大選,靠得並不是拳頭,而是理念;民進黨如今失去政權,難道連理念都喪失了嗎?失志者必須奮勵 圖強,如果民進黨還想重新站起來再出發,請記得:台灣,已經是一個文明社會,拳頭打不出道理,仇恨情緒不可放任蔓延,請回到那個曾經被人們深切期待、講理 的民進黨。

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

President Ma Should Still Attempt to Attend APEC

President Ma Should Still Attempt to Attend APEC
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 21, 2008

Summary: This year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting will be held in late November, in Lima, Peru. Several candidates are rumored to be President Ma Ying-jeou's choice of representative to the unofficial meeting of national leaders. But before he picks someone to represent him, President Ma should attempt to attend in person. Beijing has long hoped that Chen Yunlin, President of the Association for Relations Across the Straits, could come to Taiwan. Therefore it is makes sense for the leaders of the two sides to meet during the unofficial APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. Such a meeting would contribute to cross-strait interactions, and deserves the Mainland authorities' careful consideration. The most important prerequisite to the development of cross-strait relations is learning to respect each other.

Full Text below:

This year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting will be held in late November, in Lima, Peru. Several candidates are rumored to be President Ma Ying-jeou's choice of representative to the unofficial meeting of national leaders. But before he picks someone to represent him, President Ma should attempt to attend in person.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation organization was established in 1991. In the organization's memorandum of understanding, agreed to by all the parties, the Mainland authorities stipulated that Taiwan authorities may send only ministerial-level or lower officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs may not attend. During the 1993 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, the Mainland authorities asked that the restrictions in the Memorandum of Understanding be extended. Taiwan would not be allowed to send officials any higher than the Ministry of Economic Affairs to the meeting.

APEC is a quasi-government organization. In order to reduce political sensitivities and allow the two sides to participate, Member States are referred to as "economies." The Economic Leaders' Meeting is known as the "Informal Economic Leaders' Meeting." But over the years, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting has become an important diplomatic venue for the heads of Asia-Pacific states and the United States. In fact, as Member States, the Taiwan authorities and the Mainland authorities are completely equal. Leaders of Member States are allowed to attend the summit in high style. Only the Republic of China's leaders are asked to specially designate a representative every year.

Only the President of the Republic of China may not attend. Even the president's special envoy must be kept to the level of Ministers of Economic Affairs and Ministers of Trade, or below. Officials on Taiwan have long been attempting to breakthrough to a higher level. They have been fighting unsuccessfully to allow the Vice Premier, the former Vice President, and the Chairman of the Legislature to attend. In attempts to break through the vague restrictions on political status, they have sent figures with obvious political colors, such as Senior Presidential Adviser Koo Chen-fu and Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tse. But such gestures are meaningful only on Taiwan. They have no impact whatsover on APEC's established practices.

Koo Chen-fu has passed away. Lee Yuan-tse is unwilling to participate. In recent years several corporate heads such as Lin Hsin-yi, Morris Chang, Stan Shih have served as the president's Special Envoys. Over the past decades, leaders on Taiwan have gotten no closer to the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

Since Ma Ying-jeou became president, cross-strait relations have eased. Ma's "Diplomatic Truce" has become his main policy. Rumor has it former Vice President and Honorary KMT Chairman Lien Chan may attend the APEC Leaders's Meeting on behalf of Ma Ying-jeou. Lien Chan has visited the mainland and established communications channels between the Kuomintang and the CCP. But his identity as a former Vice-President still poses a direct challenge to the framework the Mainland authorities have established for Taiwan. If the past is any indicator, the Mainland authorities will not allow Lien Chan to attend. In the end, the public on Taiwan will decide for itself how much "good will" the Mainland authorities are offering.

In the process of upholding our rights, interests, and equality, President Ma must not relinquish his struggle to attend in person. Even though attending is impossible, our president must make every effort to do so. According to precedent, APEC and the host nation will send a formal invitation to heads of state, They will send a special envoy to formally invite the President of the Republic of China to send a representative. They will even hold a number of back and forth discussions. They will show at least ritual respect. They will acknowledge that the President of the Republic of China has the right to full and equal representation, and that only realpolitik necessitates demeaning the Republic of China.

Even though it has yet to become a reality, APEC precedent has in fact repeatedly confirmed that the President of the Republic of China is eligible to attend the Economic Leaders' Meeting. Ma Ying-jeou has always aggressively sought to attend. Attempting to do so will help uphold the President of the Republic of China's right to attend. We must fight for our rights. If we fail to make an effort because we are overly concerned about cross-strait sensitivities, adverse consequences will follow. A future breakthrough will be more difficult. If the Mainland authorities acquire increased power to determine the Republic of China's international status, and if this authority appears to meet with Taiwan's approval, we must be aware of the political consequences.

Since taking office, President Ma has expressed goodwill toward the Mainland authorities. Beijing has also refrained from luring away Paraguay. But on the international stage the real returns have been slight, particularly with regards international organizations. Former American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Director Douglas Paal recently proposed that President Ma "find a title under which he may personally participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders Meeting. Over the next two or three years it is very likely to become a reality." This means that during the new era of cross-strait relations, Republic of China officials may make a breakthrough regarding participation in APEC activities. But it will not come without effort. President Ma may have a better chance than in the past.

Beijing has long hoped that Chen Yunlin, President of the Association for Relations Across the Straits, could come to Taiwan. Therefore it makes sense for the leaders of the two sides to meet during the unofficial APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. Such a meeting would contribute to cross-strait interaction, and deserves the Mainland authorities' careful consideration. The most important prerequisite to the development of cross-strait relations is learning to respect each other.

中國時報  2008.10.21


亞太經合會議在一九九一年成立時,中共即在與APEC的諒解備忘錄中約定,台灣只能派經濟事務部長級官員與會,且外交部長及次長亦不能出席。一九九三年開 始舉行領袖高峰會之後,中共進一步要求延伸諒解備忘錄中的限制,不允許台灣出席領袖會議的人士超過經濟事務部長級的層級。

APEC是一個半官方國際組織,為了降低政治敏感性,讓兩岸均能參與,成員國均以「經濟體」為單位,領袖峰會也稱為「經濟體非正式領袖會議」。不過多年下 來,APEC領袖會議已經成了亞太國家與美國一個重要的元首外交場域。作為一個會員國,台灣的地位其實與中共是完全平等的。既然如此,當所有會員國領袖都 可以風風光光出席高峰會,唯獨台灣的領導人每年都被主辦單位要求另行指定代表出席。

不只台灣總統不能與會,連代表總統出席的特使人選也始終被壓低在經貿部長層級。台灣一直想突破限制拉高層級,先後曾爭取由行政院副院長、前副總統和立法院 長出席,但一直無法成功,因此轉而以具政治象徵色彩的總統府資政辜振甫與中研院院長李遠哲出馬,試圖以其政治地位隱約突破官階限制,不過這種細微差異只對 台灣內部有意義,對APEC已經確立的慣例並無影響。


馬英九就任總統以來,兩岸關係趨於緩和,「外交休兵」也成為政策主軸。近來有傳聞指前副總統、國民黨榮譽主席連戰可能代表馬英九出席APEC領袖會議,儘 管連戰曾訪問大陸並建立國共溝通平台,但其曾任副總統的身分,仍然對中共在APEC為台灣設下的框架形成直接挑戰。如果按照過去的慣例,中共大概不會同意 由連戰出席。而事情最後的發展,將是台灣民眾驗證中共對台「善意」的依據。

不過,在程序上、在堅持平等參與權益上,馬總統不能直接就放棄要求親自出席。這些年,就算明知無緣參與,我們的總統總還是盡一切努力爭取,而APEC與主 辦國慣例上也會送來正式的元首邀請函,並派遣特使央請台灣總統另派代表,甚至還需要來回多次磋商。亦即禮數上做到尊重,且承認台灣元首有充分且平等權利參 與,只因政治現實而必須委屈台灣。

因此,即使到現在尚未成為事實,但在APEC的運作上,其實已經在慣例中一再確認了台灣元首有出席領袖峰會的資格。馬英九秉持往例積極爭取出席,將是繼續 維持台灣元首出席權的一項重要政治動作。該爭的權利,我們一定要爭;如果因為過分顧忌兩岸氣氛而主動放棄努力,有可造成後續不利影響,讓未來更難獲致突 破。如果讓中共對台灣的國際地位取得更強、且被視為經台灣同意的決定權,其政治效應令人擔憂,台灣不可不慎。

馬總統就任以來對中共不斷拋出善意,但北京除了沒挖走巴拉圭之外,在國際舞台上的實質回報其實很少,尤其是在國際組織部分。前美國在台協會台北辦事處處長 包道格最近建議馬總統,「找個頭銜,親自參與亞太經合會領袖會議,未來兩三年極可能成為事實。」說明在新階段的兩岸關係中,台灣參與APEC的模式有可能 找到突破點,但是它不會平白降臨,還是需要努力去尋求。但相較之下,也許馬總統會有比過去多一點點的機會。


Monday, October 20, 2008

For Those in Authority, Panic is an Unaffordable Luxury

For Those in Authority, Panic is an Unaffordable Luxury
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation 
October 20, 2008

Ma Ying-jeou has a frugal nature. When he invites foreign guests to lunch, they "brown bag" it. Ma Ying-jeou urges officials not to send flowers or gifts. When florists complain, putting him on the spot, he visits a shoe store and buys a new pair of shoes to stimulate the economy.

The Minister of Health set the legal limit for melamine at 2.5 ppm. But when the public complained, he lacked the courage to defend his policy, With a heavy heart, he stepped down. The current Minister of Health is unwilling to talk about legal limits. Instead he stages photo ops in which he eats bread to demonstrate its safety.

When the inheritance tax was reduced from 50 percent to 10 percent, it was branded a "tax cut for the rich." To mollify critics. the administration cut taxes across the board, benefiting the middle class as well. Now the criticism is "if everybody gets a tax cut, where's the government going get its money?"

This is the plight of the Ma administration. No matter what it does, it's wrong. The policy team finds itself on the horns of a dilemma. The more panicky it gets, the more mistakes it makes. The more mistakes it makes, the more it gets criticized. The more it gets criticized, the less confident it becomes. The less confident it becomes, the more panicky it gets.

During the five months Ma Ying-jeou has been in office, everything has gone wrong, mostly due to external factors. Natural disasters have struck one after another. Add to this global inflation and a once in a century global financial tidal wave, and countless nations find themselves in a state of crisis. Applying the same standards to all of them, then the hardship the public is experiencing cannot be blamed on Ma Ying-jeou. Nevertheless, the opposition DPP has chosen to oppose the ruling administration out of sheer orneriness. For example, the contaminated milk scandal was turned into an anti-Ma campaign. The DPP trotted out demagogic non sequiteurs such as "The lives of Taiwanese have less value than Chinese pigs." But when we learned that 2.5 ppm was the internationally recognized safety standard for melamine levels, the Democratic Progressive Party refused to utter a single "Sorry." Instead, Lin Fang-yu was forced to step down for no good reason. We live in an Age of Unreason.

That said, Ma Ying-jeou's elite team has not demonstrated a capacity to turn crises into opportunities. Instead it has revealed an embarrassing tendency to panic in the face of emergencies, and an extraordinary clumsiness in dealing with crises. It is always behind the curve. Its leadership style has failed to instill public confidence. Instead, it has lost the respect of the public. This group of officials, utterly lacking in self-confidence, has recently become even more panicky. When hard-nosed legislators asked whether officials who received poor approval ratings in the media should forgo their year-end bonuses, they merely hemmed and hawed. They looked like a bunch of Yes Men whose only question when asked to jump is "How high?" Is it really necessary for government officials to abase themselves like this?

The public often offers unsolicited advice to the Ma administration. It says the administration must improve communication with the public. But the administration remains trapped in the Myth of Public Opinion, constantly looking over its shoulder. Therefore we would like to offer the administration a few suggestions. One. Do not try to please everyone. Trying to please everyone and you will only wind up pleasing no one. The recent tax cuts are the best example, Cut this and you are criticized. Cut that and you are criticized. Cut this and that and you are criticized even more harshly. Meanwhile, governments the world over are somehow able to cut taxes.

Two. You must have the courage to do what's right. If it must be done, then do it. If you are in the right, then you must not waver. You must communicate with the public. In addition to acting in good faith, you must rule in accordance with the law. Authority must be supported by expertise. The contaminated milk scandal is a good example. After sacrificing Lin Fang-yu for no reason, the Ministry of Health still has not given us a clear account of events. Meanwhile, didn't Central Bank President Peng Huai-nang's proposal that foreign exchange reserves be used for a "sovereign fund" meet with public approval? Didn't the public praise his courage? This shows us the public is not entirely incapable of understanding reason.

Three. Because people are not entirely incapable of understanding reason, the right direction must be explained to them. One need not appease mobs. A Blue vs. Green standoff prevails on Taiwan. Every issue is polarized. If the administration wants to get things done, it must show determination. In the face of unwarranted verbal abuse such as "Taiwanese people are valued less than Chinese pigs," the administration's response must not be terrified silence. The Ministry of Education's response to demands that it restore the official name "Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall" must not be to pass the buck to a "citizens forum." Otherwise why turn decision-making power over to you in the first place?

Four. Communicating with the public does not mean interfering with the media. Some of the Ma administration's behavior toward the media has been questionable. If officials clearly misspoke, the administration may not demand a retraction. Recent the China Broadcasting Company and Central News Agency have been careful to avoid accusations of featherbedding and interference in the freedom of the press. Those in power should not expect to be media darlings. Those in power have no right to expect the media to be "friendly."

Times are hard on those in power. Ma, Liu and other ivory tower intellectuals rule the nation. Now they realize how hard the job can be on the minds and bodies, and how thick the Fog of War can become. External factors cannot be controlled. One's leadership style however, is one's own responsibility. The policy team must act courageously, communicate effectively, and rebuild its credibility.

2008.10.20 02:02 am





馬英九上任五個月,諸事不順,大部分出於外在環境因素。除了天災不斷,還加上國際性的通貨膨脹,以及「世紀僅見」的全球金融海嘯。多少國家都在危機總動 員,故若持平而觀,民眾度小月,不能全怪馬英九。同時,在野黨為反對而反對,例如藉毒奶事件擴大「反中打馬」戰線,亂罵「台灣人命不如中國豬」來煽風點 火,結果卻證明二點五ppm乃國際接受的安全標準,民進黨卻一點理虧的樣子也無,反倒是林芳郁冤枉下台徒留憾事。這的確是一個難以理喻的時代。

但話說回來,馬英九率領著精英團隊,並未發揮「化險為夷」的處理能力,反而顯現了「遇亂則亂」的窘態,格外拙於應付危機。該反應的時候慢半拍,該展示領袖 風範時卻沒能安定人心,終於失去了民眾的尊重。而一群毫無自信的官員更加亂了手腳,連立委強悍追問是否民調差就該取消年終獎金,都見人事行政首長唯唯諾 諾,一副即刻「遵命」的模樣。政府官員何以弱勢至此?

輿論常「指教」馬政府,要加強與民眾的溝通,卻見政府又常因此卡在民意的迷思上,凡事瞻前顧後。在此,我們給政府幾個具體建議:第一,不要想討好所有的 人,想要面面討好,結果一定面面不討好。最近減稅方案就是最好的例子,減這個也有人罵,減那個也有人罵,「統統有減」之後繼續被罵。但如今不是全球各國都 陸續推出減稅改革嗎?

所以,第二,對的事就勇敢去做,據理就要力爭,理直就要氣壯。與民眾「溝通」,除了誠意之外,也要用依法行政、公權力執行、專業權威作後盾。毒奶事件即是 一例,平白犧牲林芳郁之後,何以衛生署至今仍未敢把事件道理說個清楚?相對之下,央行總裁彭淮南於動用外匯存底作「主權基金」的建議不假辭色,不也眾聲叫 好,讚其擔當?可見民眾不會完全不明事理。

第三,正因為民眾不至於完全不明事理,所以更要向大眾解釋正確方向,不必屈從所有的民意。台灣存在藍綠對立的背景,凡事皆有分裂的意見。政府如果勇於任 事,就應擇善固執。如果面對「台灣人不如中國豬」的無理謾罵只能噤聲,教育部連個中正紀念堂復名議題都說要交由「公民論壇」決定,則決策權到底在誰手裡?

第四,話說回來,與民意溝通,不代表可插手媒體。馬政府與媒體互動,有些事做得不大漂亮。如果明明是政府官員說錯話,不能反過來硬要媒體更正;又像是最近 的央廣與中央社等話題,更該小心避免人事酬庸和「干涉新聞自由」的指責。執政者不可能再是媒體寵兒,也沒道理企求媒體「友善」。


Friday, October 17, 2008

Wang Yung-ching: The Republic of China Industrialist Who Most Deserves Our Respect

Wang Yung-ching: The Republic of China Industrialist Who Most Deserves Our Respect
United Daily News editorial
A Translation
October 17, 2008

The "Wizard of Entrepreneurship" Wang Yung-ching is dead. Both the ruling and opposition parties are sincere in mourning his passing. The legend of Wang Yung-ching spans more than half a century, and parallels Taiwan's economic miracle. More importantly, Wang Yung-ching's ascetic personal style, along with his bold and aggressive business style, has become the model for Taiwan businesses. The verdict is that Wang Yung-ching was a Captain of Industry. More than that, he was a shining example for entrepreneurs everywhere.

This industrialist never had a moment's rest. Right up until the moment of his death, he traveled overseas conducting inspections of his business operations. Not one day of his 92 year life was wasted. At 16 he borrowed 200 NT to start his own rice business. At 38 he wrote to Minister of Economic Affairs Yin Chung, asking for permission to invest in the plastics industry. It was then that Taiwan's petrochemical industry took its first step. Today, the annual output of the Formosa Plastics Group is 2.6 trillion NT. It employs over 80,000 workers. Two hundred NT, transformed into two trillion NT. Wang Yung-ching is not merely a legendary individual. He is a symbol of Taiwan's miraculous transformation from an agricultural society into an industrial society.

Wang Yung-ching was dubbed the "Wizard of Entrepreneurship" many years ago. But the success enjoyed by Wang Yung-ching and the Formosa Plastics Group is not the result of luck. It is the result of Wang's tenacity and perseverance. This entrepreneur, who had only an elementary school education, was not satisfied merely with the success of his rice business and lumber business. He was not satisfied with the dominance of his plastics empire. He wanted to establish the world's most advanced industries, in petroleum distillation, medical technology, biotechnology, electronics, optoelectronics, semiconductors. He continually renewed the Formosa Plastics Group, advancing with the times, never falling from his position of leadership.

Wang Yung-ching's businesses were not immune to setbacks and failures. The Formosa Plastics automobile plant and the mainland China Haicang plan failed to pan out as expected. His Formosa Chemicals and Fiber Corporation was targeted by the environmental movement. His plans for an Ilan Litse plant were blocked. These setbacks reflected the tide and times businesses had to bear. Wang Yung-ching never evaded such problems. If the times presented him with problems, he welcomed the opportunity to solve them. In fact, that very wave of social reform inspired the Formosa Plastics Sixth Naphtha Cracking Plant Project in Miaoli. It inspired his plan for green and organic crop cultivation. Taiwan's aging population inspired the creation of a "Health Village." The predictable energy shortage inspired the establishment of numerous gas turbine electrical cogeneration projects. Not all of these projects bore fruit, but they all reflected Wang Yung-ching's endless creativity and his vision of a brighter future.

Just a few days before Wang Yung-ching's death, a list of Taiwan's most profitable businesses was released. At the top of the list was the Formosa Plastics Group. This was not surprising. The "Four Jewels of the Formosa Plastics Group" have long been the most robust, dependable, and highest yielding of Taiwan's blue chip stocks. Among the top 10 money-making consortiums, the Formosa Plastics Group is the only industrial firm. The rest are financial holding companies. Formosa Plastics has maintained its position as an industrial firm. It has refused to be swept up by recent trends in the financial industry. This underscores Wang Yung-ching's pragmatic and responsible style, and his accurate business judgement. He has never allowed financial considerations to limit his business decisions. This sort of socially responsibile behavior has earned Wang Yung-ching the trust of the community.

During times wracked by endless political turmoil, the Formosa Plastics family seldom became involved in public disputes. During times of financial instability, the Formosa Plastics Group avoided stepping on any land mines. During times plagued by endemic corruption, the Formosa Plastics Group has never been involved in scandals. Wang Yung-ching has sustained the legend of Formosa Plastics for half a century. His secret was not merely extraordinary courage, clearer vision, or more accurate calculations. His secret was his determination to establish a rigorous and effective business ethic, to impose strict standards upon himself in his pursuit of profit. Contrast this with the questionable relationships between politicians and businessmen and the rampant corporate opportunism that prevails today.

Compared to Koo Chen-fu, Wang Yung-ching lacked literary refinement. Compared to Morris Chang, Wang Yung-ching lacked an international outlook. Compared to Terry Gou, Wang Yung-ching lacked the high roller's willingness roll the dice. But decade after decade, Wang Yung-ching was visionary without being utopian, pragmatic without being staid, decisive without being impulsive. This sort of integrity is the essence of Taiwan's entrepreneurial spirit. In a moving speech he warned his children: "Wealth is merely something society permits us to temporarily manage and put to proper use." For half a century, two generations of people have worked for the companies he established. His contribution to Taiwan's economy, is hardly limited to being the founder of the Formosa Plastics empire.

Wang Yung-ching was born in Xindian. He made his fortune in Chiayi. His investments straddle Taiwan and the rest of the world. He died in New York. He will be buried in Taipei. Wang Yung-ching was a legend who stands astride space and time. Mr. Wang Yung-ching is the Republic of China Industrialist who most deserves our respect. He earned it.

2008.10.17 02:54 am


這位永不休息的經營者,直到他長眠前的一刻,還在越洋旅行進行業務考察。他九十二年的人生,可謂沒有一天虛度。從十六歲用借來的兩百元資金開了自己的米 行,到三十八歲那年寫信向經濟部長尹仲容自薦投資塑膠工業,邁出台灣石化工業的腳步;如今,台塑集團每年產值高達二點六兆,雇用了八萬多名工作者。兩百元 到兩兆多的變化,王永慶寫下的不只是他個人的傳奇,也是台灣從農業社會向工業社會蛻變的精采歷程。

雖然早就得到「經營之神」的稱譽,但王永慶和台塑集團的成功絕非僥倖,而是憑著堅韌的毅力,千錘百鍊出來的成果。這位僅有小學學歷的企業家,沒有滿足於米 行、木材行的成就,沒有佇足於塑膠王國的霸業,而是一路以全球先進產業為師,一路向輕油裂解、醫療、生物科技、電子半導體和光電等領域挺進,始終保持台塑 集團日新又新、與時俱進的領先地位於不墜。

王永慶的事業並非從未遭遇挫折與失敗。黯然結束的台朔汽車廠,功敗垂成的大陸海滄計畫,都未能如預期拓展。包括當年在環保運動中備受批評的台化公司,以及 在宜蘭利澤建廠受阻的計畫,都反映了企業在大時代浪潮中必須承受的衝擊。王永慶從不逃避問題,時代丟給他一個題目,他必正面迎對,想出解決辦法。正因為那 一波強大的社運浪潮,台塑有了在麥寮填海的六輕計畫,以及順勢而生的綠化及有機栽植計畫;就像因應台灣人口老化而有了「養生村」的成立,預見能源短缺而有 了多項汽電共生事業。這些事業雖未必皆有成績,但反映了王永慶轉動不停的頭腦與海闊天空的創意與企圖。

就在王永慶去世前幾日公布的台灣「最會賺錢」的企業中,台塑集團高居第一,這並不令人意外。長期以來,台灣股市的績優股,「台塑四寶」一直以其穩健、誠 信,獲利率高被列為指標。比較值得注意的是,在十大賺錢的財團中,台塑集團是唯一的製造業集團,其餘皆為金控集團。台塑保持其「製造業本位」的立場,沒有 涉足狂熱的金融浪潮,凸顯了王永慶的務實與負責的風格:以其精明準確,卻始終不願從事以錢套利的生意。這種有為有守,正是王永慶深受社會信賴的原因。

在政治波瀾不斷的年代,台塑家族極少捲入色彩爭議;在經濟泡沫的危機,台塑集團沒有誤蹈地雷;在貪瀆成風的時代,以台塑集團之龐大從未傳出非法醜聞。可以 想見,王永慶能維持台塑傳奇半世紀的屹立,祕訣不止是膽識過人、眼光獨到或精準算計而已;更令人嘆服的,是他建立了一套有效而嚴謹的企業倫理及軌範,並在 自我嚴格要求的標準中追求利潤。這點,對照今天台灣政商關係混濁,及企業浮華投機成風的情境,更是不易。

比起辜振甫,他少了一分文采;比起張忠謀,他少了豐富的國際背景;比起郭台銘,他沒有那種一擲千金的霸氣。但王永慶數十年如一日的兢兢業業,前瞻而不浮 誇、務實而不保守、果斷而不失穩健;這種正直及負責的品質,才是最珍貴的台灣企業精神。令人動容的是,他告誡子女:「財富只是社會讓我們暫時保管的錢,一 定要好好使用。」半世紀來,在他建立的企業中工作過的已超過兩代台灣人;他對台灣經濟的貢獻,絕對比台塑王國的基業要廣闊、深遠得多。


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tsai Ing-wen: DPP Savior or Sinner?

Tsai Ing-wen: DPP Savior or Sinner?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 16, 2008

Tsai Ing-wen is the Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party, at what is unquestionably a watershed moment in history. Her central mission should be to lead the DPP out of the nightmare created by Chen Shui-bian. She must not allow the DPP to fall back into Chen Shui-bian's clutches.

Tsai Ing-wen herself said her goal was to create an "era without Chen Shui-bian" for the Democratic Progressive Party. Now however, the DPP is slipping out of Tsai Ing-wen's grasp. It is once again becoming Chen Shui-bian's hostage. Tsai Ing-wen was originally seen as the savior of the DPP. If she fails to live up to her historic mission, will she instead become the DPP's irredeemable sinner?

Tsai Ing-wen failed to set standards of right and wrong for the Democratic Progressive Party. She failed to make a clean break with Chen Shui-bian. Now Chen Shui-bian is billing himself as "Ma Ying-jeou's first political prisoner," as the "standard bearer for Taiwan independence," and the "founder of a Taiwan independence trust fund." He is joining the DPP's protest march against Chen Yunlin. The march has become Chen Shui-bian's political baptism. The Green camp will forgive his sins. It will grant him a special dispensation or amnesty. The march has become Chen Shui-bian's rehabilitation ceremony. Once again, he will again ascend to the throne, as the "Godfather of Taiwan independence" and the "spiritual leader of the DPP." Once that happens, the DPP will no longer be able to break with A Bian, in spirit or in practice. Even the DPP's provision that "if Chen is found guilty in the first instance, he will be expelled from the party" will not rid the DPP of Chen Shui-bian.

Some people within the Democratic Progressive Party are aware of the danger. Some want Chen Shui-bian to stay away from the march, "even if they have to get down on their knees and beg." Others suggest that if Chen Shui-bian joins the march, "he must not be allowed to ascend the podium." But who is willing to kneel before Chen Shui-bian? Will kneeling before Chen Shui-bian motivate him to give the DPP a break? Actually, for all intents and purposes, the DPP has been kneeling before Chen Shui-bian since March 22. It has been hoping for mercy. It has been hoping for a way out. Yet Chen Shui-bian has chosen to rest his boot on Tsai Ing-wen's neck and mock her as weak and incompetent. Tsai Ing-wen thinks politics is a duty and a calling. Chen Shui-bian thinks politics is a game of life and death.

Tsai Ing-wen has already become a victim of a domino effect she herself arranged. She failed to denounce Chen Shui-bian's greed and corruption when she had the chance. She failed to challenge Chen Shui-bian's claim to be the "standard-bearer for Taiwan independence." She was unable to repudiate Chen's claim as "standard-bearer for Taiwan independence" because she failed to establish a standard for right and wrong. She missed one opportunity after another to repudiate Chen Shui-bian. Chen Shui-bian took advantage of every opportunity she offered him. Eventually Huang Ching-ling created a scene at DPP Party Headquarters. The DPP Central Committee, having declared that "if Chen is found guilty in the first instance, he will be expelled from the party," was unable to refute Chen's brand of Taiwan independence, and had no excuse to prevent Chen Shui-bian from joining the march. If A Bian can join the protest march, why can't he shake hands with Tsai Ing-wen? If he can shake hands with Tsai Ing-wen, why can't he march beside her? If he can march beside her, why can't he speak from the same podium? If he can speak from the same podium, why can't he participate in the same candlelight vigil? How therefore, can this so-called 500,000 person mass movement not become a political baptism for Chen Shui-bian? How can it not become a rehabilitation ceremony for Chen Shui-bian, the alleged "standard-bearer for the Taiwan independence movement." Looking ahead to next year's County and Municipality Elections, who will stop Chen Shui-bian from ascending the podium and endorsing the DPP? Looking ahead, suppose Chen Shui-bian is found guilty in the first instance and sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison, but remains eligible to run for president? Chen opposed the DPP Committee for Clean Government's move to expel him in the event he is found guilty. Chen is unwilling to relinquish the possibility of running for re-election on behalf of the DPP. Looking forward, when Chen Shui-bian is found guilty in the third instance, can the DPP Central Committee forbid the masses to take to the streets to demand amnesty? Looking forward, if Chen Shui-bian is granted amnesty, won't he return to lead the DPP?

Tsai Ing-wen's historic mission is to create a Democratic Progressive Party that doesn't include Chen Shui-bian. Ironically, she has allowed the DPP to slip back into Chen Shui-bian's clutches. Actually, toward the end of President Chen Shui-bian term of office, Tsai Ing-wen had her own feelings about Chen and the DPP. The turned down a medal Chen Shui-bian presented in her honor. She turned down the SEF chairmanship. She turned down the position of Campaign Manager for the Hsieh/Su presidential ticket, Taipei City region. Also, when she was elected party chairman, her first thought was to "save the party by dumping A Bian." Who would have imagined she would wind up presiding over Chen Shui-bian's rehabilitation? Is Fate toying with Man? Or is Man creating his own Fate? Who knew it would come to this?

Tsai Ing-wen blundered, through a soft heart and a soft head. She mistakenly assumed Chen Shui-bian lacked the ability to destroy the Democratic Progressive Party, yet again. Chen Shui-bian wants to hijack the DPP, yet again. He wants to shatter Tsai Ing-wen's dream of "saving the party by dumping A Bian." If Tsai Ing-wen dares to lash back at Chen Shui-bian, she will be pelted with water bottles thrown by the mob. Tsai Ing-wen realizes she is no match for A Bian, the "Comeback Kid." Her conscience has been dulled; her sense of mission diluted. A terror that the mob will reject her is her overriding concern. As a result, during Chen Shui-bian's rehabilitation ceremony, Tsai Ing-wen might just earn that medal Chen Shui-bian tried to give her.

Visualize if you will, Tsai Ing-wen and Chen Shui-bian marching, side by side. Visualize if you will, Tsai Ing-wen and Chen Shui-bian maintaining a candlelight vigil, side by side. Now visualize Tsai Ing-wen marching with Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, side by side. Now visualize Tsai Ing-wen maintaining a candlelight vigil with Alberto Fujimori of Peru, side by side. Tsai Ing-wen, are you the same Tsai Ing-wen elected DPP Chairperson on May 18?

2008.10.16 02:57 am



蔡英文未能明快果敢地建立民進黨的「大是大非」,未能及時與陳水扁切割;如今陳水扁將以「馬英九的第一個政治犯」及「台獨旗手」、「建國基金金主」的身 分,參加民進黨抗議陳雲林來訪的大遊行。對於陳水扁來說,這場大遊行儼然是一場政治洗禮,他的一切罪孽將獲得綠營的理解、寬容或赦免;這場大遊行也形同一 場復辟大典,他將再度坐上「台獨教主」與「民進黨精神領袖」的神聖王座。此後,民進黨將再也無法在精神上或實體上與扁切割,即使「一審有罪除名」也不可能 甩掉陳水扁。

民進黨內當然有人看得出這個危機,甚至有人主張勸請阿扁不要參加遊行,「就算用跪的也得跪!」另有人主張,即使陳水扁參加遊行,「也絕對不可讓扁上台!」 然而,誰去跪陳水扁?跪了陳水扁他就會放過你民進黨?其實,三二二以後,民進黨不啻就是跪對陳水扁,希望他能有一念慈悲,放黨一條生路,但陳水扁竟踩在蔡 英文屈膝的弓背上睥睨譏嘲她的懦弱無能。蔡英文以為政治是「負責任的志業」,陳水扁卻認定政治就是「妳死我活」。

蔡英文已經陷於自己親手排列的骨牌效應之中:未能在第一時間批判陳水扁的貪與腐,因此亦未能在第一時間否定陳水扁作為「台獨旗手」的地位;由於「大是大 非」未能確立,並一再錯失切割時機,使得「有縫就鑽/有風就飛」的陳水扁,終於累積出黃慶林大鬧黨中央的局面;既然黨中央認定「一審有罪再說」,又不能駁 正「扁記台獨」的政治操作,遂亦不能禁阻陳水扁參加遊行。而扁既能參加遊行,為何不能與蔡英文見面握手?既能見面握手,為何不能並肩遊行?既能並肩遊行, 為何不能同台演講?既能同台演講,為何不能同場守夜?如此一來,這場號稱五十萬人的群眾活動,豈不成了陳水扁去罪化的政治洗禮?又豈不成了陳水扁「台獨旗 手」的復辟大典?接下來,往前推測,一直到明年底縣市長選舉,難道誰能阻止陳水扁為民進黨站台?再往前推,陳水扁若一審判刑十年以下,將仍具參選總統資 格,這是他反對廉政會「一審有罪除名」的原因,因為他不願喪失再代表民進黨參選總統的可能性;再往前推,陳水扁三審定讞時,黨中央又如何禁阻群眾上街主張 特赦?再往前推,陳水扁若蒙特赦,難道不會「再回來領導」民進黨?

蔡英文自期的歷史使命是「開創一個沒有陳水扁的民進黨」,但是如今她卻將民進黨一步一步交回陳水扁的魔掌之中。其實,在陳水扁總統任期後段,蔡英文對當時 的陳水扁與民進黨皆有其心證及評價,她婉謝了陳水扁為她贈勳,拒絕了陳水扁欲任命她出任海基會董事長等職,並回絕出任「謝蘇配」的台北市競選總幹事;然 而,她出任黨主席,原本自當亦有「去扁救黨」的思維,不料如今竟然可能成為親手為陳水扁籌辦復辟大典的黨主席。天作孽耶?自作孽耶?造化弄人,竟至於斯!

蔡英文顯係誤於一念之仁與一念之愚,錯以為陳水扁沒有「二度摧毀」民進黨的能力,更錯以為陳水扁沒有摧毀她蔡英文的能力;但是,陳水扁如今非但要再次挾持 民進黨,也要使蔡英文「去扁救黨」的天真幻夢徹底摧毀。蔡英文此時若敢回擊陳水扁,她也必將遭台下群眾丟寶特瓶。蔡英文已經驚覺自己技不如扁,回天乏術; 她的良知與使命感漸漸退縮與扭曲,害怕遭群眾唾棄的恐懼成為她的主宰意識。於是,在陳水扁的復辟大典上,蔡英文將可實至名歸地領受陳水扁頒給她的勳獎。


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taiwan Must Not Be Dragged Down into the Whirlpool

Taiwan Must Not Be Dragged Down into the Whirlpool
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 15, 2008

Abroad, the global financial maelstrom rages. At home, suspicions of corruption surround the Chen family. Add to this a new administration unable to meet the public's expectations, and it's no surprise Taiwan's political scene is in chaos, and Taiwan's economy is in the doldrums. But leave international factors beyond our control aside for the moment. The public on Taiwan has always displayed both gumption and smarts. Is it truly incapable of working through these problems?

The political and economic situation on Taiwan is hardly what the public expected from the three month old Ma administration. The new administration's performance is far from satisfactory. But other factors also deserve our attention. One. The political atmosphere is permeated with nihilism. The ruling and opposition parties are caught in a never-ending tug of war. Politics is not only unable to solve peoples' problems. It has itself become the problem. Two. Political manipulation has bred public cynicism. People exchange abuse at the drop of a hat. They refuse to understand. They lack empathy. Cynicism breeds more cynicism, This breeds more intense anger and deeper depression. Three. The middle class feels alienated. Voices of reason and moderation cannot make themselves heard. Mutual trust is difficult to establish, making distorted values difficult to correct.

The current political scene reminds us of when the Democratic Progressive Party was not yet in power. A stalemate prevails between the ruling and opposition parties. The majority party lacks direction. The minority party uses violence and refuses to cooperate. Rational policymaking is nowhere to be found. The contaminated dairy products scandal is milked for all it is worth. DPP thugs go so far as to choke Yeh Chin-chuan by the neck. The DPP's only response to cross-Strait policy is "No!" Every day Chen Shui-bian visits the countryside and goad the mob into challenging the legal system. Taiwan now finds itself in a whirlpool, spiraling downward, unable to extricate itself. The residue of eight years of corruption from the Chen Shui-bian regime remains. If Taiwan reverts to the mistakes of the past, then weren't the past eight years of suffering all for nothing?

This downward spiral can only lead to Taiwan's death by suffocation. Compared to eight years ago, Taiwan has fewer economic options, less tolerance for "ethnic," i.e., cultural group, differences, more public discontent, less social cohesion, and less ability to solve political problems. Look in the mirror. Taiwan's image as a democracy is in tatters. Can the public possibly be content with the state of the nation?

Lest we forget, when Chen Shui-bian was elected president eight years ago, his slogan was "We must sink or swim." Not only did he not lead Taiwan into the light, his political corruption and moral degradation dragged Taiwan down along with him into the darkness. Chen Shui-bian has misused his authority to incite discontent among the masses, and intimidate the court system. The DPP may not have the guts to excommunicate A Bian. But are civic-minded individuals willing to countenance democracy and justice being trampled under his boot?

Taiwan's political atmosphere is permeated with nihilism. All the public can see is political calculation. Concern for the public interest is nowhere to be found. The Ma administration has been badly embarrassed. Yet it refuses to reshuffle its cabinet. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party's eight years of misconduct is clear for all to see. Yet it seems to think mocking the Ma administration at every opportunity will somehow prove its own virtue. Does the DPP consider the Ma administration's missteps some sort of moral victory? The Ma administration's open-door policy toward the mainland runs the risk of wishful thinking. But at least it is correct in its basic direction. By contrast, the Democratic Progressive Party's categorical rejection of all contact with the mainland merely betrays its congenital atavism. Does the DPP think eight years of suffering under its Closed Door Policy wasn't enough?

In the long run, the Democratic Progressive Party must break with Chen Shui-bian. But even more importantly, it must rethink its original goals. Besides the pursuit of power, what remains of the DPP's democratic beliefs and moral principles? The progressive image the Democratic Progressive Party projected eight years ago no longer exists. The political appeals they made back then no longer move the electorate. The political momentum they commanded back then, has been reduced to anti-China and anti-Blue slogans. If the DPP is unable to offer anything new, if it merely follows the path of least resistance, who will follow in its footsteps?

Now that democracy has come to this, the public on Taiwan should have a deeper understanding of the nature of politics. The democracy peddled on the street is democracy on the cheap. A legislature incapable of solving problems has no greater claim to wisdom than any random passerby. Every four years, the public casts its vote. They have less chance of ending up with a satisfactory government than they have of winning the lottery. Citizens in the modern world must to be able to distinguish between good and evil, and must not allow politicians to lead them around by the nose. They must challenge themselves and transcend themselves. When the nation and society are in crisis, citizens must know where they stand and where they must go. They must reach out to others, and lend them their support.

The world is in chaos. The public on Taiwan has no cause for self-pity. We must awaken from our eight-year long nightmare. We must away the cold sweat. We must offer each other our support. We must not allow ourselves to be drawn into the whirlpool.

2008.10.15 03:11 am


台 灣當前的政經情勢,距離人民對三月政黨再輪替的期待甚遠;其中,除了新政府的表現不如人意,其實有更深刻的因素值得我們省思。第一,政治虛無主義氣氛瀰 漫,使朝野陷入無休無止的對立和拉扯;政治無法解決眾人的問題,反而成為人們苦惱的根源。第二,在政治操弄下,社會情緒變得憤世嫉俗,動輒譏誚謾罵,拒絕 理解,也缺乏同理心。結果,冷嘲激盪熱諷,徒然製造更多忿懣。第三,社會中間地帶表現得相當疏離,理性、中道的聲音無法浮現,使得社會互信不易建立,也使 傾斜的價值難以匡正。

觀察目前的政治景象,有點像回到當年民進黨執政前的狀態:朝野僵峙,多數黨缺乏方向感,少數黨採取粗暴的杯葛,看不 到就事論事的理性問政。從毒奶事件的反覆不休、葉金川細故遭到勒頸,到民進黨杯葛所有兩岸政策,乃至陳水扁天天下鄉煽惑群眾挑戰司法,可以說台灣儼然處在 一個自我下沉的漩渦中,無法自拔。試想,扁政府的八年積垢未清,台灣政治如果又墜回過去的覆轍,那麼人民這八年的煎熬豈不是全白過了?

稱 這是個「下沉漩渦」,因為它只會把台灣帶向更令人窒息的境地。對照八年前後的變化,台灣的經濟出路更窄,族群的包容彈性更小,民眾不滿一切的情緒更強烈, 社會共識的凝聚更為不易,政治上解決問題能力也更薄弱。攬鏡自照,別說台灣的民主形象已殘破不堪,人民會滿意國家目前的情景嗎?

更別忘 了,八年前陳水扁當選總統,是靠著「向上提升或向下沉淪」的訴求而受到民眾付託;結果,他不僅未把台灣帶向更開闊的境地,反以個人貪腐失德將台灣拖著與之 俱沉。至今,陳水扁還在利用他濫權取得的情資煽惑群眾,恫嚇司法。就算民進黨無力與扁切割,有主見的公民能眼睜睜看著國家顏面和民主正義,皆被他踩在腳下 嗎?

我們之所以認為台灣「政治虛無主義」氣氛瀰漫,主要就是眼見目前的政治只剩下「權謀」的計算,人民的福祉已被他們拋在腦後。馬政府分 明已窘態畢露,卻為了顏面不肯調整內閣職務;民進黨八年執政之失德失能有目共睹,卻以為對馬政府百般譏諷即能反證自己的才德,這是什麼精神勝利法?再說, 馬政府對於大陸的開放政策,確有一廂情願之虞,但方向至少是正確的。反觀民進黨的一味杯葛,除了「逢中必反」的原始本能,難道覺得台灣還沒吃夠鎖國八年的 苦頭?

從長遠看,民進黨要做的其實不只是和阿扁「切割」而已,而是應重新省思自己從政的初衷,除了追求權力,還剩下多少民主信念和道德理 想?比起八年前,民進黨當年擁有的道德形象,如今已經破產;當年標舉的政治號召,如今已泥足難行;當年澎湃的政治動力,如今只剩反中與反藍的躁動。若不能 拿出新的作為,再走無限抗爭的老路,還能吸引誰追隨?

民主走到這個地步,台灣人民也應該對政治的本質有深一層的認識。沿街叫賣的民主,只 是廉價的民主;不能透過論辯解決問題的國會,不會比菜市場的民意高明;而人民只靠著四年一次的投票,「抽中」理想政府的概率比中樂透彩還低。作為一個現代 公民,不僅要能分辨是非黑白,不被政客牽著鼻子走,還要能自我挑戰、自我超越;在國家社會的危機時刻,每一位公民皆應知道自己的位置和方向在哪裡,甚至伸 出手給別人一點支撐的力量。