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Mar 17, 2008

Several terrible pieces out today

The Western media has several predictably horrible articles out today. I cannot critique them all today, but here's a few links:

Tibet unrest prompts Taiwanese parties to harden stance toward China By Jonathan Manthorpe, Canwest News Service

That's not true at all. The DPP transition was after the first presidential debate, when they began warning against a common market. Ma's condemnation of Chinese action in Tibet was half-hearted at best.

Taiwan presidential hopeful raises Tibet spectre AFX News Limited

'If Taiwan's future is to be decided by people on both sides of the strait, what
has happened in Tibet today will be Taiwan's future,' he told a crowd of tens of
thousands of supporters, some of whom waved Free Tibet posters.

No doubt. Notice the well-placed but super sympathetic coverage being given to Tibetan rioters while Taiwanese who peacefully vote for a referendum are "provocative." The article is crap for a number of other reasons.

Taiwan presidential front runner to pursue China talks despite Tibet unrest XFN

Of course, the real issue is China's ultimatum-like precondition for talks, not talking.

One China Eludes Ma's Agenda as Taiwan Sees Kuomintang Victory By Ken Fireman and James Peng

Sorry, but just not true. Ma openly accepts the One China principal. While there's tons of problems with the article, it does have one particular high point:

Politically, many Taiwanese voters -- not just those who back Chen and his party
-- want Taiwan to maintain its ``distinct separateness'' from China and ``have its rightful place in international relations,'' says
Cynthia Watson, a China
specialist at the National Defense University in Washington. ``Some outside Taiwan have a tendency to think this is just a Chen phenomenon, which it isn't.''

Good observation!

KMT standard-bearer Ma loses little voter support China Post

I mean, the Post has even more crap than usual this week, but I found this a particularly inane headline given the lack of any data to back that up. It's pure spin being pushed as an article. The only figure cited is that both parties failed to meet the highly ambitious target of 1 million supporters turning out for their Super Sunday rallies.

I think the combination of the One China market proposal and Tibet violence are going to result in some second thoughts about the degree to which Taiwan will open to China, but the Hsieh campaign should not get tunnel vision now: they need to also be pushing their message for a careful but deliberate opening up to China and nailing the Ma "6-3-3" economic proposal (obtaining 6% GDP growth, 3% unemployment and an average income of US$30,000/household) as being nothing but the status quo (compare to the most recent figures of 5.7% growth, 3.4% unemployment and the 2006 GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity figure of US$29,500).

If Ma's supposed to "fix" the economy, how come all his promises are to do little more than what's already being done?

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