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Apr 10, 2008

Is Ma the turtle or the hare?

The tea leaves are hard to read here. On one hand, Ma has been very quick to talk about great integration with the Chinese economy; on the other, he is signing that he'll take it slow.

No early Taiwan-China economic ties seen (UPI)

Speaking to the Financial Times, Ma said he would not personally engage in dialogue with Chinese leaders, but let his government handle the deregulation of cross-Strait economic relations.
Taiwan president-elect cautious on swift China ties: report (AFP)
Ma told the Financial Times he would not personally engage in dialogue with Chinese leaders because such a move would be too controversial in Taiwan, where the outgoing ruling Democratic Progressive Party has alleged Hong Kong-born Ma would sell out the island to China....

Ma himself is not planning a visit to China.

"Once I go, you can imagine how many rumors would appear and how I would be discredited," he said.

Well then, the plan is apparent: improve ties, but do so by proxy and over a couple of years. This way Ma can avoid becoming the lightning rod for the anti-annexation campaigners and accomplish the goals.

I, like everyone, will be happy to see more investment in Taiwan and abroad by Taiwanese businessmen. What I'm not so eager to see is greater Chinese control over Taiwanese property. This goes back to my statement that the DPP should have run a "global economic center" campaign.

Then there's this piece of crap article from the China Post:

Overseas Chinese elated at Ma's win
There has [sic] been spontaneous outbursts of jubilation in most Chinese communities across Canada since Ma defeated DPP candidate Frank Hsieh in the March 22 election. There have been celebration dinners taking place from coast to coast. An air of festivity permeated the Chinese community everywhere, including the Cantonese-speaking and mainland Chinese groups. They heaved, collectively, a sigh of relief.

The dinner in Toronto was sponsored by the city's Friends of Ma Ying-jeou Club, in conjunction with Montreal's Ma-Siew Supporters Association. More than 500 people packed the Century Plaza Restaurant to celebrate what they believed the dawning of a new era of hope for Taiwan's revitalization.

"The long, dark, cold winter of Taiwan is over," said Yu Chi-ling, the emcee for the evening. "Finally, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel." The crowd roared and cheered, waving little flags of the Republic of China.

Right. Because everyone everywhere is happy about the Ma win. I'm sure if I were at the overseas Taiwanese center in Houston, I wouldn't be hearing sighs of relief.


skiingkow said...

This is an interesting quote...

"Once I go, you can imagine how many rumors would appear and how I would be discredited," he said.

Interesting that he stresses "how it might look" and not the actual diplomatic consequences of meeting a country that has 1500 missiles pointed at you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Houston, but in Dallas, Texas, there was a huge celebration for Ma Ying Jeou's win. Just like the article over generalized, so did you.