- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has invited Taiwan to hold "big-issue" talks on establishing direct transport links and signing a peace agreement -- AFP, Xinhua, Radio Taiwan International (all English, and the RTI piece has a major error in the last paragraph).
I've been thinking that everything has been moving very fast since the KMT election victory. Here Ma isn't even in office and the CCP is ready to sit down at the table. I hope that not too much has been pre-arranged.
- USCI's Daniel Lynch discusses Ma Ying-jeou's adoption of Taiwan-centric consciousness -- FEER, via US-China Institute
Some observers are speculating that Ma Ying-jeou’s election as president of the Republic of China (ROC) means the end of identity politics in Taiwan and dramatically closer cross-Strait relations. Evidently, Taiwan’s voters reject the notion that their society’s future welfare is best served by baiting China and emphasizing ethnic differences among the ROC’s various communal groups (including Taiwanese, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and Aboriginals). Mr. Ma’s victory probably does signal the bankruptcy of the radical de-Sinification movement promoted by President Chen Shui-bian, which increased ethnic tensions in Taiwan while infuriating the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). But a deeper aspect of Taiwanese identity—Taiwan zhuti yishi (“Taiwan-centric consciousness”)—not only remains alive and well, but was even confirmed and strengthened by Mr. Ma’s victory. Once realization of this fact sinks in, CCP elites will likely begin to find fault with President Ma (or his successor) and cross-Strait tensions will resume.
It's not fair to characterize Chen's administration or the DPP as "emphasizing ethnic differences," and it's absurd to call Chen's de-Sinification or "name rectification" efforts a "radical" movement. Taking an honorary title for a dictator' off of a major tourist monument, restoring the name of Taiwan Post and changing the name of the old Chinese Petroleum Company hardly count as a "radical" campaign.
This "deeper aspect" of Taiwanese identity is a result of the sea change in education and the plain as day fact that there is not One China of which Taiwan is a part. You can't lie to the whole island about that anymore, especially not with the current education system which finally puts Taiwan at the center.
Otherwise, I liked the article.
First clips of last night's Talking Show: