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Jun 27, 2008

Yan Ching-piao (尊顏清) going to jail

Taichung legislator Yan Ching-piao (尊顏清) has been convicted of using public funds to pay for a trip to a hostess KTV. He will serve three and a half years. He will continue to collect his NT$300,000 monthly salary from prison and will retake his seat upon exit. There will be no special election and his reelection in four years, despite having spent almost the entire term in prison, is virtually guaranteed (would you run against him?).

Jun 25, 2008

Ma: Give Chuang Kuo-rong another chance

The recently fired Professor Chuang Kuo-rong, who was also banned for live from teaching at NCCU, will be hunger striking in protest. The presidential office came out to note he deserves at least a second chance and that the punishment didn't seem to fit the offense (the offense was campaigning for the DPP and insulting Ma and his father).

I think this highlights a few things: first, the firing was clearly political. Second, the presidential office knows this and is trying to use its clout to reverse or lighten the sentence in the case. Third, the presidential office probably should have just kept their mouth shut to avoid confirming that the case is, in fact, political.

So I'm rather torn; Ma should have just made an unofficial statement, but at the same time, at least they called a spade a spade and asked for the school to give the man a second chance.
I just don't like the presidential office sticking their heads in in cases like this. What if they used that influence to get a buddy hired?

DPP proposes tax refund

DPP legislators have suggested that instead of injecting cash before 7/4 into infrastructure projects aimed at incoming Chinese tourists , the central government should provide a tax refund of about NT$20,000 to each household.

Of course, since the government is running in a deficit, the premier said no.

The DPP plan strikes me as a hallow gimmick which sounds good but doesn't make sense unless there's a budget surplus of some kind from stronger-than-expected economic growth and reigned in spending. That's not gonna happen.

Jun 24, 2008


Some KMT members in Taiwan are calling for Ma Ying-jeou to retake the office of party chairman, but Ma has declined.

MOFA has yet to start checking legislators for duel citizenships.

The Premier promises all eight of the airports Chinese tourists can fly into will be readyby 7/4. I find this dubious, but I also find it dubious many Chinese tourists will fly directly to Taitung.

The Premier once suspected his cell phone to be under surveillance.

Chuang Kuo-rong (莊國榮) will never teach at NCCU again; I believe his firing was probably political, but there's no proof of it.

The Premier will also present a relief plan within two months to help the transportation industry to cope with high oil prices.

The conference for World Youth Day in Australia originally had Taiwan listed as "Taiwan, Province of China." This has since been corrected to Taiwan (thanks for the update on that, Maddog). You can see for yourself here (

Jun 23, 2008

On Obama's first 100 days

Asked about the first 100 days of a hypothetical Obama administration at a fundraiser in Denver, Obama said he would focus on interim progress toward three key goals: troop withdrawals from Iraq, health care access for all and action on energy and climate change, according to a pool report of the fundraiser.

On Iraq, Obama said, the public should expect within 100 days of taking office he would convene the Joint Chiefs of Staff to devise a plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

He also set a goal of proposing legislation on his promise of affordable health care coverage available for all quickly upon arriving in the White House. "We need a March or April to get going before the political season sets in," Obama said.

Obama also promised to take early action on energy and climate change. "We will have to be immediately prepared to send a signal to the world" on alternative energy, he said.

Seems like a decent start to me. But notice Obama has committed himself to very little concrete action on any of these issues. Meeting with the Joint Chiefs, he may propose a 1 year delay on withdrawal plans. Specifics of any healthcare plan are notoriously difficult to formulate, and "sending a signal" isn't saying much at all.

I think it's healthy to remember Obama will be bringing far less sweeping change than people imagine.

Communist or TIer? Not illegal!

The Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional article two of the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法) , which had prohibited any civic organization from supporting Communism or the splitting of the national territory (aka, Taiwanese Independence).

The court was asked to rule in a case
that started in 1998 where Taipei City had used this article to reject an application to establish the "Taipei City Waishengren Taiwanese Independence Promotion Organization" (台北市『外省人』台灣獨立促進會).

Jun 20, 2008

Score card update

Aboriginal Affairs -1 A friend reports: the new Aboriginal minister who refused interview requests for a month, And when she finally had her "inaugural press conference" a month after her inauguration,she only left 15 mins for the media to ask questions.So she was almost beaten that day with the pissed CNA reporter protested first.Then China Times and Liberty Times followed.

And the new Aboriginal policy.. tsk tsk tsk. Instead of talking about Aboriginal autonomy that even Ma promised during his campaign, her "major policy projects" include-- 1. more road, embankment, utility facilities constructions for Aboriginal townships, 2. More money into the emergency assistance fund for Aboriginal families, 3. More scholarships for Aboriginal students pursuing college education. The Autonomy law, according to KMT legislator 林益世, is not that important and should not be placed as one of the priority bills to be reviewed in the Home and Nations Committee (currently stuck in the 交內政委員會). She said they'll wait 'till all things are mature to do autonomy "on a trial basis," and there's no timetable set yet.

nd the focus of most of her policy projects is to blend Aborigines into the main-stream society
So, it's the same KMT principle. Plus, the MOTC just announced that they'll likely to rebuild the central cross-island highway which was seriously damaged during a typhoon and the previous govt decided to not rebuild for ecological reasons.

Double Standards:
-1 So the Hakka minister did his first report to the LY in Hakka and was praised. So why was the former [DPP] minister 李永得 slammed for doing so [by 朱鳳芝 who stopped his presentation]?

Total score: -5


Poll: 28% of people who voted for Ma said they're not satisfied with Ma's performance according to poll results mentioned in the pan-blue 新聞夜總會 last night.

Suggested links to follow US election

There are a few key sites, that update regularly but not excessively, that I think are key for following the trends in this election. Here are my top six "must visits": takes all the latest polling data on a state-by-state basis, integrates it with three algorithms that average out the last several polls, and projects the likely winner of a state as well as the electoral-vote breakdown. One look a day will keep you updated on the trends, and they have a Firefox plug in that lets you view the latest results in your status bar without ever visiting their page. Sort of a glorified version of Electoral-vote. They have a lot of interesting data and charts, and I recommend visiting them once every day or so as well (Thank god for RSS readers!)

news and views from progressive Asian Pacific Americans participating in Democratic Party politics."

Jinmen-Xiamen bridge being considered

According to the Executive Yuan. We will see -- that would be a big project requiring construction coordination from both sides, and I suspect would be very difficult. I'm not the only one.

Meanwhile, KMT legislator Gen Shuai Hua-min (帥化民) (Retired) is suggesting Jinmen people hold a referendum on removing the military troops stationed there, which the Premier sensibly considered dangerous if people were inadequately educated on the potential danger of such a move.

DPP poll: Public gives Ma 59.6%

That's just below a passing grade here.

Additionally, 47.8 percent of people were satisfied with the Executive Yuan's performance (44.2% unsatisfied); 63.3 percent were unsatisfied with the government's efforts to stem inflation;

Jun 19, 2008

More signs of the times

The Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall, formerly the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, is undergoing another makeover tonight after 6:30pm; all of 228 and democracy displays in the main hall will be removed, leaving the Abe Lincoln-like statue of Chiang Kai-shek to brood over his legacy alone.

My guess is the move is not only ideological, but also designed to placate Chinese tourists coming in July. Heaven forbid they see pictures of protesting Taiwanese demanding control of their own country and future!

Now, regarding this "Mr. Ma" issue:

Ma told reporters at the Presidential Office on Tuesday that having the head of ARATS address him as “Mr Ma” while he calls him “Mr Chen” would be “the best way to avoid the question of inequality and put aside disputes.”

...Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) defended Ma yesterday.

The public should not focus too much on the titles Chen and Ma use, Lee said.

“I think the title ‘Mr’ is a very neutral term,” Lee said, adding that concrete development in cross-strait affairs and reciprocity were more important than titles.
I recall when the KMT refused to call President Chen by his title after 2004, and instead insisted on using "Mr." The United Daily News kept it up until the end of Chen's second term. That was decidedly not a neutral term and was aimed at delegitimizing Chen's administration. The Chinese refusal to address Ma as "President" has the same goal; the sad part is the KMT's cognitive dissonance and acceptance of this downgrade.

Jun 18, 2008



"Oh crap."

This is a pretty terrible move, if true.

Taipei Times reports:

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government asked the US to halt weapons sales to Taiwan in order to curry favor with Beijing ahead of last week’s cross-strait negotiations, the latest edition of Defense News reported.

The periodical on Monday quoted unnamed sources as saying the temporary freeze had been requested because the new government, worried by a troubled beginning to its term, feared the arms issue could jeopardize a promised deal on direct cross-strait flights and the entry of Chinese tourists — key platforms of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) election campaign.

However, experts quoted by Defense News were concerned that the freeze, originally intended for the duration of the cross-strait negotiations, could extend until a new administration is installed in the White House next year.

The magazine quoted Mark Stokes, the Pentagon’s country director for China and Taiwan from 1997 to 2004, as saying: “It’s the law of physics. Once you lose that momentum, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.”

...Defense News also clarified its earlier report on elements in the US government that want arms sales to Taiwan ended. It quoted an unnamed US government official as saying that officials dubbed as “panda huggers” in the US embassy in Beijing, the US Treasury Department and the US State Department were conspiring to stop arms sales to Taipei independent of the KMT government’s agenda.

... “It is incorrect to say that the Bush administration has no intention of selling arms to Taiwan in the remainder of its term,” [Taiwan’s representative in Wa­shington Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday].

Meanwhile, the DPP yesterday alleged that a top US official visited the Presidential Office after Ma’s inauguration to meet National Security Council Secretary-General Su Chi (蘇起).

Cheng said Su told the official “point blank” that to improve cross-strait relations, arms procurements would have to be suspended.

The DPP said Ma was not present at the meeting.

Government score card

I was talking to a buddy the other day and we started talking about how the new administration has been doing. I'll be using some of his observations here and some of my own.

Here's the way I score it:

Oil prices -1 Although there's not much to do about the price increase, announcing a day early to "surprise" everyone, or whatever the logic was, didn't go over well at all.

-1 The government was really slow to react and then went overboard with the rhetoric, thanks to a few dumb questions from legislators. Relations with Japan were not improved by the government's statements. But at least the presidential office managed to cancel a planned visit to the islands by legislators.

Green card issue -1 Given all the hoopla over Ma's own green card, the failure to anticipate attacks on cabinet members who had green cards at some point in the past, some quite recently, was a major oversight (even though I consider a green card a non-issue). Had the government publicly announced the relevant peoples' card status and the cancellation of them, instead of having the issue sprung on them, it would have been much better.

Cross-strait relations +1 Although there are legitimate complaints about the lack of cargo flights in agreements so far, things are progressing more or less exactly as the government promised on this front. So, I think whether you agree with what they're doing or not, they get a point for accomplishing their goals .

Whoops, almost forgot one:

Construction projects 0 The KMT effort to inject a bunch of money into locals with a special supplementary budget is a wash because of the credible accusations that blue regions knew about and could prepare their monetary requests earlier than green-controlled counties. But plenty of people were happy to see the money flowing again. So I give them a zero.

Feiren adds:

-1 to the Liu admin for approving those coral ships

Total score so far: -3

Jun 16, 2008

Hakka Dictionary

The Hakka Affairs Commission will publish a Hakka dictionary next year.

Military Academy

Ma Ying-jeou went to the R.O.C. Military Academy last night in preparations for today's celebrations of the Academy's 84th anniversary. He will be speaking there.

The official song of the Military Academy includes lyrics that speak of the KMT party flag waving in the wind. During the DPP era, the lyrics were not sung while the song played. That may well change this year, and the Liberty Times wonders if Ma will sing along today.

I'm not sure if there will be a follow up on this story. I'd like to know if the lyrics are sung at all more than I really care about Ma singing them.

Update: Oh snap. He sang the song.

In other news, the legislative yuan saw attendance at a record 93% last week. Congratulations, guys!

Jun 13, 2008

Economic or political talks?

Feiren breaks down a New York Times article on the talks in Beijing between Taiwan and Chinese representatives centered on direct flights and Chinese tourism coming to Taiwan. Feiren makes a very important point:

Everyone knows that this is not about the 'economic relationship'. It's about affirming the 1992 Hong Kong consensus on One China by the simple fact of holding the talks. Of course these talks are political. Has the Times suddenly lost the ability to explain the news?
I thought I'd reword that same thought in the way I was thinking about it last night: the KMT and Chinese assertion that these are not political talks, but purely economic, is absurd on the face of it.

If they were not political talks, why would there be a political pre-condition on meeting? The details of these flights have been on the table for years and the DPP was perfectly willing to meet and get things going. But the DPP refused to accept the "92 consensus" or any version of "One China." The KMT accepts this condition, so talks go forward. It's impossible to assert the talks aren't political. It's just politically disadvantageous to both the KMT and CCP to publicly focus on political issues.

Jun 12, 2008

Election spending

The KMT won't reveal what they spent on the 2008 presidential election. But at least NT$1.1 billion. (Not US dollars, sorry for the earlier typo.)

Island dispute

A Taiwanese fishing boat was off near disputed territorial waters near the Diaoyutai islands (Senkaku Islands). A japanese coast guard ship accidently made phsyical contact with the boat and sunk it. KMT legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) is saying "Get the missiles and boats ready, and let's go back there!"


Taipei Times has some details:

The government yesterday issued a statement asserting the nation’s claim over the Diaoyutai islands (釣魚台) and urging Japan to resume negotiations on fishing rights around the disputed islands.

The statement was issued in response to Japan’s detention of the crew of a Taiwanese fishing boat after a collision off the Diaoyutai islands on Tuesday....

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) yesterday urged Japanese authorities to immediately release the three crew members of the Taiwanese fishing boat and to offer an apology and compensation.

The trio are being held on Ishigaki, part of the Ryuku islands chain, for questioning.

Jun 10, 2008


I played my first cricket game last Saturday. I have been in e-mail contact with the head of the Taiwan Southerns Cricket Club (TSCC), which is mainly Kaohsiung and Pingtung players with a few from Tainan. I finally decided to take up his long-standing offer to come out to a game. I've been wanting to play for a while and decided it was time to act.

Upon arrival I got a jersey, a quick run down of the rules and practice batting, bowling and fielding.

Our opponent was the Tainan branch of the Taiwan Indian Cricket League. Both they and the TSCC teams had a few new people and 4-5 solid veterans who could play all aspects of the game well.

The game was set at 25 overs max per team. Our team was batting first and I was pretty near the bottom of the order, naturally. I was able to hit the ball pretty well, but I still have a bad habit from baseball of trying to run whenever I made contact. That was OK for the first hit I had, but got me out the second time. So once I mentally adjust to the rules I may be a decent batsman.

When we switched to fielding, I was standing at about the equivalent of the halfway mark between third base and left field. Man, did I do a lot of running. Much more than I had anticipated. I also played closer in to the batter when we were trying to pressure him, as well as the backup to our wicket keeper. The captain can move people around all the time and position them anywhere he wants, with the limitation of keeping at least 3 fielders "in catching position" (in the 'infield').

After our good bowlers had all bowled their maximum five overs, I was called in and asked to close the game (you can tell we really were out of options). We were behind only one run, but still had several overs to go, making the outcome virtually certain. I threw a wide bowl on my first attempt, which ended the game immediately. We lost.

Besides that humiliating close to the game, I had a lot of fun. Everyone was nice and we went for a beer and dinner afterward that included both teams. The game took us about 4.5 hours, which was some sort of record fast game according to our ump.

Our team awards a "potty award" for the worst play of the game, and forces the "winner" to drink a beer out of a plastic child's toilet they've had since 1999. We also gave the Indian team our Pingtung Cup Trophy. We get a chance to win it back in July.

Probably the funniest part of the game was the Indian wicket keeper who loved to yell "BOWLING" after an on target bowl. He often followed it up with a "VERY GOOD BOWLING," which I thought he should have just said in the first place.

It was a great experience and I'll surely be playing again. The big tournamnet is this weekend in Taichung (The Formosa cup; games this weekend at 台中市惠中路與向上路口 ), but I can't afford the time loss. Will have to wait a couple weeks for my next game. That's OK, because I'm pretty sore.

Here's the schedule for the Formosa Cup in Taichung:

Saturday: Field A Field B
9:30 - 12:00 FCC vs Hsinchu TSCC vs PCCT
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Lunch
1:00 - 3:30 FCC vs PCCT TSCC vs Hsinchu
3:45 - 5:30 FCC vs TSCC PCCT vs Hsinchu
(15 overs)
Sunday Field A
9:30 - 12:30 3rd place vs 4th place
12:30 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 4:00 1st place vs 2nd place
4:00 - 4:30 Trophy ceremony
(20 overs)

Latest news

Just a bunch more green card stuff, and I care so little about the issue I won't really post on it at this point. The DPP also released a poll demonstrating dissatisfaction with the Ma government's new policies and lack of attention to Taiwanese sovereignty, but obviously that should be taken with a grain of salt. The DPP reports a 51% satisfaction rate with the Ma administration.

Jun 6, 2008

In the wake of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Po-hsiung's recent trip to China, during which he referred to President Ma as "Mr. Ma," Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chair Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) was asked to clarifyhow to address Taiwanese and Chinese officials. Lai said using the title of "Mr." was a tactic understanding between both sides and avoided the problem over official titles for 16 years.

The KMT often tries to spin this type of strategy as "practical," but it is also self-demeaning. Sure, on the surface, it appears to be equal if the Chinese and KMT officials address each other as "Mr."

But the fact is the DPP and most Taiwanese have no problem recognizing that Hu Jintao is in fact the leader of a country. There's no need to demote his title. Even the KMT knows in reality that there are two countries here.

It's just the KMT knows the CCP refuses to hear it, and some portion of the KMT maintain their own fantasizes of being politically Chinese. So they willingly submit to what is really an effort by Beijing to demote Taiwan's status to a Chinese province.

Take another example: when then Vice President-elect Vincent Siew went to China for an economic conference, he was greeted on Hainan island by the Vice-governor of Hainan. As far as the Chinese are concerned, they have the same effective rank. But for Taiwan, that is not real equality unless you accept the One China fantasy.

I don't think Taiwan will earn Beijing's respect or any real leverage by conforming to this kind of framework, however fair it may appear on the surface.

Jun 5, 2008

Peace agreement: not likely within two years?

National Security Bureau (NSB) Director Hsu Hui-yu (許惠祐) expressed that although many people want a peace agreement with the PRC, signing within two years will be difficult, in part beacsue of differences of opinion on the sovereignty question within Taiwan. He also notes differences in interpretations of whether such a document would be a real peace treaty or a formal end to a Chinese civil war.

Hsu notes that the NSB's position is that any peace agreement could not surrender the country's soverignty.

I think this strongly hints that the KMT seeks a signing within its first term. I honestly believe the signing of any peace agreement will likely kill the right of the Taiwanese people to decide their own future by referendum, even if it delays formal unification for some time.

They actually buy this One Country stuff

Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) contacted foreign dignitaries of Taiwan's allies last week and asked them to come visit "The Republic of China," sometimes written as "visit China" (訪華). His message did not use "visit Taiwan," though Ou noted there's no ban on that phrase.

Minister Ou explained in an interview this morning that the new government's basic policy was "One China, two interpretations" and the "92 consensus." Therefore, in official documents, the foreign ministery would use "The Republic of China" to refer to his country and "Mainland China" or "the mainland" for the other side of the strait.

Ou noted that the reason for calling the other side of the strait "Mainland China" or "the mainland" was to avoid the impression of two countries. He pointed that that because the fundamental cross-strait policy was no to "maintain the status quo," and because we are the"Republic of China," calling the other side "The People's Republic of China" would be the same as President Chen's "One side, one country" policy. Therefore, "Mainland China" is a more appropriate choice.

Can you believe our policy is such a steaming pile of crap? Update: Thank goodness for the DPP's official position:

The resolution states that Taiwan is an independent and sovereign country and that change to the “status quo” of independence should require the approval of the people of Taiwan in a national referendum. Taiwan does not belong to the People’s Republic of China, the resolution says, rejecting the “one China” principle and “one country, two systems” model promoted by China.

Jun 4, 2008

DPP proposes daylight savings

Well I'll be. I have to admit, I didn't see that one coming.

Ma's Tiananmen speech

First article about it I could find in English ...

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou issued a mild statement Wednesday to mark the 19th anniversary of the massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square and urged China to introduce democracy.

Ma has toned down his message from previous anniversaries when as mayor of Taipei he lashed China for violating human rights. In office for just two weeks, the new president doesn't want to spoil the current harmonious atmosphere across the Taiwan Strait.

Instead of blasting China for killing pro-democracy activities and trampling human rights, Ma praised China for its quick relief effort following the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province and more freedom in press coverage of the quake, before criticizing China's lack of democracy.

'I have taken part in the memorial activities for the June 4 massacre in previous years. The biggest difference with this anniversary is that three weeks ago Sichuan was hit by a major earthquake,' Ma wrote in his three-paragraph message.

'Mainland officials' quick relief effort, concern for the quake-region residents, opening of press coverage, welcoming foreign rescue teams, friendliness to Taiwanese rescue teams - all these have received favourable media coverage and show that China's three-decade reform and opening up have achieved results,' he wrote.

Morning round up

Ma made a statement to commemorate the Tiananmen massacre that reads like an entry to a CCP ass-kissing contest. More on that later. First, three stories that caught my attention this morning:

KMT, DPP at loggerheads over ‘state affairs forum’ (Taipei Times)

Lawmakers from the two major parties have locked horns over a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) proposal to abolish the legislature’s “state affairs forum” (國是論壇) — a suggestion that wasn’t well-received by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators, who believe the forum provides the opposition valuable opportunity to make its voices heard.

The one-hour forum takes place before each legislative sitting, with lawmakers drawing lots to decide who can speak. Each is then accorded three minutes to speak about any topic.

Tsai rejects independence criticism (Taipei Times)

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday hit back at the Presidential Office for painting and criticizing her as an independence fundamentalist. Tsai said that the Presidential Office overly simplified her remarks in an interview, which appeared in three Chinese-language newspapers yesterday, and that she had just asked President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) a few questions.

“I just asked a few questions and I would like to see him answer them,” she said. “It is not a good idea to stick a label on other people.”

In the interviews, Tsai criticized Ma for failing to mention in his inaugural address that Taiwan’s 23 million people have the final say on the nation’s future.

In response, an official at the Presidential Office said there was no need to mention it because it is a fact that Taiwanese have a say on the country’s future because they can elect legislators and presidents.

She also criticized the Ma administration for retreating on the issue of sovereignty. She said she would like to know why the administration wanted to resume cross-strait negotiations based on the so-called “1992 consensus,” without clarifying what the consensus refers to.

Tsai said the administration has now chosen to keep mum on the KMT’s previous contention that the so-called consensus refers to “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”

Tsai said that the Ma government’s plan to apply for WHO membership under the name “Chinese Taipei” without undertaking political negotiations was unacceptable and a step backward.

The Presidential Office retorted by saying that the officials documents of the WTO refer to the country as “Chinese Taipei” and the country did not gain accession to the international body until 2002 when Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was president.

Tsai said yesterday that the details of the WTO application were decided by the then-KMT administration and the DPP administration was not responsible for them.
Tsai warns against joining Control and Examination yuans (Taipei Times)

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that the party would suspend any member who accepts President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) nomination to serve in the Control Yuan or the Examination Yuan.

The decision was made by the party’s Central Standing Committee, Tsai said, adding that it was not a new policy as it was a well-established practice within the party.

The Central Standing Committee decided on May 28 not to nominate any candidates for the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan and suspend members who independently accept Ma’s nomination for either of the two government branches. However, they could reclaim their membership once they left the position.

Jun 3, 2008

KMT: China won't add or fire missles, will remove them with peace agreement

Taipei Times:

DPP legislators yesterday criticized Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) after he said he felt it was unlikely that Beijing would launch a missile attack against Taiwan.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said Wu’s remarks could only further numb the public, making people less vigilant, and that the comments posed a danger to national security....

[A] Chinese-language China Times report [yesterday cited] an anonymous KMT source as saying that Beijing had agreed to discuss Taiwan’s participation in the WHO during the upcoming talks between SEF and ARATS.

The story said that the KMT government was considering proposing Taiwan’s participation using the name “Chinese Taipei,” although the proposal was not finalized.

DPP looks to limit oil prices with export controls

Again, Taipei Times:

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday it would propose an amendment to the Petroleum Management Law (石油管理法) to restrict and impose taxes on oil product exports.

DPP Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) told a press conference that while CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油, CPC) made profits of just NT$15.4 billion (US$510 million) last year, Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) made NT$78.5 billion. In the first quarter of this year Formosa has enjoyed a surplus of NT$13 billion, while CPC has incurred losses of more than NT$20 billion.

Wong said she suspected Formosa had profited from exporting oil products.

DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said statistics showed that while Formosa has exported 63 percent of the petroleum it refines, CPC has only exported 21 percent. Formosa exported 84 percent of the diesel oil it refined, while CPC exported just 29 percent.

Wong said the proposed amendment would restrict oil companies from exporting oil products.

She said the amendment also imposes export taxes on oil products.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus expressed support.

Taipei Times: KMT tries to crush small parties

Sorry for the earlier misleading title that included the DPP in what is a KMT only effort ...

Both a Cabinet version and a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) version of a draft Political Party Law (政黨法) delivered to the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee and the Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statutes Committee for assessment have raised concerns among the nation’s smaller parties.

Both versions stipulate that parties that have not held a congress in four years, have not complied with congressional deadlines set by the authorities, or have failed to nominate candidates for public office at county or city level or above, will be considered defunct. The KMT draft goes further by granting authorities the right to take disciplinary action by dissolving political parties.

Opponents claim the drafts contain possible violations of the Constitution and it has caused dissent from not only the pan-green camp, but also from pan-blue legislators who claim to have been unaware of its contents and say it is extremely inappropriate.

Many critics have lambasted the drafts for attempting to destroy smaller parties.