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Sep 30, 2010

Tsai Ing-wen's Apple Daily interview

There's much less buzz about it in the bloglosphere than I expected! First, an article about the interview and later related remarks:

On Friday last week, she suggested in an interview with the Chinese-language Apple Daily that the DPP would most likely continue Ma’s cross-strait policies and that any changes would have to be supported by public consensus and legislative approval.

In a previous meeting with the international press in May, she also insisted the DPP had learned from its eight years in office and would work on a more predictable China policy. She has said that stable cross-strait relations would form a key component of the DPP’s 10-year policy guidelines....

While she acknowledged that, compared with the Ma administration, there was a general expectation the DPP needed to be firmer on sovereignty and national security-related issues in the face of growing Chinese pressure, she said the issues could be overcome through greater cross-strait interaction.

However, she maintained increasing cross-strait exchanges would not be conducted at the expense of Taiwan’s ties with the rest of the world.

“This is distinct from the KMT government approach, which embraces China as a [corridor] to the world,” she said.

The Presidential Office has responded by saying DPP cross-strait policy is opportunistic, inconsistent and disingenuous; after all, they say, if the DPP intends to keep the ECFA and other policies in place, why are they attacking the KMT policy? China's Taiwan Affairs Office has shrugged, claiming they don't know if this is simply election language or a sincere change of course.

I have to agree with the criticism of Tsai's remarks, although I sense she's responding to the tendency of the ever-important moderate voter; I also note she wasn't terribly specific. But if the only difference she wants to highlight between DPP and KMT policy is that last paragraph in the quote above, I have to say that's not much of a distinction. Mostly rhetorical.

My question for Tsai would be: would the DPP continue to negotiate with China under the "one China" framework currently in place?

If the answer is yes, isn't the battle for Taiwan's independence essentially over? If the answer is no, will the DPP stand a chance at the polls in 2012?

Sep 28, 2010

GG Caijing

For a clearly pro-China but reasonably well measured analysis of the Senkaku dispute, see this Caijing article. Its ultimate conclusion is that neither China nor Japan have much room to back down on the dispute, but this makes negotiations and cool heads all the more critical, especially now that setting aside the dispute is becoming a less realistic option.

Sep 9, 2010

There you go

Some time ago, I advised the DPP to head Howard Dean's example (the 50 states strategy). It seems the GOP has beat them to the punch.

Sep 6, 2010


I'm going to ask you to take an absolutely wild fucking guess here.

Do you think the Executive Yuan's Referendum Committee, with a set of appointees all chosen by Taiwan's current president, will reject or allow the TSU-backed referendum which aims to "eliminate the Referendum Committee?"


This article [ZH], a China Times editorial, shows just how completely out of touch the China Times is -- and why they're clearly going for the role of official Chinese propaganda machine ($$$$$. They can't get it from sales).

It's a short one, so I've decided to give it to you nearly in full and without further comment.

On the day memorializing the sixty-fifth anniversary of the war against Japan [WWII], The Chinese Communist Party's organ, the People's Daily, carried an editorial talking about the victory over the Japanese, saying "the Communist party lead and pushed" [the fight]. Our Presidential Office and Defense Ministry responded strongly, saying these statements were "not in accordance with reality." It appears that even as cross-strait relations are warming up, the government has no choice but to struggle to clarify historical truths.

In reality, although KMT policies such as martial law and the lack of implementation of democracy created controversy, historical researches within the country [in Taiwan] conclude that in the eight years of struggle before victory over the Japanese, the main fighting force was the ROC army under the lead of President Chiang Kai-shek. Even on the sixtieth anniversary of that struggle, the Chinese Communist leader Hu Jin-tao acknowledged the KMT's contribution to the war against the Japanese....

The funny thing is, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has never agreed to recognize the Republic of China, and as a result has not accepted this part of history. But the green [DPP] legislators are still eager to take advantage of Ma Ying-jeou, mocking the Presidential Office for an inadequate response [to Chinese claims]. The Presidential office responded by saying the DPP is simply opposed to anything that China does. In reality, they are opposed to anything that Ma does. The DPP does not care a lick about this part of history; it is simply using the opportunity to attack Ma Ying-jeou.

The problem is, although the KMT and CCP have been opposed to each other for so long, they must still make peace in the end, and therefore they must resolve questions of how history is to be explained; in contrast, despite the DPP having been in power and having participated in the electoral system, [that party] still refuse to acknowledge the ROC. The DPP's rejection of the history of the Battle Against Japan causes them to be unable to reconcile their historical memory with the masses'.

Due to the influence of politics, it is always difficult to make an accurate reading of history. But this is not simply a KMT problem. It is a problem also for the largest opposition party, the DPP, which must face the ROC's history.