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Oct 19, 2010

Mirror, mirror

The AP interviews President Ma...

Any political union, he said, would require Beijing to adopt democracy and respect for human rights, under special scrutiny following the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed China democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo. Because of such concerns, Ma did not cite any timetable for the process, saying it would be a "long historical" transition....

In between the poles of union and separation, Ma said his government is prepared to discuss political agreements, including security issues, as soon as the priority economic issues are dealt with. He suggested that those political talks could start as early as a second four-year term if he wins re-election in 2012.

"We are not intentionally delaying the talks on political issues. Certainly the economic ones are more important to people here. People also support the idea (of) economy first, politics later," said Ma. Asked if he would move to political talks in a second term once economic issues are dealt with, Ma said "it depends on how fast we move." Political issues, he said, "will come after all the major economic issues are resolved."

Among the crucial economic agreements that first need to be tackled, Ma said, are those on investment guarantees, ways to resolve disputes and tariff and other barriers to the two sides more than US$100 billion in trade.

There's nothing new or particularly surprising in this interview, yet the Ma administration came out to emphasize there is no time table for political talks, that they will not necessarily occur during his second term, and that economic issues come first.

Ma nearly accuses the AP of putting words in his mouth about the negotiations, because all the focus was on the prospect of political talks. Really, it's just that international news outlets chose the juicy bits about political talks for their edited versions of the AP article, and this created a sort of backlash after Taiwan media saw and yelled, "Look what Ma said to the AP!"

How does this keep sailing under the radar?

President Ma Ying-jeou just reiterated, without mincing words, the KMT position that Taiwan and "the mainland" are both part of the same country, the ROC. This is in line with the Chinese position that Taiwan and "the mainland"belong to the same "One China."

Ma stated that the first set of ROC constitutional amendments defined the relationship as "the free area" (Taiwan) and "the mainland area," and that this definition remains the one the KMT is constitutionally obligated to respect.

What is remarkable is how Ma's archaic definition of an ROC encompassing both Taiwan and China would be wildly unpopular if people knew about it, yet despite repeated public statements and subsequent newspaper articles, the KMT position continues to escape most people's attention.

And yet we see with every passing day that the nebulous status quo is increasingly defined as the "One China" framework and all the agreements that rest on it.

Oct 15, 2010

The Flag

That old battle is raging again: who loves the ROC flag the most?

Typically, as elections approach, the ROC flag becomes a symbol of the KMT campaign; this year, however, we had a Chinese basketball team panic when they saw a bunch of ROC flags that had been strategically placed by some Green-style nationalist leaning students.

And that means that while the Green camp is berating the KMT for hiding national flags in Taiwan to please China, the presidential office is mocking the DPP, saying they should really love the flag.

If this comedy didn't repeat itself so often, you might think it was all a big joke.

Oct 7, 2010

Sounds about right to me

中廣新聞網╱戴瑞芬 2010-10-06 10:04


... 根據主計處「薪資與生產力統計年報」調查,台灣員工「平均週工時」僅次於新加坡與香港。在台灣,「上班打卡制、下班責任制」的工作形式,儼然成為現代的職場文化。


...According to the results of a statistical survey, the "Annual Statistics on Salary and Production Strength," Taiwan workers spend more time on the job than people in any other country in the world excepting Singapore and Hongkong....

According to the survey's, commissioned by the 1111 employment services website, Over 78% of people reported working overtime in a salaried position, and thus ineligible for over time pay. The monthly hours of unpaid overtime at work averaged 32.92 hours per week.