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Nov 30, 2010

Wikileak memos

The Wikileaks release of the diplomatic cables has been accompanied by lots of government grandstanding, but I get the distinct impression that very few real secrets are contained in these documents. As usual, it seems we classify a lot more things than really need to be classified, just to save face. Mostly our own.

And for me, this reinforces the idea that these "secrets" are open topics between the various governments involved; what upsets these officials is that we normal citizens now see what they're talking about behind closed doors. It goes to show how far removed the people are from their "own" governments.

There may be real security implications, but I can't help but feeling the elite all over the world are mostly just miffed that someone broke through their curtain and showed some mostly harmless backroom dealings and offhand comments.

I plan on reading the memos rather extensively for fun.

Nov 22, 2010

I thought the police were no longer providing crowd estimates like this one for the recent KMT march. But Hau seems happy with the estimate of 70,000 people.

I'm very excited about watching results for the election roll in -- I will probably make a night of it over here in the States. Or at least a very early morning.

Nov 17, 2010


So Honorary KMT chairman and general nitwit Lien Chan (連戰) got to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao at APEC this year; when talking to the media back in Taiwan, Lien had this to say:



In addition, since next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution [the 1911 revolution that established the R.O.C.], mainland Chinese Chairman Hu Jintao also said the mainland will hold commemorative activities.

Lien Chan thinks that although it won't be possible for the two sides of the strait to hold the celebration together, they will arrive at the same destination through different routes, ultimately honoring national father Sun Yat-sen's spirit, thinking and ideology.
Quaint & comically harmless thinking, or ominous?

Nov 3, 2010

Negotiating with a ghost

This is pretty funny:

黃光國:「兩岸最大的問題是中共始終不願意面對『中華民國』仍然存在的事實──你不承認『中華民國』,硬是把我當成『鬼』,但兩岸談判、簽署文件總要有對象,難倒你是在跟『鬼』交涉?!」... -「兩岸智庫如何攜手共創未來」研討會/台大社科院、2010.11.2

"The biggest problem in cross strait relations is the Chinese Communists' consistent refusal to face the reality that the Republic of China still exists. You refuse to recognize the ROC and insist on treating me as a ghost. But cross strait dialogue and agreements ultimately have to be discussed or signed with somebody, unless of course you are negotiating with a ghost!" -- Hwang Kwang-Kuo [NTU Psych professor] at a think tank discussion conference on cross strait relations at NTU, 11/2/2010.
Professor Hwang's comment apparently drew plenty of laughs from the crowd, but sober and silent reactions from the Chinese delegation of intellectuals, whose think-tanks can obviously not suggest recognizing the ROC unless the Party leadership first makes a decision.

Nov 2, 2010

KMT policy: unify ROC territory?

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but ...

吳敦義說,兩岸從衝突對立改向和平穩定發展,目的是為降低台灣海峽成為火藥庫的風險。他指出,政府也要捍衛中華民國成為主權完整而獨立的國家,並維護台灣 安全與繁榮,必要的國防武裝力量還是需要 ...

[Premier] Wu Dun-yi said that the two sides of the Taiwan strait had moved from confrontation toward peaceful and stable development, and that the goal of this [policy] is to lower the danger that the Taiwan Strait will become a tinder box. He pointed out that the government also wants to uphold the Republic of China becoming an independent country with complete sovereignty [over its territory] and to protect the safety and prosperity of Taiwan. T do this, the Defense Ministry still requires more weaponry....

What I found fascinating about this, if I"m reading it right, is the implication that the government has the official goal of restoring ROC sovereignty over mainland China. This might be a simple negotiating tactic or it might simply come part and parcel with "One China." Or it might be just as crazy as it sounds.

Or am I reading the Chinese incorrectly?