Taiwan News Roundup: “in Just Three Seconds”

Municipal Elections in November

Taiwan’s municipal elections will be held on November 27 – Wikipedia provides some opinion polls and results of past elections (last updated on October 3). Echo Taiwan shows the seats and offices up for grabs, and the respective numbers of contestants, plus a schedule.

A Gu commented more than a week ago on an interview which DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had given to Taiwan’s edition of Apple Daily earlier in September.

The municipal elections were about dealing with local issues, Apple Daily quotes Tsai. As for national issues, views within the DPP had also become more unified (內部意見也趨於一致), after profound reflection following the election defeats in 2008 (民進黨失去政權後,是有深刻反省的). Tsai is directly quoted as saying that

Awareness of political ideals is one thing; stability is another – the most important thing in cross-strait relations is stability (體認政治取向是一回事,穩定又是一回事,兩岸最重要的是穩定。)

Tsai currently doubles as the DPP’s chairwoman, and as her party’s candidate for mayorship of Sinbei City (新北市). Sinbei  [aka Xinbei] used to be Taipei County before a re-organization of Taiwan’s administrative divisions.

A Gu is critical 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.

Fan Liqing (范麗青), China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokeswoman, probably couldn’t agree more, but would certainly see the supposed election context of Tsai’s remarks in a much less friendly light. On a press conference on September 29, she said that

I have seen the coverage, I don’t know if this is election language (看到了有關報導,不知道這是不是選舉語言),

adding that the peaceful development of cross-strait relations was based on “opposing Taiwan independence” and “upholding the 92 consensus“.

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FTAs: “Keep Taiwan’s Interests in Mind”

Meantime, Dixteel argues that while signing free-trade agreements (FTA) with further countries (after establishing ECFA with China earlier this year) can be feneficial, FTAs shouldn’t be signed for FTAs sake.

I am not saying signing FTA with Singapore is a bad thing, but Taiwan needs to have a Taiwan centric thinking when signing this deal.  Otherwise, this type of deals will only be a tool of pro-China politicians and a waste of time and money, because they will not be negotiated with Taiwan’s interests in mind.

The Straits Times (Singapore), advocating the FTA, suggested on September 15 that Singapore’s and Taiwan’s economies could be a lot more complementary than meets the eye.

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KMT Government Approval Ratings: give me just three seconds

As various polls have shown disappointment with [Tawain’s] cabinet’s performance, Executive Yuan president Wu Dun-yih (吳敦義) is quoted by Channel Asia as saying that “every cabinet member has room to improve and we will do it. If President Ma (Ying-jeou) thinks I should fine tune it, I could do it in just three seconds.”

Writing this post took a bit longer.

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