Archive for November 25th, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ma Ying-jeou: Falling Stock Prices influenced Opinion Polls

In an interview with the BBC Chinese service’s director Li Wen, president Ma Ying-jeou addressed allegations that Beijing supported his candidature for presidency (有关北京支持他参选的说法). These allegations all came from contenders in the election campaign, but none of them had produced any evidence for their allegations, he said.

Ma also called on Beijing to remove the missiles aimed at Taiwan. These were conflicting with the development of cross-strait relations, he said, as they were a major reason for the Taiwanese people to resent the government in Beijing (而台湾民众之所以对北京政府感到反感,对着台湾的导弹是相当重要的原因之一). Asked if he was confident that he could convince Beijing to remove the missiles, Ma replied that the Beijing government should understand the Taiwanese people’s feelings clearly enough –

this shouldn’t need to be discussed. They should act on their own initiative (这个应该不需要谈,它应该主动去做).

You keep targeting missiles at us – do you call that a friendly attitude towards me (你老拿着飞弹对着我,这叫对我好吗)?

There was nothing wrong with trade and deepening exchange across the Taiwan Strait, Ma said, but he could say with confidence that, judging from the current pace of development in cross-strait relations, there would be no meeting between leaders from the two sides (他还表示,从目前两岸关系的发展速度来看,他可以大胆预测,没有两岸领导人会面的可能性).

Ma denied that his campaign was in dire straits, and cited an opinion poll conducted by the KMT itself, according to which his supporting rate was in fact steadily growing (国民党本身进行的民调结果显示,其支持度仍在稳定增长). As Li Wen kept pressing him on as to how the support rate for the KMT could have dropped at all, given that it had all advantages on its side – the presidency, and a majority in the current Legislative Yuan -, Ma replied that many factors, such as sagging prices on the stock market, could influence peoples’ fellings (马英九表示,民调受到许多因素的影响,例如股市下跌,就会影响到民众的感受).

Besides, some of the responsibility for such feelings had to be sought on the side of his opponents, who had made untrue attacks against him, such as trying to blacken his name by accusing him of meeting with a gambling tycoon (此外,还有部分的责任要 归咎于竞选对手“不确实”的攻击,例如说他与赌盘组头见面来“抹黑”他).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tsai Ing-wen: Closing in on the Presidency

If elected, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairwoman and presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen will not abrogate the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), but would, in handling subsequent negotiations, ensure the process is transparent and subject to legislative oversight so that any agreement would not have to undergo a referendum. That’s what she told the BBC’s Chinese service director Li Wen in an interview on Thursday. The two major opposition parties, the DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) originally advocated a referendum on ECFA.

Obviously, if Tsai should inherit president Ma Ying-jeou’s desk in May next year – the elections are scheduled in January -, there will be no reset button, and to act as if there was one would suggest that her presidential bid wasn’t serious. It seems that she is  preparing for the details of the job as president, and not merely focusing on getting elected.

Her message to China seems to suggest that, too.

I think better communication will help. Essentially, they don’t know us, because we are not like the KMT. They had a history in the past, either as rivals – now they seem to be less of rivals to the KMT -, and they had this complicated relationship in the past, let me say it that way. And they don’t know us. We are a party that is only twenty-five years old, so it would be good if we had good communications between the two sides, so that they will know us better, and we’d have the opportunity to tell them what we are up to.  We do have a think tank here in Taipei, and we welcome delegations, groups from China to visit us, we give them briefings they would like to have, we answer questions they raise, and I thought that was a good exchange.

If there was an invitation to China, it would come with conditions, Tsai anticipated, in reply to Li Wen’s question if she would accept such an invitiation.

And heaving a sigh that was either tactical, or that genuinely reflected her skepticism about Beijing’s attitude, she added:

I just wish that they can be reasonable.

This was apparently a referral to conditions, not to the CCP leadership itself.

Visits by leaders weren’t the only way to improve communications, she added. Experts, civil society members or party workers could have exchanges anyway.

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Related

» Interviews with Tsai and Soong, Nov 19, 2011
» One ROC, two Interpretations, Oct 10, 2011

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Something Different

[…] One OWS protester steps in the wrong place, and she immediately has police roping her off like wayward cattle. But in the skyscrapers above the protests, anything goes.

This is a profound statement about who law enforcement works for in this country. What happened on Wall Street over the past decade was an unparalleled crime wave. Yet at most, maybe 1,500 federal agents were policing that beat – and that little group of financial cops barely made any cases at all. Yet when thousands of ordinary people hit the streets with the express purpose of obeying the law and demonstrating their patriotism through peaceful protest, the police response is immediate and massive. There have already been hundreds of arrests, which is hundreds more than we ever saw during the years when Wall Street bankers were stealing billions of dollars from retirees and mutual-fund holders and carpenters unions through the mass sales of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities.  […]

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Nov 10, 2011

Library, Zuccotti Park, Lower Manhattan (Wikimedia Commons, click photo for source)

Library, Zuccotti Park, Lower Manhattan (Wikimedia Commons, click photo for source)

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Related

» Euroland, Aching to Grow, June 14, 2011
» Save the Fourth Amendment, Economist, May 12, 2011

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