Search Results for “"Chen Yunlin"”

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Press Review: Another visit by Chen Yunlin

Shamelessly biased of course, this piece from Taichung, Taiwan offers some useful background information to the agenda of another visit to Taiwan by China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) chief negotiator Chen Yunlin (陈云林). Chen is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan for a three-day visit on Monday.

Meantime, the DPP’s secretary-general has advised Chen not to travel around on Taiwan, to avoid giving the impression of “conducting an inspection,” which could be provocative.

EastSouthWestNorth has some polling data about how the Taiwanese public views the Economic Cooperative Framework Agreement (ECFA), the core of the negotiations between Taiwan’s not-quite-official negotiators and their not-quite-official-either Chinese counterparts (neither government recognizes the other).

“Pacts” on fishing crew cooperation, agricultural quarantine inspection, industrial product standards, inspection and certification, and the avoidance of double taxation are among the topics for the upcoming round of negotiations, reports the China Post.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chen Yunlin Delegation: Politicians and Bankers

China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) held preparatory talks in Shenzhen last Monday, led by their respective deputy leaders Zheng Lizhong (郑立中) and Kao Kong-lian (高孔廉). They agreed on most of the schedule for the SEF-ARATS summit in Taiwan from November 3 – 7. The ARATS delegation will be headed by the organization’s chairman Chen Yunlin (陈云林). Chen is to hold talks with SEF’s chairman Jiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) and to meet Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Europe Journal reported on October 29 (欧洲日报, p. 13).

The same edition also says that Chen will be accompanied by a delegation of more than sixty members, including directors of the Bank of China (中国银行), China Construction Bank (中国建设银行), the Agricultural Bank of China (中国农业银行), The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (中国工商银行), China Minsheng Bank (民生银行), China Merchants Bank (招商银行), China Everbright Bank (光大银行), China Development Bank (中国国家开发银行), China Industrial Bank (兴业银行), [probably] Pudong Development Bank (either 浦东开发银行 or 浦东发展银行), plus from the People’s Bank of China (中国人民银行) and the China Banking Regulatory Commission (银监会). The bankers will discuss the global financial crisis and normalization of banking business between China and Taiwan. More than thirty mainland Chinese journalists will also travel with the delegation.

Items of Chen Yunlin’s visit would be meeting Jiang Pin-kun, signing four agreements (on chartered cargo flights, direct maritime shipping, direct postal service, and cooperation in ensuring food safety), further meetings with Taiwanese public figures, and sightseeing.

Details of Chen Yunlin’s meeting with president Ma were still being discussed, the SEF and ARATS deputy heads said on a press conference in Shenzhen after their preparatory meeting. Kao also said that Chen Yunlin would stay within the region of Taipei, indicating that Chen would not visit Southern Taiwan.

It’s likely that Chen will meet the Taiwanese president – after all, if it was cancelled, the whole SEF-ARATS meeting would look like a failure. President Ma’s central election promise was to get Taiwan out of its current economic doldrums, he banks on improving relations with China as growing business between the two countries could add to economic revival, and according to the leader of Tsingtao Daily’s European edition (星島日報) of October 30, China may see this in line with its support for Hong Kong’s economic policies after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, by letting more mainlanders travelling to Hong Kong (and spend their money there) and by generally closer economic cooperation.

According to the China Post, Ma Ying-jeou said that Chen would address him as “President Ma”. The issue of how both sides would address each other would be handled according to the principles of “reciprocity and dignity”.

The Taiwanese government’s China policy is facing large-scale opposition. DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) told a press conference yesterday that the series of demonstrations, called the “Yellow Ribbon Siege” included a three-day sit-in protest on Jinan Road near the Legislative Yuan beginning tomorrow at 7pm and running through Wednesday, followed by an evening rally that day. President Ma needs to mind the protocol and his own status. Besides, in what is probably Chinese assistance for Taiwan’s president to save face is an ARATS apology for the melanine food scandal.On October 28, Ma said that it took concrete measures to ensure the safety of the Taiwanese public. According to the Wall Street Journal, his popularity rating is only 29%.

Wall Street Journal: The next steps will depend on Beijing, October 30.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Press Review: Tsai Ing-wen and the Totally Unknown Senior U.S. Official

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s party moved quickly Friday to take advantage of reported remarks made by a senior U.S. official casting doubts on his rival’s ability to maintain stable relations between the democratic island and mainland China.

A story in the Financial Times newspaper cited the unnamed U.S. official as saying that Tsai Ing-wen, Ma’s opposition in January’s presidential election, had created “distinct doubts about whether she is both willing and able to continue the stability in cross-strait relations the region has enjoyed in recent years.”

The Kansas City Star, on Thursday this week.

Britain’s “Financial Times” quotes an unnamed senior (资深) U.S. official as saying that the Obama administration was worried that if Tsai Ing-wen was elected [president], this could raise tensions in cross-strait relations. In a reaction, Tsai emphasized that she didn’t know if the report was correct or false, but that she hoped that the U.S. government would maintain a neutral position. According to China Review News1), Tsai gave a speech at Harvard University’s Yenching Library and took questions from professors and students, and a crowd was listening outside the library. She made the statement mentioned above while she was taking questions. Tsai believes that the “presidential” elections2) are internal Taiwanese elections, and that America would best maintain a neutral position. She emphasized that her meetings with U.S. officials had all been very smooth, and that these were Taiwan’s best friends. This listener had also listened to [KMT secretary-general] King Pu-tsung (金博聪) and liked Tsai Ing-wen better.

Concerning Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to America, the “Financial Times” quoted a senior U.S. official as saying that cross-strait stability was very important for America, and Tsai’s visit to Washington had caused American concern about that stability – “she – Tsai Ing-wen – makes us doubt if she has the wish and ability to maintain the regional stability the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have enjoyed in recent years” (她(蔡英文)让我们明确怀疑她是否有意愿,且有能力,维持近年来区域所享有的两岸关系稳定).

After Tsai’s speech, a mainland [Chinese] student asked why the DPP, given its emphasis on democracy and human rights, had all the same planned violent actions during Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) chairman Chen Yunlin’s visit to Taiwan. Tsai, slightly displeased, said that first, there needed to be a definition about what spelled violence. In a normal democratic society, speaking somewhat loudly wasn’t unusual, and this was necessary to protect freedom of speech. “If it is called violence, this is disappointing, and we didn’t create violence. We all respect freedom of speech” (如果这叫暴力让人很失望,我们并没有创造暴力,大家尊重言论自由).

Concerning cross-strait relations, Tsai reiterated that there was a need for “stable and peaceful” relations, and this was what every political party and everyone expected. As China was one of the world’s important markets, the DPP hoped to open two gateways (把两大门户打开).

And what about the issue of arms sales? Tsai emphasized that America was “an important element of peace in Asia” (而对于军售问题?蔡英文强调,美国会是“亚洲和平的重要元素”,美国是台湾“非常友好的好朋友”,民主是台美“共同利益”,最重要目标是和平与稳定,面对中国,美国“有时候放心、有时候不放心”), “a very good friend of Taiwan (美国是台湾“非常友好的好朋友”), that democracy was “the common interest of Taiwan and America”, and the most important goal was peace and stability, and America was “sometimes at ease with China, and sometimes it wasn’t”.


The U.S. State Department had earlier stated that the administration took no stance on the forthcoming elections in Taiwan. On Thursday, a State Department official reiterated this stance.

The Financial Times pointed out that Tsai hoped to strengthen the strategic partnership with the U.S. and that she had pledged not to take extreme or radical ways, different from Chen Shui-bian, but that on her visit to Washington, she apparently hadn’t succeeded in making the White House believe that she couldn’t maintain the good cross-strait relations.

The senior official said that even though Tsai was aware of the need to “avoid unprovoked offense” (to China), it “was not perceivable… that she and her staff fully understood how strongly China distrusted her motives, and the DPP’s hopes (资深官员表示,虽然蔡英文了解需要“避免无端挑衅(中国)”,但“完全看不出来…她与她的幕僚充分了解(中国)有多么不信任她的动机,以及民进党的想 望).

Huanqiu Shibao, on Friday this week.

“The ‘official’ mentioned in the article is totally unknown to us and certainly does not speak for the Obama administration. The administration does not take sides in Taiwan’s [or any country’s] election. It’s up to the people of Taiwan to choose their own leaders in an election. Our interest is in a free, fair and open presidential election, not in supporting or criticizing any presidential candidate.

The U.S. State Department, reportedly in a reply to a Congressional source who had  enquired about the alleged comment by a senior US official to the Financial Times. Quoted by The Taipei Times on Friday / Saturday (Taiwan local time) this week.



1) China Review News, Chinese: 中评社 / 中国评论通讯社, a paper registered in Hong Kong since 2005, and whose circulation has been approved by the governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait (唯一在两岸及港澳公开发行的中文时事杂志, i. e. China and Taiwan’s governments), according to the magazine’s company information.

2) Wording which refers or might refer to Taiwan’s sovereignty are put into quotation marks by Chinese media.



» Speaking to America, September 14, 2011


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cominform in Taiwan’s Press: many Cents

Advertorials placed in the press by Taiwan’s government on all levels blurred relations between the media and the government, and were becoming the main source of revenue for media, former (Chinese-language) China Times senior editor Dennis Huang (黃哲斌) warns. Huang resigned his post with the paper last month, the Taipei Times wrote on Tuesday.

China reportedly adopted the practise, too:

Antonio Chiang (江春男), a consultant for the Chinese-language Apple Daily, told a panel at the “Democracy Building in Interesting Times” conference in Taipei that the most serious threat to the independence of the Taiwanese media was advertorials placed by China under the guise of news reports.

Chiang said this phenomenon was a concern because China was willing to put ads in Taiwanese media to promote its image, media outlets that receive funding for such placements then “self-censor” their news coverage to avoid embarrassing or angering Beijing.

A visit by China’s negotiator Chen Yunlin to Taiwan is a less open affair than were certain Soviet propaganda events in non-communist countries during the past decade. Chen travels, smiles, and offers “opportunities”. If he was asked embarrassing questions, the way Soviet delegates and their fellow conferees were during the Waldorf-Astoria “Peace Conference” in New York, in March 1949, one may wonder which Taiwanese papers would cover the event extensively, if at all.

Just as Moscow rallied Western intellectuals to its cause of “peace” in the early days of the Cold War, a Congress for the freedom of the Culture, an organization sponsored by the CIA, rallied Europeans to its agenda. Not every supporter of the Congress was reportedly aware of its funding. Heinrich Böll, for example, is said to haven’t known.

The way China works its way through free societies isn’t harmless. Different from the USSR, it successfully presents itself as a honeypot for business. This is probably the main reason why the question if the CCP is an authoritarian or a totalitarian party isn’t even seriously discussed. The USSR offered barter trade opportunities at best.

But there are parallels between the Cold-War competitions for hearts and minds, and the current one made in China. In 1950, North Korea invaded the South. Soviet efforts to present itself as a power for peace suffered corresponding setbacks. China’s role as an Asian neighbor, beyond its support for Pyongyang, hasn’t looked too peaceful either, since last year. Beijing’s advertorials in the Taiwanese press, which reportedly began to appear in 2008, may be viewed as a game played by China’s propaganda departments and some not-too influential ministries, while the politburo is playing the more defining, and much less appealing game. When facts speak a different language from propaganda, the effect of propaganda itself is hampered.

Media which report about these issues most openly could be seen as more trustworthy than those who treat it as a rather small issue. But what really decides the matter is a judicious readership. If the markets refuses to buy bullshit, you won’t even need legislation. The editors themselves will then become the best guardians of good practise.


Hong Kong: How to Corrupt an Open Society, Aguust 29, 2009

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lee Teng-hui: Sovereignty matters in Municipal Elections

While Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairwoman and DPP candidate for mayorship of Sinbei City (新北市) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told Taiwan’s Apple Daily edition in September that the municipal elections – to be held on November 27 this year – were about dealing with local issues, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) pointed out in an interview on Thursday night that the municipal elections, if won by the DPP, could prompt the KMT to review president Ma Ying-jeou‘s nomination for a second presidential election. In short, the municipal elections’ theme, in Lee Teng-hui’s view, are about “abandoning Ma, protecting Taiwan” (棄馬保台, qì Mǎ bǎo Tái).

The report by the Liberty Times also quotes Lee as saying that the 1992 Consensus (九二共識) advanced by Ma didn’t actually exist (根本不存在). Lee reportedly also  alleged that Ma’s concept was “ultimate unification” and that the president had simply referred to himself as “Mr” during a visit by China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chen Yunlin, not daring to adhere to his presidential title (陳雲林來台時馬自稱為「先生」,不敢堅持總統的正式稱謂).

According to Wikipedia as of November 18 (apparently quoting a Liberty Times edition of the time as a source),

the Chen visit was seen as a test for Ma’s commitment to keep Taiwan a sovereign nation, and many critics have reason to believe he [Ma Ying-jeou] failed dismally. First, national flags were ordered to be taken away in all places that Chen set foot on. Footage of an officer violently breaking a flag on a highway overhead was disclosed by the media and shocked the society. Citizens carrying national flags were also brutally treated by the police, while pro-China extremists carrying the Chinese national flag were given upmost protection. Second, Ma allowed Chen to refer to him as “you” or “Mr. Ma,” but with no mention of the term “president,” and did not mention the words “president” or “country.” Third, Ma ordered massive crackdowns on peaceful protestors, including students, senior citizens, and women, leading to the most violent police assault since Taiwan embraced full democracy.

Referring to an apparent refusal by the Ma administration to provide a car for former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe‘s meetings with oppositional DPP’s officials earlier this month, Lee said that when Abe paid him a visit, also earlier this month, Taiwan’s foreign ministry hadn’t provided the former Japanese premier with a car either.


More posts referring to Chen Yunlin
“Any title but President”, China Post, Nov. 1, 2008

Update / Related
What is the ROC, Frozen Garlic, Aug. 31, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ECFA: The Price of letting Taiwan Down

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement signed by Taiwan and China in Chongqing yesterday is a serious threat, Singapore’s Beijing-leaning United Morning News (联合早报) quotes South Korean media and experts. The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) released an “After-ECFA Response Program” on June 29, pointing out that tariff reductions on more than 500 Taiwanese products, among them machinery, petrochemicals, and automotive spare parts with a value of about twelve billion US dollars, were a big blow to South Korean exporters. Apparently in cooperation with the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), the response program finds that among the twenty top products exported to China by Taiwanese and South Korean companies, liquid crystal displays, petrochemicals, semiconductors, and office equipment, there are fourteen items among them which rank high both in Taiwan’s and South Korea’s exports to China. The preferential treatment of Taiwanese products would immediately weaken South Korean competitiveness, United Morning News quotes KITA.

East Asia Daily (this name apparently refers to donga ilbo, a South Korean paper which also runs an English, a Japanese and a Chinese language edition), is quoted by United Morning News as commenting that, facing Taiwan taking away the Chinese market, South Korea should sign a free-trade agreement with China. Also, as relations with Taiwan had been distant since South Korea’s establishment of diplomatic relations with China in 1992, South Korea should, by improving relations with Taiwan, seek a common approach with Taiwan to enter the Chinese market.

Taiwan News writes that

It should come as no surprise that the country most impacted by changes in cross-strait relations is Japan, which is seriously concerned that any excessive “‘leaning to one side” by Taiwan toward the PRC will tilt the balance of power in East Asia in Beijing’s favor. […]

In particular, Japanese analysts are concerned that the reversal of the previous administration of the Taiwan – centric Democratic Progressive Party’s pro-Japan and anti-PRC stance toward the restored KMT government’s adoption of a “pro-China and anti-Japan” stance could have serious implications for Japan’s substantive interests in the Taiwan Strait and may add weight to the “China factor” in Tokyo’s policy – making regarding Taiwan.

In a commentary Kyodo News Service highlights a statement reportedly made by Chen Yunlin (陈云林), chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), that ECFA had strategic significance in enhancing the international competitiveness of the Chinese race – nation.

Even if Chen should be misquoted here, this statement certainly reflects Beijing’s position. And it may reflect a irreversible trend of Taiwan moving into China’s orbit. But this isn’t only up to China.

So far, Japan’s, America’s, and probably everyone’s main concern seems to have been not to displease Beijing. ECFA should be read as a signal that letting Taiwan down would come at a price, just as well. Standing by some moral principles will be costly. But in the end, the costs of mere opportunism would be much greater.


The Primacy of Politics, June 13, 2010

Friday, August 28, 2009

CNA Quotes: Taiwan Affairs Office / SEF Secretary General Kao Kung-lian, re Dalai Lama Visit

Faxed statement by the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman, quoted by CNA (Taiwan):

Statement by State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office [the link for this article ( is apparently no longer available – JR, July 14, 2010] on August 27, concerning some forces within Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party [in the following: DPP] inviting the Dalai to Taiwan, a spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office stated:

The Dalai is no mere religious personality, he conducts activities to split the state under the banner of religion. No matter under which circumstances and in which capacity he goes to Taiwan, we are resolutely opposed (我們都堅決反對).

While all walks of life on the mainland offer a helping hand and support Taiwan in overcoming the typhoon and to rebuild their homes, some people of the DPP actually take the opportunity to plan for Dalai visiting Taiwan, clearly not for disaster relief, but for trying to harm the hard-earned good cross-strait relations. This sinister intention will meet with opposition from compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

CNA reporter Liu Zhengqing (劉正慶) – same source as above:

As the statement [by the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office] didn’t accuse [the link for this article ( is apparently no longer available – JR, July 14, 2010] president Ma Ying-jeou or the KMT at all, Strait Exchange Foundation (海基會) Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General Kao Kung-lian (高孔廉) says one can understand the mainland position, as its stance concerning the Dalai has always been this way (可以理解大陸的立場,因為大陸對達賴的看法一向如此). [Given the referrals to the DPP in the statement] Kao Kung-lian believes that the mainland acknowledges that the invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan is clearly just an action by the DPP (大陸已認知到,其實邀請達賴喇嘛訪台,明顯的就是民進黨在操弄).

[“操弄” may also stand for “manipulation”.]

Won’t the Dalai’s visit on August 30 have an impact on future cross-strait exchange, and even on the fourth meeting between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, )海峡两岸关系协会) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), planned for the end of the year? Kao Kung-lian says that at the moment, this is hard to tell. But she he also said thatnews and cultural exchange, the SEF’s purpose, are temporarily suspended because of the typhoon anyway, and if they are going to be continued isn’t related to the question of the Dalai’s visit, because from the Taiwan Affairs Office’s statement, the influence on the cross-straits relations isn’t that big.

Will the Dalai’s visit have an impact on the fourth meeting of the ARATS and the SEF (Jiang and Chen)  [Jiang Pin-kun (江丙坤), Chen Yunlin (陈云林)]? Kao Kung-lian indicates that this will be evaluated from what the Dalai Lama is going to do and to say.

[In this last line of the CNA article, the Dalai Lama is actually referred to as Dalai Lama.]

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Political Corruption in Taiwan?

You can crucify <b><i>that one</i></b>

You can crucify THAT one...

Not only Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian is in the dock, writes the Economist in its January 24th edition – the judiciary is, too. (printed ed., page 56)

That may be a bit strong. But Taiwan’s judiciary’s credibility is at stake, and some of its players apparently aren’t aware of that. According to the Economist,

prosecutors involved in Mr Chen’s case performed a comic skit at a party at the justice ministry. To the glee of the audience, one is said to have mimicked the former president’s arrest by raising handcuffed hands above her head and shouting slogans. Shown on television, this outraged many.

And certainly not only fans of the former president.

An open letter by scholars and writers from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia to president Ma Ying-jeou describes what makes them feel doubtful about the proceedings against Chen Shui-bian – and the incidents surrounding mainland chief negotiator Chen Yunlin’s visit to Taiwan last year.

We appeal to you, Mr. President, to restore the credibility of the judicial system in Taiwan and ensure that your government and its judiciary and parliamentary institutions safeguard the full democracy, human rights and freedom of expression, for which the Taiwanese people have worked so hard during the past two decades.

Besides Chen Shui-bian, another former president, Lee Teng-hui, is also under investigation, according to the Taipei Times of December 27 of last year. He fell out with the KMT after leaving office and was expelled from the KMT for his role in founding the independence movement Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), which forms part of the Pan-Green Coalition alongside Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party. And in March 2008, he endorsed the DPP’s presidential nominee, Frank Hsieh Chang-ting.

But president Ma seems to move towards his old ex-chairman. Both Ma and vice president Vincent Siew paid visits to the elder statesman this month “to discuss the economy”. Lee will probably stay out of trouble, to call on institutes of theology in order to enrich his spiritual life.

Imagine Lee Teng-hui in the dock. The former chairman of what is or was the world’s wealthiest party would have stories to tell. Too many stories. No matter if proven guility, or innocent himself.

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