Meanwhile, what shiny new hardware is out there on the blogs?
- Mutant Frog on Japanese students skipping the US thanks in part to our visa stupidity (allies like Japan and Taiwan should have visa free entry). The visa process is also impacting decisions here. Something needs to be done soon.
- Brian comments on Avatar. My kids saw it yesterday and loved it.
- Ben reviews a number of things in the media relating to ECFA, Chen Yunlin, etc.
- Barking Deer on new trail openings in Taiwan.
- Tourist shops in Taipei 101 suck up to the Chinese. Ugh.
- TaiwanAir on a forced U2 landing in the good old days.
- F Varga on the amendments to the criminal code.
- ROC awards medals to the US military at USTDC
- Asia-Pacific film festival now going on in Taiwan.
- A Hungry Girl reviews the Taj indian restaurant.
- Blog claims CYC mishandled delegation to Taiwan from Cambodia. What was CYC doing running the show?
- Interesting post on Right-wing Christianity in Taiwan and its links to the US.
- Yet another satisfied bike trip down the East Coast by a foreigner, with excellent pics.
MEDIA: No wonder Chinese don't understand Taiwan: writer describes how his book has been altered by censors in the PRC. Academic paper from a few years back on Foreign Spouses in Taiwan. First map of Taiwan vegetation published. Taiwan sees record number of foreign visitors. This is why we need Chinese tourists, to save our tourism industry....wait a second... Taiwan Cement buys big cement producer in southern China. More deals between China and our construction-industrial state. Saturday's big quake produced over 100 aftershocks. Taiwan says it will abide by climate accord. President Chen was detained for two more months -- thank you, KMT. Not only does each detention expose the conviction of Chen as nothing more than a farcical, vindictive attack on the man, but by keeping him in jail, you help Tsai Ing-wen move the DPP into the post-Chen era more easily and swiftly. China Daily is fairly sane on the Chen Yunlin demonstrators, even admitting that the pro-sellout crowd is mostly elderly and not many. Taiwan investigators dig more deeply into the Pang case, with bank losses here now creeping above $200 million in inflated Yankee dollars. China, Taiwan car firms looking at joint venture. Officer penalized for using pepper spray on Chen Yunlin protesters (not authorized equipment). Nat Bellocchi with another excellent piece in Taipei Times arguing that the US should stop fooling around and back Taiwan. Except for the bog-standard load of Denialist crap from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a catch-all group for fossil fuel funded anti-science "skeptics", the Taipei Times hosts an interesting page on Copenhagen. Way cool: Taiwan to put tax on unhealthy food.
VIDEO: Forum on the trial of Chen Shui-bian moderated by Jerome Cohen. maddog with video of band at rally.
MEDIA WATCH: AP's grip on history and balance falters:
"Harvard educated Ma" again -- a class signal saying "he's one of us!" although nobody despises the US more than ideologically-committed Deep Blues like Ma. Note the description of Tsai Ing-wen, by contrast:
Since taking office in May 2008, Harvard-educated Ma has eased tensions across the 100-mile (160-kilometer) -wide Taiwan Strait to their lowest level in 60 years, turning his back on predecessor Chen Shui-Bian's pro-independence policies.
He has pushed a welter of business-boosting initiatives, including regular air and sea links with the mainland and ending across-the-board restrictions on Chinese investment in Taiwan.
"Our president has turned blind to the possibility that jobs will be lost" after signing the agreement, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen told protesters Sunday.Tsai? She went to NTU, Cornell, and has a Ph.D in law from the London School of Economics. She's much better educated than Ma is (and smarter too). Let's balance Harvard-educated with LSE-educated as AP has done before. Note that this article is not from a Taipei reporter, but appears to be from the Beijing-based reporter. Huh?
Skipping over the utterly ahistorical "split in 1949" formulation, AP's treatment of the Chen era is deeply wrong as well. The Chen Administration did not put in "across the board restrictions" on investment in China: it was the Chen Administration that legalized investment in China. Under Chen Shui-bian our exports to China passed South Korea's. Total investment may have exceeded US$200 billion. There was an investment cap, only, and restrictions on certain key industries, but the DPP turned a blind eye to the movement of local SMEs to China. The initiatives credited to Ma were all started by the DPP, and largely sought by that party -- China would not cooperate because the DPP would not sell out Taiwan, not because the DPP was averse to dealing with China. But in the AP, it's down the memory hole with you, Chen Shui-bian! "Across the board" restrictions remain in key industries, as the Ma Administration has made clear. It would be great if the automated worship of Ma would cease and some informed, enlightened writing on the Chen/Ma relationships with China would replace it. For example you could cobble together something like this:
The Ma Administration's China policies are built on the initiatives of the previous DPP Administration, which were stymied by the unwillingness of Beijing to negotiate with the pro-independence DPP.You might complain that's long, but AP managed to find room to inform its readers of the exciting fact that the Taiwan Strait is 100 miles (160 kilomters) wide. Why not delete that and add more background?
However, Ma has pushed for even broader and closer links, saying Taiwan needs to avoid economic marginalization, moves lauded by the global financial community and local large businesses, but opposed by the pro-independence DPP, along with many workers, small businessmen and farmers.
AFP: Ok, I know it isn't fair to go after
Go, Cargo Cult pandas: if only we have
Zoo official Eric Tsao said Taipei zoo's panda traffic averages 1,000 people on weekdays and 5,000 to 8,000 on weekends, down from daily maximums of 14,400 to 19,200.
Initial predictions had put traffic at 30,000 to 90,000 visitors a day.
ECFA WATCH: The CCP-KMT negotiations over double taxation were given up; three items for talks remain. I'm very curious to see whether this will be a meaningful deal (which China probably wants) or a very typical Taipei agreement in which it enthusiastically agrees to do something it has no intention of carrying out in practice. When the economy improves next year, look for the KMT to claim its China policies were responsible for the turnaround.
FARCICAL LOCAL POLITICIAN WATCH: Some of you may recall the saga of the Taitung county by-election a few years ago, in which the indicted county magistrate had to step down, and then divorced his wife so she could run in his place (won in a landslide too). History repeats itself, as Fu Kun-chi, whom the KMT would not run due to corruption, won the magistracy in Hualien county, while facing sentencing for conviction of nefarious activities. He promptly divorced his wife, and appointed her deputy magistrate so she can succeed him when he goes to jail. Marx was wrong; when history repeats itself, it is farce both times.
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