The Mainland Affairs Council poll finds majority support for ECFA. Also, MAC announces that 99.9% of the North Korean population really did vote for President Kim. Seriously, just for comparison, this figure is a third higher than the more realistic Global Views poll in March, which had "supporting signing ECFA" at 46%.
This week's flap: Reuters reported that Chairman Tsai of the DPP said that the DPP had organized a group for talks with China, but this was quickly rebutted by the DPP....
In a press briefing, DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) yesterday said Tsai did not address the issue during the interview, which took place in English. He also denied that the DPP had any plans to organize a group for such a purpose.This was followed by the usual Beijing demand that the DPP give up independence, which was followed by the DPP reiteration that they are always ready to talk to Beijing, provided Beijing does not demand that Taiwan annex itself to China. Of course, the DPP raised the issue of whether Ma had in fact conceded the island's independence in the talks, sparking this editorial from Taiwan News:
The party later released a statement to add: “What Chairperson Tsai said during the interview was that there are many non-governmental organizations and think tanks that the DPP has long relationships with … If China engages in dialogue with these groups, it will help them understand more about the DPP.”
“However, Taiwan is a democratic society, and these groups are independent and are not part of the DPP,” the statement said.
The DPP’s China policies have come under increasing attention after a series of public comments made by Tsai hinted at a subtle shift in how the party would conduct future cross-strait dialogue.
Tsai said in the interview that the DPP would “pursue a separate dialogue mechanism with Beijing, possibly under the umbrella of an outside organization, to seek peace and ‘teach Beijing about the island’s democracy.’”
President Ma Ying-jeou should explain clearly to the Taiwan public whether his rightist Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) has accepted political preconditions for engaging in talks with the People's Republic of China, including for the negotiation of the controversial "Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement."Judging from the number of observers in the US who appear to believe that ECFA is just a trade pact (hey it says so in the media, right?), there are many people in the US who haven't grasped this point: in order for talks with China to proceed, Ma must have had to give on the sovereignty issue. That's a PRC precondition. Since such a move would be deeply unpopular in Taiwan, naturally the KMT has been laying down a barrage of words to keep this out of the public view. The DPP should continue to press Ma on this issue.
Taiwan's 23 million citizens deserve a clear and frank explanation of the political preconditions for the negotiation of 12 cross-strait agreements between the KMT government and the PRC's Chinese Communist Party regime in the wake of statements by an official PRC government spokesman that such talks are predicated on acceptance of Beijing's goal of "peaceful unification."
Where did Lien Chan and the rest of the KMT Old Guard go off to? When the did the focus shift to Ma?
Upcoming protests against ECFA May 20-22 and June 6. The announcement from the Referendum Committee of the Executive Yuan on a referendum on ECFA is due on June 3. The conventional wisdom has it that no referendum will be permitted. My thinking is that a referendum would likely fail due to the time-tested KMT tactics of inducing fail, and thus, if the KMT is smart they will permit the referendum, whose outcome they can control, to go through. However, the recent defeat in the Penghu may scare them off such a move.
- Taiwan Central Weather Bureau e-books on climate change and other topics.
- Ultimate Chinglish Experience: try taking the exam in English from the Motor Vehicle Office. It's LMAO bad; it may well be the worst English document I've ever seen here, relative to its frequency of use and importance. If that link fails, try this HTML cached version.
- Taiwan dollar surges on Euro recovery.
- Xinhua: Foxconn suicide cluster. Global Times and China Daily on same.
- Broken clock right: Frank Ching makes sense for a change.
- A Chinese official, busted for shoplifting in Taiwan, is set free by prosecutors, causing much public indignation.
- Taiwan, China hotels blackmailing guests with honey trapped cameras.
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