Taiwan, seen as a wayward province by the government in Beijing, spent only a few of the past 115 years under the control of a government in China. It is currently governed by Ma's Nationalist Party, which fled China to Taiwan after the Communist takeover in 1949.How often in the papers of record do you see such an accurate report of Taiwan's relationship to China. 115 years! Take that, "split in '49" AP. Then there is this:
After an era in which the opposition Democratic Progressive Party advocated a harder line with China -- and Chinese officials sometimes responded by firing missiles into nearby seas as a reminder of the military hardware targeted at Taiwan -- Ma said he will continue "engaging in honest and flexible diplomacy."Oops! The Chinese fired missiles at Taiwan when Lee Teng-hui of the KMT was President. The bulk of the piece now consists entirely of unchallenged claims about the greatness of Ma's China policy, which will be tiresomely familiar to readers of this blog.
The current piece at WaPo is much shorter than the original, which ends with Ma's on-message comment. Here is the part that was excised:
After an era in which the opposition Democratic Progressive Party advocated a harder line with China -- and Chinese officials sometimes responded by firing missiles into nearby seas to remind of the military hardware targeted at Taiwan -- Ma said he will continue "engaging in honest and flexible diplomacy." He said the most important thing is to lay the groundwork for more agreements between the two.The removed portion contains criticisms of the pact and a different point of view from DPP Chair Tsai. It is really a shame that this was removed, and I am curious to know why.
In particular, Taiwanese and Chinese officials are negotiating a free-trade pact Ma hopes will expand Taiwan's already large economic presence on the mainland. Perhaps a million Taiwanese live and work in China, a managerial and investment class that has invested an estimated $200 billion and relocated large portions of Taiwan's manufacturing capacity to China's lower-wage industrial enclaves.
The DPP opposes the pact and in a recent televised debate pressed arguments that opening Taiwan to free trade with China will mean an even faster loss of jobs across the Taiwanese Straits.
The free-trade pact with China "is a reckless policy," said DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen. "We are losing jobs to Chinese workers. The companies are making all the money in the world manufacturing in China and selling to the rest of the world."
But Ma argued that the agreement is needed for Taiwan to keep pace with other Asian countries whose economies are integrating quickly with China's -- and possibly to serve as a conduit for U.S. businesses looking for partners with ready access to the mainland.
Taiwan is not expecting -- or demanding -- international recognition anytime soon, he said.
But "diplomatic isolation can be handled. Economic isolation can be fatal."
Note that in either case, WaPo did not challenge Ma's assertion that Taiwan could suffer economic isolation without ECFA, though they easily could have. Anyone notice how exports and production are up and the economy is growing here in Taiwan -- without ECFA?
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