An aspect of the KMT Adminstration's drive to place Taiwan in China's orbit that the international media seldom comment on is role of ECFA and other agreements in supporting local political arrangements. One of these was bluntly pointed out by President Ma yesterday when he claimed that ECFA will create 34,009 (note, that is "09" exactly not "10" or "08") jobs in the five municipalities in Taiwan. Not coincidentally, the year end elections have the mayoral positions for those five municipalities up for grabs, and in all of them the opposition is performing well at this point.
In Kaohsiung DPP politician Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) has split the DPP -- apparently -- by formally announcing that he is running in the mayoral election for the Greater Kaohsiung Municipality. The pan-Green papers had quite a bit of commentary, with some arguing that Yang may well split the KMT vote since he will need KMT support to make his candidacy go. He has received endorsement from Master Hsing Yun, the pro-China head of Fuoguangshan, it is also reported.
Yang's chances of winning in Kaohsiung are nil; pro-DPP voters will vote overwhelmingly for Chen Chu. Voters in local elections are usually quite saavy -- recall that when James Soong ran for Taipei mayor he got only a handful of votes. Also, the vote consists of both Kaohsiung city and Kaohsiung county. Chen Chu's narrow victory in the last election corresponds to only part of the electorate. In the last election for Kaohsiung County chief in 2005, the DPP polled 353,232 votes to the KMT's 244,015. That coupled with the Kaohsiung city vote likely means that Chen Chu can lose a few thousand votes to Yang and still win. However, the winner of that 2005 Kaohsiung County Chief election? Yang Chiu-hsing. So there may be some sentiment out there for him still....
Yang may inspire another DPP politician in Tainan to go it alone. Reportedly, Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) will jump into the race in Tainan since he lost the party primary.
Compare the actions of these two politicians with those of the loser in Taichung, Lin Chia-lung. Lin was decisively beaten by Jason Hu in the last election. He has gracefully stepped aside for Su Chia-chuan this time around. If only everyone in the DPP had that kind of common sense and class.
- China, Taiwan to resume talks on adding cross-strait flights.
- Daniel Rosen in WSJ says the US should restart the TIFA talks with Taiwan, as the next stop in its "re-engagement" in Asia. They are slated to resume in December anyway, and TIFA is too modest a goal -- can we have an FTA, pretty please? The CNA published an excellent run down of major trading partners and their attitude toward FTAs with Taiwan this week.
- Major League Baseball wants to open the 2011 season right here in Taiwan! But the Giants players are split on the issue.
- Last week the MAC was saying that the missiles facing Taiwan should be removed without preconditions, this week it is saying the Anti-Secession Law is impeding cross-strait ties. Go MAC!
- The Hezbollah approach to defending Taiwan, while Brian comments on the recent simulation that shows China taking Taiwan's capital three days into a conflict.
- Remember when the tennis world said Rendy Lu was from Taipei, China and other places. Now the Rogers Cup people have it correct.
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