Friday, June 17, 2011

Tsai Ing-wen interviewed on BBC

I took this pic of Dr. Tsai several years ago in front of the Hall With Two Names in Taipei. That's David Reid's hand and camera there. 

Tsai Ing-wen interviewed by BBC. If you can get past the marginalizing, obnoxious and unprofessional opening introduction, you can see how articulate Dr. Tsai is: "China has to look at things from a new perspective."

Don't miss Jason Cox's analysis of the CCP's response to this interview.
Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I think this article suggests that all bodes well for the Greens. First, Tsai picking her fight with the CCP position instead of the KMT's version of '92 could and should be the start of a brilliant campaign strategy. Second, repeated and explicit Chinese rejection of the One Side, One Country formula is exactly the sort of thing that would help bolster explicit support in Taiwan for that same formula (so don't expect to see much about it in the blue press).  And finally, maybe there's already hope that a Tsai win and rejection of One China wouldn't mean the end of finding a way to conduct dialogue.
Yes....if Tsai is elected, China will face a dilemma. The strategy of using economic integration to bring Taiwan into the fold depends.... on good relations with Taiwan. If Tsai is elected China will not be able to follow its strategy with the Chen Administration -- the policy of causing tension and then blaming Chen Shui-bian -- not without the source of tensions being obvious. Chen Shui-bian was president during the period when China was still the Peaceful Riser ©  and not the "increasingly assertive" state it is now. If Tsai wins out, China will have to figure how to negotiate with the DPP and Dr. Tsai.

As Jason points out, Tsai is subtly leveraging Beijing's One China position to attract votes in Taiwan. She is also putting the onus for tension on China by highlighting how intractable it has become.

I'm curious to see how the foreign media will handle Tsai Ing-wen and post-election tension-mongering by the CCP. Will Tsai suddenly morph into a Taiwan Independence Radical Who Provokes Beijing?
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Dixteel said...

It is good that Tsai is able to communicate directly with the foreign media like BBC. It is good for Taiwan and also some of the Taiwanese who elected Ma because they think he is "international" now have a very strong reason to switch to Tsai instead because clearly although Ma can speak some English, he is only about China.

However, I would say don't underestimate the power of China in the battle field of media and propaganda. China might be stubborn but it is certainly no fool. If they can do it to Chen, they can certainly do it to Tsai, even though it might need greater effort.

1. With the amount of resource at CCP's disposal, you can manufacture a lot of different "evidences" to turn Tsai and DPP into radicals in international media.

2. People are forgetful, and China can definitely puts on a friendly face with the ASEAN and starts causing tension with Taiwan once again if Tsai get elected. The situation and international media can change back to what it is like during Chen admin.

3. Using economic to achieve annexation is targeting at specific people in Taiwan not the whole Taiwanese. Once again divide and conquer and two hands strategy can work here. China can be hostile to DPP and give great benefits to Taiwanese investors in China, for example. And once again people are forgetful.

DPP can counter some of this strategy probably, but it has to think ahead and know that it will face great challenges like these if Tsai get elected. Otherwise, DPP will only repeat the situation during Chen admin.

Anonymous said...

Overheard three women on the MRT today discussing the election. They were saying that although they don't much like Ma and don't think he's done a very good job as president, they hope he wins because if Tsai wins, Taiwan will be at risk of invasion by China and that would be much worse than 4 more years of Ma.

I had never considered that, but thinking about it, they do have a point. By the time 2016 rolls around and the next elections are held, there'll be a new leadership in China and they will probably be less hawkish on Taiwan.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, anon, that is the obvious conclusion, which I am saving for another blog post. Tsai might cause China to throw up its hands and say that carrots don't work, may as well bomb them.

So clearly the DPP will have to work to allay fears of that. It's an old KMT propaganda line that still resonates.


Michael Turton said...

You bet, Dixteel. And this time around, lots more people appear to be willing to serve Beijing....

Anonymous said...

I hope Tsai wins, all things being equal, it looks like she will.

People I believe want to see cross party co-operation. Ma, with ECFA failed in this regard, Tsai if elected will also be out prompt sweet if she doesn't seek consensus on issues.

I guess the question many swing voters may ask is how much influence Tsai has over members of the DPP and how much influence do they have over her.


Okami said...

The MSM will always follow China's line because they are leftists and scared shitless that they'll get banned from China.

I plan the MS portraying Tsai becoming some tea-partying rogue out to destroy the harmony of the Chinese sphere.

Anonymous said...

When the DPP was in its infancy, it was bankrolled by several wealthy industrialists like Chang Rong fa, CSB could not have become president without Chang's $$$. In 2006, all of the DPP big corporate supporters abandoned them because of rumors that China would ban companies who funded the DPP. China denied ever considering such a move but even the thought of it made the super wealthy Taiwan Independence supporters soil their pants. Did you notice it was EVA who donated the flight to fetch the pandas for the Tapei Zoo? The DPP has since been relying on individual donations which is far less effective than their prior corporate support. There are obviously a lot of Taiwanese industrialists who sympathize with the DPP, but they are not willing to sacrifice their livelihood for the DPP.

Dixteel said...

That is in a way actually a good thing, anon. There is nothing fundamentally bad about those industrialists and large corporations, but when the business get too close with the politicians a lot of problems can occur. Because corporations are influential but their interests do not always align with the nation. Countries like the US and Taiwan today face this problems. However, because of Taiwan's unique situation, DPP's new financing model might prove to be very awesome, because it strengthen the government's independence from corporations. Also, because corporation does not want to stay too close to DPP, they will leave the DPP government alone more. Furthermore, if this model proves successful it can hopefully lower the amount of money and resources spent on election, therefore avoiding the ridiculous large amount of financing (barrier) typical in the US elections. Note also DPP had paid off a lot of its debt using the new small donation model. So if DPP gets elected, this might prove very beneficial to Taiwan's democratic system.

Anonymous said...

"Note also DPP had paid off a lot of its debt using the new small donation model. So if DPP gets elected, this might prove very beneficial to Taiwan's democratic system"

Or beneficial to the DPP !

Sure people are concerned about this angle too cause the past DPP government have so many shady deals and even attempted to establish a sneaky weapons purchasing company that was to be funded by the defense ministry in the dying moments of their regime .

Agent Orange

Dixteel said...

Agent Orange,

That is exactly why I think small donation model is much better. Ex-president Chen (or his wife) and DPP in the past in general receive large amount of money from a few rich people. That is the main cause of the problems. Because you get money from them, when they ask you for a favor, you might just give in. Small donation avoid all these problems because basically your source of money are the "anonymous" pan green supporters so there will be no one rich individual that can come to you later and demand a favor.

One should also look at things in the relative term. KMT also get a lot of money from corporations and few rich individuals. And KMT's financial assets are close to 100 times that of DPP. Of course, people could always be cautious about how the parties get their money, but IMO Taiwanese should be more concern about KMT's source of money.

Also, the sneaky weapon purchasing company is not necessarily a bad move actually, depending on how you look at it. It is indeed a very possible way for Taiwan to avoid blockade of China and get the needed advance weapons and components. Unfortunately KMT politicians blow this out of the water otherwise Taiwan could have purchased Dassault Rafale or Euro fighter by now, and can use this as a push for F-16 C/D or F-35. Remember Taiwan's situation is quite different from other countries due to Chinese pressure.

Corruption might not be completely avoidable, but I think what DPP is doing now can limit the scope of corruption.

Anonymous said...

This is excellent - Tsai making the CCP her opponent instead of the KMT. Outstanding tactician she is.

Anonymous said...

Tsai does need to learn to "um" less. It's better to wait a moment for pause, than to say "um" and sort of mumble.

richard said...

a friend told me of a young retired Taiwanese who shared his wealth with the DPP and donated 5mln NTD. there might be many many more. hope so

immersoo said...

to richard, I wonder who is your said "a friend"???

I hope it's not something you're making out of thin air...

Anonymous said...

What has DPP done to fix the corruption Mr. Chen brought? Nothing.

Michael Turton said...

What corruption was that? Be specific.