And, just to remind you, doncha just love the way that years of KMT opposition to the F-16 sale has gone right down the memory hole since Ma came to power?
As for Beijing, if their foreign policymakers are smart, they will do nothing but make the usual pro forma noises. The Chinese reaction will be a good test of whether arrogance is running ahead of brains in Beijing.
AP sexed up the title and point of view of its most recent piece on Tsai Ing-wen: Taiwan opposition chief open to China unification. The reality was actually laid out in the piece itself:
"I've said I do not exclude any possibility," Tsai was quoted as saying when asked whether she is open to unification with China. "As long as there is public support, Taiwan and China's future relations can remain open (to any possibility)."It was kind of AP to rely that reality in the piece as well as Tsai's "condition" (which is not a condition but the very essence of democracy).
Tsai's condition appears to be a difficult one to fulfill, at least for now. Taiwanese public opinion polls consistently show that only a small minority of the island's 23 million people support unification with China.
AP described Tsai's position as a "radical departure" which is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- utter bullshit. Things must have been high pressured there at the AP office for them to have forgotten that it is DPP boilerplate to say that the Party would support annexing Taiwan to China if its people did, and for them not have found the time to run a few Google searches for past statements on the topic that suggest a similar flexibility. For example from 2004:
TIME: Do you accept the idea of eventual unification with China?Chen: Currently, there are two separate, independent countries across the Taiwan Strait, neither of which has jurisdiction over the other. But who knows if these two separate countries might become one over time? We do not exclude any possibilities for the future.Chen made such statements several times (Chen in Der Spiegel 2007, Figaro 2006, even LTH 1996). Other DPP politicians have been all over the map -- anyone remember the Shen Fu-hsiung's proposal for a China-Taiwan commonwealth? But I guess DPP Candidate Makes Boilerplate Answer to Silly Repetitive Query is a less interesting headline.... and I guess, after seven years of operating this blog, I should be expecting constructions like this. It's pretty clear that the next few months of the Tsai campaign is going to be a media shitstorm, if this week is any guide. UPDATE: The Tsai campaign criticized AP's "overinterpretation" and located Tsai's remarks in the long tradition of DPP boilerplate that AP was too lazy to go out and find.
In a related tale, I am saddened to report that the DPP ham-handedness with the western media, which we saw so often in the 2008 presidential campaign, is alive and well in the current rendition of the DPP campaign. I am told that a major western media outlet, with major reporter, was looking to interview Tsai during her trip to the US. Somehow, the senior level DPP media handlers couldn't make it happen. Heads need to be thumped over there -- Tsai was not interviewed by any major media publication in the US, which should have been considered mandatory. How can Tsai fix relations with the US if the US doesn't know she exists?
Some other things -- I spent the latter half of August and the beginning of September running around the nation and talking to people. Taichung is the center of the island's live music scene. I met younger people all over the island who are in bands, or have friends in bands, and who are peeved at KMT mayor Jason Hu for disrupting Taichung's bar scene over the last few months. Central Taiwan is judged by both parties to be a major battleground.....
[Taiwan] 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.http://news.yahoo.com/taiwan-opposition-chief-open-china-unification-072409796.html