KMT Ma-Wu ticket 41.0%
DPP Tsai-Su ticket 32.4%
No response 26.6%
....and 7.4% with Soong in the race, 38 - 30.6 - 13.2 (Soong). Note that Soong increases the number of declared voters, which may be an indication that he is taking independent voters. I'm skeptical of the poll spread, it feels much too wide.
This week President Ma announced more infrastructure growth, more metastasization of the developmentalist state in its quest to cover the island with concrete and then saturate the concrete in wi-fi. In addition to the usual highway construction, this had a couple of goodies I thought interesting and indicative:
He pointed out that while Taiwan has exceeded the indicators in categories such as employment rate, it is lagging behind some less-developed countries in sewage system infrastructure.These are good and useful goals. They are also something the American Chamber of Commerce here has been calling for nearly as long as I have been on the island. I hope they carry this out -- kudos to the KMT for proposing this. Taiwan's dismal water infrastructure is a trial for everyone on the island. Perhaps someone has finally decided to listen to AmCham. If so, many thanks for helping to drive an important material improvement in local lives.
The government will increase the household sewer connection rate from the current 28.2 percent to 39.8 percent in five years and 49.8 percent in a decade, while improving the integral sewage treatment rate from 56.4 percent to 69 percent and 79 percent within the same time frames, the president said.
“The construction of underground sewage systems is costly, invisible to the public eye, and may cause great inconvenience, but it must be done for the sake of the country’s public health,” Ma said.
Another aim is to cut the water leakage rate from the current 20 percent to 17 percent in five years and 15 percent or less in the next decade, the president said, adding that the government will push for the installation of smart meters in 2 million and 6 million households, respectively, over the same periods.
Not that this package isn't a massive effusion of vote buying, but the sewage improvement is really needed.
- Sec of State Clinton says US remains committed to leadership in the Pacific and support of our allies, writes long article affirming this, doesn't mention Taiwan. *sigh*
- Taiwanese youths gather to beat, stab foreigners.
- CFR: China and the South China Sea.
- Taiwan the irritant that refuses to consider (annexation under the guise of) 'reunification': Ted Galen Carpenter. Well, at least he's not arguing that Taiwan should be tossed to Beijing, and he does point out that the US is running out of room to maneuver. He still doesn't seem to understand that Beijing is half the problem in the Sino-US relationship. What does it take, I wonder?
- Meanwhile Michael Swaine says that the US should negotiate directly with Beijing over Taiwan because there could be a crisis (no, really?). "It is time for Washington to consider negotiating directly with Beijing, in consultation with Taipei, a set of mutual assurances regarding Chinese force levels and deployments, on the one hand, and major U.S. arms sales and defense assistance to Taiwan, on the other hand—linked to the eventual opening of a cross-strait political dialogue on the status of Taiwan". Would you trust Beijing to keep any agreement made? And further, how is that going to stop Beijing's military build up aimed at the South China Sea and the Senkakus? "This carrier group is aimed at the South China Sea, not Taiwan" Beijing could say against claims that it was violating an agreement. Be serious. Only a comprehensive negotiation that deals with all Chinese territorial expansion across the entire Pacific flank is going to solve this problem, and then we are still stuck with Beijing's inability to keep agreements. Goes double for any agreement made in cross-strait dialogues.
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