Thursday, November 03, 2011

CW is in! Soong to Benefit Tsai, says foreign press

Longtime Taiwan independence activist and politician Parris Chang interview on Oz Radio. A taste:
CHANG: Yes, he is going to adversely affect the Ma Ying-jeou vote and despite China's pressure on James Soong, I think he is determined to run and so this is going to make Taiwan's presidential election much more lively and interesting. Because between two major candidates, the DPP and the Kuomintang, there are many people who feel that they want a third choice, so he's going to receive lots of votes and earlier I think Kuomintang made a terrible mistake by well belittling Soong's election and so make very defiant and much more determined to run and he is going to have a considerable number of votes and most of them will come from the Kuomintang's so-called 'pan Blues camp'.

LAM: And, of course, James Soong was once a rising KMT star himself and both James Soong and Ma Ying-jeou are seen as China-friendly candidates. So in real terms though, is there a point of difference between the PFP and the ruling KMT in terms of policy?

CHANG: Well, not so much the policy differences area, but rather I think a lot of personal fight, if you will, between James Soong and Ma and I think over the years, Ma didn't give him too much credit and so now he has a chance to avenge.

LAM: So you think it's personal politics at this point?

CHANG: Very much so, but it is no longer a personal politics, because Soong has publicly and very forcefully criticised Ma's ineptness, no ability to lead the country. In many ways I think Ma is in deep troubled, because his lack of leadership has been clearly shown by James Soong's criticism.
Conventional wisdom is that Soong will benefit the DPP's Tsai by poaching votes from the KMT. There is a similar take in Bloomberg and in AFP. Both of those media orgs used the China Times poll. Neither cited the prediction market. AFP neatly described Tsai's approach to China as "not rushing to reapproachment" rather than the usual bleakly wrong "anti-China" the media so often reaches for. The foreign media also found locals to quote who pointed out the animosity between Ma and Soong. By far the worst report is the BBC's. A quick look:
That decision split the votes of supporters of the so-called pan-blue camp, which favours improving ties with China and not Taiwanese independence.[MT: the pan-Green camp also favours improving ties with China. They just don't favor selling out Taiwan's interests to do so.]

As a result Chen Shui-bian, the candidate from the opposition party DPP, which favours Taiwan's independence, was elected with the largest percentage of votes.

Eight years of tensions with Beijing followed. The same outcome is feared for this upcoming race.[MT: Eight years of tensions followed! No human agency involved! Immaculate Tension! Wouldn't it be great if the media assigned "tensions" to their actual source, Beijing? And noted that eight years of increasing trade and investment by Taiwan in China, as well as other links, also followed? Nah. BBC's reading is both one-sidedly negative AND omits facts that puts a bad light on Beijing. Just awful.]

Opinion polls show Mr Ma only has slightly more support from voters than opposition candidate Tsai Ing-wen.[MT: Some polls have Tsai ahead of Ma. Mustn't mention that, though.]

Ms Tsai is believed to favour Taiwan independence at heart, although since declaring her candidacy she has said she is open to negotiating with China and would not cancel the free-trade agreement signed under Mr Ma.[MT: Is ECFA a free-trade agreement or a managed trade agreement? Another critical omission that makes the DPP look as if it is obdurate -- "Tsai is open in negotiating with China" as if others were not or have not been in the past. The DPP has always been open to negotiating with China -- and Tsai was once one of the negotiators under the previous president. D'oh. Another subtle hack on the DPP.]

Still, there are fears that a victory by Ms Tsai could bring tensions with China and instability to the region.[MT: here the issue of who causes tensions is even more one-sided -- it is a Tsai victory!! Not Beijing, which doesn't even exist except as a passive recipient of Taiwan's actions, almost a victim. Could have said "Still, there are fears that Beijing will increase tensions and regional instability if Tsai wins." Saved a few words, and told the truth.

Note also that in a news report where space is at a premium, it was so crucially important to get in this hack on Tsai that BBC said it TWICE! If you go back and look at each sentence, you'll find that more reportage is devoted to presenting negatives about Tsai than telling the reader anything about James Soong, except that the dastardly Soong has opened the way for the horror of a Tsai Ing-wen victory.
]
I could go on. As I wrote last week:
Leon Pannetta praised China for its more restrained response to the F-16 upgrade sale to Taiwan, and said that the Adminstration had notified Beijing of what was going to take place. It is hard to think of a clearer illustration that tensions are (1) caused by Beijing and (2) totally under Beijing's control and (3) a calculated policy response and not some putative visceral reaction, aimed at US support for Taiwan and US analysts and observers. I suppose, though, it is too much to hope that the media will cease writing as if tensions occur without agents causing them, or that Taiwan is the cause of tensions between Beijing and Washington.
Yea, verily, I am a prophet.

ADDED: Cindy Sui's response to Ben's letter to her on this piece.
_______________________
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.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice! Ma must defend himself from criticism on two fronts. Soong is a big winner because he becomes relevant again and his political fortunes seem tied more to his legions in Taiwan rather than some Chinese support.

Of course Tsai really comes out on top as she is appearing more level, stable and nurturing as opposed to the spineless and aloof Ma or the calculating opportunism of Soong.

Ben Goren said...

OK I am being dumb here but ... CW?

And .. though I covered the Cindy Sui letter too you did it so much better. Damn. Ballots and Bullets should have linked to you instead.

Anonymous said...

Tsai's "not rushing to reapproachment" is really because she does not have anything new to offer on the subject in terms of improving relations. This is understandable because if the "independence" term is still there written in black and white, there is now way any PRC official can talk lest they be accused of supporting "independence" as well, which politically as sensitive as being construed for supporting Nazism in some countries.

George

Michael Turton said...

Ben... CW = conventional wisdom.

Michael Turton said...

And .. though I covered the Cindy Sui letter too you did it so much better.

Thanks! The BBC piece was utterly biased garbage, but I don't think it is Cindy's fault. All of the BBC reporters here have written the same trashy pro-China horseshit and have done so for years. It can't be coincidence. Got to be editors....

STOP Ma said...

.
.
.
I just wish Tsai & the DPP would completely pull the rug out from under the KMT's feet by explaining very simply that the so-called 1992 Consensus can not possibly be a "consensus" -- by definition. Therefore, it has absolutely no relevance in providing a foundation for improved relations with China.

The DPP continue to play the "he said, she said" approach which plays into the KMT's hands by making it partisan. Instead, they should give the voters the benefit of the doubt and use the partisan-proof approach. Namely,employ the elements of cold hard "logic".
.
.
.

Carlos said...

Just a few weeks ago, wasn't it conventional wisdom that Soong would take votes from both other candidates equally? I even saw some suggest that Ma's odds improved if Soong entered.

(I didn't understand 'CW' until you answered Ben's question either, for what it's worth.)

Anonymous said...

I don't think Ma is spineless and aloof as some people think. Generally, when you have the expertise working fine, one want's to step into the background to giver deeper considerations on what is going on. Sure, dogs that bark loudly may seem to have guts, but are not the ones that really act, they just alert the boss to react and step aside when the boss comes. Tsai has an interesting personality that may be liked by many, but when it comes to true leadership, she does not seem mature yet; probably if she continues to learn, she will be good. I have not seen any female with the aggression to pursue the long term goals like a good leader would. They may fight for a position, but when it comes to breaking new ground, they generally fall short. For example HTC comes out pretty strong when the market sector seems mature, but when it comes to breaking new ground and creativity, for some reason it's the males that are doing the work.

George

Raj said...

Namely,employ the elements of cold hard "logic".

That's too much for the voters to understand. And they don't care about the 1992 consensus anyway. They're interested in the future.

Michael Turton said...

Carlos --

not only that, but a smart friend pointed out that Soong, by appearing to threaten Ma, may well bring out disaffected Ma voters who otherwise might not have come out. Which will also help the Dark Side in the legislative election.

D said...

@George: " I have not seen any female with the aggression to pursue the long term goals like a good leader would."

Man, you are asking for it. I'll just take it that the emphasis in this statement is on the "I have not seen" part. That would seem fairly believable.

Marc said...

George said, "I have not seen any female with the aggression to pursue the long term goals like a good leader would."

You must live in a deep dark and lonely hole.

Mary McAleese, Thatcher, Merkel, H. Clinton, Golda Meir, Wangari Maathai, Indira Ghandi, San Suu Kyi, Bandaranaike, Benazir Bhutto, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nancy Pelosi, Isabel Perón, Michelle Bachelet, Susan B. Anthony, Shirley Chisholm, Megawati Sukarnoputri, Dame Silvia Cartwright, Truong My Hoa, Dr. Han Myung-sook, Pratibha Patil, Cristina E. Fernández Wilhelm de Kirchner, Julia Gillard, and so on - the list of current women political leaders (presidents, vice-presidents, prime ministers, queens, princesses, chieftains could go on for another 100 or so names).

What is glaringly noticeable is that, although most Asian countries have been or are being led by women, there are no notable women leaders from China (or Taiwan, until now).

Anonymous said...

Marc,

Perhaps we have different standards and expectations in a leader. Women certainly do well where characteristics of motherhood are beneficial.

George

Anonymous said...

George,

Then why don't you have problems with Ma. He's practically a woman.

Marc said...

George said: Perhaps we have different standards and expectations in a leader.

George, you're a dinosaur. Get with the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Marc,

I would rather focus on the issues rather than personal attacks.

George

Anonymous said...

From what I can see, Ma is trying to explain as much as he can what he is doing and what his ideas and goals are.

http://www.facebook.com/MaYingjeou

I tried to do a search on Tsai, but could not find any. Would appreciate any input.

George

Anonymous said...

I'd like to address the "dinosaur" views. Bear in mind that "savings" is a very "dinosaur" way in managing finances. However, those who apply such practices are the lesser effected by economy crisis. For businesses, companies that have cash on hand certainly have more leverage. I recall that Amway is privately held and basically bear no dept. They are still growing; as a matter of fact, they are growing in the Asian market much faster where people have the traditions of "saving".

Some "dinosaur" values really are the basics of common sense. Throw away common sense like that is like not having a reservoir to store water. That goes for storage of knowledge too.


George

Anonymous said...

"George,

Then why don't you have problems with Ma. He's practically a woman."

I think that is better than hiding under a skirt of "Anonymous".

I have nothing personal against any presidential candidate, I just try to understand each candidate as much as I can from the issues and actions I see, so that I can make up my mind based on the best understanding I can. Let's not forget that is the true spirit of democracy. I have yet to find a candidate that explain things as much as Ma does. Sure, nobody is perfect, but how one votes (not who one votes for) to select the next president reveals how much wisdom the voters have.

I seem much more public construction and infrastructure building going on throughout the island, much more than I have seen in the US. Lots of people working here support their relatives living in other countries. I receive more invitations to various brainstorming on economy issues. So, is the current Government serious in doing the best job they can? I certainly think so. They depth in which various options are considered certainly is much more than the normal person can comprehend, and certainly beyond what other candidates that have been out of the loop so long can have a good handle on to impose improvements. Why do you think Singapore has always grown so strong? Continuation of good leadership and stability.

George

Anonymous said...

George is obviously a pro China troll. He is slightly more subtle than the average troll and seems to have slipped under the radar.

Not really sure why the pro China brigade even bother with this blog. It's mostly read by foreigners that have no voting rights.

Michael Turton said...

Let's declare this over, ok? I'm not taking any more comments in this thread; I don't want to have to moderate a flamewar.

Michael

Anonymous said...

George pretends to be neutral, but my guess is he has deeper ties to the KMT than he's letting on and those emotional ties are hard to renounce because KMT ideology for a certain number of citizens is their religion and identity.

Anonymous said...

but today Antonio Turncoat Chiang hosted Ma Mi-jyo at his mom's house in Taichung, to wit:

Ma meets former DPP official at host family

Central News Agency
2011-11-05


Taipei, Nov. 5 (Central Nuts Agency) President Ma Ying-jeou stayed overnight at the home of a fruit grower in central Taiwan and visited his orchard Saturday, accompanied by a former ranking official of the DPP
s previous administration. President Ma's choice of the household of Chiang Wen-sheng's home in Fengyuan, Taichung, to start his home stay program in a bid to learn more about the life of the people, has drawn attention because a lot of Chiang family members are believed to lean toward the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Antonio Chiang, elder brother of Chiang Wen-sheng, was formerly deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC) under the DPP administration and had written the inaugural speech for former President Chen Shui-bian. Antonio Chiang has turned into a political commentator since leaving the NSC. His latest article criticized Ma for being "insensitive to public woes"after his administration recently decided to raise the monthly pensions for elderly farmers by only NT$316 to bring the payment to N$6,316 (US$210) starting next year. Antonio Chiang said Ma had breakfast with locals, being treated to such traditional Taiwanese dishes as taro rice porridge, soybean cheese, peanuts, radish omlettes and fried vegetables. The president repeatedly expressed his appreciation for Chiang family members who had been preparing the breakfast since around 4 a.m. Ma later went to Chiang's orchard, where he picked oranges and chatted with farmers, praising them for their efforts in preventing fruit flies. Noting that the media was focusing on the exchanges between him and President Ma, Antonio Chiang said: "I'm also a guest here."He added that his mother and younger brothers were responsible for hosting Ma. Ma shook hands with Antonio Chiang before leaving Chiang's family for a hectic schedule of more than a dozen campaign activities, including stumping for several Kuomintang legislative candidates in Taichung City, one of them being Antonio Chiang's nephew, Johnny Chiang, a former minister of the Government Information Office. The legislative elections will take place Jan. 14 along with the presidential race. When President Ma arrived at Chiang's household late Friday, he was presented with an amulet by Antonio's 91-year-old mother.
She explained that she gave the amulet on behalf of several senior citizens, who thought Ma was a man of integrity and conscientiousness, and one of them obtained the amulet from a temple. President Ma said that "peace and well-being are the sincerest wishes of every Taiwanese,"and that he would "keep in mind the good will"of the elderly gift givers. Ma wore the amulet when he attended the inauguration of his campaign office in Taichung City later in the day. On Sunday, Ma will attend presidential campaign activities in Changhua and Nantou counties to solidify support in central Taiwan. He will stay in a student dormitory at the National University of Kaohsiung that night to learn about student needs under the home stay program. Ma undertook a similar program during his last presidential election campaign, during which he stayed at 98 host families. (By Chen Ching-ping and Lilian Wu)

Anonymous said...

I think it's important for foreigners to have more objective views rather than lopsided opinions. My ties with the KMT ended over 20 years ago, allowing me to have a more neutral opinion looking at all the information available and making the best judgement I can.

Pro China? Heh, I deal with People in the Mainland directly or indirectly with great caution and a mature manner. Business and politics have same dangers and risk regardless which country you deal with.

Beside, I type English must faster than I type Chinese...

The only people that have called me a "troll" are those whom have no knowledge to communicate otherwise. This is not the first time either. Sticks and stone can break my bones...

George

Tim Maddog said...

George asked:
- - -
I tried to do a search on Tsai, but could not find any (of her "ideas and goals"). Would appreciate any input.
- - -

Tsai's policies are right behind the link which begins this sentence.

Will that satisfy George? I doubt it.

Tim Maddog

Anonymous said...

Tim Maddog,
Thanks for the link. The subject on energy especially caught my eye (engineer's instinct). To make it brief, as I have said before, people that don't use air conditioners in their homes probable have a better position to talk about energy conservation. I can bet you that people whom suggest eliminating nuclear power in such short time have really not done enough research on power usage distribution and reduction. It's easy to say that's a goal, but when you really get down to the numbers and then calculating the investment necessary to make changes to power generation, industry power efficiency increase, cost of energy (Taiwan Electricity is more expensive than in the US the last time I compared, but I could be wrong), change in power distribution infrastructure, etc. All this in the 2025 is very unrealistic. More realistic is total of 50 years if technology ever advances to the point that more environmentally friendly methods can be accomplished with same area /volume efficiency. This does not even take into account of changing the habits of how people rely on power.

So the plan to eliminate nuclear power is VERY unrealistic. Of course, the average person that does't know how to do the analysis won't realize this.

George

Marc said...

George, you're obviously such a fine and upright gentlemen, so much better than us lopsided foreigners. You know what's correct about so many things and have a superior critical mind. I for one appreciate the constant amendments to our misguided perspectives. Please don't stop in correcting us and helping us hopeless laowai see the errors of our ways.

Anonymous said...

Well said Marc.

Anonymous said...

Marc,

Actually I was hoping for more round table discussions, but it seems like it's not happening. There were those days when I worked with people that could do that. Certainly miss them.

George

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for a round table discussion here George try using the term China rather than "the Mainland." It sounds like you miss the good old days, perhaps there are other places on the net more suited to reminiscing.

Anonymous said...

I don't miss the past, but I do treasure what I have learned throughout the years. The current can only be improved based on accumulation of past experience and mistakes. So it is much more important to learn from the past and not dwell on the hatred from the past.

It's amazing to see how little people know about computers and bikes nowadays when these so popular. To me, lot's of this seems like common knowledge.

Same in politics and Government operations. I see lots of improvements and lot of areas that need improvement. For one thing, there is lack of law enforcement when it involves things that people are in the habit of doing which are regional dependent. 蘇嘉全 house case is one example. Illegal construction is all over the place, so it is not a single incidence. If he had not come out to run for election, nobody would have cared.

George