Moreover, the history of these agencies, especially the MJIB (known during the Martial Law era as the Garrison Command) makes such activities seem plausible. Wiretapping has always been widespread in Taiwan, and as recently as Chen Shui-bian’s term in office, the KMT accused him of carrying out quite similar election-related operations. Amid such accusations, a law to prohibit misuse of the intelligence agencies was enacted for the first time in 2005. Ma made a very specific point of including in his inauguration speech in 2008 that under his Administration, illegal wiretapping would not be tolerated, showing that he understood this to be a current issue.This story is reverberating across the international media, so Tedards' piece is timely. AP had a story the other day; today it was the Guardian, whose article is worth accessing because of the pricelessly loony picture of Ma Ying-jeou they used. BBC also wrote a good piece on it. I've often argued that BBC's pro-China stance is a problem of the editors and not of the correspondents in the field, and their take is good evidence. The article ends with:
The two intelligence agencies have not explained why they allegedly gathered information about potential votes Ms Tsai could get from her supporters, says the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei.Note the subheading there -- "improving ties." Nothing in the text discusses "improving ties". The correspondent didn't mention it. Somewhere an editor inserted that reflexively, because the article mentioned Ma Ying-jeou, who is reflexively associated with "improving ties." This error neatly captures BBC's reflexive support for the pro-China side. Note that the reporter, Cindy Sui, ends the piece on spying allegations by affirming the claim that the agents were collecting data on voting patterns.
The president has denied receiving any information about Ms Tsai. His campaign spokesman has said that the allegations were without evidence and irresponsible.
The jostle between the two candidates is being closely watched by the US and China.
Our correspondent says that Taiwan's relations with China could take a turn for the better or the worse depending on who is elected.
The last paragraph is wrong, of course -- China relations will take a turn for the better or worse depending on what China does. They could well take a turn for the worse if Ma is elected and China decides it wants to annex Taiwan NOW. D'oh.
- KMT is continuing to push the Yuchang case and is now attempting to paint Tsai as another Chen. I'm lovin' it.
- Ben argues that "boring" is the wrong word for this election.
- Frozen Garlic blogs on Su, Lu and the 1997-8 election campaign in Taipei County.
- Matt Gibson interviews the wonderful Steve Crook about his guidebook and travel writing.
- USTDC, a great blog which I really enjoy, thanks one and all for the Best Blog Award.
[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.