Wednesday, December 19, 2012

China's Expansionist Passport Fallout for its relationship with Ma Administration?

Asia Hotel, Ershui.

China's Expansionist passport mess. The Christian Science Monitor's piece on that contained a striking observation:
Taiwan and China have set aside differences over sovereignty since 2008, when the island’s conciliatory President Ma Ying-jeou took office. Mr. Ma’s government has signed 18 deals with China, drawing Taiwan closer to the world economic powerhouse. Talks on those agreements built mutual trust that didn’t exist before.

The island’s foreign ministry says that trust is now being questioned. The ministry’s news release calls China’s passport issue “a provocative act that will … damage the mutual trust laboriously built by the two sides in recent years.”

Taiwanese opposition forces are protesting the Chinese passports because they worry that the government is courting China rather than standing up to it, but analysts say officials in Taipei are just as irked as their skeptics.

Our government thinks that China betrayed common ground, which is that there’s one China but subject to different interpretations,” says Nathan Liu, an associate international affairs professor at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan, citing the basis for talks and deals since 2008.
The "common ground" has always been a fantasy of the Ma Administration, or more correctly, a fantasy served up to outsiders to sell Ma's policy of slowly putting Taiwan into China's orbit via economic agreements (which have always been intended to lead to the "inevitable" political negotiations). China has not relaxed its campaign to annex Taiwan and suppress its international profile. We have no FTAs despite assurances that once ECFA was signed they'd be a cinch. China's campaign to acquire Taiwan's technology and hollow out its industries goes on. Etc. The real question is why there was ever "trust" in the first place.....

Of course, the popularity of the DPP's sticker campaign also shows how, once again, Beijing has made its ally Ma Ying-jeou look weak. How long will Ma keep the faith with the dream of Zion? It's hurting the KMT domestically at the moment....perhaps the claim that trust has been impaired is a form of damage control aimed at its domestic image: "we're going to take a tougher line from now on..."
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Readin said...

"David graphs murder rate against death penalty use in Taiwan. Taiwan plans to ring in the Lunar New Year with executions."
David wrote, "The data pretty much speaks for itself. The number of murders peaked in 1996 while the number of executions peaked in 1997."

So he's saying that when people commit fewer murders, the government reacts by not executing as many people?

Another way to read the data is to say that there was a big change in government in the early to mid nineties that lead to a temporary spike in murders (and general lawlessness) as gangsters et al worked out the new power structures, followed by a steady decline.

I would like to see the numbers for the years prior to 1992 because the fertility rate in Taiwan has been steadily declining for decades and it is well known that young men commit most murders. If you have a society with fewer young men, or perhaps fewer young men as a portion of society, you get fewer murders.

I'm not saying I like the death penalty. I think too many mistakes are made. But I find it hard to believe that the death penalty causes people to murder, and I don't believe the graph does anything to change that.

Anonymous said...

If I recall, the gang rivalries ceased in the face of a two anti-organized crime sweeps that put the heads of the gangs in prison together, where they could work out a truce and agree to a form of power and resource sharing cooperation.