Sunday, September 08, 2013

Tseng Case Round Up

A turn on my favorite cycling route, from the 130 onto the Miaoli 49 to the Lungtung Broken RR Viaduct. Show up with a bike, I'll take you there.

Well, updated articles on the Tseng influence peddling case hitting the news cycle. The Taipei Times reports briefly....
Politicians in the pan-blue camp yesterday expressed concern about the incident and urged the Ma administration to handle it carefully.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the incident involves administrative, legislative and judicial issues, and such a constitutional matter should be addressed carefully.

Former Taipei EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡公司) chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) expressed concern about the Special Investigation Division’s (SID) eavesdropping on Ker and Wang, but refrained from commenting further on the case.

Lien’s father, former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), also showed up at the Taipei City Council to cast his vote, but declined to comment on the incident.

Meanwhile, conspiracy theories have been fueling the rumor mill, with KMT Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井) saying that he saw the incident as “sheer infighting” in the government’s judiciary system between Tseng and Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), who led the SID, while others said it was an internal struggle in the Ma administration — infighting between Ma and Wang.
Couple of issues. As the media notes, the wiretapping of sitting legislators raised hackles in the legislature. I'd sure like some details on that -- it seems almost too good to be true that SID stumbled upon these conversations while investigating Ker for something else. Another aspect of the case that I have heard dark mutterings about is that the KMT politicians who have recently been knocked out for corruption (Lin Yi-shih, Wang Jin-pyng, Tseng Yung-fu) are all Taiwanese, not mainlanders. Meanwhile the DPP decided to go full-on conspiratorial:
The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday said that the Special Investigation Division's (SID) accusations against Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) were designed to instigate infighting within the ruling party and the judicial system.
Meanwhile the DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang came out charging, saying that the wiretapping was illegal and that the whole affair was a dark day for Taiwan's justice system. Su contended that SID chief Huang's reporting of all this Ma Ying-jeou prior to the case breaking -- some media have said that Ma knew a week before it broke -- was an illegal breach of confidentiality in the case, and Ma should not have listened -- that too was illegal, said Su. The whole thing was simply Ma acting as judge in the case. Su was parodying Ma....

...who held a press conference at 4:00 to hack on his rival Wang Jin-pyng. Apple Daily reported:

Ma Ying-jeou said that after three days of consideration, he decided to publish this bitter statement. Ma stressed that Wang Jin-pyng's involvement in influence peddling cases with opposition politicians is a violation of judicial independence, which is a most serious thing, and is the most shameful day for the development of Taiwan's democracy and rule of law! If this is not seriously dealt with, Taiwan will sink into an infinite abyss.
It's hard not to laugh at Ma saying things like this about Taiwan democracy. Essentially, the primary talent of politicians is strenuously denying that salt is salty one day and then indignantly affirming that it is the next. In that respect Ma is greatly skilled.

The case offered another comical moment when the prosecutor in the Ker case, Lin Hsiou-tao, said that she had never said the words attributed to her, it was all the SID's doing, and she would never lie, because she is a Christian. LOL. On the serious side, she specifically said that her superior, Chen Shou-huang, who is supposed to have carried Minister Tseng's order to her not to appeal the not guilty verdict, told her to just do what the law says.

For the conspiratorially minded, one of the FocusTaiwan editorials complains that the SID should not have immediately referred the Tseng case to the Control Yuan for administrative investigation, since the SID handles criminal cases. If you were paranoid, you might conclude that Tseng was getting off with an administrative punishment since he was just collateral damage because the real focus of the case was Wang. Keep in mind that SID has no tapes of Tseng asking anyone to do anything, they only have Ker and Wang talking. Ma said that Wang had told him that he had only been comforting Ker. Tseng basically resigned under protest....

Another Wang issue: stories are circulating that Ma wants to punish Wang Jin-pyng for insisting that the cross-strait services agreement be subjected to a review in the legislature, and because Wang has publicly criticized the Fourth Nuclear Plant, both pet projects of Ma. I seriously doubt this. Wang is always making noises that sound kinda mavericky. On ECFA he positioned himself as if he were resisting the President. Wang has consistently criticized the stupid legislative reform that handed control of the Legislature to the KMT. This is faux maverick behavior: Wang stakes out harmless "opposition" to things that are bound to occur, a favorite trick of "mavericky" politicians, giving them room to look independent while still safely remaining within the System. Wang also has an extensive network of connections to DPP legislators (as the Ker case makes plain) and they are always doing favors for each other. Ma must know that Wang has links in the opposition he must placate. Hence, it is more likely that if it is really true that Ma Ying-jeou is going after Wang Jin-pyng, it is because they are longtime rivals within the KMT and not because of Wang's stand on this or that piece of legislation.

You had to love AP's report, which, in a six paragraph piece on the Tseng case, devoted three paragraphs to "analysis". One paragraph discussed how it would hurt the Ma government, and two paragraphs focused on the DPP -- one on how Ker's involvement would hurt the DPP and the other -- yes! -- recapitulating the really really really important fact that Chen Shui-bian was packed off to jail for corruption, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Tseng case. Wouldn't it have made more sense, if AP wanted to engage in actual reporting, that it would spend a paragraph reporting that local media were speculating that the case is the result of infighting within the KMT? After all these years watching the international media trying to report on affairs here, why am I still asking questions like that?

SUPERPARANOIA: It's all a setup, see, to make Wang look like a victim of Ma to prime him for a presidential run in 2016.
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David said...

It's also worth noting that the investigation was announced while Wang Jin-pyng was on holiday in Malaysia.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, the timing on that is very suggestive. Looks like they waited until the plane took off, then held the press conference.

Anonymous said...

And Wang actually said he is only going back to Taiwan after all the wedding receptions; and he will be back by a chartered yacht; meaning taking it slowly to go back to Taiwan. So it looks like he is ready for a long haul war.

BTW, Taiwan fishermen were not charged in Philippine before? or Japan? What about Malaysia? Indonesia? to name just a few.

Anonymous said...

HTC, and other smart phones, why do they and the tied-up phone carriers always install bloatwares?

Mike Fagan said...

@Anon 5.50am...

Because they can't offer improved battery life, which is what the market is crying out for. Until that becomes possible, they have to do something to differentiate their products and they just haven't figured out the best way to do this yet.

Carlos said...

Bloatware is typically installed at the carriers’ behest. A high quantity of it is reflective of the manufacturer having little clout over the carrier.

Apple manages to sell its phones without any carrier tampering because carriers feel they need to offer the iPhone; they’re so desperate for it that they’ve agreed to Apple’s terms (no bloatware, no carrier logos on the hardware). Android handsets compete against each other, so the carriers can take advantage of that and get manufacturers to sign exclusivity agreements, put their logos on the phones, and install the carriers’ favorite software.

Jerome Besson said...

As Steven Yates points out in the piece Michael Turton forwarded the link to above, Taiwan ought to cooperate more with Japan on the defense issue. Taiwan can. Chinese Taipei can not, won’t, unless coerced.

Likewise, they ought to cultivate those trade ties John F. Dulles already noted during his pre-SFPT talks with Japanese PM Shigeru Yoshida more than sixty years ago.

Early on, the Ma administration manic catering to Zhongnanhai’s whims seemed to me a simple-minded attempt at shadowing the economic ties with Japan. Example in point. When in 2008 Ma planned for a yearly 300.000 Chinese tourists by the end of his first term, he argued on the basis of the year on year 300.000 Japanese tourists recorded during CSB’s two consecutive terms.

Incidentally, the owner of the 台湾は日本の生命線!blog, Hideki Nagayama, reported in a post dated Feb 13, 2013 on a conference the Heritage Foundation had hosted with an All American Association of Taiwan Compatriots the day before. Interestingly, the Taiwanese group was a KMT-leaning one.

Randy Shriver and Steve Yates were invited on the panel and warned that Ma Ying-jeou’s moves in the Senkakus issue had raised eyebrows in Washington. The gist of their message was that any Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) move that would put it on a collision course with Japan would incur it Washington’s wrath.

You’ll remember that soon on the heels of that conference, Japan and Taiwan reached common grounds on the fisheries issue. The outcome of which, from a Japanese standpoint, resulted in neutering Chinese Taipei’s Chinese testosterone-filled LP.

Randy Shriver is reported saying that on the Senkakus issue, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) can not do much. The Obama administration does not put much stock by Ma Ying-jeou’s much touted East China Sea peace initiative. He also remarked that the Senkakus issue was headed for a crisis situation. Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) should avoid being deemed here to have partnered with the Chinese.

For Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), to annoy Japan would be assumed to have annoyed the United States. He urged Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)) to pursue candid cooperation with Japan and added that were it not for Japan, the United States might shirk its TRA-based Taiwan Defense duties.

Yates is reported saying that Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) should work towards solving the Senkaku issue. On the other hand, should Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) get involved on the wrong side of the issue, that would be deemed an inacceptable challenge to the U.S.-Japan Alliance.


Anonymous said...

@Anon at September 10, 2013 at 4:29 AM

You got it wrong. The news reported Wang was going to take a private yacht to go back to mainland, and the yacht is going to dock at a military port, as this is the closest port to the island resort. Which shows the exclusiveness of the island resort.
After Wang got back to Kuala Lumpur, he got more banquets to attend to; he was only to go back to Taiwan after them. And on 10th Sept, another news reported he was interviewed while waiting for the plane back to Taiwan.