NYT's Austin Ramzy on the Zhang visit to Taiwan. He cites Titus Chen of Political U, the old KMT political warfare college...
“Zhang Zhijun’s Taiwan trip is more of a P.R. thing than a real, substantial policy tour,” said Titus C. Chen, an associate research fellow at National Chengchi University’s Institute of International Relations in Taipei. “His agenda in Taiwan is to give the people, the government and the politicians in Taiwan more of a positive image of China.”It's certainly a PR thing. But it's not aimed at the people of Taiwan, few of whom want to be part of China or believe that the PRC has any of the important interests in mind. China knows that. Rather, it is aimed at the domestic audience in China, to let them see how kind and generous the PRC is to Taiwan, what care it takes to do the right thing. So that the PRC can say to its people when it attacks Taiwan "look, we tried everything, but they wouldn't listen to reason..."
The real deal was the astounding middle finger the Ma Administration gave both the people of Taiwan and the United States. Vincent Chao at Thinking Taiwan has a good piece on the way the Administration is handing Beijing a veto over ascension to the US-led TPP:
In large measure, the visit to Taiwan by Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) has already been a success — at least for the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration. Both sides have agreed, over renewed public opposition, to quicken the pace of economic integration. More measures for Chinese tourists have been planned. And the government has again signaled that Taiwan’s economic fate relies, in fact, on China’s goodwill.Chao goes on to note that the US has made it clear that China's approval is not an issue for Taiwan's participation in the TPP. So why is the Ma Administration courting it? Just another service of Ma to Beijing, and just another way to keep irritating Washington to give the impression that Taiwan is a poor partner and should be abandoned.
The message was driven home by the request for China to agree to Taiwan’s eventual membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a statement on Wednesday, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) told his Chinese counterpart that inclusion in the regional trading regimes was a matter of “survival” for Taiwan’s economy.
Washington backs Ma to its own detriment.
- Peter Lee on Hillary and China. Lee would probably be more perceptive if he didn't engage so relentlessly in reductio ad Cold War.
- WantChinaTimes sometimes has good articles on Taiwan. This one on the island's entrepreneurs trying to get their children into the family business is one of several with this theme they have run.
- CPI blog on the China map changes. Ben Goren too.
- The demotion of the judge in the Wang Jin-pyng case is discussed in detailed piece in Taipei Times. The pattern of administrative punishment of judges who rule the "wrong" way is all too familiar, and also extends to other members of the judicial system.
[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!