With the elections due in 4 months, the news is slowly trickling in and the KMT appears to be in fear... The KMT's candidate in Keelung, long a KMT fiefdom, was yanked from the election this week as corruption allegations swirl about him. Rather strange since Keelung has a long history of electing corrupt KMT candidates, but in this case he was also taking a beating in the polls.
More serious, in what has now become a kind of traditional prelude to any election season, the special investigations division (SID) sent summons to a whole slew of DPPers, including current Sec-Gen Joseph Wu. The Taipei Times observed:
“Wu was listed as an ‘interested party’ in a recent subpoena from the SID... on which no details of the case were listed. The division appears to have violated the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法),” DPP spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) told a press conference.Wu had sent around an email the previous evening detailing that the SID had summonsed all the DPP secs-gen and their staff who had worked in the two Chen Administrations. Going back to himself -- he served in 2002-4. A knowledgeable observer noted that SID said that it would not inform Wu of the charges because they were protected by the State Secret Law -- but, the observer said, SID has no jurisdiction in cases involving State secrets.
According to the code, the SID should have listed the origin of the case and the identity of the subpoenaed — be it a witness or a defendant, Huang said, adding that “interested party” was not an identity as regulated by the code, which means that the subpoena could be illegal.
The DPP also suspected that there is a hidden agenda behind the investigation and the subpoena because the SID “is notorious for its interference in several high-profile political cases in recent years,” the spokesperson said.
The move is apparently political. It's difficult to interpret it in any other way. It would be great if someone in AIT said something publicly or privately, to the KMT about this apparent abuse of the judicial system.
And the timing, so soon after the Zhang visit, suggests...?
President Ma announced that there would be a comfort woman museum and events to commemorate the Marco Polo Bridge Incident next year, 2015 which was important to Taiwan, Ma claimed. The President also defiantly reiterated ROC sovereignty over the Senkakus. Down the memory hole -- anyone remember when Ma promised to be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker? Anyone remember the heady days of 2007, when Ma was pragmatic? The media has moved on from that, son. No need to revisit that, heh heh heh.
Had some fun relaxation from politics yesterday. Taiwan Review sent around this piece on Lincoln in ROC history, which observed of a 1942 postage stamp:
During World War II, Lincoln’s image became a symbol of the presumed historic and political ties between the Unites States and the ROC as wartime allies. On July 7, 1942, the United States Post Office issued a stamp to commemorate the beginning of the fifth year of Chinese resistance to Japanese aggression. Personally approved by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), the stamp was a potent reminder to ordinary Americans of the importance of their Chinese allies and supposed parallels between the two nations’ political systems. It was the first American stamp to contain either a picture of a foreign leader or Chinese characters, as it listed Sun’s Three Principles in Chinese alongside Lincoln’s democratic principles. The 5-cent denomination allowed for first-class service to China. The stamp was issued in Denver, Colorado, where Sun had just arrived in 1911 when he learned that the Xinhai Revolution had toppled the Qing dynasty.Alas, it was not the first postage stamp to show a picture of a foreign leader. AFAIK that honor goes to the 1893 Columbian Issue, which hit a trifecta -- first commemorative US stamp set, first US stamp to show a female and first US stamp to show a foreign leader: Isabella of Spain, who helped launch Columbus into history. A 1937 stamp also depicted a statue of the great Hawaiian king Kamehameha I. Make what you will of Hollow Horn Bear, who was commemorated in 1923. Here's Wiki's list of people who have appeared on US postage stamps, obviously not complete since it doesn't contain Sun's 1942 appearance.
The more interesting Sun Yat Sen stamp was the 1961 issue which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the ROC. The US Postal Museum has a complete rundown on that stamp. An excerpt:
Norman Todhunter, artist for other U.S. postage stamps, created the stamp’s initial artwork. When the postal officials shared the design with the State Department and Chinese Embassy, demands for changes resulted. For accuracy, the twelve points of the sun symbol should not join the base. The Chinese violently opposed any wording referring to the Chinese revolution because it might be associated with the Communist revolution rather than the Nationalist revolution. As a result, the text at left changed from “50th Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution” to “1911 Anniversary Republic of China 1961.” They also insisted that Chinese characters be used on the stamp. Consequently, the dates at the top moved to the side text, and designers at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing added characters representing the Republic of China. Political objectives motivated all these changes with the State Department supporting all embassy requests.___________________
- The Culture Trip: Taipei's Top Ten Art Exhibitions You Should See
- A wonderful piece at Thinking Taiwan recaps much of what I've been saying over the past few years about the role of the Mazu cult in annexation politics.
- Useful: blogpost on climbing walls in Taichung city with maps and photos. Great stuff.
- Videos of recent panel talk on Sunflowers in DC: Panel I: Motivating factors and domestic implications: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX8S3A0gsBU Panel II: Implications for cross-Strait relations and regional security: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrcA7uCb7Jg
- Interview with Taiwan filmmaker Shen Koshang
- Papermaking in Taiwan
- My friend Karen Chung sent around a survey on sentence grammar for a friend of hers. Go here.
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