UPDATE: Read it: today's most important post on the business dealings of KMT Chairman Eric Chu's family. It's just business as usual....
I've often remarked on this blog that one of the Ma Administration's policies is to put forth issues that will keep relations with neighboring countries and the US irritated, in order to reduce their willingness to intervene on behalf of Taiwan against China and to make Taiwanese feel isolated and resigned to becoming annexed to China. Note the obsessive focus on China, Japan, and the US -- and the total neglect of Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia (a hearty dose of Han chauvinism is also a driver). The fishing disputes with Phils may cool, says an article in Forbes. Don't worry, they can always be revived... or something else stoked up.
For Japan, the usual irritant is the Senkakus, but another issue is the Comfort Women issue, which Ma has stoked several times. Ma announced last week that a new Comfort Women museum would open in Dec in Taipei:
Ma has shown strong interest in the comfort women issue, saying that the system of wartime prostitution was an abuse of human rights and a serious war crime.Fortunately, Taiwanese are completely indifferent to Ma's attempts to get them to hate on Japanese as stereotypical Chinese are supposed to.
Four Taiwanese victims of the Japanese system are alive, with their average age exceeding 90, according to a supporter group.
In July last year, Ma unveiled an idea of setting up museums on China’s war against Japan and the comfort women in 2015.
Note that 200,000 Taiwanese served in the Japanese armed forces during the war, including thousands of aborigines. There is little official recognition of that in Taiwan. That generation is also nearly gone. It's high time they got a museum since they, like the Comfort Women, like everyone who fought and suffered in WII on both sides, were victims of imperial expansion and aggression.
- Hegemonic Warfare Watch: Two views of the SCS: Sam Bateman in East Asian Forum, and Denny Roy in The Diplomat. Taiwan launched new Coast Guard ships this week. The Ma gov't commissioned a largely pro-China set of academics to develop its South China Sea history and policies. Meanwhile, Alex Calvo argues Japan should garrison the Senkakus.Winter is coming...
- Should Taiwan join the AIIB? Well, you could look at the World Bank's dismal record of failure, or you could look at China's track record in Sri Lanka.
- Wang Jin-pyng hints he would run, if asked. KMT news organ on same story. Remember, candidates can keep all their political donations. I think I might run one of these years...
- Taiwan Communique 151 is out
- The government is passing new rules to limit farmland construction. Yeah, like it hasn't done that 1000 times before. The article notes that in Yilan 1900 hectares of prime farmland has been lost. Well, the Taoyuan Aerotropolis is seizing 3200 hectares. A friend of mine who lives on the east coast told me he suspects that on the east coast in many areas the government is going slow on approving building on farmland, not because it has any great love of the environment, but because the new B&Bs compete with big resorts and hotels, and they asked local ag people to suppress it. Now there's a whole new bill that would stop little people developing their homes but of course big developers will be able to get all the land they want.
- Young people leaving Taiwan for work elsewhere.
- Medical tourism from China to Taiwan is dropping off
- Another sign of slowly deepening US-Taiwan links: Taiwan to observe US armor training
- Amnesty accuses government of political motivations in sudden execution of six murders. Not only were the executions aimed at public anger over the senseless murder of a young girl, but they also diverted the discussion from Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the US to the death penalty, which has strong public support in Taiwan.
- ADDED: More Hung comedy -- WantWant on the KMT's decision on Hung Hsiu-chu: Hung jury
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