Fiji shuttered its office in Taiwan formally, though Taiwan does not have to give up its office in Fiji. Though this news has been circulating for weeks among the capital chattering classes, nobody broke/leaked it early.
During a legislative committee hearing earlier today, Kuomingtang legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said she learned that one of the reasons behind the closure was another attempt by China to suppress Taiwan in the international realm, which has been an ongoing tactic since President Tsai Ing-wen took office last year and refused to recognize the "1992 Consensus."The bog-standard KMT criticisms notwithstanding, the still open Taiwan office in Fiji suggests that the government is correct: the closure is a Fiji domestic issue. Though as this develops that could change.
However, Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Chih-chung (吳志中) responded at the hearing that Fiji has a small population of only 850,000 and its funds to support foreign missions are limited and perhaps it was because of budget constraints.
Speaking of the KMT, it turns out the Party is operating on thinner and thinner budgets...
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) elected officials and party functionaries have met less than 9 percent of their assigned fundraising targets, which might result in the party failing to pay its workers in the coming months, sources said.Apparently the party's major officials were supposed to raise funds, but only a few have met the stipulated goals. Without its assets, the KMT is going to have severe financial problems. Who will donate to the party? As I have said, they want Foxconn owner Terry Gou because he can pay for his own campaign.
KMT officials and functionaries were supposed to raise NT$260 million (US$8.6 million) for the 2017 fiscal year, but raised only NT$23 million, they said.
In October last year, the KMT Central Standing Committee set fundraising quotas for officials and functionaries out of concern that the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee might cripple the party’s finances.
To give some idea of the kind of spending the KMT felt was necessary, A-gu gathered up some numbers several years ago...
In 2000, the KMT spent around NT$12 billion (US$352 million), while the 2004 costs inflated to a staggering NT$40-50 billion (US$1.2 - 1.5 billion) (though this later figure seemed to have weaker documentation to me).An old TT editorial from six years ago...
This money appears to come in part from massive stock sales that spike just before and after elections-- over the last seven years, those stock sales from the KMT's main three investment houses (they own seven) have been at least NT$339 billion (nearly US$10 billion), according to their publicly available documents.
He [Ma] reiterated this promise in 2006 and said the party would no longer depend on its assets to cover election spending. The promise was mentioned again in 2009 when Ma was re-elected as party chairman, as he said the party would present “final solutions” to its assets problem and donate the proceeds of the sales to charity. Those promises, as it turned out, were empty words. Most of the proceeds from the sale of party assets were used to cover personnel expenditures and office rent, which was more than half of the KMT’s annual spending of NT$2.6 billion, according to the ministry’s data. So far, no proceeds from the sales have gone to any charities. KMT sources also confirmed that the party paid to set up Ma’s re-election campaign office and took care of campaign staff salariesThe CEC puts caps on how much candidates are allowed to spend. For example, in the 2014 Taipei Mayor Election, the cap was NT$100 million, about $US3.3 million. Do the math -- to field 6 candidates and spend the limit in the major cities in 2018, it will cost the KMT $600 million NT alone. So far in 2017 they have raised.... $23 million. Obviously local businessmen and temple associations, etc, will come to the party's rescue when local elections come round, to a certain extent. But without those big money flows from the Party center....
- Synapticism with another great piece, on one of the few surviving assembly halls from the Japanese era, in Ershui
- My man Michal Thim on Taiwan's defense situation in Tsai's second year
- Business Insider goes gaga over putting food on escalators for sale. C'mon, we've been doing that for years.
- The suicide of the writer who was allegedly raped by her cram school teacher continues to reverberate in Taiwan society.
- The New Lens interviews the Last KMTer
- Interview with Jason Hsu, young KMT legislator and supporter of gay marriage
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