Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ma Ying-jeou in Time Magazine

BLOG ADMIN NOTE: Blogger's comment function is very screwed up: it does not show comments when I in fact have them, and it also invariably shows fewer comments than I actually have.

It was a gorgeous day today, and Time magazine has an interview with President Ma of Taiwan in the latest edition. It's the usual Ma nonsense, and nowhere is any credit given to the DPP for laying the foundation for the "breakthroughs" of the Ma Administration. Indeed, Ma misses no opportunity to blame them for the problems with the US, though we all know how the Bush Administration's Taiwan policy has been to sell out the island and it must take a large share of the blame. Too bad the interviewers didn't ask about our domestic economy, but foreigners generally only care about the cross-strait mess. Everyone will have their own special appreciation for the Horseshit, but for me this question sums it up:

TIME: We've had Taiwan people tell us that they are worried that closer ties with China will dilute the character of Taiwan, which is freer, more spirited and more independent.

MA: I wouldn't worry about that at all. Almost every country in the world welcomes mainland tourists. It is a golden opportunity for Taiwan not just to make money but to also to establish more friendships with mainland people. The education ministry has also decided to recognize mainland diplomas and many mainland students will come to Taiwan to study. And that is also my policy. I want to make young people of the two sides have an opportunity to get to know each other at a relatively early stage of their lives. This is the best way for mutual understanding. If we continue to do that, in the next ten years, you will have mainlanders in Taiwan, and Taiwanese on the mainland, a very close interrelationship. I don't see you could start a war like that. This is the best national defense.
Note that Ma just blows off the question of the identity of Taiwan. I guess I am just marking time here until I change the name of the blog to "Taiwan Democracy Deathwatch." The KMT, in the words of one longtime Taiwan watcher I know, "is 100% intent" on annexing the island to China. Yup.

Observe that in the entire interview Ma almost always uses "mainland China" to refer to the authoritarians across the Strait. Only once does Ma slip and not marry "mainland" to "China."

Looking at Russia's massive spanking of the US in Georgia (anyone think that a Gore or Kerry administration would have made to look this whiny, fumbling, and stupid?), China must be making some pretty interesting calculations. No doubt South Ossetia would also provide numerous new justifications for Ma's sell-out of Taiwan, if any of his electorate could locate it on a map (not their fault, I suspect the vast majority of people reading this had to consult their Caucasus maps as well, including this writer).

PINCH ME: ESWN, who never has anything from the pro-democracy and pro-Taiwan side of Taiwan politics, actually has a translation of a China Times piece from DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen on the Beijing Olympics and the Nazi German Olympics of 1936. Kudos to him.

PART MCXLVII OF OUR CONTINUING SERIES OF WHY OUR PUBLIC POLICYMAKERS AND MEDIA ARE SO RELIABLY PRO-CHINA: Ken Silverstein, whose recent piece on how our public policy officialdom is run by people who make money doing business with China I noted a few posts below, also had some choice comments on his blog at Harper's. Don't miss'em. This one about NBC commentator Ramo at the Olympics:

When Lauer asked Ramo if the Games would change China, he replied, “I think China is changed irrevocably after these 17 days. It is a full aware part of the international community and they know that their behavior in that community is going to have to be different than in the past.”

So who is Ramo? According to a recent piece in the Albuquerque Journal, he “works as a managing director and partner at the Beijing office of Kissinger Associates.” Which explains a lot.

Pardon me, but I think I am going to down several cases of Taiwan beer now...


Anonymous said...

A more apt title of this blog would be the "Taiwan Independence Deathwatch."

Democracy will not be reversed in Taiwan but it will not lead Taiwan to independence either. The KMT and big business know how to work democracy to their advantage.

Yes, the KMT does seem to be taking Taiwan down the path of annexation, but annexation, if it comes, will most likely take the form of the throughly conditioned Taiwanese voting to join China rather than some sort of violent annexation by ROC or PRC military action.

Anonymous said...

When are we going to see another Ma interview which allows a follow up question?
We all remember how he dealt with that on BBC's Hardtalk. "You don't understand...."
Almost nothing Ma ever says would stand up to an inciteful follow-up question.

Mad Minerva said...

KMT aside (and arguments about whether it's basically a fifth column -- though I personally think it is), the fact remains that BEIJING is 100% intent on annexing Taiwan.

I don't see how any sensible Taiwanese is going to vote willingly to join a system that jails dissidents and flouts human rights.

Gilman Grundy said...

Dude, be careful with the Taiwan Beer, read the label - that stuff's got formaldehyde in it!