Friday, March 20, 2009

Daily Links, March 20, 2009

A vendor waves flags to attract...well, probably not Chinese tourists.

Hey, it's officially spring this weekend, and the Matsu procession kicks off this weekend.
  • Maddog on the White Terror records and human remains discovered this week.

  • The Dignified Rant on defeating Taiwan from within

  • Talk of Asian Marketing hits department stores in Greater China

  • Alison in Greece on the 2008 election here

  • Every expat has the same idea: miniature golf. Someone actually did it.

  • Michael the Bushman visits the Taipei Bike Show. So does Snarky Tofu.

  • Rashomon at the National Palace Museum

  • A US diplomat fetches his own cookies. Amazing and refreshing, says Asian onlooker.

  • A-gu notes that Hu Jin-tao is back with the one country, two systems formula. That's supposed to be verboten here.

  • Kuo Kuan-ying makes the people's daily.

  • Letters from Taiwan rounds up polls showing the public doesn't support ECFA, CECA, SOS, or whatever you want to call it.

  • Taiwanonymous has some very sharp claims on the LA Times article on lay offs here. Good work.

  • Su Beng's biographer on a recent article on Su Beng's monumental work on Taiwan's history.
  • MEDIA: US Admiral condemns China's 'aggressive' actions. FEER with an excellent piece on China's military towards Taiwan and beyond. Taipei County Deputy County chief steps down after affair with indigenous legislator. With election coming up, KMT wants no lingering scandals. No joint representation with China, says Ma. Taiwan FM says it will accept joint recognition to keep El Salvador. Trivia question: when did this happen before? It didn't matter -- Presidential Office immediately nixed the idea. Ma will do nothing to enhance Taiwan's sovereignty.

    ECONOMY: China has its own surge on Taiwan, quoth Reuters as tourists rise 2,285 per day since February when the new push began. The Reuters article nicely contextualizes the China tourist push as anschluss-by-tourism. For some vague reason -- can't think why -- I don't think flooding the island with Chinese is going to win any Taiwanese hearts and minds. Ma save us! -- Polaris Securities says the economy will shrink 4.8% in 2009, with a 9% hit for the first quarter. The legislature stirs from its slumber to limit interest rates on late payments for credit cards. Rising flour prices, which had already killed many bakeries, were followed by the recession, closing 10% of remaining bakeries with more closings to come. How will we live without egg tarts and bo lo mien bao? Taiwan experiences record increases in cruise passengers as more and more Asian lines add Taiwan as a destination. Way cool: how the opening Arctic will affect China, from the Jamestown Foundation. Imagine -- a whole area of the earth's surface that humans have never fought major battles over. It practically cries out for a world war... Taiwan plans for one DRAM maker, ultimately, as this detailed look from Jon Adams says. Taiwan's farm exports surge 12% as bad news out of China made many buyers switch to Taiwan. Orders rise for TSMC due to China stimulus, sending workers back to work.

    OPENINGS: Taipei Medical University has a new international masters program, in English. If you see it on my blog, please put my name on the application as the person who referred you. Applications close 4/30.

    SPECIAL: It will never last, but it sure is fun to contemplate the thugs in Beijing getting their knickers in knots over it. SCMP reports:
    Japan is reportedly planning to identify Taiwan as a sovereign state in a new foreign residency permit scheme to be introduced in 2012.

    If approved by Japan's parliament, the plan would almost certainly spark anger from Beijing, which views the recognition of Taiwan as a country as a diplomatic taboo.

    Taiwan's Central News Agency quoted a report in the Sankei newspaper yesterday that the new residency permit would list "Taiwan" as the nationality of Taiwanese living in Japan. Under the existing visa system, Taiwanese are classified under "China" for their nationality.

    The residency permit will be introduced in 2012 to replace the present visa system for foreigners staying in Japan for more than three months.
    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!


    Marc said...

    Way cool: how the opening Arctic will affect China, from the Jamestown Foundation

    This is very old news. Harper's magazine scooped this in a feature article year.

    Thomas said...

    I also think that the Jamestown Foundation article is lacking in a key respect. If the Artic Ocean becomes truly navigable, and if world shipping routes do experience any significant shift towards using Arctic routes, China would certainly be able to design and produce ships capable of crossing the ocean. However, I don't see how it would be possible for China to become a real "Snow Dragon" as it has no territory anywhere near the Arctic Circle. Research stations don't count.

    Even if it developed a navy comparable to that of the US, it would be next to impossible for Chinese ships to defend shipping lanes in the north in a crisis with the US and/or Russia. As this is very much in the backyard of the two northern giants, and entrance to the ocean is through a narrow strait.

    So the article actually seems to make a dull point. China (and every other seafaring nation) can gain commercially from the opening of the Arctic Sea. Do I need the Jamestown Foundation to explain this to me?

    But when the US and Russia control the opening to a passage bordering only Iceland, Norway, Canada and Denmark (perfidious Western imperialists all) China can hope, at best, to have Snow Dragon "observer status".

    Marc said...

    This is very old news. Harper's magazine scooped this in a feature article year.

    CORRECTION: That should read,"last year"

    G√ľnter Whittome said...

    The FEER article mentioned is interesting, apart from such minor details that the DPP was pursuing "separation" from China (it's been separated since 1895 as most people in this forum probably know) and "de facto independence" (can Mr Joffe not differentiate between "de facto" and "de iure"?)
    But I wonder if anyone has read another article in the same FEER March issue. I got used recently to reading interesting and sensible articles in the FEER. So I was just the more startled to see an article by Tom Orlik and a Chinese professor (!) with the title "China tells Europe to mind its manners". The article has nothing to do directly with Taiwan, but if the EU changed its China policy in the way Mr Orlik envisages, it would have an adverse effect on Taiwan, too. Basically, he calls on the EU to abandon such "ineffective occasional outcries on human rights" like France's President Sarkozy receiving the Dalai Lama or critisizing the detention of Liu Xiaobo, one of the author's of the "Charta '08". He dutifully concedes that "Human rights will remain a legitimate concern" without giving a clue of what that would mean in practice. As only subscribers have access to the FEER's online articles, I can send the text in a file to anyone who's interested.

    Anonymous said...

    Limiting interest rates on credit cards is just going to force people to go to loan sharks or other dangerous ways of borrowing money...