Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hong Kong: the future of Taiwan?

A friend flipped me the 2008 Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council Report on Hong Kong since the handover. Interesting because the MAC hosts it and issued it, and interesting because it is a glimpse of the kinds of pressures and politics Taiwan will face. The summary:

Analysis Report: 11 Years After Hong Kong's Handover
  • *Mainland China has in a high-profile manner intervened in Hong Kong affairs at the different levels, which hindered democratic advancement.
  • *The HKSAR government has rationalized mainland China’s intervention in Hong Kong affairs, which hastened a qualitative change in the “one country, two systems” formula.
  • Positive economic prospects have helped stabilized Hong Kong’s political situation.
  • The Hong Kong economy has become heavily reliant on mainland China, and the impacts brought about by changes in mainland China’s economy and policy have increased.
  • Press and speech freedoms and the rights to visit hometowns have been undermined, which aroused concern.
  • The international community has affirmed the sound investment climate in Hong Kong, but has been concerned over the timetable and roadmap of the direct elections.
  • The interaction between Hong Kong and mainland China has become more frequent, and the integration of the immigrant population has become an issue.
  • The HKSAR government has proposed measures to strengthen Taiwan-Hong Kong relations, while the crux lies in the accompanying measures and the continuity.
  • There have been 178 controversial cases that test China's pledge to keep Hong Kong “unchanged for 50 years.”
The report is 16 pages. Enjoy your reading....
Daily Links
SPECIAL: Mark Lynas (blog), author of Six Degrees, says it was China, not Obama, that wrecked the climate talks, to save the PRC's coal-based economy. Unlike everyone else, he was actually there in the room. Lynas' claims are supported by the Indian government's satisfaction with the outcome. Wonder what they will say when northern India becomes a waterless desert when the rivers fed by Himalayan glaciers dry up. All totally avoidable with current technologies.....
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!


Don said...

Re Lynas report: few of the big participants at Copenhagen had a carbon track record to be proud of and undoubtedly most were pushing for programmes in line with domestic political pressures and their own national interest. But they were there in good faith. If Lynas's account is to be believed, China was not. Big shock. As we in Taiwan would say: welcome to our world, world.

Raj said...

The main problem in comparing HK and Taiwan is that HK's electoral system was not fully democratic before the handover. It has used its influence in the business community to help gain support through the functional constituencies and effective veto to delay universal suffrage.

That just won't happen with Taiwan because the electoral system is already mature, even if there is corruption.

There is scope for Taiwan to be pushed around by China but I don't think it would be in the same way.

Tim Maddog said...

I think that the "rap" discussed in the Reuters piece is aimed less at "young people" and more at "stupid people."

I say this because the lyrics say "President Ma says he won't allow 800 agricultural products from China [to enter Taiwan]," implying that if Ma says something, it must be true. However, most of us here know that Ma Ying-jeou has problems telling the truth.

Remember when he used "no unification" as a campaign promise, but it turned out he really meant that "he does not rule out unification with China"?

It's the silly little stuff like that which makes me think of a joke:
A: How can you tell when Ma Ying-jeou is lying?
B: I dunno.
A: His lips are moving.

The Reuters piece says this:
- - -
“The Republic of China (Taiwan) is a sovereign independent nation,” the fast-paced, video-enhanced lyrics begin. “Twenty-three million citizens will decide its fate.”
- - -

The word "Taiwan" is not in that line, and the author doesn't put it in square brackets to show that it wasn't in the original. Since other parts of the "rap" use the word "mainland" (大陸), it implies that Taiwan is "part of China" (either the ROC or the PRC) -- not "sovereign." Who wrote that crap?

Oh, now I see. It's Ralph Jennings. (His byline isn't at the top or bottom of the piece like it would be in a normal article. It's off in the sidebar trying to hide.)

Tim Maddog

Carlos said...

I’m not sure you can criticize the rap for saying “Republic of China” rather than “Taiwan.” That IS the pan-blue position, after all. It’s accepted because most Taiwanese believe that the ROC = Taiwan. Much of the KMT seems to feel that way too, albeit not at the highest levels. Technically though, they’re not lying or betraying their beliefs when they say the ROC is a sovereign independent state and that they’ll protect it.

The “23 million citizens will decide” line tells me that the rap was written by or for light blues: the Taiwan = ROC demographic. It isn’t easy to attack that position (nor politically wise) because it’s so mainstream and it’s working decently well for Taiwan. It’s close enough to the pan-green position to keep the DPP from winning more elections…

Anonymous said...

@Maddog. It's not

A: How can you tell when Ma Ying-jeou is lying?
B: I dunno.
A: His lips are moving.


A: How can you tell when a politician is lying?
B: I dunno.
A: His lips are moving.

If you think any other politician (anywhere not just Taiwan) is any different, then you're extremely naive.

Anonymous said...

Remember when he used "no unification" as a campaign promise, but it turned out he really meant that "he does not rule out unification with China"?

No, he ruled out unification during his term in office. He later even said it was unlikely in his lifetime. This as far as he can be expected to go. What more do you want?

jerome said...

Yesterday evening NPR "All Things Considered" aired Obama’s subdued comment on Copenhagen as I was opening the link you posted to Mark Lynas’ Copenhagen Climate Summit insider report of Tuesday December 22, 2009 How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal I was in the room.url

Here’s the comment I added to already 850 earlier ones.

"I read the article and found it informative and fair. What amazed me, however, is that the first 50 comments I read blissfully failed to take notice of the Chinese Premier Wen Jia-bao’s highhanded oafishness in delegating an underling to sit among an assembly of his peers. And yes, in giving short-shrift to common diplomatic etiquette he aimed at rebuffing US President Obama.

But that would not be the first time the Chinese leaders made sure they had disappointed, not to say humiliated, the American president. He returned from his visit to Beijing with a sour aftertaste in his mouth. They had not given any ground to his agenda and had shunted his meeting with the students at Beijing U. off the air and off the domestic written media.

Then two weeks ago in Washington the president was rumored pondering to send a long overdue arms package for Taiwan to congress for confirmation. No one knows yet whether this would include the newer version of F-16s that Formosa sorely needs to strike a balance of threat across the Taiwan Strait.

On such background, the boorish attitude of Chinese Premier Wen Jia-bao at Copenhagen does not surprise me a bit.

Bush had started his first term in office all guns blazing against Zhongnanhai. But he failed to inspire shock and awe on that front and they knew to turn him into a poodle with some help from the US very own Clinton-appointed DoS officials. The Chinese, never to miss a trick, downed a US coast-guard communications surveillance plane over international waters and have been throwing their weight around in the Asia Pacific area for the last 10 years. And I omit the missiles launched at sea lanes surrounding Taiwan in 1995.

Go ask the Japanese, the Taiwanese, the Vietnamese how it feels cowering under the growing threat of a China bent on reducing them to their earlier status of fealty to the Middle Kingdom, often exploiting corrupt politicians in position to sell out the sovereignty of the country they should shield from the blatantly hegemonic streak of a China obsessed with restoring her former dominance over East Asia.

It would be refreshing to see a US administration less conciliatory than the Clinton’s and Bush’s ones. We might someday look in retrospect at the Chinese oafishness and thank them for having groomed Obama into a US president eager to confront their growing belligerence with all the clout America is able of harnessing. The tougher the Chinese manage to turn Obama against them, the louder I’ll applaud.

World, at Copenhagen your eyes have opened to the Chinese way. Beware the clawing dragon."

In Taichu, it's about time to put the baby Jesus in its craddle. I must run to the wine cellar for I forgot to chill the bottle of "COTEAUX DU LAYON" that'll grace the foie gras later on.

Tim Maddog said...

@carlos: Please reread my earlier comment. I'm criticizing Ralph Jennings and/or his editors for appending the word "Taiwan" in parentheses when it was not in the original. When it's a direct translation, there's no problem using "Republic of China."

@anonymous 8:42am: Thank you for the correction, concern troll. The sensation that you care enough to straighten me out gives me a tingle.

Tim Maddog

B.BarNavi said...

KMT rap?!?!?! Words fail me.

Except these:

"The ROC iz da bomb diggity!"

B.BarNavi said...

YouTube has some pretty rich parodies/responses to the "rap" travesty. Ah, internet.