Saturday, March 17, 2018

Rounding up.....

Fruit trees line the dry shelf next to a river.
l'll talk to this Humungus! He's a reasonable man, open to negotiation.
He promised us safe passage! He gave his word!
And let us suppose he keeps it and we walk away from here with our lives. What then?
Sorry, but haven't felt much like blogging lately... first few weeks of the semester are busy ones.

So I come home last week and my son meets me at the door. "Hey, I am graduating," he says. "I never doubted it," I answer. "No, I mean today." Turns out the school recalculated his credits and decided he had, in fact, graduated. He picked up his diploma and is now degree'd, and we save a semester of tuition. Off to the army for him! That should offer some excellent blogfodder, so stay tuned.

JUST BROKE: Trump signs Taiwan Travel Act (White House)

Bet you haven't even noticed: where is Wang Jin-pyng, former head of the Taiwanese KMTers and powerful KMT politician? Don't worry, I don't know either.

The Chinese government introduced 31 incentives for Taiwanese to come over and work in China this month. At Taiwan News David Spencer opines:
Given the official title of “Favorable measures for Taiwanese” (惠台措施), the CCP propaganda reads that this is merely an offer to put Taiwanese citizens on a par with China and enable them to “share in the benefits of China’s economic development.” They have been compiled by no fewer than 29 different CCP government agencies and, in keeping the with cult of personality currently being built around the CCP leader, they are being billed as "the vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) regarding Taiwan."

That is not something that will be particularly enticing to Taiwanese people who are not subjected to nearly as much Xi propaganda as the Chinese. But you also do not have to be much of a cynic to see through the spin and interpret the 31 initiatives for what they really are; namely a transparent attempt to try and win support for the CCP from Taiwanese people and to draw talented people and investment money away from Taiwan and, in doing so, exacerbating Taiwan’s brain drain issue and create new economic challenges.
Spencer's call for economic changes in Taiwan in the following paragraphs is dead on. However, the second paragraph is only halfway right. It is a transparent attempt, and it will not be "successful" because Taiwanese are already going there to make money. While many go, few support the CCP or eventual annexation to China.

These 31 incentives are not really aimed at Taiwan, though some positive fallout is probably expected. The CCP knows perfectly well that it has zero popularity on the island and that these incentives are transparent. They are primarily aimed at two audiences.

First, the audience of international China observers who are still operating under the dead interpretive framework of China's inexorable rise and inevitable annexation of Taiwan and always-just-around-the-corner entry into the international system. They will no doubt point to these and say "LOOK TAIWAN IZ DOOOOOOOOMED" by China's irresistible pull or some such drivel. Fortunately this viewpoint, lucrative and status-enhancing though it may be for its purveyors, is slowly vanishing.

Yet many observers will take these seriously as "incentives" and discuss instead of debunk, presenting them to audiences abroad as if China were reasonable and was seeking peace. This helps enhance China's image abroad. China has become adept at teaching the international media to manage itself...

The second audience is of course Xi's own people. Sooner or later China is going to have to go to war to annex Taiwan, and this is part of the run-up strategy. "Look," Beijing is positioning itself to say,  "we tried everything. We even gave them all this! Now, regrettably we have exhausted all peaceful options and we have to move against them. So sad." This also creates resentment among Chinese towards Taiwan for the special treatment -- if you have ever interacted with Chinese talking about Tibet, they often express resentment at all the "special treatment" given to Tibetans. Beijing is probably working to stoke resentment towards Taiwan in the same way....
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Anonymous said...

"All of Taipei's Michelin Restaurants in one guide. This is an extremely useful guide. Now you can know which restaurants will be packed, and will suffer significant drops in service and food quality, and so can avoid them. Thanks, News Lens."

Wouldn't that mean you can't go to most of the good restaurants or even night markets in Taipei since the guide covers so many places? You do know that the Michelin Guide keeps tabs on those stars given out, right?

- TTObserver

Michael Turton said...

Wouldn't that mean you can't go to most of the good restaurants or even night markets in Taipei since the guide covers so many places? You do know that the Michelin Guide keeps tabs on those stars given out, right?

You know how it is. Once something is identified as "good" it is swarmed. Universally in Taiwan when locals take you out to THE RESTAURANT in their area, it is mediocre and crowded and the dining experience is horrible. So I always mark those restaurants and avoid them.

I am not worried about not having restaurants to go to, Taipei is stuffed with amazing eateries. None of the really good restaurants I know are on that list (which contains Ding Tai Feng ROFL FFS) so my dining out will not be affected.