Financial Times reporter Kathrin Hille, who usually churns out anti-Green, pro-Blue screed, didn’t do a half-bad job this time…writing on the anti-Chen campaign, Hille observes:

Participation in the sit-ins appears largely limited to opposition supporters, although it is led by Shih Ming-teh, a former chairman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, and a dissident who spent 25 years in jail before Taiwan’s democratistion.

Mr Shih has over the past few years distanced himself from the DPP but failed to build a separate following or a strong moral authority.

“Participation in the sit-ins appears largely limited to opposition supporters….” “…failed to build a separate following or a strong moral authority.” Not too shabby. It would have been nice if she had forthrightly pointed out that Shih has allied himself with the Blues since the late 1990s (an op-ed piece in today’s Taipei Times snarkily opined that he is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome), but this is a vast improvement over some of the stuff she has written before about Chen ( Financial Times Anti-Chen screed, Ma the Coolly Pragmatic, Financial Times: Still MORE anti-Chen screed, Hille Again: Rampant Corruption).

Also, I should offer the Financial Times some serious kudos for regularly reporting on Taipei, even if their reporter here can’t find an objective tone and point of view. Not many papers do that.


Meanwhile, in news of the way cool, Taiwan has discovered massive gas deposits right offshore:

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan geologists have confirmed the existence of more than 500 billion cubic meters of gas hydrate off the southwest coast, enough to meet the island’s gas needs for over 60 years, a government geologist said on Monday.

But commercial extraction is likely much more than a decade away as techniques to tap the gas are still being developed, Wang Yunshuen, section chief of the mineral resources section, at the Central Geological Survey.

“For gas hydrate, every country in the world is still in the investigative stage and cannot yet produce it commercially,” Wang said. “There are still many technical difficulties that must be overcome …. it will take more than 10 years,” Wang said.

Hydrate formations exist under hundreds of meters of water in places like the Gulf of Mexico and closer to the surface in permafrost areas of the Arctic.