A-gu just emailed me to inform me that my dream had come true: Jane Rickards has another slanted piece in the Washington Post. The reason he said that is because last night I had emailed several people saying I couldn’t wait for the inevitable dreck from Rickards, and sure enough, it’s out today, right on cue.

The piece is basically a hit piece on the UN referendum:

Taiwan’s main opposition group, the Nationalist Party, called on its supporters Wednesday to boycott a government-sponsored referendum asking whether the island should apply for U.N. membership under the name Taiwan.

The appeal reduced chances that the referendum measure would succeed, news likely to be greeted with relief in Beijing and Washington. China and the United States have denounced the referendum as a needlessly provocative maneuver, designed by President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party to emphasize the self-ruled island’s claim to formal independence from China.

As A-gu has noted, it is simply a regurgitation of the KMT position. It never uses the term “KMT” referring instead to the “Nationalists,” and contains no citations from the DPP or pro-democracy side. Every word in it is from someone who represents the KMT.

The interesting items in this short piece are two. She writes:

Philip Yang, a political scientist at National Taiwan University, said the Nationalist Party’s boycott call means Chen’s referendum measure faces an uphill battle. More than half of registered voters must support a referendum measure for it to pass, he noted, and polls show that Nationalist supporters outnumber Chen’s.

Rickards must surely know that Yang, pro-KMT, is an advisor to the Ma campaign — identified as such in the otherwise awful piece from Ed Wong in the NYTimes I blogged on yesterday — and cannot be cited as an independent source.

She then writes of the KMT referendum:

Wu said the Nationalist Party would continue to support the holding of a separate referendum on U.N. membership. That measure, also on the March 22 ballot, will ask whether Taiwan should seek admission to the United Nations under its official name, the Republic of China, or any other name deemed suitable.


The Nationalists’ proposal is equally unlikely to pass, but it is considered less inflammatory since it sticks with the island’s official name and thus is not considered an indirect attempt to move toward independence.

Rickards must know, and suppresses the information, that the KMT referendum asks whether to enter the UN under the name Republic of China, Taiwan, or any other name deemed suitable (complete text of both in Alan Romberg’s study of the UN Referendum issue). Yet twice she mentions the referendum without mentioning that fact.

Off to write yet another letter….