Out in Oklahoma, an opinion piece comments on the election in ‘the Asian nation most like our own.’

In a recent interview, Joseph Wu, director of Taiwan’s Washington office, told me popular support for the murkily defined status quo in PRC relations exceeds 80 percent.

Americans must be attentive to Taiwan’s needs, and here’s why. Taiwan is the world’s leading per capita consumer of American agricultural products. As Wu said, Taiwan has “been a consistent supporter of the U.S. in security concerns. … Taiwan is the number three supporter of construction, reconstruction and aid in Afghanistan. In container security we are the best U.S. ally.”

AP reports that vice-president elect Vincent Siew will meet with Chinese leaders and perhaps Hu himself at an upcoming forum:

Vincent Siew will not discuss any sensitive political issues if he meets Chinese President Hu Jintao at the three-day Boao Forum, which opens Saturday in Hainan province, his spokesman Wang Yu-chi said.

“Mr. Siew will meet some officials there, but a meeting with Hu has yet to be confirmed,” Wang said.

But Taiwan’s United Daily News quoted unidentified Chinese officials as saying authorities had agreed to the meeting so Hu could use the occasion to discuss matters of common interest with Taiwan’s incoming government.

Although this article still offers the “China and Taiwan split in 1949″ nonsense, it does contain one statement that is absolutely wonderful:

Beijing refused to deal with outgoing President Chen Shui-bian for the past eight years because he rejected China’s insistence on unification with Taiwan.

Not many statements on affairs here are so absolutely clear. Note also the use of the term “unification” and not the historically erroneous “RE-unification.” Tom Plate, who has an opinion piece on the election in the Japan Times, totally misses this in an abusive and unconsidered set of comments:

With this stunning result, you could almost hear a collective sign of relief sweep across Asia. The triumphant KMT was led by the debonair Ma Ying-jeou. For months he had been expected to win the presidential race. But the resurgent troubles in Tibet had forecasters wondering whether the party that was so committed to negotiation with Beijing would be able to maintain plausibility with Taiwan voters when the world’s TV cameras were suggesting that Beijing didn’t seem to be in favor of negotiating with anyone right now.

Taiwan answered the clubs of Tibet with votes for change — for dramatic movement away from confrontation. With the thundering certainty that only a decisive ballot box result can offer, the vote heard around Asia was a call for sanity, civility and stability.

…”the party that was so committed to negotiation with Beijing.” The DPP was also committed to negotiation with Beijing — it is just that as AP correctly notes, and Plate ignores, Beijing blew off the DPP completely. Oh yeah, history, wonderful stuff. It is one thing to note that the KMT and certain pro-KMT observers in the US cast the election as “a call for sanity, civility, and stability” but it is quite another to reproduce KMT talking points as analysis. Pathetic. Plate’s commentary also shows how Ma himself benefits from a nifty little foreign media personality cult, whose latest manifestation is here: Ma is debonair. Supporting democracy is, well, you know, just so working class……