The View from Taiwan

Commentary from Taichung - Taiwan

Entries for May, 2008

Good thing checkbook diplomacy is on the wane…

It’s a good thing that checkbook diplomacy is going to be shut down, because it seems to be reaching absurd proportions as Paraguay claims Taiwan has pledged $71 million in aid.
Taiwan denied promising Paraguay’s incoming government that it would donate 71 million dollars to the South American nation, a newspaper said Sunday. “We are unaware [...]

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Nelson Report on Ma Speech

The latest Nelson Report contains more insight on the Ma inaugural address. My comments in brackets:
TAIWAN…President Ma was inaugurated this week, an event witnessed by a large and varied US delegation, and his speech was much anticipated as an indicator of how he intends to pitch the political/diplomatic relationship with “the Mainland”…and with the US.
We [...]

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Daily Links, May 24, 2008

In Taichung, a spider takes a break.
Haven’t had any spider pics for a while. I know that missing part of your life is now fulfilled.

Tainan is full of interesting older buildings.
What’s out there on the blogs? The devilishly handsome Erik Lundh, who broke hearts all over the eastern seaboard when he flew out here on [...]

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Obama’s letter to Ma

Future President Obama sent a congratulatory letter to Taiwan’s new President:
Dear President Ma:
Please accept my warmest congratulations on your inauguration as the new President of Taiwan. This is an important event in the political history of the island, one which can deepen the ties between the United States and Taiwan. A sound U.S.-Taiwan relationship [...]

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Contrasting Messages

First, from Reuters, is a very long piece on China’s response to Ma’s speech. The key point is right up front:
China vowed on Thursday to seize a chance for reconciliation with Taiwan and respect the desire of Taiwan’s people to be their own masters, a sign it is in no hurry to bring the island [...]

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More on Wolfowitz to Chair US-Taiwan Business Council

In the latest Nelson Report Rupert Hammond-Chambers of the US-Taiwan business council explains the reasoning behind the choice of Paul Wolfowitz as Chairman of the organization:
TAIWAN…reaction, informally, in US-Taiwan circles to the surprise announcement of Paul Wolfowitz as chairman of the US-Taiwan Business Council has been, to be frank, incredulous.
To outside observers, the pick seemed [...]

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Ma’s Inaugural Speech: a look

I’ve decided to go over Ma’s inaugural address. Most of these insights, including all of the translation stuff (make your own judgment about the good faith of the English translators), belong to others; I have only borrowed them….it begins:
Taiwan’s RenaissanceHeads of State of Our Diplomatic Allies, Distinguished Guests, Overseas Compatriots, My Fellow Taiwanese, and Dear [...]

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President Ma is Sworn in

WSJ transposes a couple of consonants in the print edition of Shelly Rigger’s commentary on the new President.
Stuff piling on thick and fast today. CNN has a short piece ahead of Ma’s swearing-in. Taiwan News makes some excellent points on the KMT’s abuse of the voters to get Ma elected president. Rigger has a piece [...]

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Zooming up to Nantou to see the Daily Bubble Tea

Todd waits for me to finish a shot as Cathy looks for bugs to photo.
Another gorgeous central Taiwan day dawned on Sunday, so my friend Drew and I motored up to Nantou to see Todd of The Daily Bubble Tea, a popular local expat blog, and his girlfriend fiance Catherine. I’m happy to announce [...]

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A Day of New Beginnings….

It’s truly a day of new beginnings. Later today new President Ma is sworn in and will speak. What will the future bring? To get a sense of how far we’ve come, enjoy these slides from a US soldier stationed here in 1969-71.
Also today pro-independence groups will rally. Details from a friend:
There’s going to be [...]

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Japan Focus on Indonesia, China, Japan, and LNG markets

Japan Focus has a couple of good articles this week. For WWII buffs, Herbert Bix has a great article on Hirohito’s role in WWII. But of interest for Taiwan is an article on natural gas exports from Indonesia to Japan and China. The article focuses on Japan’s complex relations with Indonesia in acquiring resources and [...]

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Taiwanese arrested in Hong Kong Phone Scam

The other day my wife got a call from a woman claiming to be from Taishin Bank, who said someone, Mrs. X, was trying to clear out the $900,000 we have there. Except we don’t have an account there…. The woman spoke in mandarin with a Taiwan accent, but after a few minutes as my [...]

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Retrospectives Begin….Reuters on Chen’s Legacy

Apologies: I’m working on migrating the blog and comments may be off from time to time. If you can’t post, return later.
Ralph Jennings at Reuters has put together a retrospective on the Chen Shui-bian presidency that focuses on China policy…
His wife may have been indicted for graft and his anti-China rage upset major ally the [...]

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Tsai Ing-wen new DPP Chair

Things to pass on….
…Tsai Ing-wen has won the DPP Chairmanship with 57% of the vote. I’m not sure about the numbers yet, sources differ.
…there will be a rally on May 20th, at 2:00pm in Daan park in support of safeguarding Taiwan’s sovereignty. The rally is mainly organized by the Taiwan Association of University Professors along [...]

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US Nuke Deployments to Taiwan

The FAS blog has a great piece on US nuclear weapons deployments to Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s….
Nuclear weapons also were deployed to Taiwan. As mentioned above, the Matador cruise missile was already present on the island when the Taiwan Strait crisis erupted. The nuclear bombs arrived in January [...]

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