The View from Taiwan

Commentary from Taichung - Taiwan

Entries for the ‘construction-industrial state’ Category

Flood of Money

More construction funds to local areas means increased sales for betel nut stands.
The Taipei Times reported yesterday that DPP and KMT legislators had a falling out over a diversion of government funds for flood control projects.
The Executive Yuan yesterday insisted on diverting part of the funds to flood prevention despite DPP lawmakers’ reservations about the [...]

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Infrastructure Dust Up

A struggle is brewing over regional disparities in funding. It seems that the central government’s plan is to “stress the north, ignore the south” and southern politicians are deeply unhappy:
Kaohsiung County Magistrate Yang Chiu-hsing proposed the central government Tuesday take into account each administrative district’s size, in addition to their population, when allocating state funds [...]

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Taiwan Journal on Ma’s Infrastructure Plans

Taiwan Journal offers two articles on Ma Ying-jeou’s infrastructure policies. The first looks at the finances:
During the campaign, Ma stated a goal called “633,” which stands for 6 percent economic growth, per capita income of US$30,000 and an unemployment rate of less than 3 percent by 2016. To achieve these targets, when the new government [...]

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Polls and Budgets and Gravel

The Central News Agency has a nice bit of reporting out on the Hsieh-Ma debate. Among the local news organizations its reporting is generally the most balanced. The first half of the article offers a report on the polls:
Ratings released by two major local dailies after Sunday’s debate, however, offered different public views on Ma’s [...]

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More Election Analysis & Responses

Analysis of the election continues apace, with more from the Blogosphere, this time from the Only Redhead. I’m tired of arguing with people that I know and love, like Robert, but the fact is that lots and lots of commentators out there fondly imagine that if the DPP had only come up with the right [...]

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The Empire of Bacon

Shot of Taichung showing massive haze over the city, Jan 19, 2008.By its workings, astronomical sums have been appropriated into circuits from which many benefited. While the momentum of growth was maintained, Japan’s reputation as a great power was enhanced, and trade frictions with G7 member countries eased. Massive civil-engineering projects were favored: bridges, tunnels, [...]

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Ma Ying-jeou Walks

Apologies for the light blogging, but I just spent probably the most disheartening week of my life in Taiwan… But the dark hours have passed….and so it’s back to the blog….
Speaking of dawning light, Ma Ying-jeou was found not guilty of stealing the government money that he had downloaded into his personal account and used [...]

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Korea at a Crossroads

We’ve recently been discussing the Korean economy on this blog, which the European Chamber of Commerce says we really ought to emulate. Feiren flipped me this wonderful piece from FEER on Korea’s economy and the upcoming election (it’s pay to view, so only half is here). See any similarities with our situation in Taiwan?
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In meeting [...]

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Minimum Differentiation, Maximum Identification

I’ve stressed often in this blog that one important driver of identity politics in Taiwan is structural: on a range of important issues, the two parties have very similiar views. The one reliable difference between them is the pro-Taiwan stance of the DPP and the pro-China stance of the KMT. Hence, at the national level, [...]

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Ma’s Economic Nostalgia

KMT Vice Presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou released his latest economic plan, with a sustained hack on the DPP:
“My economic policies consist of more than opening up for more Chinese tourists and cross-strait direct links. Expanding domestic demand is also crucial and for the government to invest in the nation shows love for Taiwan,” Ma told [...]

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Wow! How did THAT $10 million get there?

I’ve often mentioned the Chu An-hsiung case, still canonical as far as Taiwan city council speakers are concerned, but certainly KMT’s Lien Ching-tai, former city council speaker of Tainan deserves an Honorable Mention, as he was recently charged with fraud in a land case that highlights how the System works…
Former Tainan [...]

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Robin Winkler Allegedly Assaulted During Environmental Protest - UPDATED-

Last week Robin Winkler, whose energy and commitment to The Beautiful Isle I deeply admire, was allegedly punched during a protest by a local elected official. Taiwan Headlines has the call:
Environmental groups protested outside the Environmental Protection Administration on Monday morning to condemn the agency for siding with the Formosa Plastics Group on a proposed [...]

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Pacific Humpback Dolphin Workshop

Signs in Changhua.
On Wednesday I had the great privilege of attending the “Second International Workshop on the Conservation and Research Needs of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins, Sousa chinensis, in the waters of western Taiwan,” the first being held in 2004. The workshop is still roaring forward and meets again on Friday beginning at 9:00 at [...]

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The Silver Lining of an Ugly Black Cloud

Most of you probably haven’t noticed, but Taiwan has no budget for this fiscal year. The pan-Blue alliance, led by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), have refused to pass the budget unless the Greens permit the Blues to reconstruct the Central Election Commission (CEC) in favor of the Blues:
To secure a majority for passage [...]

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