As the Spice Girls said: "Tell us what you want, what you really, really want." We address this request to the KMT. Taiwan stands, this week, poised on the brink of almost unprecedented political turmoil. Is that what the KMT wants? And how does it think it will benefit?
\nToo many commentators, ourselves included, have so far dismissed the threat to recall Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) as political grandstanding. But look at the figures. A vote of 25 percent of the 221 members of the Legislative Yuan can put forward a motion to recall the president. Endorsement by two thirds of the legislature -- that's 147 members -- is needed to pass the motion. The KMT, People First Party and New Party can only muster 141 votes. Everything then hinges on whether they can swing at last half of the 12 independents to their cause. The KMT has shown little trouble gathering independent support in the past -- even out of government, its powers of patronage can be extremely persuasive. But supposing it could sway enough of the the independents, is the resulting horrendous political turmoil what it really wants?
\nRemember that this crisis came about through the DPP's cancelling of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant
On Sept. 27, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) joined the UN to become its 191st member. Since then, two other nations have joined, Montenegro on June 28, 2006, and South Sudan on July 14, 2011. The combined total of the populations of these three nations is just more than half that of Taiwan’s 23.7 million people. East Timor has 1.3 million, Montenegro has slightly more than half a million and South Sudan has 10.9 million. They all are members of the UN, yet much more populous Taiwan is denied membership. Of the three, East Timor, as a Southeast Asian
Taiwan has for decades singlehandedly borne the brunt of a revanchist, ultra-nationalist China — until now. Ever since Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had the temerity to call for a transparent, international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has been turning the screws on Canberra. This has included unleashing aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomats to intimidate Australian policymakers, enacting punitive tariffs on its exports, and threatening an embargo on Chinese tourists and students to the nation. A tense situation became more serious on June 19 after Morrison revealed that a “sophisticated state-based actor” — read: China — had launched a
There have been media reports that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) plans to hold military exercises in August to simulate seizing the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) in the South China Sea. In the past, only Coast Guard Administration (CGA) personnel have been stationed there, but the Ministry of National Defense has dispatched the Republic of China Marine Corps to the islands, nominally for “ex-situ training,” to prevent a Chinese attack under the guise of military drills. The move is only a temporary measure and not sufficiently proactive. Instead, the government should officially declare sovereignty over the islands and station troops
Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is to be Taiwan’s next representative to the US. Hsiao is well versed in international affairs and Taiwan-US relations. In her days as a student in the US, she was a member of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) and served as chief executive of the Democratic Progressive Party’s US mission. She is familiar with a broad spectrum of Taiwanese affairs in the US. FAPA hopes that Hsiao, after taking up her new post, would continue to deepen and normalize relations between Taiwan and the US, and that she would try to get a free-trade agreement