Smokers need help
While the new anti-tobacco law prohibiting smoking in public places is a welcome piece of legislation, it fails to address the needs of tobacco users. Many are unable to combat the addiction on their own. The penalties issued to smokers should include a required program to address addiction and help them quit.
I smoked for more than 30 years. I wanted to quit, but could not do it on my own. Then a psychologist hypnotized me and I never smoked again. That was over 30 years ago.
Sharing the pain
The Council of Labor Affairs reports that 200,000 Taiwanese are on voluntary unpaid leave, but labor associations claim that the survey results underestimate actual figures by between 200,000 and 300,000. While I agree that voluntary unpaid leave may be effective in holding unemployment down, legislative measures should be passed to ensure that management and business owners also feel the pain of the economic downturn. I envision a law that requires companies that “request” employees to take voluntary leave to do two things.
First, they should be prohibited from giving bonuses to management during the time of voluntary leave. This would spread the pain to management, which is rarely — if ever — asked to take voluntary leave.
Second, companies should not be allowed to renew contracts with foreign laborers while Taiwanese employees are receiving lower salaries because of voluntary leave.
Taiwan does not equal ROC
Activist groups in the US are again pressing Congress to pass a resolution to “cancel” the “one China” policy and make other changes in the executive branch’s attitude toward Taiwan. The Taipei Times always gives such efforts front-page coverage, causing readers to think that the underlying rationale finds full support in the newspaper’s established editorial policy. In the interest of press freedom, I wonder if it would be possible to present a different point of view?
The “one China” policy of the US says that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the sole legitimate government of China. That is all that it says. Why any Taiwanese activist groups make the “cancellation” of such a policy the centerpiece of their lobbying efforts in Washington is therefore baffling. Of course, if one maintains that this policy includes the premise that “Taiwan is part of China,” that would be something worth arguing about. However, the CRS Report for Congress of July 9, 2007, titled China/Taiwan: Evolution of the “One China” Policy, makes clear that the policy includes no such premise and the US government has never recognized PRC sovereignty over Taiwan.
The Rogers v. Sheng case (DC Circuit, 1960), made clear that the US government has never recognized Republic of China (ROC) sovereignty over Taiwan either. The ruling in that case is fully supported by the Taiwan Relations Act, which stopped recognizing the ROC terminology in dealing with Taiwanese affairs, as well as current US Department of State guidelines for the 21st century.
The “one China” policy does not impede Taiwan’s quest for international standing. But solutions to Taiwan’s current “identity problem” can only be effectively formulated when the green camp wakes up to the legal reality that “Taiwan does not equal the ROC.”
As State Department documents from the 1950s make abundantly clear, the ROC is a Chinese government-in-exile currently residing on Taiwanese soil.