A-bian’s trials a disgrace
One of the hottest political topics surrounding the news media in Taiwan nowadays is whether former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should be given medical parole from prison on the grounds of his failing health.
The fervor has been accentuated by a short video recently released by a member of the Control Yuan. In the video, we see a man walking with difficulty, handicapped, stuttering and with other debilitated motor skills.
We cannot believe this was once a two-term president of Taiwan, who was willing to say and do things that pissed off a former president of the US, and won himself notoriety as a troublemaker and other expletives unfit to be published.
The irony about Chen Shui-bian’s legal battle is that it would have been thrown out of court and ended long ago when Chen was still healthy had it occured in the US.
Of all the dirty maneuverings, either covert or overt, conducted by members of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division throughout the trials concerning Chen and the subsequent charges of corruption and graft, none is as nefarious as coaching some of the key witnesses to perjure themselves to secure a conviction.
During one of the trial proceedings, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) overtly sought to influence the judges in charge by telling them that rendering a verdict in favor of Chen would conflict with the public’s expectations.
This shocking and unabashed disfranchising of judicial integrity in Taiwan has totally eroded the people’s confidence in its judicial system.
A rotten to the core judicial infrastructure, which can be manipulated at will, undoubtedly alarmed the British man [Zain Dean] who recently ruffled legal feathers in Taiwan by escaping the clutches of the judiciary by illegal means.
Such is the disgraceful state of the judicial system in Taiwan and there is not much hope of Chen being granted medical parole when the president himself, a graduate of Harvard Law School, takes the lead in making law and order a travesty.
The National Immigration Agency on Monday confirmed that the majority of foreign residents in Taiwan would once again be excluded from the government’s stimulus voucher program. The NT$5,000 Quintuple Stimulus Voucher would be available to 140,000 foreign spouses of Taiwanese and 16,000 Alien Permanent Resident Certificate holders, but about 870,000 Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) holders would be excluded from the program, regardless of whether they pay taxes. The government has not offered any explanation, but some have speculated that the intention is to prevent migrant workers from receiving the vouchers. Many migrant workers are from Southeast Asian countries and work as
Within the span of a generation, a new super-rich class emerges from a society in which millions of rural migrants toiled away in factories for a pittance. Bribery becomes the most common mode of influence in politics. Opportunists speculate recklessly in land and real estate. Financial risks simmer as local governments borrow to finance railways and other large infrastructure projects. All of this is happening in the world’s most promising emerging market and rising global power. No, this is not a description of contemporary China, but rather of the US during the Gilded Age, from about 1870 to 1900. This
I first met Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in 1999, when I was Acting Director of AIT, as Darryl Johnson had just left and Ray Burghardt had not yet arrived. She was a young aide for then-President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). President Lee just had enunciated a new theory, which came to be known as the “state-to-state” principle, in an interview with a German newspaper. Beijing had predictably gone berserk and was trying to get Washington to come down heavily on President Lee. In the midst of all this, Tsai and I met to discuss the situation. I took a liking to this
It might have been an inelegantly, even ineptly, executed pivot, gratuitously alienating key allies, but by leaving Afghanistan and forming a security pact with Australia and the UK in the Indo-Pacific, US President Joe Biden has at least cleared the decks to focus on his great foreign policy challenge — the systemic rivalry with China. Yet the concern now is how quickly this rivalry could escalate, especially regarding Taiwan. The linchpin of the US alliance system in south-east Asia, Taiwan is the biggest island in the first island chain, the group of islands that keeps China blocked in. It is China’s