President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) claimed that the total proportion of Taiwanese exports going to China rose from 24 percent in 2000 to 40 percent in 2008 and, thanks to his administration’s efforts to diversify exports, dropped to 39 percent last year.
While habitually belittling former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Ma presents too flimsy an argument to counter the strong allegation that he has been trying to barter away the nation’s financial, economic — and thus — political autonomy.
It is almost a public consensus in Taiwan that Ma has been granting massive benefits to cross-strait conglomerates.
Since the outbreak of the serial food safety scandals involving Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團), people have come the realization that several of the government’s franchise and reshuffling projects might be nothing more than large-scale benefit transportation businesses.
Among the most suspicious cases are: the launch of the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system; Ting Hsin’s Taiwan depositary receipts; the sale of China Network Systems; the merger of Taiwan Star Telecom; the acquisition of the Taipei 101 building; the potential bankruptcy and transfer of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp; the illegal alteration of land classification of former Shin Yen Textile Co’s land; and a cross-strait monopoly of farm produce scheme for the Golden Field Holding (Cayman Islands) Corp cartel.
Except for the ETC, all these cases are related to Ting Hsin — the most successful Taiwanese business in China — without exception, Ma’s Cabinet has offered munificent administrative assistance and financial support in all of them.
On top of this disastrous profit transportation, it was reported last week that national banks have hit a record-high level of risk exposure to China — 41 times higher than when Ma took office.
Strictly speaking, in view of the scale of its actions, corruption is no longer the right word to describe the misconduct carried out by Ma’s government.
It obviously goes far beyond the abilities of one official and reaches out to foreign soil. It sounds more like the liberation of a whole nation — a silent liberation achieved by taking over Taiwan’s finances and infrastructure.
Who are the ones pulling the strings? Who are the collaborators? Who is handling the massive flow of money outside the nation? What international financial institutions are involved?
Strangely, Ma’s possible role in this conspiracy corresponds with the US’ core policy of resolving the Taiwan question peacefully, which the US Department of State has reiterated for decades.
However, “raising the blue flag to sabotage the blue team” is a technique rooted in sophisticated Chinese political tradition.
It seems that it is not only being applied to domestic politics, but diplomacy as well.
An item in the US’ Taiwan Relations Act states: “It is the policy of the United States ... to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic systems, of the people on Taiwan.”
The secret power might not appear in the form of outright force or coercion, but it is reaching for Taiwan’s jugular.
It is quietly jeopardizing the nation’s economic system and security, and if it succeeds, will surely tip the regional balance in the “Indo-Pacific” area.
HoonTing is a political commentator.
When Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping (習近平) wakes up one morning and decides that his People’s Liberation Army (PLA) can win a war to conquer Taiwan, that is when his war will begin. To ensure that Xi never gains that confidence it is now necessary for the United States to shed any notions of “forbearance” in arms sales to Taiwan. Largely because they could guarantee military superiority on the Taiwan Strait, US administrations from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama practiced “forbearance” — pre-emptive limitation of arms sales to Taiwan — in hopes of gaining diplomatic leverage with Beijing. President Ronald
Communist China’s Global Times warned US President Joe Biden in the first week of this month that he “should make a significant response to China’s sincerity within his first 100 days, as the sincerity and patience will not last forever.” In fact, they lasted only days. By the end of the week, Beijing had laid down the law, so to speak, to the Biden administration. First was a speech billed as a “Dialogue with National Committee on US-China Relations,” by Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪), director of China’s Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs. Yang said he was pleased “to have
As the US marks one month under the leadership of President Joe Biden, the conversations around Taiwan have shifted. As I discussed in a Taipei Times article (“No more talk of ‘bargaining chips,’” Jan. 30, page 8), with the end of former US president Donald Trump’s administration — and all of the unpredictability associated with it — Taiwan would not have to worry about being used as a “bargaining chip” in some sort of deal with the People’s Republic of China. The talk of Taiwan being used as a bargaining chip never subsided over those four years, but under Biden, those
The Canadian parliament on Monday passed a motion saying that China’s human rights abuses against the country’s Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang constitute “genocide.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far avoided using the word genocide in regard to Xinjiang, but if he did, it would begin to generate solidarity among G7 nations on the issue — which is something Trudeau has called for. Former US president Donald Trump used the word genocide regarding Xinjiang before leaving office last month, and members of US President Joe Biden’s administration have been pushing for him to make the same declaration, a Reuters report