Mon, Feb 14, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Strait peace index holds steady

PREDICTIONS:According to a university’s cross-strait peace index, the level of military conflict was low at 30.0 points, while the cross-strait sovereignty conflict index was 71.9

By Ko Shu-ling  /  Staff Reporter

Despite the recent controversy over Manila’s deportation of 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China, the overall peace index across the Taiwan Strait remained stable, a university prediction center said yesterday.

National Chengchi University’s Prediction Market Center, which launched the cross-strait peace indicator project on Friday, said that on a scale of zero to 100, the cross-strait peace index stood at 67.9 points yesterday. However, the cross-strait sovereignty conflict index was 71.6, the cross-strait diplomatic conflict index was 64.3 and the cross-strait peace and security index was 30.5.

Despite the high figures on sovereignty and diplomatic friction, the level of military conflict was low, at 30 points, while the internal stability index was 72.9. However, the index of social recognition was only 24.2 points and that of -government goodwill was 28.8.

The indicators were calculated after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs threatened on Thursday to implement a second wave of punitive actions against the Philippines, but did not specify what measures were being considered.

The ministry said on Feb. 7 it would recall Representative to Manila Donald Lee (李傳通) and would implement stricter screening of applications by Philippine nationals seeking to work in Taiwan. The measures were announced after the Philippines ignored Taiwan’s requests and deported 14 Taiwanese suspected of fraud to China on Feb. 2.

The Taiwanese, along with 10 Chinese suspects, were arrested in the Philippines in December on charges of cross-border fraud directed at Chinese nationals.

Philippine Presidential Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr said Manila’s decision was made in accordance with its “one China” policy.

While the administration has asked China to repatriate the -Taiwanese in accordance with an extradition treaty both sides signed in June 2009, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) has said the government was seeking talks with several Southeast Asian countries about the possibility of joint efforts to combat cross--border crime.

The Philippines was ranked among the world’s least peaceful nations, the Global Peace Index for last year showed.

The report, released by the -Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace, annually ranks 149 countries based on a range of variables, including corruption, crime rates, military spending and access to education.

Taiwan came in at 35th on the list, well above China (80), the US (85) and the Philippines (130), which is among the bottom 20 percent.

Among the 25 Asia-Pacific countries surveyed, Taiwan was the 7th most peaceful nation, while China was No. 12 and the Philippines 20th.

The Philippines was among the top five of the nations to have experienced a decline from their previous rankings. The report attributed the slide to the rise in the archipelago’s internal conflict and crime.

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