Republic of Casino?
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) loves to make shocking remarks on occasion. One of these was that “ROC” stands for “Republic of Casino.” Witty or not, this contains referential values and deserves our attention. Behind the playful and flighty semiotics is an unsettlingly damnable and corrosive mindset that has everything to do with undoing the legitimacy of this election.
Why “damnable”? Because it nullifies everything Mayor Ko stands for. It has rendered all Ko’s political endeavors and maneuverings a matter of tongue and cheek exercise.
Why pit your values of integrity against the Democratic Progressive Party when you perceive your election campaign for your party is in essence gambling? Does this mean the more dirt you dish out against your political opponents, the better chance for you to come out ahead?
The goal is to win and whatever it takes to win. By Jove, how have you fallen to such a state of wanton callousness and indifference! Or, should we say, My Lord Cheng-huang, the God of Hades, to whom your parents had sought the oracle of approval on the final day for you to sign up as a presidential candidate.
Fortunately, you decided against signing up at the last minute. Lord Cheng-huang would not have taken your political gambling mindset lightly.
Why “damnable”? Because it nullifies everything Taiwan stands for. It implies a “deep state” that is controlling the destiny of the island, of which the people of Taiwan have no say.
This means for all the democratic achievements that the people of Taiwan pride themselves with, for all the bloodshed and lives sacrificed for democracy’s sake, Taiwan is and will remain a plaything of this “deep state” of super powers.
Why “damnable”? Because it nullifies creative endeavors and finds a replacement in “chance.” Does not the locale of a casino embody the spirit of chance and syphon out the drive to be other than casting the dice and taking a chance?
Honestly, Mayor Ko, you belong to the ilk of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). You are all depraved cynics, detrimental to the future of Taiwan.
You hide your betting spirit behind claims of integrity while Ma and Han veil theirs with claims of legitimacy as representatives of the Republic of China.
Let the young voters vote down these political gamesters and cynics. Taiwan has had enough of them. Let creative endeavors prevail. Vote for your own interests and ensure the democracy in Taiwan continues to flow and grow.
Martial law trope an insult
People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) finally learned to defend press freedom in the presidential debate on Sunday last week, so it was timely for Han Cheung to remind us that Soong has yet to redeem himself after suppressing press freedom in the 1980s (“Taiwan in Time: Unleashing the media free-for-all,” Dec. 29, 2019, page 8).
We still remember those days of martial law and one-party dictatorship. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) insulted that memory when it tried to shout down the Anti-infiltration Act (反滲透法) with the slogan “martial law has been restored!” (“Legislature passes Anti-infiltration Act,” Jan. 1, page 1).
The KMT has yet to face up to the injustices it committed, but only knows to project those very injustices with a cheap trope and a false equivalence.
Those worried about martial law would do well to heed these words from Soong back then, with renewed significance: “Our nation is in a period of emergency... Many [newspapers] are fighting just to survive and [publish] content that is not beneficial to the readers.”
Congratulations to the Taipei Times on two decades of bringing Taiwan closer to the world.
Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Forward Forum in Taipei, former Singaporean minister for foreign affairs George Yeo (楊榮文) proposed a “Chinese commonwealth” as a potential framework for political integration between Taiwan and China. Yeo said the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait is unsustainable and that Taiwan should not be “a piece on the chessboard” in a geopolitical game between China and the US. Yeo’s remark is nothing but an ill-intentioned political maneuver that is made by all pro-China politicians in Singapore. Since when does a Southeast Asian nation have the right to stick its nose in where it is not wanted
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has released a plan to economically integrate China’s Fujian Province with Taiwan’s Kinmen County, outlining a cross-strait development project based on six major themes and 21 measures. This official document by the CCP is directed toward Taiwan’s three outlying island counties: Penghu County, Lienchiang County (Matsu) and Kinmen County. The plan sets out to construct a cohabiting sphere between Kinmen and the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen, as well as between Matsu and Fuzhou. It also aims to bring together Minnanese cultural areas including Taiwan’s Penghu and China’s cities of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou for further integrated
During a recent visit to Taiwan, I encountered repeated questions about “America skepticism” among the body politic. The basic premise of the “America skepticism” theory is that Taiwan people should view the United States as an unreliable, self-interested actor who is using Taiwan for its own purposes. According to this theory, America will abandon Taiwan when its interests are advanced by doing so. At one level, such skepticism is a sign of a healthy, well-functioning democratic society that protects the right for vigorous political debate. Indeed, around the world, the people of Taiwan are far from alone in debating America’s reliability
As China’s economy was meant to drive global economic growth this year, its dramatic slowdown is sounding alarm bells across the world, with economists and experts criticizing Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) for his unwillingness or inability to respond to the nation’s myriad mounting crises. The Wall Street Journal reported that investors have been calling on Beijing to take bolder steps to boost output — especially by promoting consumer spending — but Xi has deep-rooted philosophical objections to Western-style consumption-driven growth, seeing it as wasteful and at odds with his goal of making China a world-leading industrial and technological powerhouse, and