Sunday, July 27, 2008

KMT = China's Tool? Say It Ain't So

Could it actually be possible for the KMT to fool half of the people in Taiwan into believing that they are actually for a Taiwan who's future is determined by the people of Taiwan? You may say that they still believe in the KMT and the words they say. I say, how long will it take for them to realize that they've been tricked?

A "top Chinese official" has stated that they will attempt to control the president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-Jeou, through their CCP-KMT love party connection. The intentions of China have never been clearer, and yet on the other side, the intentions of the leader of Taiwan have never been more vague and direction-less than ever before. While China continues its military buildup along the strait and throws candy at Taiwan to distract Taiwan from seeing that they secretly will take back all the candy that they gave in the end, Ma Ying-Jeou hasn't even begun to take the steering wheel to determine a direction for Taiwan.

Ma's three No's policies of: 1) No unification, 2) No independence, and 3) no use of force.

The first of which reads in full, "no negotiations for unification during my presidential term[s]."

Perhaps Ma isn't negotiating any sort of deals for unification. But as we've seen in the first 3 months of his term, it is not Ma who is in control, it is the KMT and Wu Poh-Hsiung who are making the calls right now. It really is sad to see a president who really has no control over his country, let alone his own party.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank You China For What Was Already Ours

Today's piece in the China Post about China's "goodwill," by having one of their news services use the name Zhonghua Taibei instead of Zhongguo Taibei, is just another example of how low Ma is taking Taiwan.

The usage of Zhonghua Taibei has been agreed upon by the concerned parties since 1989. Also, note that the agreed upon name for Taiwan is for the internationally sanctioned activities/games. It does not require local media to do so. So in a way, yes, this is China's "goodwill" as they are not required to use Zhonghua Taibei, but taking a step back-- they should be using it anyways as it is the official title for Taiwan in international games. For them to have been using Zhongguo Taibei is just their own ploy to keep their billions of minions believing the propaganda that Taiwan "is and will always be a part of China."

An interesting note is that since there is also the agreed upon flag to use for Taiwan in international games (the "Chinese Taipei flag"), not all media in the past has displayed that flag during their coverage of games. According to wikipedia (which is not the best of all sources, I agree):
The flag, however, is not recognized on some media references. In 1992, during the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, CBS used the flag of the Republic of China with the official "TPE" code. During the 2004 Summer Olympics, the Australian Baseball Federation Web site used a waving National Flag of the ROC to refer to the island country. Many news networks and web sites also prefer to use the National Flag of the Republic of China rather than the designated Chinese Taipei flag.
The reach of China has extended too far. For anyone to consider this as "goodwill" is out of their minds.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"633" Update

Ma Ying-Jeou, a step in the right direction!

- 6% GDP Growth Annually
- 3% Unemployment rate by 2012
- $30,000 Per Capita Income by 2012

Latest figures on unemployment rate in Taiwan indicate that it has risen to 3.95%. But he's only been in office for 2 or so months, so there's still another 3 years and 10 months to get it down to 3%. Also, don't forget that Goldman Sachs is forecasting GDP Growths for 08 and 09 below 6%, at 4.5% and 4.8% respectively. Things don't look to well for the "633" pledges. As far as Per Capita GDP, currently Taiwan is at or around $16,800. Nearly doubling by 2012 is going to be tough as well.

EVA Air: Sorry To Ruin Your Hopes And Dreams

Glancing over the Taiwan related news for the past few days on China Post, I clicked on "EVA Air suspends hiring their newly recruited flight attendants."

My question is, is being a flight attendant/stewardess really that glamorous and "well-paid?" I met an ex-stewardess last time I was in Taiwan and from the conversation it didn't seem like she thought much of her time being a China Airlines flight attendant. She now works in a store selling womens clothes, and I know working in a store selling clothes does not pay that well. So, either EVA Air pays a lot more than China Airlines, or the news staff at China Post have no idea what they are talking about.

It sort of seems like this article was done in a sarcastic way, but it appeared as a regular news article in the Taiwan > Business section online. Weird.

From the article:
As for the 35 recruits, they can't imagine that their dreams of becoming enviable, well-paid stewardesses are finally dashed after three months of hard efforts in ploughing through various tests.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Administration Lifts Cap on China Investments

In another non-surprising move, Taiwan is opening up more of itself to China. Looking at this from a purely market view, allowing more capital to flow into China benefits China first, not so much Taiwan. I find it hard to believe that practically no one is cautioning Taiwan on relying so much on China for an economic boost.

China is a bubble that has been years in the making, and with the Olympics finally here in less than a month, the chances of that bubble popping greatly increases after the Olympics. So what a perfect time for Taiwan to get invested in China, right at the top, right before the downfall.

Taiwan was late to the China game. While we still may see some upside in China investments, I'm afraid Taiwan is going to get "caught with its pants down" as many like to put it. It just doesn't make sense. Capital outflow will not help the TAIEX get any ground.

Tired of Commenting on Digg; What A Large % Of The U.S. Think (Most Likely)

So I just spent the last 25-30 minutes or so reading and responding to comments on this article (on about the U.S. arms freeze to Taiwan.

I just decided to give up because there's way too many people on there that just are not familiar with the situation. Here's a sample of a lot of the misinformed comments I saw on Taiwan/China/U.S:

Article Buried. If you've heard lately Mainland China and Taiwan have opened up direct flights between each country.

Submitter doesn't understand the improved relations that the two countries share in recent times. Stop these Sino mongering and smear campaigns. It's despicable.
The improved relations is a farce that the western media is setting up. While Taiwan has made many concessions in getting those direct flights, China continues their military build-up against Taiwan, as well as continuing their word games with Taiwan's Olympic name, "Zhonghua Taipei."

Um, Taiwan is China's territory now. Is somebody trying to make the case that the United States should not honor the sovereignty of China? Why is it that Americans hold a double-standard for the world? We get angry at people defending their country by attacking an occupying army from a foreign country (think Iraq), and we get mad at another country for asking us not to sell arms to states that rightfully belong to them. WTF?
No real comment here, except to spend just 5 minutes, or even 3 minutes, googling the history of Taiwan. China has never had any sort of legitimate claim to Taiwan, especially the PRC, which made up their claim to Taiwan after WWII.

What conquest of what neighbors? Tibet has been part of China for hundreds of years and why would China give a shit about a little piece of crap island like Taiwan? And do you have any sort of "proof" that China is trying to take over other countries?
If China didn't "give a shit" about a "piece of crap island like Taiwan," then why does China propagandize the "shit" out of the "renegade province Taiwan." Oh, and lets just ignore the fact that the whole complication of Taiwan-U.S. relations is the fact that China wants Taiwan at all costs, "by force if necessary."

Aren't China and Taiwan playing nice with each other these days?
Same as above.

So what if the US don't sell weapons to Taiwan, even with our weapons Taiwan doesn't have the sort of military to fend off whatever that China has before any help arrives. Besides Taiwan is one of the four Asian Tigers, meaning areas with the strongest economical growth and technology development. China is trying to get Taiwan back in one piece, on the political stage rather than brute military force, which will definitely draw international attention and perhaps World War III.
I'm afraid this person doesn't understand China and the people of Chinese enough. China is still a very imperialistic country and the people have an extreme nationalism about "China," especially the Han Chinese. As a result, they would rather kill everyone on Taiwan (which many mainlanders consider "dogs" even though they call Taiwanese "brothers" in the same sentence) than let Taiwan become independent-- of which they have no legitimate claim to Taiwan.

China has our nuts in a sling and we all know it.
Pretty much the only truth I saw in the comments section.

Maybe If Keep Saying "China," We Can Inherit Their Economic Growth

At election time, the constant refrain and mantra in Taiwan was, "Our economy is so bad, we need a change."
Excellent editorial piece by Jerome Keating, on Taiwan and Presdient Ma after just under 2 months into his presidency :

In short, Ma, the KMT, and the largely pro-KMT media in Taiwan led the people in Taiwan to believe that what they need to be concerned about is the economy. Sure, that's a reasonable issue to be concerned about- something I'm concerned about here. During the election campaign, Ma blamed the "bad economy" of Taiwan as a result of Chen Shui-bian. That "bad economy" was actually quite good last year at over 5% GDP growth. And now that Ma is in his second month and the economy of Taiwan is even worse than before. And as Keating so elegantly puts it:

"Before the election, even though the world economy was bad and Taiwan's economy was fair it was not a global problem; it was Chen's fault. After the election when Taiwan suddenly discovered that the world economy had been bad all along and when Taiwan's economy became worse, this was not Ma's fault, it was a global problem. Logic? No, but that also is not a strong point of many of Taiwan voters."

So what used to be called a bad economy two months ago is now an economy where the "fundamentals are sound."

The problem in not admitting that there is a problem (with the economy) is that without admitting that there is a problem, you can't solve the problem. See the problem now?

This should be a simple reminder that one man cannot "change" everything and solve all the nations problems. Say Obama?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ma & Cabinet "Decide" on Zhonghua Taipei

For Ma and his cabinet to even have to convene a meeting to decide whether to allow China to change the official title for Taiwan (Chinese Taipei - Zhonghua Taipei) to Zhongguo Taipei is ridiculous. The name was decided and agreed upon by all parties in 1989 and although sad to say, is not Taiwan or China's place to decide whether or not to allow China to alter the name, just because China is hosting the Olympics this year. For all the "progress" that the KMT proclaims to have occurred cross-strait in setting aside these kinds of disputes, it seems that once again China says one thing and does the other.

"Stop politicizing Olympics," China.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

Guangzhou to send rare tigers to Kaohsiung as a friendly gesture, while in other cities of China, notably Xiamen, a military build up of over 1,300-1,400 missiles aimed at Taiwan (probably including Kaohsiung) continues. I don't know what kind of goodwill people in China are used to, but sending zoo animals as a gesture of goodwill while maintaining a horde of missiles aimed at Taiwan is not a gesture of goodwill in most books. This is just another smokescreen that China is throwing up to direct attention away from the unexplainable and unjustified military build-up across Taiwan in Xiamen, China.

On a recent visit to Xiamen Universitry by Taichung mayor, Jason Hu, a comment was stated by the audience that the missiles aimed at Taiwan are "only for Taiwan Independence supporters." Jason Hu replied, "I was not aware that missiles have eyes capable of distinguishing who is and is not a Taiwanese independence supporter."

KMT supporters feel relieved! If missiles start firing up and are in the skies over Taiwan, fear not because they have missiles that were made for us Green. Kermit has it right, it's not easy being green.
It's not that easy being green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that

It's not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

But green's the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean, or important
Like a mountain, or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be

Saturday, July 12, 2008

President Ma Steps Up to the Plate

Reports coming out of the AP and Asia-Pacific news say that Ma has finally stepped up to the plate to address the arms sales issue between the U.S. and Taiwan. I guess Ma has put the pressure "officially" back on the U.S. side when previously the U.S. made it seem that Ma was the one that asked to delay the sales.

Also, Ma (for the first time since he became president) criticized China for:
changing the name under which the Taiwan team would be attending the Beijing Olympics.
Too bad Ma only feels the need to defend the name "Chinese Taipei," which he should because it is a previously agreed upon name for Taiwan to use, but at the same time it's a ridiculous name to represent the nation of Taiwan. While "Chinese Taipei" needs to be protected, Ma feels no need to protect the name "Taiwan" at all, which is a shame because pre-election, every other word that came out of his mouth was Taiwan this, Taiwan that, 23 Million Taiwanese, future of Taiwan determined by Taiwanese.

I can't help but see the similarities between Obama and Ma, and I remember reading a few articles (here's one) on how Obama and Ma were similar in a lot of ways. I know I'm pushing the envelope here, but the fact is that Obama is not change you can believe in- he's the same "old politiks" that he claims he is not. As I've constantly said, vote for Obama because of his stance on issues and policies, not because of his empty rhetoric. Just like Ma's empty rhetoric,
Because Taiwan's future has to be determined by the 23 million Taiwanese, by their free will...
Obama's empty rhetoric is just a sucker line to suck in the moderates to vote for him. Don't be a sucker.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chinese People Say: "Stop Politicizing Olympics"

The reality says that China is the one that is politicizing the Olympics. This is all after the fact of ignoring that the Olympics have always been used as a vehicle for political agendas. The part that irks me the most whenever I hear Chinese people trying to impose that Taiwan is part of China, is that they hardly ever have an open mind. It is as if they were trained from a baby to recite lines from Hu's propaganda book- "Taiwan is and has always been a part of China, and will always be."

All they have to do is pick up a book or even do some quick googling to find out that Taiwan has never been part of China. Moreover, the current "China" (P.R.C.) has never ruled Taiwan or had any legitimate claim to it.

So when I saw Chinese-Americans protesting at our university a few months ago against the Dalai Lama and calling for "Western Media- Stop politicizing Olympics," I find it hard to believe they are actually college students. Isn't college where you come to learn and open your mind to new ideas? Rather, it seems some Chinese-Americans would rather read lines from a book and have a close-minded attitude towards the whole thing.

The AP is reporting that Taiwan officials have (thank God) rejected China's attempt to rename Taiwan's name in the Olympics from Zhonghua Taipei to Zhonghua Taipei. A pretty good short description from the article on the meanings:

"Zhongguo Taipei" means "Taipei China" and uses "Zhongguo," the name China calls itself, implying Taipei is a part of China. "Zhonghua Taipei" uses "Zhonghua" — a more ambiguous word that applies to a deliberately undefined Chinese nation.

So can the Chinese-Americans who protested for the western media to stop politicizing the Olympics, also do the same for China? It would only be reasonable so that there isn't a double standard going on, right?

In other news, after dipping briefly into the 6000 territory, the TAIEX has rebounded with probably one if it's best days since Ma became president. Perhaps this is the short term rally that has been rumored to be coming. We shall see, but don't get your hopes up on hitting 20,000 anytime soon. These are what we call a bear market rally, and the trend is still down. As I said in my previous blog, if a rally that may or may not come is able to take stocks back to their 50dma, that would be a good selling point to get out of your long positions.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"This summer is the coldest summer in Taiwan"

I guess it was actually the Minister of Economic Affairs that made the comment about the TAIEX reaching 20,000 as a result of implementing Ma's economic policies. Regardless, for anyone to make that kind of prediction in a terribly bear market, is quite arrogant as the article states.

Things are looking extremely oversold right now, and while I have protected all my positions on the downside with covered calls and puts for insurance against further falls, a lot of murmurs about a short term bounce/rally have been circulating the internet lately. While it's certainly possible and I would much rather see a short term rally than this continual downward spiral, I can't help but think that when everyone thinks the short term bottom is in, that it actually isn't. If everyone is predicting the bottom is in, then everyone will be making money in the next week or two- but we all know not everyone can make money. We shall see, if I wasn't already long on some stocks, I'd much rather be sitting out this very volatile market for the time being.

Here's EWT's chart for the past 6 months. It looks like it could set up for a triple bottom, and that would fall in place with the short term rally people have been calling for. If we do indeed get that rally, I will try to exit the position at the 50/200DMA, both of which are at around $15.50. I entered EWT before Ma's inaguration and was hoping for his "honeymoon" period to carryover into EWT for at least a week before exiting. Now that people have realized how over-hyped Ma's impact would be on the economy would be, I am not hopeful on EWT going long.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ma Promised 20,000 TAIEX?

After just reading an editorial on Taipei Times here, the thing that stood out to me the most was that the writer mentioned that Ma promised after his March 22nd that the TAIEX would reach 20,000.

Wait, did he just say that the TAIEX would double after he becomes president? Although I haven't found any other links or news articles (if you find one, feel free to link it) mentioning it, I really would not be surprised that he made that kind of promise. Ma Ying-Jeou was just spouting off promises left and right as election came closer in order to secure the undecided votes in the middle (Similar to what Barack Obama is doing now in the U.S.). This should be a good wake-up call for everyone supporting Obama that he is not the "change" that he wants you to believe in. Anyways, back to the 20,000 TAIEX statement by Ma.

How realistic is that? Sure indices have been able to double within 4 years, but those occur during bull markets. Currently? The world is on the verge of a global meltdown. The U.S. has been teetering on an official recession for quite a while now. The rise of oil prices and the continual dependence on it has got to hit the world hard eventually. That time is coming, real soon.

So for Ma to make that kind of promise in a non-bull market, or could possibly even say in a bear market is for the pure appeasement of voters.

A majority of Taiwan voted Ma into power in order to boost Taiwan's economy (which wasn't all that bad). Let's not forget Ma's promises (mentioned in the editorial):

1. 6% GDP growth every year he is in office
2. Per capita GDP to $30,000
3. Reduce unemployment rates to 3%

That's one tall order, including this possible fourth of:

4. 20,000 TAIEX during his presidency

Anyone remember reading about GS revising their estimates for Taiwan's GDP? Here's a quick review taken from this article:
Goldman Sachs forecast Taiwan GDP growth to slow to 4.5 percent this year from 5.7 percent in 2007, but to rise to 4.8 percent next year "as the economic impact from the progress on cross-Strait policies comes to fruition".
Interesting how Taiwan's GDP was close to 6% during Chen's last term in office, and for this year with expected "new economic growth" from Chinese tourists, it was revised down to 4.5%. But wait, the best part is that GS expects cross-strait policies to help the GDP by 0.3% to 4.8%- still lower than pre-cross-strait policies.

You voted him into power for "economic growth," so don't let Ma and the largely KMT controlled media to make excuses for him now, or in four years, if he fails to meet those 4 promises when election time comes around. I'm deep green, but don't get me wrong- I'm reasonable. So in the same way, if he does meet those four promises, I will shut up about it and you can continue to support Ma and vote him in for another 4 years.

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Airline stocks plunge as direct flights take off"

Oh the irony in the title "Airline stocks plunge as direct flights take off," is ridiculous. This title is of an article appearing on TaipeiTimes for today. Today (well yesterday in Taiwan) marks the first day which Chinese tourists will come into Taiwan via direct flights. The funny thing about all of this is that Ma and Wu have made many concessions to China in order to get these direct flights in order to boost Taiwan's economy. It seems that everytime the so called economic savior plan or thing is implemented, the corresponding stock falls.

Example, Ma Ying-Jeou inagurated on 5/20/08, and since then the TWII is down over 20%. Look at this wonderful chart for short sellers below:

Now, the inagural direct flights between China and Taiwan have sent Eva Air and China Airlines stocks down in a similar fashion with both trading down about 7% and 6.5% respectively today.

Critical supports have been broken on the TAIEX (^TWII) and I'm pretty sure we're going to see the 6000s before we see the 8000s again.

But, don't blame Ma, Wu, and company, because after all- this was never as bad as when Chen Shui-bian was in power, right? Right? Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Look at this chart of GDP growth rates for previous years compared to a few other countries. Since 2001, Taiwan was on par with many countries of the world, and with better GDP growth rates than countries like U.S., Japan, and France. Everyone has heard of the saying, "What goes up, must comes down." And it will be oh so fun for Taiwan when Taiwan gets it's economy so tied up with China that when China's boom, busts, so will Taiwan's economy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

June DPP Newsletter (English)

Here's the DPP newsletter for English readers for the month of June.

June DPP Newsletter

Also, appearing in the Chinapost today is a short article on citizens in Hong Kong staging a protest for the right to universal suffrage, something that Taiwanese currently have. This is just another reminder that the Taiwanese people should not want to unite with China under their rule. And if you haven't been keeping up to date, the KMT have been moving quickly to set the groundwork for an eventual unification. Can the people of Taiwan wake up in 4 years to realize that they need to vote the KMT out of the legislative yuan as well as vote in a new president? The party in actuality should not matter, but the fact of the matter is that the KMT's party platform is eventual unification with China. So the KMT needs to change, or Taiwan needs to change; which seems more easy to do?