Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"633" Update, Again

A day after I asked about the actual specifics about the "633" promises, both the China Post and Taipei Times are reporting on Ma's interview with the Presidential Office of Mexico where he covers both the "633" promises, as well as the relationship between China and Taiwan.

Looks like this is what Ma is changing his promises to:

- 6% Annual GDP Growth by 2016
- $30,000 Per Capita Income by 2012 2016
- 3% Unemployment Rate by 2012 2016

“Eventually, we hope to see the economic growth rate reach 6 percent, GDP per capita achieve US$30,000 and the jobless rate drop to less than 3 percent in 2016, the final year of my second term in office,” Ma said.

Although the 6% Annual GDP growth rate is annual, Ma is trying to push it farther back by saying that he hopes to see that 6% GDP growth rate by 2016, annually. Seems to me as long as he starts hitting 6% anytime in the last couple years of his terms, they will consider that as a success. What's even better though is that Ma is quoted as saying that a 4.6% GDP growth rate for 2008 will be "not bad" considering the global economy. Now, considering the global economy started falling during Chen's last year in office, a 5.7% GDP growth rate in 2007 must be at least "ok" or "decent," if not "good." Yet, the KMT were able to paint the economy during Chen's last year as horrible, dispicable, in the poopers.

With that said, Ma is basically starting to campaign for his 2nd term, by getting it out early that those promises were not failures, but rather they will be unlikely to be obtained soon, and "they will be obtained if you give me a second term." The Taipei Times quotes him as saying,

“The election promises still stand, but it will take longer to deliver them,” he was quoted as saying in the transcript.

If only it were that easy. If the opposition continues to hit their administration about their promise of a 20,000 TAIEX, I'm sure someone will eventually come out and say, "That promise stands, although it may take until 2020 to realize that." The reality is that although we like to say we need to think of the future and create a world that is better for our children, our human nature is selfish and we would rather think about the present, and for ourselves. Therefore, Ma's promises of "633" is already a failure- no one cares about promises being made 8 years out, we want to see promises realized within the next 4 years. Perhaps if Ma, from the outset, set those goals to be obtained in two terms, it would be okay; but clearly they were set to be obtained during his first and only term that is guranteed. You might even say it was arrogant for Ma to say that he will deliver the "633" by his second term.

If Ma ever gets a 2nd term, he'll be sure to justify his "three nos" such that it only applied to his first term.


At the same time, Ma takes some shots at Taiwan's soveriengty by saying that the Taiwan and China relationship is not that of two countries, but a "special" one- whatever that means. Yes, the relationship is a special one, but it is of one between two countries. It is not a special relationship between two China's, or between China and a "renegade province."

Furthermore, a continual disappearance of the word "Taiwan" from Ma's rhetoric continues. All that is left in his vocabulary are 1992, China, ROC. Ma's view of the ROC is quite consistent with that of the old guard KMT.

From Taipei Times:

Ma said that while the ROC left China in 1949, it did not disappear from the surface of the Earth. He hoped both sides of the Strait would refrain from engaging in malicious competition on the diplomatic front.

and from China Post:

Although the Chinese communists won the war in 1949, the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan since then is a fact that "nobody can deny," he insisted.

What is Ma saying here? One China. One China. One China. Zero Taiwan. In trying to signify that there is both, the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of China that co-exist under a supposed "1992 consensus," Ma seemingly equates Taiwan as a whole with the ROC (KMT) that left China in 1949. At least the China Post lets it slip that the current ROC is an existence of the "ROC on Taiwan." Indicating the ROC is not of Taiwan.

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