Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LPGA Corning Classic Winner from Taiwan

Congratulations to Yani Tseng from Taiwan, who took 1st place at the Corning Classic over the weekend. It's been a while since we've seen a Taiwanese on top of a sporting field. We've had Wang Chien Ming the past 3-4 years, but lately he's off the table because of his injury.

That's not the whole story about this lady from Taiwan winning an LPGA tournmanet. The real story is that Ma Ying Jeou refused to give Taiwan golf the time of day earlier in the year, refusing to let Taiwan host an LPGA tour that would help give Taiwan some international spot-light. After all, isn't that one of his goals? Especially in his failed attempt at getting more international space in the WHA?

The report on Wednesday said Tseng is unhappy because Taiwan does not take golf seriously and has not responded for her call to hold a LPGA tournament in the country, even though LPGA has already approved the event.

$6 million dollars may seem like a steep price, but to say that it was "too much" for them to pay for is bullshit. In the recent trip to Geneva to attend the WHA, Dr. Yeh basically paid up $5 million USD to the WHO organization- for what?- we don't know exactly, but he claims it is for vaccines and medicines, and hopes that the WHO reciprocates the favor and helps Taiwan fight the H1N1. Just one year donation? Not exactly:

Liu also directed that Taiwan donate US$5 million a year in principle, Yeh said, adding that the DOH will also discuss the use of the annual donation with the WHO Secretariat.
Annual donations to the WHO so that we can buy our way into the WHA and be called Chinese Taipei? Where no one knows where Chinese Taipei actually is on the map? We're found on the bottom left corner, in the middle of an ocean. Awesome.

If I were Yani Tseng, I would be mad too. She had the desire to support and play for Taiwan, and she ends up winning the LPGA tournament. And yet Ma and his administration is too busy trying to pony up to China than trying to defend and build up Taiwan. If you aren't sick and tired of all the China flying around, you will be soon enough. Ma wants to enlist Chinese companies to do a BOT on infrastructure (harbors and airports). Are Taiwanese companies not good enough to do so? I doubt it. If this is not blatant selling of Taiwan to China so that China controls our economy and infrastructure, then Taiwan is already a part of China. Give me one, good reason, why Taiwan should enlist Chinese companies for BOTs here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ma Making Stops in US

A one-liner in this article from Taipei Times notes that President Ma will be making stops in LA and Seattle sometime over the next week or two. To be exact, June 2nd, staying at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle.

Ma will stop over at Los Angeles on his way over and Seattle on his way back.

Ma may not be shaking hands with the overseas Taiwanese, and those coming to the banquet may have their temperatures taken first, Yeh said, adding that these precautionary measures would be implemented in a sensitive manner.

I urge Taiwanese in Seattle to show up wherever Ma is and let whatever media is covering Taiwan's president know that there are Taiwanese everywhere that do not like what Ma is doing in terms of his economic policy, and his empty rhetoric of "protecting" Taiwan's sovereignty. President Ma and his puppet Doctor Yeh will be in a place where they cannot have their authoritarian-like state-police dictating what you can or cannot do.

If you want more reason to be upset about Doctor Yeh, take a look at this video. Doctor Yeh pulls the old, if you don't speak Taiwanese, you aren't Taiwanese trick. Like that huh? It's the thing the old DPP used to do, and hopefully they've learned the lesson-- that Taiwanese are comprised of many different backgrounds- 本省人, 本省人, Aboriginals, Hoklo, Hakka, etc. So is what the KMT Doctor Yeh is now saying is that half of you young generation who cannot speak Taiwanese, are not Taiwanese? And what about those who are 客家人?

So, go to the event, and use Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka, English, and even Japanese, and show him what Taiwanese really means.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Lesson To Be Learned

Learn from history so we do not repeat it. Right? That's what we all learned in middle school world history.

South Korean Ex-President Commits Suicide:

Critics said the South gave the North too much for too little in return. A relatively sluggish economic performance, high youth unemployment and soaring property prices also undermined Roh's popularity.
Is this what we will be seeing in terms of Taiwan and China? Or perhaps we're already seeing this in the cross-strait talks thus far. Taiwan is giving up too much for too little in return from China. We're seeing sluggish economic performance and high unemployment as well. Presidential popularity? Well that's low as well, but it's risen a bit with the stock market- something to keep in mind when reading Taiwan's presidential popularity polls. I'm sure Ma's rating will drop when the markets resume their death spiral.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

US-Taiwan Policy

It's quite refreshing to read about such strong support for Taiwan in the U.S. As the article states, recently, calls for review of the current policy on Taiwan by the U.S. have been flying around. This, along with the fact that the TRA is now in its 30th year anniversary of TRA being approved by the US congress.

Just a few points that I feel should be highlighted:

Royce said Congress was concerned that despite the many moves by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to improve relations with China, there had been no military “drawdown” by Beijing.

“In 2001 there were 250 missiles [aimed at Taiwan], I remember the briefings. Last time I checked there were 1,400 missiles and other batteries were still coming on line. In terms of security, America’s Asian partners fear that the US is an Asian power in decline,” he said.

Even after the supposed "warming ties" between Taiwan and China, China has shown no "goodwill" in reducing the number of missiles pointed at Taiwan. The figure is still anywhere between 1300-1500, with the article quoting Representative Ed Royce saying it was around 1,400 still. This is all besides the fact that any "goodwill" that China wants the world to think, if it ever did reduce the number of missiles, is just hand-waving on their end. Yes, it's a nice gesture, but if they really wanted to use the missiles, do you really think it would take more than a couple hours to reposition the missiles at Taiwan? What is more important than reducing the missiles pointed at Taiwan, is dismantling missiles pointed at Taiwan. Another article earlier this year cites it's up to 1,500.

“How Washington treats Taiwan will signal how Washington sees its role in the Pacific. And that’s another reason why I believe that engagement with Taiwan is very important. Taiwan faces one of the most complex and lethal military threats in the world,” he said.

I believe Royce would make a good China/Taiwan foreign policy adviser for the Obama administration. But, it's recently been filled anyways by another Republican who may actually know something about Taiwan (having done missionary work in Taiwan previously). Rare to see, but here I do concede to Obama for reaching across the aisle and potentially giving Taiwan some support (actual results, we will have to wait and see). Anyways, what I like is that Royce recognizes the importance of Taiwan, which is what I also believe- that either Taiwan/China conflict or Iran/Israel will likely be where the next flashpoint for a potential world war will start.

“First, keep Taiwan honest to its democratic legacy. There’s always the chance of slipping in terms to commitment to freedom of speech. In any country, there is a tendency to try to stifle debate and shut down political opponents. This is wrong. If the government strays from its principles, it’s our responsibility as Americans to help the Taiwanese to stand up for free speech,” he said.

Wow, someone outside of Taiwan the actually recognizes that the human rights/democracy/freedom of speech in Taiwan has been deteriorating since Ma and his KMT came back into full power in 2008. For those who still don't believe it, Freedom House has got my back, "Media in Taiwan faced assault and growing government pressure."

“We should revisit the Taiwan guidelines. The US needs to find ways to more openly engage Taiwan’s democratic leaders. The Taiwan guidelines are arcane and inappropriate for the type of relationship we have with Taiwan. They are 30 years old and to my knowledge they have only been modified once. It would make sense to review and adapt our policies. It is time to do this. China and Taiwan are much different today than they were then. Detente notwithstanding, the Taiwan Strait is a flash point. It is essential that US policy makers be able to directly communicate with the leaders of Taiwan. Restrictions on US-Taiwan contact are counter-productive. Not just that but they can also be dangerous,” he said.

Took my words right out of my mouth: flashpoint! If we have people like Royce leading the Taiwan support in the U.S., I have hope for a better Taiwan. Recognition of the importance of Taiwan goes a long ways in my book. Royce also takes a stab in the right direction on the revising of the TRA. Many have been talking about a review of the TRA, but mostly in terms of tilting it in terms of China's favor because of China's increasing pressure on the U.S, as well as Taiwan being tilted towards China by Ma. It's good to see that there are people that believe we can have a review of the TRA, where Taiwan does not get shafted further.

“If we want cross-strait detente to succeed, President Ma must deal from a position of strength. The US should be prepared to proceed with appropriate arms sales to Taiwan. The arms sales incentivize China to pursue political, not military, means to reconcile its differences with Taiwan,” Royce said.
Walk softly and carry a big stick- that's what China does. If Taiwan is ever going to try to successfully negotiate with China about any sort of agreement and get something where it isn't always a win-win situation for China, then Taiwan must have military and weapons support from the U.S. Even if China decided to engage Taiwan militarily and we know that Taiwan on its own would not be able to hold its ground, continuing with arms sales to Taiwan is not only the U.S.'s policy to do so, but also indirectly shows the U.S.'s continual support of Taiwan. Think of it in China's view: a Taiwan that is continually getting arms sales from the U.S. is much harder to deal with than a Taiwan that has stopped receiving arms sales from the U.S. for whatever reason. If Taiwan stops receiving arms sales, it may be a sign that the United States commitment towards Taiwan is waning.

I've had a dim outlook on Taiwan recently, and although I hope for the best, it's been hard due to the "warming" ties between China and Taiwan. But, if our representatives and senators in the U.S. can once again rally support for a positive revision of the TRA, then Taiwan may just be given a second chance. At that point, it is up to the people of Taiwan to let their voices be heard and not let their future be decided by the KMT/CCP.

BTW: I was going to make another update about the DPP sit-in, but I've lost a lot of pictures due to the SD card I was using being unreadable. It's now at Apacer's company for at least 3-4 weeks as they attempt to recover any data on it. So, I may just make a post tomorrow or later, about the sit-in with a few pictures that I managed to take off first. It was really moving to see everyone there with 伊是咱的寶貝 playing in the background (YouTube link to the song). I'll let the pictures speak for themselves when I update tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

517 Rally!!!

"Ma Ying Jeou!" -> "Go Die!"

Okay, that wasn't one of the official chants/slogans that the DPP used, but that's what some people said. Instead of "Ma yin gau, lo tai!" it became "Ma yin gau, ki si!" (English translation, "Ma Ying Jeou, step down!", became "Ma Ying Jeou, go die!"

My first protest ever in Taiwan, and it was an amazing experience. The last time I ever protested was for Taiwan, but that was during the 95-96 Missile Crisis, and I was doing it as a little kid with my parents and cousins in downtown Seattle (Westlake center). It was nice to have that feeling of fighting for a purpose again. Everyone was happy and hardly any conflict occurred during the march, but at least for myself- emotions were high. Not so much like I was going to start crying, but I felt the power of the people in a way. It is a feeling that is hard to describe unless you were actually there. To see young and old (mostly old), even those that looked like in their 70s and 80s marching, with canes was just remarkable. They are the ones that have been through the White Terror and martial law era, if anyone knows what they are fighting for- it was them.

Having read about the previous protests and the articles covering them in the past, I know theres always the number games being played about how many people actually attended. Taipei Mayor puts it at 80,000, while the DPP put it at 600,000. Because we know both will exaggerate in their favor, we'll just attempt to make it simple and take the mean and say at least 340,000 were in attendance. From what I saw, I think that is a very conservative estimate. This is why you never take what the newspapers/media give you at face value. More on this, below, during the pictures:

We started gathering at the main entrance of NTU around 2PM. We arrived promptly at 2, and there was already a few thousand waiting:

An abundance of organizations and flags, from Falun Gong, to Tibet, to DPP, to Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, and so on:

People started marching onto XinSheng Road at around 2:45PM. I waited til basically 3PM before I started marching, as I thought there would be some announcement to start walking-- but it never came. Bit by bit, people started to just follow everyone:

The sign reads that the ECFA is more scary than the H1N1!:

Took some black and white pictures to make it look historical-esque. Now we're starting to see how large our group of people were:

A side view of our long line of marchers on XinSheng S. Road, easily stretching past XinHai Road to the front:

"I don't want my country to fall into poverty" (my sluggish translation):

Picked up my DPP flag to wave from this kind man:

A lady leading us into chanting, "Ma Yin Gau, lo tai!":

Not sure the exact translation of this one, but on the opposite side I think I remember it reading, "Ma Ying Jeou is a Traitor":

Reached HePing E. Road and climbed up the elevated walkway to get a better shot of the amount of people:

A guesstimate to the amount of people spanning horizontally across the street is about 35-40. And if we count back rows from the bottom to about where there's that small gap in front of the large white banner (about middle of picture), we get about 25-30 rows- that gives us about 875-1200 people in just this small square. Now try to visualize how small that block actually is, maybe less than 30-40m. And then extend it back, taking into account the depth of field.

Another shot of the crowd after getting onto HePing E. Road:

A lady attempts to talk some sense into the police officer and explains what Ma is doing wrong- the police just looks away, and obviously very irritated:

My Mandarin sucks too much for this, feel free to translate:

Crossing another intersection, we get some "加油!" from a few on the autobikes. After a few more started cheering us on, about 6-8 of the people waiting at the intersection on their bikes were cheering us on. Just goes to show, there really are a lot of Green hiding in the depths of Taipei:

A fellow youngin' holds a stuffed horse and a hammer, encouraging people to come and hit the horse (馬 = Horse = Ma Ying Jeou's last name):

Nearing C.K.S. Memorial Hall (or Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall), we get to the front of our pack and see some DPP heads leading the front. Not sure who the woman is, but she is an elected official I believe:

Vendors set up shop in front of the " " Hall, selling an assortment of books, flags, bags, t-shirts, CDs, etc:

C.K.S. looks on from the back as we pass by " " Hall:

I left around 5:30PM as we were hungry and needed to get some dinner. I eventually came back to the DPP sit-in area at around 11:30PM to see how it was going. I'm really tired now, so I'll leave that for tomorrow. Enjoy!

Edit: I am having trouble with my SDHC card right now, the second update of the sit-in will have to wait.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

517 Information

Take a couple hours out of your not-busy Sunday, and rally with us against Ma and his KMT buddies' policies- their arrogant way of handling Taiwan's economy, democracy, and sovereignty. And their very obvious attempt and making Taiwan a one-China economy. Simply put, we all know the idiom for stocks- never put all your eggs in one basket. Well, that is what Ma is doing, putting all of Taiwan's eggs in one-China-basket.

The details (for you NTU (臺大) people, pay attention to Route 3):

Marchers will meet at four different locations at 2pm, and will depart at 3pm for Ketagalan Boulevard. Everyone will meet at Ketagalan Boulevard by 5pm.

Location #1: Zhongxiao East Road at the Dinghao Shopping Plaza

Location #2: Minzu West Road at the Zhongshan Soccer Stadium

Location #3: The corner of Xinsheng and Roosevelt Roads by the main gate of National Taiwan University

Location #4: Bangka Avenue at the Wanhua Train Station
Although this is organized by the DPP, do not think that this is a rally of support for Chen Shui-Bian nor for whatever wrongdoings the DPP has done. I fully support the prosecution of Chen Shui-Bian for whatever wrong he may have done-- but it should be done in a way that fairly judges him through the judicial system. The way his case has been handled so far is sketchy in terms of fairness, but that's another topic.

I know a fair amount of you young people around my age are in favor of an independent Taiwan, maybe not necessarily full independence, but the independence/status-quo that we have right now. I know that you do not favor unification with China, but you feel that a protest/rally will do nothing to stop whatever the KMT and Ma are doing. Or, you feel that what Ma and the KMT are doing is not doing any harm to Taiwan's sovereignty and democracy. In a way, I can understand, because it hasn't directly affected us yet. But, I'm here to say that things are changing, and changing fast, in favor of China swallowing up Taiwan. By the time you want to speak out against what is happening, it will be too late. A large turn-out on Sunday can and may wake-up the Ma administration into re-thinking what they are doing. Right now, they think the Taiwanese will lay at rest and let them do their thing. Show them that they are wrong. Thomas Jefferson: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

This is a rally for Taiwan, for Taiwanese, for Democracy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

President Ma - Stupidest Remark of The Year

“I think my administration handles it rather well,” he said, adding that Beijing does not seek political gains in all its dealings with Taiwan and that a win-win situation for both sides of the Strait is possible.

From this article in the TaipeiTimes, discussing the issue of Ma's opinion on peace talks and whether it will happen during his presidency.

Since when has China ever acted on behalf of Taiwan? Ma is clearly lying to the public, as I'm sure a Harvard grad is intelligent enough about the ways of China. China only thinks about their own well being and their own agenda. Anyone slightly intelligent knows that Taiwan is a super materialistic country in that the majority of Taiwanese think in terms of money and not about their future. Let's review the two main reasons why Ma was elected:

1) Ma and his administration promised "633" economic figures, high stock prices, and gold in the streets-- what's not to love?
2) To "teach" the DPP (specifically against CSB) a lesson

Taiwanese voted in Ma, not because they necessarily liked him, but because of the above two. So what better way for Ma to get re-elected than by cuddling with China and trying to get them to throw money into the Taiwan economy in order to fulfill his lost cause of the "633". Yeah, did you forget about that promise he made? You might have, and that's what the KMT and Ma hope you do. Because the original promise of 6% GDP Growth Rate, 3% Unemployment, and 30k per capita income, is clearly off track. What do we have now? Projections of anywhere from 0% GDP Growth Rate for 2009 to the negative percentage GDP Growth Rate, 5.7% Unemployment rate, and per capita income of about 17k. So what does the government do? Boost the stock market for what it's worth, and hopefully the Taiwanese are dumb enough to re-elect him- that's what he's thinking- and he's counting on it.

But that's not the end of it, China knows this too, and will do everything in their power to keep the KMT in power and prevent the DPP from coming back on 2012. So what do they do? Make it seem like Ma is doing great things in these cross-strait talks. Here's the giveaway:

Ma said Beijing was hesitant to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), possibly because of differences between Taiwan’s ruling and opposition parties. However, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) have both expressed interest in an ECFA.

From this we can surmise that China and their commies have already planned out how to get Ma re-elected in 2012. Why else would they sign all these agreements if they thought the DPP had a chance to comeback in 2012?

So what's there left to do? Taiwanese still have the right to protest, as of now. Use it. No, of course one "May 17th protest" isn't going to solve the problem of Ma's continual disregard for the opinion of the people, and lack of transparency in what the KMT/CCP are doing- but, it's a start. How did Taiwan get to this democracatic state that we have today? It was done in the same way, slowly gathering and protesting against the government.

For those who think the people who have been critical of Ma and the KMT (including me and this blog) are exaggerating and thinking Ma will never take Taiwan towards the path of unification-- take a step back, and think about what is happening objectively. Chinese police in Taiwan? Economic agreements to allow Chinese workers in Taiwan? Chinese investments in Taiwanese companies? Chinese students in Taiwan colleges?

I know what you're thinking-- this is good! They can help boost the economy in Taiwan, do the dirty low-level work, and increase the revenue of Taiwan colleges. Well what about the Chinese police? Do we seriously need communists in Taiwan? And again, look at the "economic boost" from another angle. If Taiwan puts all its eggs in one basket (China), what happens when China's economic busts as well (and it will, what goes up, must come down)-- or what happens when China uses their economic leverage they have on Taiwan as a way towards achieving their political agenda. Taiwan will have nothing it can do by be swallowed up. That is a shitty way to go out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

All But In Name

More delightful news for Taiwanese, as it seems like a possibility that Chinese police will be brought into Taiwan to help "crime prevention."

If you are a Taiwanese and this doesn't scare you/make you flinch/read what I just said, then there is something wrong with you! What Taiwan doesn't need is more police that will not respect the rights of the people. Have you noticed that the Taiwanese police here don't even do a good job at what they are supposed to do (see below post)? And now we want to bring in Chinese police so that anyone against the KMT can be threatened and live in even more fear?

Even you people who voted for Ma Ying-Jeou and are KMT, you have got to admit--- this is getting ridiculous and is going too far. Taiwan is just about becoming a part of China, all but in name. Sure, Ma made the promise of no-unification, but it seems like he can basically unify the two countries without actually doing so.

So here's my call to you guys. Put aside your disgust with Chen Shui-Bian, and come out on May 17 to protest against Taiwan's government's inability to protect Taiwan's sovereignty and democracy. This isn't about the DPP vs KMT, this is about Taiwanese vs KMT/CCP. So yes, if you're one of those that want to unify with China, then stay at home- otherwise come out on May 17 to voice your opinion about what Ma is doing to Taiwan.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Censoring Continues

Haven't posted on Taiwan issues in a while, but it's the same old same old. Everyday, more stories about how people who have opinions that differ from the KMT-line, are continued to be silenced and unfairly treated. It's textbook fear tactics to maintain political control- suppress and bring down anyone who dares to voice an opinion other than the ruling party.

The recent bill to alter the "Assembly and Parade Act" is just a show to appease the previous protestors, including the "Wild Strawberry" students who protested for a change in the current Assembly and Parade Act. Yes, the petty bickering and fighting tactics of the Taiwan Legislative Yuan is petty and stupid. But, (and no, I'm not justifying it) what else can the DPP do to attempt to block bills? The KMT have full control, and are unwilling to let the voice of the people be heard. So the only form of protest that the people actually have-- is to protest on the streets. The KMT obviously no longer holds deep regard for their leader Dr. Sun Yat Sen's, Principle of Democracy-- stating that the people should have the right to referendums, among other things. So, the opposition party is left to rally on the streets.

What does the KMT do then? It decides to formulate a "new" bill that claims to improve upon the previous, but in actuality- allows more room for discouraging rallies and protests from happening. For example, slapping a $50,000NT fine on the organizers if they do not properly disclose what they will do, where they will go, etc.

Is this really how Taiwan will end? At the hands of the KMT with a larger percentage of Taiwanese who actually do not want to unify with China? It's okay to be wrong, but it's not okay to stand by and watch as the president and party you voted for, takes not only your money, but also your livelihood away.

Much coverage on the blogs already about the student protestors in Tainan getting mobbed by mobs/gangsters. Holding signs and shouting in public is now due for a beating. Michael Turton over at, The View From Taiwan, always with spot-on commentary on Taiwan news and issues has much of the story about the students covered. Check it out to feel even more sad about the state of Taiwan. May 17th is the rally against Ma's policies. Some information about the rally can be found here, but briefly quoted from the article:

The four demands in the May 17 rally are to safeguard Taiwan, protect sovereignty, save unemployment, and care for minority groups, said DPP.

Participants will gather at 2 pm on May 17 in four places in Taipei including National Taiwan University entrance, Chungshan Soccer Stadium, Ding-Hau Plaza in east district, and Wanhua Train Station. The march will commence at 3 pm and all groups are expected to assemble at the Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office at 5 pm, according to DPP.

I'll be out there on the 17th, snapping photos and trying to avoid getting beat down by any gangsters.

BTW: There's pretty much only two places to get non-KMT slandered English news about Taiwan, www.taipeitimes.com, as well as Taiwan blogs. It's fascinating to me to see that there are hardly any (actually I've never seen one) pro-KMT blogs that are frequently updated. Anyone care to point me to one?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Took The Loss

And we make it above 900 SPX. More upside may be in-store, although getting long here may be late-game. I have exited all front-month puts. Capitulation on my part, nothing I could do.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Top May Be Near

I've got bulls breathing up my sides now, and there are certain things that cause me to think, wow, everyone is getting bullish. I just had another comment made to me about this, and so... this is just a friendly reminder to myself...

I definitely could be wrong, and the market may just run-up to 1000, but I've got my money bet that we turn south before going to 1000 SPX. If we bust above 900SPX, it may be done for the bears temporarily, and I'll have to take the loss.

Don't get caught up in all the bull! As many people say, in bear markets, stocks rise on bad news and fall on good news. What have we been seeing? Exactly this.