web analytics
The Standard

Taiwan

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, March 19th, 2014 - 9 comments
Categories: accountability, business, capitalism, International - Tags: , , ,

So Taiwan’s ruling KMT is fast tracking a ‘Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services’ with China in spite of the main opposition party, as well as 70% of Taiwanese according to some polls, wanting the Agreement reviewed line by line.

In response, the Parliament building has been occupied by students.

I guess this may be nothing more than a ‘flash in the pan’ resulting from effective ‘astro-turfing’. Then again, could be the real deal. I don’t know.

Anyway. I really don’t have time to delve into the current political dynamics of Taiwan and compose a proper post on this today. So what I’m hoping is that the thread beneath this post can be used by people to provide useful information. I mean that as something different to the usual pressure release valve of one opinion headbanging against the next.

Look on it as an experiment is you will.

9 comments on “Taiwan”

  1. happynz 1

    I lived and worked in Taiwan back in the early nineties. Back then the Koumintang (KMT) was the main player in government. At that time there were still many old fellas from Chiang Kai Shek’s occupying force sitting in the seats of power. The premier, Hao Pei-Tsun was an old school bully. The president, Lee Teng-Hui was the Ivy League educated friendly international face.

    The early nineties saw the opening up of politics and restrictions on the media loosened. The Democratic Progressive party (DPP) – mostly made up of native Taiwanese not at all pleased with the Mainland Chinese dominated KMT – began to become more popular, especially in the rural and provincial areas of the middle and south of the island. In fact, I lived in the mid-south of Taiwan and it was easy to see the growing influence of the DPP as their green banners popped up everywhere. Many native Taiwanese were fed up with the whole meme of, “Someday the Communists will be defeated and we will all go home to the glorious Motherland” that was a part of the message rammed home in schools and nightly broadcasts.

    I am certainly not an expert on Taiwanese politics or their history. To be honest, the clearest memories of the political scene at the time were of the fisticuffs and flying chairs that were a regular feature in the reporting of the happenings inside the Taiwanese legislature building. It was better entertainment than professional wrestling.

    • Ennui 1.1

      Good commentary, as with Paul below: I recently discussed a business visit to China made by a colleague. He is a Chinese NZer, what he said was that there was considerable provincial parochialism that creates a tension with the centralised government of the country. He said it is the oldest story in the book, China is forever centralising then decentralising. The one thing it remains he said, the constant is that it is China, not a bunch of independent states.

  2. Paul Campbell 2

    I’ve spent maybe 3 months in Taiwan on business trips over the past years – there’s a decided split there between:
    – people descended from the nationalists who fled Mao, and the people who were already in Taiwan at the time
    – blues (KMT supporters) and greens (DPP/TSU)
    – virulent anti-communist, and don’t much care
    – native Mandarin speakers and native Hokkien speakers
    – those in favour of a unified China and those in favour of taiwanese independence

    And most people (a huge generalisation) fall in all the former or all the latter.

    However as people I’ve talked to explain it – these are the grandparent’s values, the nationalists who came and took over Taiwan in 1949 had escaped Mao, while the people who they invaded had been living under Japanese occupation from 1895 to 1945 they had very different aspirations. They then lived under a nationalist military state until about 1980 and value their independent democracy. The next generation became very US centric, not so involved in their parents arguments, while the current kids are children of the world – maybe focused more on J-pop/K-pop etc.

    (getting back to the original article) What is kind of funny is that some things are quite turned around now – the KMT, the nationalists who were so very anti-communists are now the ones who are cozying up to the mainland, they still believe in one China, just argue a bit about who should be running it, while the others believe in their (defacto) independent Taiwan, and don’t much care to continue the fiction that they rule China

    (take this with the appropriate grain of salt, I’m a western outsider talking to a few co-workers, I’m sure the real world is far more complex)

  3. Bill 3

    I guess the questions I was asking myself this morning, apart from wondering why it wasn’t mentioned in any major newspaper that I saw, was the following:

    How much of the protest was being driven by anti-Chinese or Mainland sentiment and how much by anti free-trade deal sentiment? How many free trade arrangements, if any, has Taiwan already entered into and what, if they exist, was the reaction to those?

    On the CNN i report link I found the number of comments asking for ‘help’ a bit peculiar. Meanwhile, I notice that it’s still being updated and it’s now being reporting that “Numerous policemen were lifted by protesters and moved out of the Parliament.”

    Taking it all at face value – as a protest against free trade deals being pushed through by ruling parties with no or little transparency…I’m just reflecting how bloody wonderful it would be to see NZ react in a similar fashion. (I can dream ;-) )

    edit-just looked through the ‘world news’ sections of both the Guardian and ‘the independent’. Still nothing at all on any of this.

  4. Bill 4

    Okay….so I’m forwarded a comment sent to me from the lass in Taiwan who originally brought my attention to this through a fb post. ( I’d asked if she would mind commenting directly on the standard if she could provide useful info. I’m honestly just ‘not getting it’ as to why this has had (as far as I’m aware) zero reporting from any main news source.

    Thx Bill xx Not just New Zealander, lots of Taiwanese especially my parents generation have no ideas what’s happening. They believe what news on tv showed. But, most TV channel have been controlled by government and those protesters are reported as mob. But the reality is folks were calm and peaceful, but more and more people are keep coming…..till now. I was in the flock last night and i witnessed the situations.Sad….never think this would happen in my county. I don’t know what I can help, so at least reported something or made comments on international web.
    Not sure if i am right or wrong coz i worry my info sources are also limited so comments wouldn’t be objective. But will do the best. Thanks a lot:)

  5. Ennui 5

    Good points Bill. Perhaps it is also like the Crimea, once part of a larger nation, split off for some ideological reason, and now returning. Taiwan was before Mao part of China, it was the last refuge of Chang Kai Cheks anti Communist regime, safeguarded by the USA. They called themselves Chinese, because they are. History and culture have a longer resonance and sweep than ideologies and politics.

    • Bill 5.1

      Taiwan has an indigenous population that isn’t and never was Chinese or (the former colonists) Japanese. But identity and history aside, honestly, I’m very, and maybe principally, curious about the lack of reporting. Can you imagine the Canadian parliament being occupied, ostensibly due to a free trade agreement, and it not being an instant headline story in our media?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 8

  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    6 hours ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    1 day ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    4 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    5 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    5 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    5 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    6 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    6 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Solid Energy, who will clean up the mess?
    What can you say? This state-owned coal miner is facing some very serious problems. They haven’t run a profit in years, have required two Government bailouts, laid-off more than 700 staff and look like they need a third injection of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere