Jerome F. Keating's writings

2011 - 2rd Quarter Writings

Ma Ying-jeou's "Do Nothing" Promises Deceive Taiwan

Saturday June 25

A recently released WikiLeaks cable revealed yet another set of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou's strange and vacuous negative promises that in effect define him as a "do-nothing president," that is, a president who attempts to be a good little boy that will sit in the corner vis-à-vis the US-China-Taiwan triangular relationship and not rock the boat or try to offend anyone. This latest revelation, dated March 20, 2009, a year after Ma's taking the presidency referenced three promises Ma made through staff to American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt. Ma's first set of three strange, empty "do nothing" pledges were made when Ma had become president. Both sets of promises demand closer examination for they not only reflect Ma's characteristic avoidance in taking an accountable position on anything but they also imply an obtuse simple-mindedness on the part of anyone who accepts his words as noteworthy. ...

The 1992 Consensus, a Fabricated Continuation of China's Civil War

Wednesday June 22

China's Civil War ended in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) defeated the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and drove them into exile. Call them Diaspora, a rump government or a government in exile, the KMT came and set up a one-party state on Taiwan (then vacated by Japan); there they licked their wounds vowing that they would return and take China. If they could not hold China when they were in China, then of course there was no way that the KMT could come back and retake China. Fortunately the Korean War broke out and the presence of the US Seventh Fleet in the Taiwan Strait saved the KMT from this embarrassing dilemma. ...

Taiwan's Judicial Reform, the First Step

Sunday June 19

Taiwan still carries a lot of baggage from its past one-party state days under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). One particularly large piece of that baggage has been the nation's need for judicial reform. This need had been long evident but it could only begin to be met after Martial Law was lifted in 1987. Nonetheless, efforts to address it with appropriate legislation had proven futile. Finally however in this current legislative session a bill, called the "Judge Act," was finally passed. What has spurred on this change? There have been several forces at work; one has certainly been and continues to be public awareness of the problem. ...

Ma's Chinese Tourists, Just What Are They Here For?

Saturday June 18

Before the Pearl Harbor attack, part of Japan's plan was to send tourists to Hawaii to map out where the battleship berths were, where the airfields were etc. etc. and know the whole military layout. From this and other means they were able to build a mock copy of Pearl Harbor and so plan how to attack and do the most damage. Obviously they were successful. ...

Anomalies of China? They Keep Mounting.

Friday June 17

Tibet has been "liberated" by China for over half a century right? Why then with this grand liberation does China have to close the borders of Tibet to foreigners once again? Such are the anomalies of China or are they? ...

Taiwan's Tao Prepare to Hail Part of Taiwan's Past

Tuesday June 14

Taiwan is an island nation with a rich, past that most are not that aware of. For example, current research is pointing more and more to how linguistically and by DNA Taiwan is the origin of the vast Austronesian Empire that extends from Madagascar to Easter Island. Similarly, Taiwan is seen as the origin of the Lapita Culture that extends throughout the islands of the Pacific. But the natural question arises, how could Taiwanese travel from Taiwan to all those islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans in spurts beginning some 5000 years or more ago? Today's Tao people who dwell primarily on Orchid Island are preparing to demonstrate how. ...

Taiwan's Past Corruption under the KMT was Big Time Corruption

Saturday June 11

Well it seems that if Taiwan's military under Ma Ying-jeou are not running off to China to be buddy-buddy with the People's Liberation Army (PLA), then their past big time corruption under the KMT is coming back to haunt them. ...

More Questions on Just How is Ma Ying-jeou's China Policy Working?

Thursday June 09

Forget for the moment how Ma keeps telling us that his rapprochement with China is working because Taiwan was admitted as an observer into WHA, but we find out later that WHO had already sent out a letter that Taiwan was to be treated as "a province of China." So how exactly is this working and how exactly is Ma defending Taiwan's sovereignty as he claims. ...

Tales of the Bandits Taiwan-style, the KMT and PFP

Tuesday June 07

Chen Shui-bian sits in jail for supposedly misusing campaign funds and supposedly accepting bribes though it seems now that the Prosecutors brow-beat the witnesses to falsify testimony against him. (One has already admitted to that via his lawyers) Not to worry, on the KMT side of the aisle James Soong who was accused of making off with US$8 million dollars of KMT campaign funds in what is called the Chung Hsing Bills Finance scandal is all of a sudden forgiven by the KMT, and prosecutors for misuse and pocketing of campaign funds are no where to be found. Now why is that? ...

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Verges on Being a "Useful Idiot"

Saturday June 04

What is it about the US Military that so many of them seem to be totally ignorant of US commitments and policies as well as of the history and nature of China. Last week it was Admiral Mullen, now the latest faux pas came from no other than their leader, the US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Gates claimed knowledge of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA)but then he implied that the new US policy would be to make the US commitments subject to the "sensitivities of China." ...

Chiayi Man Runs Marathons in Slippers: a Taiwan Miracle in Itself

Thursday June 02

There are times that one should look away from politics and the troubles of the world and examine the achievements of the human spirit. Such a case is Chen Ching-shun who hails from Chiayi County, Taiwan. Chen started running marathons when he was around 50 years old; now at age 53 he has run 42. That translates into 14 marathons a year. Few people have run even one in their lives. But there is more to the story. ...

VP Vincent Siew Bows Out, Saving Face for Himself, the KMT and Ma

Wednesday June 01

It has been an accepted fact in Taiwan for the past months that Vincent Siew would not be Ma Ying-jeou's Vice-Presidential running mate in the upcoming 2012 elections. In 2008, Siew had been brought onto Ma's ticket as added value; he helped Ma to keep ties with the old guard Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and he was to give the people economic confidence that Ma's 6-3-3 promise would be a slam dunk affair. His added value dissipated after the elections and Siew was relegated to a minor role. It wasn't necessarily his fault, but it was clear he had no cachet for Ma in 2012. It was either bow out or be dumped...

What Made Nan Fang Shuo Change? Ma's Lack of Core Values?

Monday May 30

There are many ways that Ma Ying-jeou and his leadership style have been characterized in the past. Ma has been called the "Phony Pony," "Ma Ying-joke," "The Chameleon on a Wind Sock" etc.; the list goes on and on. A recent interview with political commentator Nan Fang Shuo, published in Mandarin in the "Liberty Times," and then in English in the "Taipei Times" ("Ma Shifts with the Political Winds: Nan Fang Shuo," May 29, 2011) adds to the list. Nan Fang Shuo addresses how Ma's logic is "to say no independence to the people wishing for unification, and saying no unification to the people wanting independence. This sort of taking advantage by playing word-games is not a government that takes responsibility." ...

Chiu Yi, Some Pre-election Grandstanding or Will He Carry Through

Saturday May 28

Chiu Yi normally serves as the KMT attack dog, who because of his position in the Legislative Yuan (LY) has a certain immunity for the wild accusations and slurs that he often fills the air with. (Note also that he is not an elected member of the LY but has a party appointed legislator at large position). But Chiu Yi was in the news recently for filing a law suit against former defense minister Chen Chao-min. ...

Another Product of the US Naval War College or What?

Monday May 23

Once again we find a US Military officer making a large gaffe in expressing his mis-speaking on how he looks forward to a "peaceful re-unification" of Taiwan and China and totally mis-interpreting the USA's "one China" policy. The case in point was Admiral Mullen USN speaking after the visit of Chinese military brass to the USA. ...

KMT Corruption Still Evident; How Deep are the Police Involved in it?

Sunday May 22

When will Taiwanese wake up to the numerous ways that the KMT corruption pervades the island? It has been months since the shooting of KMT Sean Lien, Lien Chan's son. The police have made no progress, or do they really want to? Are they afraid what Taiwanese will see as the ever present remains of KMT corruption? ...

Taiwan as the World Turns: Mid-may Mania

Thursday May 19

Two big items have been keeping the media busy in Taiwan this past week: in one, another KMT official exhibited the haughty, carpetbagger attitude that the KMT waishengren have for things Taiwanese. In the past people like Kuo Kuan-ying, then working for the Government Information Office (GIO) insulted Taiwanese by calling them rednecks who should be happy to learn from the elite KMT who ironically Taiwan took in after they got beat on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. ...

How Long Must Taiwan Reap What Others Sow?

Thursday May 12

There are times in listening to world leaders that one wonders whether they are being simplistic, blind, naÏve, or even duplicitous in their assessment of the world and its economy. A case in point recently came when Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd visited Washington D.C. Rudd chatted with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then spoke at the Brookings Institute. In his speech Rudd stressed the importance of bringing China into international institutions. Rudd's reason of course was that the world economy depended on it. This bears deeper examination. ...

Ma Ying-jeou, the Puppet of Beijing

Tuesday May 10

Once again, Taiwan has witnessed that the word of Ma Ying-joke is a hollow as an empty gourd. After years of Ma telling the Taiwanese that he is protecting its sovereignty, that he would not mention independence and that he would not move toward unification, reality exposes his deception. Ma touted that the observer status that he has gained Taiwan as Chinese Taipei in the World Health Assembly (WHA) was a great achievement. A recent memo reveals that this was and still is a sham. ...

Ma Continues the KMT Belittling of Taiwan's Aborigines

Monday May 09

Ma Ying-jeou continued to express his Han chauvinistic prejudice in recent remarks to the aboriginal community. It was bad enough to hear his past telling the aborigines that they need to move into the city where they will receive a proper education on being civilized. Somehow he had implied that living in nature and on one's ancestral lands automatically made one uncivilized and a barbarian. But this time Ma went beyond just speaking on locale determining brains. This time he may have thought he was complimenting them, but that is Ma logic and Han chauvinism. ...

Taichung, Jason 'Good-Time'Charlie' Hu Dodges One Impeachment Bullet So Far

Thursday May 05

Taichung, the city where you get the crap that you voted for has continued to have bad days recently. It seems, that the chickens have finally started to come home to roost in that city as noted by recent events. Both involved the KMT Mayor of eight years and voted in for another four years who had just dodged an impeachment bullet. The issue was the pub fire recently written about. To refresh reader's memories,on March 6 a dancer at ALA Pub accidentally set fire to a ceiling during a performance. Fires happen, but this pub had not been properly zoned for a long time, and it had somehow managed to pass safety inspections in the past 10 years; some 21 in the past 5 years, the most recent just being in December. ...

Taiwan, the Ma Government Wants the Media to Serve it

Tuesday May 03

Taiwan has recently been facing media problems where the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is using its pan-blue media to run pro-KMT ad-verts as actual news stories. Other pan-blue media are publishing items straight from Xinhua News, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) news organ as if they are regular news. As Freedom House has noted, the press freedom in Taiwan has continued to drop since Ma Ying-jeou became president. Yet, once again, Taiwan faces another situation where it appears that not only does the horse not know how long his face is, but those who serve the horse do not either. In fact they seem to be trying to force the public to accept the fact that the horse really has a short face. What are we talking about? The case involves how a reporter for SET-TV exposed a fake pro-Ma PR scheme. Instead of being praised for good journalism, the reporter and his TV station are being criticized for exposing the truth. ...

Taiwan as the World Turns: KMT Legislator John Chiang Wants a Return to Cronyism

Sunday May 01

In recent developments in the KMT selection process for the legislature, John Chiang lost a close race to Lo Shu-lei. Though Chiang is the illegitimate son of Chiang Ching-kuo and is called "John the Illegitimate by some," he has still used family connections to keep him on the payroll. Now when the good old boy cronyism did not come trough for him he is crying foul. ...

Is the Ma Government Blowing Smoke to Cover its Tracks? Part III

Tuesday April 26

As was mentioned in the previous post, the TECO offices around the world were directed to contact signers of the Open Letter to Ma and both ask them if they really did sign it and that their name was not a forgery; further they were directed to invite them to come in and discuss why they felt that way about the Ma administration. One of the signers, Dr. Richard Kagan was asked if he would come to the Chicago office from his home in Dent, Minnesota; he declined but sent the following letter which encapsulates much of the thinking of the group that sent the letter. They are not questioning that Taiwan has laws, but that those laws are being applied selectively and with a double standard. Somehow, the Ma government just doesn't get it. ...

Is the Ma Government Blowing Smoke to Cover its Tracks? Part II

Monday April 25

On April 10 and 11, 2011, some 34 scholars and writers sent an open letter to Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou. (Reference it by scrolling down below to April 11 to see all the details.) Barely was the letter published, when minions of the Ma government responded in exactly the same way that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of China responds when any of its abuses of human rights and the right of law are questioned. So close in wording and method were the responses of the two countries that they seem to have been taken from the same handbook of authoritarianism. First of course there was the claim that it is illegal for foreigners to comment on the ROC or the PRC internal affairs. Next followed the procedure of questioning the authenticity of the letter and stated suspicions that a nefarious plot was afoot. Finally there was the disbelief that the government's care for its people could be questioned whether it was by dissident Tibetans, Uighurs, or Falun Gong. Or as in the case of Taiwan, that Ma's government that it would ever stoop and base its actions on political motivation. ...

Is the Ma Government Blowing Smoke to Cover its Tracks? What is it Hiding? Part 1

Tuesday April 19

With less than a year to go before elections, the Ma government is claiming that there are some 36,000 missing documents that are unaccounted for between the Chen turnover of administration in 2008 and the present time 2011. They claim this is not political but their explanations are lame. Picture the following. ...

Taiwan: Lies, Lies, Who is Telling the Lies? China News Agency? Joe Hung?

Sunday April 17

A recent development in Taiwan is the report and/or accusation that Wang Dan the Chinese dissident received some US$400,000 in subsidies from former DPP president, Chen Shui-bian. The report was published without evidence by the China News Agency (CNA), an agency in Taiwan that has steadily been losing its credibility since pan-blue shill, Joe Hung was appointed as its head. Hung has been a long time proponent of the glories of Chiang Kai-shek and a pro-unificationist of Taiwan with China. Many view Hung's appointment as a reward for his years in being as is seen by many one of the most steadfast pan-blue shills. ...

Taiwan, Isn't It Time to Rid Yourself of the KMT Carpetbaggers and Their One-Party State Jackals Once and For All?

Friday April 15

Ah for the good old days of the KMT one-party state, where carpetbaggers could keep the best positions, land and state assets for themselves and if any dissenting or questioning voices were heard they could be jailed and sent to Green Island. Poor Bo Yang, he spent nine years on Green Island because he published a simple satirical cartoon questioning the right of privilege of certain of the KMT leaders. Well, it certainly seems that the KMT regrets that it was dragged kicking and screaming into allowing a democracy in Taiwan. Now as legitimate questions of the selective application of rule of law and the use of a double standard of justice arise, the KMT wants to squelch dissent. ...

The Ma Government Continues to Try to Return Taiwan to the One-party State Days of the KMT

Wednesday April 13

In big and small ways, the government of Ma Ying-jeou is trying to squelch any and all opposite or critical thought. It seems they wish to return to their old one-party state days where they tried to control the thinking of the people. The latest development is in the simple matter of the tour guides at the Presidential Palace. ...

Scholars Once Again Question the Ma Government on its Anti-Democratic Abuse of Power

Monday April 11

Most people in Taiwan have short memories. For example, the Control Yuan is Taiwan's watchdog agency. It is supposed to be free of political and party bias and influence. The members serve six year terms. They are appointed by the President and approved by the Legislative Yuan. Herein lies the conflict. From February 2005 the KMT controlled Legislative Yuan refused to approve any nominees of DPP President Chen Shui-bian to the Control Yuan. In 2005 Ma Ying-jeou became Chairman of the KMT and they continued this policy on up to 2008 when Ma became president and could make the nominees himself and have them rubber-stamped by the KMT controlled Legislative Yuan. For three years 2005 to 2008, the country suffered with a minimalist Control Yuan as members terms expired and no replacements were made. The KMT would rather that Taiwan have no governmental watch dog if it could not be dominated by "their people." Now the KMT appointed Control Yuan is being used by the president to harass the opposition. It is things like this that have prompted another letter by the scholars and writers below. ...

Taiwan's "China Post", Newspaper, is it Turning Red?

Saturday April 09

Taiwan's China Post (CP) newspaper has long had the reputation of being a "Pan-blue rag" among many in the ex-pat community of Taiwan. The paper originated in the 1950s and somehow seemed to navigate through the long period of White Terror, Martial Law and one-party state rule of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)without ever offending the powers that be. While many democracy advocates were being sent to Green Island or jailed and tortured, the China Post went blithely on its way. Many felt it substituted as the English spokesperson of the KMT, preaching the KMT propaganda and justification for one-party state rule. Even in the past decade when democracy took hold of the island,the China Post wanted to preach the questionable glories of the KMT, downplay its vast corruption and parrot the party line. ...

Ma Wants to be Seen as Predident, but He Really Does Not Want to be Responsible for Anything.

Friday April 08

Taiwan once again went through one of those questionable "Say what??" matters as regards its president. Ma Ying-jeou is the one who was "shocked" yes absolutely "shocked" when a half a million US$ got into his bank account. Of course it was his secretary's fault and Ma neither knew anything about it or even questioned it until it became public. Then he was "shocked." So what now? ...

Hsu Hsin-liang, a Man for All Junkets

Saturday April 02

Whether one is blue or green, there is a moneyed side to Taiwan politics that few know about and maybe even fewer want to know about. As in other countries, within that moneyed side are the financers and contributors who look for and support marketers who will promote their vested interests. These contributors search out people who regardless of party, will act on their behalf in the spotlight allowing them to remain in the background. On the receiving side of these contributions are the marketers (more coarsely the shills) who like chameleons can change color depending where the money is. Taiwan has several of these chameleons but perhaps the master bar none is Hsu Hsin-liang. ...