Jerome F. Keating's writings

2011 - 3rd Quarter Writings

China's "Confucius Peace Prize," the Prize You Are Not Quite Sure You Want to Win.

Friday September 30

Recall last year when Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was about to win the Nobel Peace Prize, many of China's loyal professors and academics decided they would show the world that they too could offer a peace prize, the "Confucius Peace Prize." They then awarded it to Lien Chan of Taiwan's Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) who thought twice about it, and after looking this strange gift horse in the mouth, said "Thanks, but no thanks." Such a prize was too politically sensitive even for the deep blue, "China-loving" KMT Lien Chan. A surprising response for those who had watched Lien Chan traipse over to China in 2005 in his own pandering way. ...

Western Misreading of Diaspora and Taiwanese Identity in the Taiwan Strait

Sunday September 25

In much of Western thinking and commentary about the "Taiwan problem" and peace in the Taiwan Strait, is based on a gross misunderstanding of the root of this problem. Leave aside for now the hegemonic ambitions of China that by possessing Taiwan it will have blue water access for its submarines and be able to control the flow of traffic between the East and South China Seas. Further, leave aside the mistaken canard that in the Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895); the Manchu Qing surrendered all of Taiwan to Japan. The Qing could only legitimately grant the western half of Taiwan that it controlled. Japan by conquest of the indigenous people on the "free;" eastern side became the first nation to both control and rule the whole island of Taiwan. Go beyond this; the real root of the problem in the Taiwan Strait is a misunderstanding and misreading of the complex dynamics of multiple, changing and conflicting diasporas. ...

Taiwan is the First Taiwanese Democracy Not the First Chinese Dem ocracy

Thursday September 22

Many pundits in North America and Asia often talk about Taiwan being the first Chinese democracy in the world, but this way of phrasing it is not correct. What most journalists and opinion-shapers in the West have not yet woken up to is that an important paradigm shift and change of perspective has taken place an Asia, and it is this: Taiwan is not the first Chinese democracy; Taiwan is the first Taiwanese democracy. Give credit where it is due. ...

King Pu-tsung Says KMT Does Not Use Slogans???

Wednesday September 21

Oh noooo! In the category of I can't believe it, King Pu-tsung, the snake-oil salesman par excellance had the gall to say that the KMT does not use slogans. King said in LA that statistics proved that the KMT was a practical party in power. Am I missing something here??? How would one classify 6-3-3?? Is that a slogan? Is it a promise? Is it a lie? Is it an impractical statement of a party that has proven its incompetence in economics? Is the flim-flam man at it again? ...

Ma Ying-joke Insults the USA,. Is He Getting Gun Shy on Using English?

Sunday September 18

Question: If you were Prime Minister in the UK, or a member of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords, how would you have felt if when George Bush was President, he sent Karl Rove over to explain his policies and promote his agenda? How would any country feel if the head of state of another country sent his spin-doctor and hatchet man to represent him in your country. Insulted? To be sure. Yet that is what Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has just done. ...

China Writes ROC History, Would the ROC Write PRC History?

Saturday September 17

In a strange and bizarre move, it was recently revealed that the Beijing-based Chinese Acadmy of Social Sciences (CASS) published a 36-volume history of the Republic of China (ROC). The question naturally comes, why would the People's Republic of China (PRC) write a history of its enemy in the Chinese Civil War when that war still continues at least in the sense that the ROC still exists though it was driven from the mainland; further there is a country, Taiwan, that still bears the name of the ROC and carries the weight of its outdated Constitution. ...

Taiwan, as the World Turns, September 2011, Shih Ming-teh Cries the Blues

Friday September 16

Taiwan has its own list of past politicians and wannebe stars who once they have been in the limelight will do anything (including selling their soul) to get back in. Shih Ming-teh is one of those and this past week he was out trying to find a way to keep his options open. Shih was pushing for a relaxation of the election law which makes it costly to register as we mentioned early was one of Ellen Huang's problems. ...

It Costs to Run for President in Taiwan

Thursday September 15

While Taiwanese wait to see what James Soong will do vis-a-vis running for President, (remember my recommendation for him is to run as legislator at large for the PFP if he really wants to be a real player and do something for Taiwan) Ellen Huang dropped out. ...

Taiwan's Ma Ying-joke Lets His Campaign Manger Speak for Him

Wednesday September 14

The latest joke in the political scene in Taiwan is the fact that its president, Ma Ying-jeou, or as called by some Ma Ying-joke, has sent his campaign manager to the United States to float balloons in an effort to stir up flagging support for his campaign. ...

So Who Needs a Reality Check on Clarity, Taiwan and China?

Friday August 26

n important issue that Taiwanese voters will have to evaluate as the 2012 elections approach is not only what each party's cross-strait policy or "China policy" is, but also how realistic it is. In line with this, barely a week before the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presented its policy, in an almost laughable essay a certain David Brown pontificating like a hired gun for Taiwan's ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the rest of the world "demanded" that the DPP present its realistic case. "Taiwanese voters deserve a clear understanding of Tsai's policies." Ironically of course, at the very moment Brown was trying to pontificate for clarity, Tsai's team was putting the finishing touches on the party's policy. Regardless of that timing, what made Brown's essay so laughable was his implication that it was time for Tsai and not the rest of the world to do a reality check on their policies. This was more than the pot calling the kettle black; it was a stove blackened pot questioning the cleanliness of an untarnished kettle. Who does need a reality check here? ...

Taiwan's Dignity Takes a Worse Hit as its Persian Cat President Brags On

Thursday August 25

For the Taiwanese film "Seediq Bale" to be given shoddy treatment by the People's Republic of China at the Venice Film Festival can be considered standard fare in the public arena. It is bad enough for the people of Taiwan to have to bear such insults. It is worse of course that Taiwan's Persian Cat President brags that his flexible policy is working as he seems to be giving the farm away. What is more serious is that the sycophants and yes men that work for the president apparently feel they should be active in giving the farm away. Case in point is the Chinese spy Ko-suen "Bill" Moo whom they let get away. ...

Taiwan's Dignity Takes Another Hit, as Ma Brags About His Flexible Diplomacy I

Thursday August 25

The Taiwanese film "Seediq Bale" will be showing in the coming 68th Venice International Film Festival. And China has immediately insisted that the entry again be listed as coming from Taiwan, China. So much for Taiwan's current president (sometimes known as the Phony Pony) bragging claims that his flexible diplomacy is working. The GIO has done their usual ineffectual protest; some see this as almost a game that they must go through to at least cover the President's bragging. ...

Taiwan as the World Turns: the Diane Lee Travesty of Justice Continues

Wednesday August 24

One of Taiwan's dinosaur judges left over from the KMT one-party state days proved again the double standard of justice in Taiwan and acquitted Diane Lee already convicted of fraud. Lee was guilty of holding dual citizenship and ripping the public off of over US$3.5 million dollars. ...

The Role of Taiwan's Indigenes in Resolving Identity and More

Monday August 22

The year 2012 approaches, but the elections are only one of many issues that the island nation of Taiwan faces. An important one is Taiwan's identity and its minority issues. Taiwan's indigenous peoples were once majority rulers on this island, but they have been a distinct minority for some time. They are not only a minority, but one that has found itself too often marginalized and plagued with an uncertainty about what their role, function and place in Taiwan's society and government is or should be. Solving such questions will test the indigenous collective wisdom and character but it will also help Taiwan. In this they may well keep in mind the noted statement of Hillel, a statement with many levels and nuances in interpretation. "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now then when?" For if indigenes are not for themselves, there is little chance that society in general will be for them. ...

Ma Ying-joke's Flexible Diplomacy Fails Taiwan Again

Thursday August 18

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-joke continues to find it hard to run the country simply by uttering platitudes. He likes to boast about how his flexible diplomacy works. Works for what? For further humiliation of Taiwan's sovereignty. The latest dropping of the ball by the Foreign Ministry is the listing of the Taiwan film "Seediq Bale" as coming from China, Taiwan. ...

More than Staying in the Game: Can Soong Think Beyond Himself?

Tuesday August 16

James Soong has not been treated kindly by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). True, he did not completely follow the party's procedures of hierarchy and privilege, but in the year 2000 if they had chosen him to be their presidential candidate, instead of the loser Lien Chan, he could have guaranteed them eight consecutive years of the presidency. Still, the KMT stuck with the loser, and as a result, Soong broke ranks and ran as an independent. Against those odds, he still almost won. That is water under the bridge. But now as the 2012 elections approach and the whispers of "Dump Ma to Save Taiwan" are growing louder even in the pan-blue camp, Soong has a new chance and needs to carefully assess his strategy and goals. Does he want to simply stay in the game? Does he want to be a player? Or does he want to do something good, not for the hollow shell of the Republic of China (ROC), but for Taiwan? The latter is possible, but is Soong up to it? ...

Ma Ying-joke Government Passes the Buck Again

Sunday August 14

Taiwan's president, Ma Ying-joke likes to brag that he has reduced tension in the Taiwan Strait and that he has opened Taiwan up for tourism etc. If there are problems with the Chinese tourists of course Ma Ying-joke does not take responsibility for the Pandora's Box that he opened. One of the past examples of Ma letting Taiwanese pay for what he boasts that he did was that Chinese tourists wanted to come on the cheap. Rather than offend the cheap Chinese, Ma's government let the Taiwanese travel agents and companies bear the extra burden of cost for finding cheaper places that had extra transportation requirements because they would be much out of the way. ...

Revisiting the Past and Assessing Ma the Incompetent

Thursday August 11

Politics is a strange business; some can get elected and never really accomplish that much but depend on their spin doctors and PR agents to cast a spell over a public that never asks deep questions. On this site you have seen several letters to President Ma pointing out how he lives by spin rather than by performance. I recommend also that one go to this site for the August 3, 2011 posting. It does a comprehensive look at the numerous times Ma has been called to task; the accumulation of such may be surprising to some. http://taiwanmatters.blogspot.com ...

Leaving Taiwan, Economics, the Dutch VOC and the Rest of the Story

Sunday August 07

What made the Dutch East India Company (VOC) leave Taiwan? Ask any Taiwanese school boy versed in his history and he will tell you that Zheng Cheng-gong (aka Koxinga and son of Zheng Zhi-long/Iquan) fleeing the Manchu takeover of China came to Taiwan with a force of some 25,000 men in 1661. After a nine month siege, he captured Fort Zeelandia (Anping) and thus forced the Dutch out of Taiwan. All well and good, but that rendering is not entirely accurate. True, Koxinga, who died that same year, did capture Fort Zeelandia in 1662, and true the Dutch left. But few books continue on and relate how the Dutch returned in 1664 and took Keelung. Once there they re-built the former Spanish Fort San Salvador, named it Fort Noord Holland and set up shop in hopes of establishing trade with the Manchu Qing. Ironically, it would be that same Manchu Qing government in Beijing and not Zheng's successors that would be responsible for making the Dutch decide to leave Taiwan for good in 1668. The Dutch side of how all that happened is brought out in greater detail in two recent books published in late 2010. ...

KMT Leaders Display Lack of Sense of What Democracy is About

Saturday August 06

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou who stumbles as he tries to maintain that the shell name of the Republic of China (ROC) is a viable entity allegedly respected in the world and the legitimate claimant of what is really "one China," will also state that he is Taiwanese whenever election time draws near. But this year he has added another claim when he stated that he is a descendant of the Yellow Emperor. Amazing of course that he traced that ancestry back through Hong Kong all the way to some 2000 plus years past. Somehow I guess he felt that if he is a descendant of the Yellow Emperor then Taiwanese should bow down and automatically elect him. ...

Ma Ying-jeou's Political Manipulations Draw Another Open Letter

Wednesday August 03

As the presidential campaign heats up, President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan continues to use his minions to attempt to squash any criticism or opposition. In word, he professes he is not involved, but in reality, he has those under him carry out the dirty work; the timing of the indictment of Lee Teng-hui after 16 years is but one example of a continuing form of harassment; as a result, some thirty plus scholars and writers take him to task with this open letter. ...

Taiwan's "Seediq Bale" gets nod for 68th Venice International Film Festival

Sunday July 31

A Taiwanese film, "Seediq Bale" has been selected to show at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. This film directed by Wei Te-sheng will aid in bringing the true history, plight and identity of Taiwan into the public's eye and indirectly put to the lie the claim that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the mythic Chinese motherland. ...

Taiwan's MOFA, in Need of Reform: Is Life on the Beach that Boring?

Friday July 29

At a time when Taiwan deeply needs skilled diplomats to help make its place in the world, it appears that MOFA's members are either asleep at the wheel as Taiwan's sovereignty is marginalized or they are turning into scam artists. The latest case appears to be the former representative to Fiji, Victor Chin. ...

Ma's Young Troops, Another "Taiwan Up" Experience

Thursday July 28

Back in Taiwan after a refreshing ten days in Switzerland so I will be posting again in earnest. The papers had a photo of Ma's Young Supporters trying to look hip by posing with signs saying "I'm a ROC-er" Someone does need to get them an English consultant. It reminds us of the New Year when Ma and Taipei Mayor Hau went around chanting "Taiwan Up!" which caused its own confusion since it could among other things be confused with the more vulgar expression, "Up Yours!" making one wonder "Taiwan Up What?" Regardless, here were Ma's young not saying that they were Taiwanese, but preferring to stick with the outmoded ROC moniker which represents the country that left the UN before it got kicked out back in 1970. ...

Taiwan's Diane Lee, Is She Guilty Not Only of Fraud, But Also Perjury?

Friday July 15

Taiwan citizens currently find themselves turning aside from the Lee Teng-hui indictment case and refocusing on the case of another Lee. That case is the forgery case of Diane Lee, who was found guilty of, shall we say, ripping the country off of some $US 3.5 million dollars. Lee's guilty verdict has come up for appeal. Diane Lee had to resign from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and from the Legislature because of the case, but now she is tearfully trying to argue that she worked hard for her illegal money. By such bogus reasoning then, she wants to be allowed to keep the money as well as to avoid the two years in prison. Whatever her wishful pleas are, from all the facts thus far revealed, the opposite is true. Diane Lee is not only guilty of fraud but also it appears of what should be an additional charge of perjury. For any judge who is without political bias, this should be a slam dunk, guilty as charged, collect the money and send her off to jail case. Taiwan should not spend any more time on it. ...

As the World Turns: Taiwan Politics and China

Thursday July 14

Ma Ying-jeou and his election campaign team are trying to lesson the DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen about what is the proper way to advertise oneself to the electorate. Tsai had declared that she was Taiwanese indicating that she would definitely be for Taiwan if elected and having to negotiate with China on numerous matters. Ma's team objected and cried that Tsai was being devisive by saying that she was Taiwanese when running for President of Taiwan. Say what? Should we go through that once again? ...

Election Time Taiwan; Ma Ying-joke's Dilemma

Friday July 08

Election time is fast approaching in Taiwan and no one is struggling more to balance things than Taiwan's President, Ma Ying-jeou, (a.k.a. Ma Ying-joke to some of his detractors) Ma who also has the name of "Sell-out Ma" had been boasting about his make friends-with-China is working, now all of a sudden has become conscious that it may be reinforcing his sell out image. Thus he has told China that he wants them to slow down their visits until after the election. ...

The Next Step: Taiwan Needs New Leadership for 2012

Friday July 01

The January 2012 presidential elections draw near and Taiwan's citizens must do some serious soul searching. As they look back at the past four years under Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) president Ma Ying-jeou, basic questions must be asked. "Is Taiwan better off now than it was back in 2008? Has the economy and overall status of the nation improved significantly since Ma's infamous 6-3-3 promise?" No president could have stepped into office with a better position and with better support than Ma. Not only did he receive some 58 per cent of the vote, but also by disproportionate representation in the Legislative Yuan (the pan-blue alliance had only 54 per cent of the vote), Ma was able to get an unstoppable 76 per cent majority of the seats. With this majority Ma should have achieved anything he wanted; he could have established any desired progressive programs. What more could a president ask for? This was the ticket for great achievement. Progress would be a walk in the park for an average president; for a competent president it would mean fantastic strides for Taiwan, so what happened? Instead of four years of wished for progress, Taiwan has had four years of mediocre stagnation. ...