Jerome F. Keating's writings

2011 - 4th Quarter Writings

"The Mapping of Taiwan, Desired Economies, Coveted Geographies" Completes Taiwan Tetralogy

Thursday December 29

Most works on Taiwan try to fit the many aspects of its diverse past under one roof, too often ending up belittling one, championing another and cheating a third in that effort. Even if they claim or pledge neutrality and a pervasive ambition to cover all, to a close reader their rhetoric eventually betrays them. This tetralogy presents four crucial perspectives needed in approaching and understanding Taiwan; it may raise more questions than it answers but in its effort, it points directly to areas that cannot be ignored. It comes not only from reading and research but from having lived for over two decades in Taiwan and simply yet constantly and critically watching and integrating how too often actions and results speak louder than words. This includes a look at those who hold wealth, position and power in Taiwan, how they got it, and why the playing field of Taiwan's democracy is still not level...

Why Taiwan Cannot Afford to Waste Another Four Years on Ma

Monday December 26

As Taiwan's January 14 presidential election approaches, one idea is becoming more and more clear; Taiwan cannot afford to waste another four years with Ma Ying-jeou as president. Despite measured hopes and claims, predictions on Taiwan's GDP for the coming year continue to fall; they have now dipped into the 3 per cent bracket. This indicates that the so-called up-coming Golden Decade that Ma proposes as his campaign slogan has already died in the same way that his 6-3-3 promise never got off the blocks. James Soong's description of Ma as a Persian Cat (something pretty to look at but inept at catching mice or doing anything) is being seen more and more as on the mark. Ma has too long lived on King Pu-sung's hype and surface imagery while he foregoes substance and results; he remains in effect the inveterate poseur par excellence. ...

The United States Once Again Meddles in Taiwan's Democratic Elections

Sunday December 25

It is a shame that despite protestations of neutrality, someone or someones in the United States executive office once again are trying to meddle in the presidential elections of Taiwan. Since Taiwan is a democracy, this makes such meddling all the more shameful. ...

Taiwan's Yani Tseng Is Named Female Athlete of the Year

Thursday December 22

Kudos are in line for Yani Tseng of Taiwan; she has been named the Female Athlete of the Year by the US Sports Academy in conjunction with USA Today and NBC Sports. The Male Athlete of the Year is No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic. ...

Taiwan's 2012 Legislative Yuan Will be Totally Different

Tuesday December 20

Whatever the outcome of the upcoming January 14 presidential elections, one thing is certain; Taiwan's 2012 Legislative Yuan will clearly not be in for the same old, same old. Let's start with basics; remember back in 2008 when Ma Ying-jeou won with some 58 per cent of the vote. In the Legislative Yuan, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) got some 54 per cent of the vote but because of disproportionate district representation, and with the aid of its pan-blue coalition it got a totally uncalled for 76 per cent of the seats. Those days are gone forever and for many reasons. ...

Lies, Lies and More Lies? Part III, the KMT's Standard Excuse Comes Out

Friday December 16

As carpetbaggers and a diasporic army on the run, the KMT used their guns on a defenseless and disarmed Taiwanese to create a one-party state which they ran by White Terror and military rule for over forty years. They made billions off of the country. This also has always given them a self-righteous sense of entitlement to justify any and all of their members and their lackeys actions. Emboldened by this belief in their entitlement even though it was that same corrupt belief that cost them China, they feel that Taiwanese should believe any excuse they drum up. ...

Lies, Lies and More Lies, Part II, How Much is Ma Ying-jeou Responsible for?

Friday December 16

A second batch of attacks in the KMT smear campaign on Tsai Ing-wen are the accusations leveled by Christina Liu, Minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) of the Ma government. Minister Liu claimed that Tsai Ing-wen's involvement with the TaiMed Group violated the law because of later profits; unfortunately Liu was in error about the dates on when Tsai left the group, a matter that had been examined long ago. Liu was now using "forged" documents that changed the dates in favor of Liu's accusation. ...

Lies, Lies and More Lies?--Part I, Is the KMT Resorting to Old Tricks?

Thursday December 15

As the election date of January 14 draws near and the presidential race gets hotter and hotter, it seems that the KMT is resorting to smear tactics once again. Why so? Well one reason is the resurrecting of the old absconded money claims. Anyone who has been in Taiwan for some time would remember when the KMT accused Lee Teng-hui's wife of running off to the USA with suitcases full of money. Well this time the target is Tsai Ing-wen, the presidential candidate of the opposition party. The accuser is Tsai Ling-yi, the wife of Premier Wu Den-yih ...

As the WorldTurns: Taiwan, China and the World of Control Freaks

Monday December 12

There is nothing like being on one's home course. After being behind in the opening rounds, Taiwan's Yani Tseng came from behind and in the final round shot a four-under 68 to win the Swinging Skirts TLPGA Invitational in Taiwan yesterday. It was a brilliant finish to a brilliant year and in cold, chilly, and rainy weather. Good for her. ...

Taiwan's Elections as the World Turns, Promises, Promises

Friday December 02

Trying to explain why Ma did not deliver on or reach his touted 6-3-3, the Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu told the legislature that with four years of a strong domestic demand, Taiwan's per capita income could, (note she said "could")reach the desired US$30,000 in four years. She of course failed to say that it "could" continue to tank as well. ...

Taiwan's Yani Tseng Finishes a Great Year

Friday December 02

I was happy to see when I was recently in the States that the newspaper, USA Today, spoke of Yani Tseng as from Taiwan. There was none of the usual "crap" that one sees saying that she represents Chinese Taipei or that she is from China etc. etc. She is from Taiwan, a separate country from that one across the Strait. (Imagine if Argentinian sportsmen or women had to be referred to as Spanish, Buenos Aires, if Peruvians sportspersons or teams were called Spanish Lima, or if Brazilians were called Portuguese Brasilia; you get the picture. There is only one reason that Taiwanese are saddled with Chinese Taipei and that is the wanna-be control freaks on the other side of the Strait. ...

Why Does Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou Not Want to End China's Civil War?

Tuesday November 15

A frequent joke that comes up in the United States is when those who are from the Southern States are at a party with those who are Northerners and the Southerners claim that the Civil War never ended. It happens when discussions turn regional and political; thus someone will inevitably say, "Save your Confederate dollars my friends, the South will rise again." The joke is accepted by all since it provides a humorous way to avoid the potential tension and hostility that can arise when politics as well as religion are discussed. In Taiwan, however, any such past Civil War jokes linked to China's and not Taiwan's past are not a way of relieving potential tension, but the result of its current president and some others living in a bygone age and not being able to let go of it. Why? This is what Taiwanese need examine as the 2012 elections approach. ...

No Progress in Anti-Corruption Under Ma Ying-jeou. Diane Lee's Case Contributes?

Friday November 11

In a recent publication of the Corruption Index of Countries, it was noted that Taiwan had not made any gains in its anti-corruption efforts. This was true despite the fact that Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou touted the fact that his anti-corruption campaign would be one of the main thrusts of his first four years. For those who watch Taiwan closely and have seen the failings of the courts under Ma, and the double standard in the application of justice, this has come as no surprise. ...

Taiwan as the World Turns: the Three Pigs and the KMT Dominated Control Yuan, Pettiness at its Best.

Friday November 04

November has been termed the month of the "three pigs" in Taiwan, or the month of the "Great Piggy Bank Kerfuffle" What is at issue here is that a short while ago, three young children, inspired by their grandparents support for Tsai Ing-wen wanted to donate their piggy banks to Tsai's campaign fund. "Not So!" stated the Control Yuan, the nation's watchdog. These would be minors giving political donations and that is forbidden, as if the Control Yuan did not have any greater and worthier crimes that they should protect the nation from. ...

Taiwan: A Harsh Look at Four Years of Smoke and Stagnation Under Ma Ying-jeou

Wednesday November 02

As Taiwan's presidential election approaches, hardly any Taiwanese need to be reminded of Ma Ying-jeou's infamous and miscalculated pledge of 6-3-3 of 2008. So now with the 2012 election two months away, and the 6-3-3 promise and other unfulfilled promises under his belt, Ma is crafting a new promise; he is promising a Golden Decade. A Golden Decade? The full ramifications of this new promise boggle the mind, especially from a man who has consistently lived on borrowed time and consistently ignored the hopes of past unfulfilled promises by trading them instead for new unfulfilled promises. ...

Ma Ying-jeou's FIT Program not Open to All Chinese Subjects (Dalai Lama and Ai Weiwei Take Notice)

Saturday October 29

As Ma tried to salvage his infamous and mis-calculated 6-3-3 promise, one of the methods he used was to open Taiwan up to visitors from China. That was supposedly going to contribute great dollars to Taiwan's income, but even before it happened those that did the math realized that the monetary gain even at the full amount of visitors would still be minimal. Well the full amount of visitors from China never materialized and the monetary gain for Taiwan, despite Ma's great hype, was even less than minimal. ...

"Dump Ma to Save Taiwan," Why These Words Are Gaining Momentum I

Friday October 28

As the January elections approach, more and more Taiwanese are beginning to listen to what Lee Teng-hui had said some time ago. "It is time to dump Ma to save Taiwan." Dump Ma? Yes that is what was said, but why. ...

Yani Tseng, a Woman Unafraid to say She is Taiwanese

Sunday October 23

The world's number one woman golfer, Yani Tseng, recently won her 12th LPGA at Sunrise Golf Course in Taiwan. Winning #12 was good, but winning before a home crowd was even better. This victory was particularly sweet not only for her but also for all Taiwanese who were conscious of the fact that Ms. Tseng had been offered some US$10 million dollars in the past to change her nationality from Taiwanese to Chinese. ...

Issues People Face with Accountability for Elected Leaders: a Sidebar from Warren Buffet

Friday October 21

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the US debt ceiling: ...

Taiwan, Once Again the Nation Depends on its Citizens and not its President

Wednesday October 19

Taiwan is currently hosting an LPGA tournament, and it seems that the People's Republic of China (PRC) is insisting that the nation not fly its national flag at the golf course. Since it was flying, one Chinese golfer packed her bags and went home. Poor thing. A second PRC golfer had dual citizenship so she played under her second country. ...

Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou, When Apologies Are Not Enough

Saturday October 15

I remember listening to Ma Ying-jeou explain why his 6-3-3 policy failed miserably; his advisers simply missed the boat, made bad evaluations, and caused Ma to make a false promise. Is a man responsible for the poor judgment of his advisers? Technically, Ma did not make the judgment that 6-3-3 was achievable in his first term. (Note that after it was seen to be failing miserably, Ma changed the time-line and said he really meant he would do that by the end of a 2nd term) Of course if it failed by that time as well, Ma would be long gone and with a hefty pension to live on. ...

Taiwan, the Travails of President Ma Ying-jeou and His 400 policies??

Thursday October 13

As Taiwan's presidential elections draw near, all Taiwanese have to ask themselves the one basic question, do they feel that they are better off than they were four years ago? Are jobs better? Has your income gone up? Are houses easier to buy? Have you had a decent raise? How is your standard of living? Are prices going up? ...

The Political Mandate That Never Was, Taiwan

Sunday October 09

It is a well known fact in Taiwan if not in the world, that the so-called "1992 Consensus" the same one that Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou likes to tout as reality was a total fabrication by Ma"s good friend Su Chi the former National Security Council secretary-general. Well, it seems matters have not ended there. Not satisfied with one fabrication, it now appears that Su Chi is trying to invent a new term for Ma, the Mandate that Never Was, euphemistically called Ma's "Diminished Political Mandate." ...

Taiwan's Indigenes Plan a Symbolic "Mgaya" Headhunt on the ROC

Thursday October 06

No doubt spurred on by the success of the recent movie "Seediq Bale" Taiwan's indigenous people are planning a symbolic "Magaya" headhunt of the Republic of China (ROC). As Taiwan prepares for its Double 10 celebrations, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is trying to emphasize the disparity and mis-representation of what is called "A Spectacular Century; Republic of China." ...

Foil to Ma: The Unexpected Role of Taiwan's James Soong

Sunday October 02

James Soong continues to play cat and mouse games in Taiwan politics. Aside from a potential motive of self aggrandizement, observers ponder what thoughts, game plans and strategies are running through his mind nowadays. He already has the required signatures needed to declare himself as a presidential candidate, but he has forestalled an official declaration until the end of October. At that time, he hopes he will have one million signatures. Is he fishing? One million signatures could make him secure in the hope to get with certainty at least 5 per cent of the vote. That would allow his People's First Party (PFP) the right to appoint legislators at large. Then, he adds the declaration that he may or may not attend the Double Ten celebrations, particularly if there is the danger that it be thought that he had made peace with Taiwan's current president, Ma Ying-jeou. Ironically however, despite these antics, Soong has already provided Taiwanese voters with a valuable service. Valuable, how so? Yes, Soong and his past record intentionally or unintentionally serve as the perfect foil with which to measure and expose the unfortunate shallowness and ineptitude of President Ma. ...