Jerome F. Keating's writings

2013 - 2nd Quarter Writings

Taiwan as the World Turns: Ma Ying-jeou Feels His "Anus" is More Important than the Nation's Economy?

Friday June 28

In a bizarre example of "goof ups" or blatent support and working together between Ma Ying-jeou's Ministry of Interior and criminals, Taiwan witnessed the return of Chang An-le, aka the "White Wolf," a man who was one of the nation's 10 most wanted fugitives. ...

Paradigm Series: George Orwell's "Animal Farm" Gives an Example

Friday June 28

When George Orwell wrote "Animal Farm" he was thinking of Josef Stalin and the developments in Russia post the 1917 revolution. He was making political commentary, but he was also illustrating an aspect of paradigms. Paradigms depict how reality is viewed; they illustrate a system of beliefs based more on the visual actions than on the words used. Thus when the animals made their revolution, they did not realize that it was hardly a revolution, instead they were simply exchanging one dictator for another, still following a cult of personality and ironically aiding the reign of terror directed against them by that personality. ...

Matters of Taiwan's Sovereignty and Discourse

Friday June 21

Taiwan's fishermen have been awash in a sea of troubles recently with their involvement in disputes north and south of the island. First there was the case with Japan over fishing rights and sovereignty vis-a-vis the Diaoyoutais/Senkakus Islands. That was barely calmed when the shooting of a Taiwan fisherman occurred in an area near the Philippines but still within Taiwan's claimed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). As happens in such cases as these, nations and their supportive historians will often put forth arguments and purported evidence to defend their claimed positions. But as also happens in such cases, their arguments can have a logic of their own that goes beyond their original intent and returns with a bite. Examine the case of sovereignty over the Diaoyoutais. ...

Paradigm Series: Some Definitions of Paradigms

Monday June 17

At the start of this paradigm series, it is important to specify how the term will be used. The word paradigm comes from the Greek word "paradeigma" meaning pattern or example. In line with this, the American Heritage Dictionary defines paradigms as "examples that serve as patterns or models." The Collins Cobuild Dictionary speaks of paradigms as "clear and typical examples of something." ...

Paradigm Series: China's Need of Size vis-a-vis Identity

Thursday June 13

When one speaks to Chinese and to Taiwanese about identity one quickly notices a big difference in their paradigmatic perspectives. Taiwanese do not need size to feel comfortable in their identity. Taiwan is an island of 23 million people and whatever their ancestral roots, true Taiwanese feel very comfortable identifying with that island and the size of its population. ...

Paradigm Series: Coming Posts with Taiwan in Search of a National Paradigm and More

Sunday June 02

The recent trouble Taiwan has had with the Philippines over the shooting of a Taiwan fisherman on the high seas has accentuated the many problems faced by Taiwan in its de facto state/nation and de jure state/nation as recognized by some 23 other nations. ...

UK's "The Guardian" Editorial on the ROC Mocked by Reality

Tuesday May 21

The normally reliable UK paper, "The Guardian" found itself with a strange editorial on Sunday, May 19th. Commenting on the recent spat with the Philippines over the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by a Filipino vessel, the heading read, "South China Sea Dispute: Taiwan Flexes its Muscles" ...

JIngmei Prison Exposes Taiwan's Double Standard of Justice on Lin Yi-shih Case

Thursday May 16

An important place to visit for all Taiwanese and foreigners interested in Taiwan's history is the Jingmei Human Rights Memorial and Culture Park. Built as a prison in the late 1960s, it served as the primary detention center and court for political prisoners during the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) one-party state period. The list of those detained and tried there reads like a Who's Who of political dissent and includes such well-known names as Bo Yang, Li Ao, and of course all those involved in the 1979 Kaohsiung Incident. ...

Taiwan/Philippine Row Continues, Ma Again Caught by "One China" Stance

Wednesday May 15

As the row over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman, shot by a Philippine vessel continues, Taiwan finds that Ma Ying-jeou's "let's pretend we"re all One China shell game" has proven to boomerang on the nation. It is basically, a situation of "what goes around, come's around." ...

Taiwan and Philippines Fishing Problems and More

Monday May 13

The recent shooting of a Taiwanese fishing boat by a Philippine Coast Guard vessel on the high seas has raised all sorts of questions and issues. The Philippine vessel riddled the Taiwan fishing boat with some 40 to 50 shots, killing a 65 year old Taiwanese fisherman. ...

Judges in the Lin Yi-shih Case Try a Smoke and Mirrors Dodge

Wednesday May 08

The three Taipei District Court judges in the Lin Yi-shih are trying a smoke and mirrors dodge and escape the public wrath. They are asking for an evaluation of their sentencing by a committee of fellow judges, prosecutors, lawyers and law specialists. So why is this smoke and mirrors. ...

Taiwan's Challenge in Living Next to a Covetous Giant

Friday May 03

Hsieh's effort at formulating a new China policy for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) may deserve an "A" for effort and even a "B" for creativity, but bottom line, it still falls far short. Granted his suggestions certainly come closer to reality than the other world, pipe dream fantasies presented by Ma Ying-jeou, yet they still miss the mark. The problem of course does not lie with Hsieh or even Ma but with those on the other side of the equation of cross-strait dialogue, the rulers of China. Taiwan's misfortune like that of several smaller Asian countries is that it borders a state what can be likened to a 4000 lb. gorilla whose myopic leaders so far insist on only seeing Asia and the world through their covetous prism. ...

Taiwan's Courts Again Fail the People With Their Double Standard

Thursday May 02

Taiwan's courts again have failed the people when it comes to equal justice. The double standard that has been a part of the political landscape again became evident with the corruption case of Ma's former Executive Yuan secretary general Lin Yi-shih. Compare and contrast the following. ...

China Will Have to Learn to Talk to Taiwan's DPP in the Future

Wednesday April 24

A touch of despondency seems to be lingering in the air among some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members. A recent conference in Washington D. C. brought unwelcome news as congressional staffers indicated that Taiwan was falling off the radar of US interest in Asia. Frank Hsieh, former DPP premier and failed presidential candidate (2012) boldly challenged the party to reexamine its "failed" China policy. In a speech to academics at John Hopkins University, Hsieh floated his strange "two constitutions" with different interpretations as a basis of "cross-strait engagement." He intimated that the party needed to change its position vis-a-vis China if it expects to win any future presidential elections. Negativity seemed to reign, but should it? I contend that if one really looks at what has been happening at ground level, it is China that must learn to accept and to deal with the DPP and not vice versa.

The KMT Adminstration Again Deals with Chen Shui-bian Secretly

Monday April 22

It was in the still of the night and without notifying family members or anyone else, the KMT government secretly moved Chen Shui-bian to the prison hospital at Pei-te, Taichung. The judge was changed without notice in the past so that they could get a judge more likely to put Chen in prison; Chen's discussions with his lawyers were illegally monitored in the past, the main witness for the prosecution claims that that prosecution offered him a deal to give testimony that they wanted to hear. And now this. ...

Hsu Hsin-liang, Just Who Supports This Guy??

Wednesday April 17

A man who has always wanted to lead the parade but has never been chosen to do so--except for way back when he was Chairman of the DPP, is Hsu Hsin-liang. He is one of those political animals who has run in many elections since the 1990s but has never drawn more than 5 per cent of the vote--and that is if he is lucky. Yet, like the Ever-Ready Bunny, he is always there with ideas and always ready to give a press conference. I have seen him glad-handing at DPP protest marches etc. but the question is how does such a man support himself or who supports him both financially and politically? ...

Taiwan: Curious Questions, Why the Secrecy on Ma's Daughter's Marriage

Monday April 15

Taiwan has many current pressing problems. How to get the economy rolling? What to do with China's constant threat to its democracy? What should it do about nuclear power? What about the Diaoyutai/Senkaku dispute? The list can go on and on, but mixed in all these is where is the heart of its president and where will he retire after his final three years are up, especially since his ratings continue at an all time low. ...

Taiwan and Japan Sign Historic Fisheries Agreement

Thursday April 11

Taiwan and Japan came to agreement on fishing rights in the area around the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands; it is a welcome agreement for Taiwan fishermen, in particular those from Ilan, who have fished that area for a long time. ...

China, a Greater Threat than North Korea? To the World as Well as Taiwan

Wednesday April 10

The crisis in North Korea, if it can be called a crisis, continues; North Korea continues to bluster and threaten in hopes of a better bargaining position; exactly for what, remains to be seen. But the greater danger is around another corner; i.e. look to China. ...

The Mapping of Taiwan as Reviewed in AmCham's Topics

Monday April 08

The following review by Don Shapiro was presented in "Topics," the magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (December 2012, Vol. 42, Issue 12) Shapiro jointly reviewed two books, "Democratizing Taiwan" by Bruce Jacobs, and "The Mapping of Taiwan" by Jerome Keating; presented below is that of "Mapping." ...

Lee Teng-hui Speaks on Taiwan Identity and More!

Saturday April 06

Taiwan's former president, Lee Teng-hui, raised some eyebrows when he recently gave the first of a series of lectures celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD). In his presentation, Lee stated that among the many challenges that Taiwan currently faces, a major one is the unresolved business and haunting specter of Taiwan's divided identity. Divided identity? Some would be tempted to dismiss Lee's thoughts (he is retired and aging) as passé, the thoughts of one who is "out of touch" with today's society on Taiwan. That would make a simple and facile explanation for his words except for one thing. ...

Taiwan's Ministry of Culture Demonstrates KMT Dinosaurs are Alive and Well in Taiwan

Thursday April 04

Picture yourself in junior high school in Taiwan in the 1960s and your patriotic teacher announces an essay contest where all students are to write about how great a leader Chiang Kai-shek is and how he loves his country etc. etc. It was a different era but unfortunately there are still some KMT stalwarts who live in that past. ...

Taiwan: The Gall of Some Politicians

Wednesday April 03

Certainly one of those stories of can you top this in the KMT corruption files. Lee Chao-ching, the KMT Nantou County Commissioner who has been indicted in 117 cases of bribery was just released on bail. One of the first things he did was to immediately apply to be allowed to resume his position as County Commissioner. Say what??? No remorse?? Just wanting to get back on the gravy train?? Wanting to destroy any evidence that may still be there?? ...