Friday, August 24, 2012

Where does the buck stop?

l  A controversy erupted in early August after a Taiwanese Navy fleet was found to have gone off course during a routine military exercise in late July.
l  However, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) decided to take swift disciplinary action against the fleet commander, without first conducting a thorough investigation of the incident.
l  Under mounting public pressure, the MND has decided to suspend the disciplinary action and start a new investigation of the incident.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Eighteen agreements in four years: what’s next?

l  After Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou won his first presidential election in March 2008, Beijing and Taipei have since held eight ARATS-SEF summits and signed eighteen agreements that made the ongoing cross-Strait economic engagement irreversible.

l  Besides facilitating bilateral trade and commercial activities, the signing of the mutual investment protection agreement and the customs cooperation pact on August 9, particularly the former, will eventually made flows of personnel and capital a two-way exchange.

l  It also became apparent that the institutionalized talks between ARATS and SEF have come to a turning point when negotiations in the future will not be exclusively on economic issues. It thus gives rise to the question: after 18 agreements in four years, what’s in store for cross-Strait relations?

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan to attend APEC

* Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has again appointed ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan as the special envoy to lead a delegation of economic officials and corporate leaders to attend the unofficial summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), scheduled for September 8-9, in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

* This will be the fifth consecutive time that Mr. Lien has participated in the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting since President Ma won the presidential election in 2008.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

DPP reinstates the China affairs department

l  In accordance with former Premier Su Tseng-chang’s campaign pledges for party chairman, Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has moved to reinstate its China affairs unit as the party continues to adjust its policies on cross-Strait relations.

l  Once the administrative procedure is complete, the unit will be responsible for formulating China-related policies that are expected to be more moderate in both perspective and approach.

l  It will also address questions and challenges that the DPP, after losing consecutive presidential races to the KMT, will likely face over cross-Strait relations in the next four years, particularly the impact on Taiwan’s economy, domestic politics, and international space.

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