Monday, 24 March 2008

Taiwan presidential election and Easter

What the heck does the Taiwan presidential election have in common with Easter?

1. Both of them happened recently.
2. I feel oblivious to both of these big events, living in China.

I have to admit politics bores me to tears. Yeah yeah I know I'm going to be flamed from all the goody-two-shoes intellectual (or psuedo-intellectual) academic know-it-all so-and-so's but really I couldn't give a crap about politics and I freely admit this. (I also don't care much about religion either btw - I just like to think of myself as 'spirtual'). I was into politics for a brief 6 months or so while I worked on our university's newspaper and I hung around very smart law students a lot, and through subtle influences I sort of became interested and involved. I even participated in my first ever (and last) protest march down George Street (the biggest street in Sydney)! LOL.. those were the days...

Anyway, to the Taiwanese the election (every election) is almost as big as life and death. In fact it probably is life or death to them. They are fanatical about it. But can you blame them? - when the whole future of their country is determined by which party wins the election. My father, who basically never watches tv (except maybe half an hour of news each night) will sit in front of the tv watching cable for HOURS on end, watching any news about the Taiwanese election. It's like he's in a trance. It's quite scary. Many overseas Taiwanese pay thousands of dollars to fly back to Taiwan simply to vote in the election because they really want to make their vote count.

The elections are so emotionally charged you actually have candidates having fist fights on live television. It's so scary it's almost funny!

Anyway, living in China there's basically no news of this election. And since I have no interest in any elections I didn't even know the exact date of it. My mother just rang me and told me the 'great news' that Ma Ying-jeou (Mǎ Yīngjiǔ 馬英九) had won. Everyone in my family both on my mother's and father's side are jumping for joy (because they are all actually Chinese, living in Taiwan, as opposed to the 'real' Taiwanese people). Yay! I'm so happy that they are happy. Apparently this means that direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan are more than likely going to happen.

(getting off track a bit, his name in English means Horse-Hero-Nine, and to me it sounds like "My angel" when people say it, and people tell me I look like him and could pass for his daughter! but I can't see it..)

So (from Wikipedia)

The election for the 12th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China (traditional Chinese: 第十二任中華民國總統副總統選舉) was held in the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Saturday, March 22, 2008. Kuomintang (KMT) nominee Ma Ying-jeou won, with 58% of the vote, ending 8 years of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule.

This was the fourth direct election for the President of the Republic of China... Unlike the 2004 presidential election, the political rhetoric of the campaigns tended to focus on economic issues and government corruption rather than national identity and the political status of Taiwan, with both candidates endorsing the status quo in the near term. But much like previous elections, this election was also marked with island-wide mass rallies and much political mudslinging.

Mǎ Yīngjiǔ (born July 13, 1950 in Hong Kong) is the President-elect of the Republic of China (Taiwan), a former Justice Minister, former Mayor of Taipei, and the former Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) from 2005 to 2007. Ma is newly elected as the President of Republic of China. His term will begin on May 20, 2008 and will end in 2012.

So there you go.

Meanwhile.. these last few days and today even is Easter. Hmm... OK. I haven't had a single chocolate egg or hot cross bun! Strangely I didn't even realise I was missing easter till I vaguely saw it mentioned on some websites and blogs that I read. I guess when you live in another country you kinda just 'go with the flow', well I do anyway. And to be honest Easter never meant anything to me anyway apart from eating the abovementioned items, and going to the Sydney Royal Easter Show!

There are Christians, of course, in Shanghai. According to Sinosplice's blog the Xujiahui Cathedral was packed yesterday, on Easter Sunday.

Speaking about his blog.. he mentions about YouTube being blocked by TGF. Yes it's been blocked for several days now, ever since the Tibet incident. ARGH. And yes Flickr is not fully working even with that Firefox plug-in.. Oh I am so sick of that damn firewall of China! Sorry YouTube is sort of working now.

China.. Taiwan.. Tibet.. oh dear.

Taiwan poll result allows Beijing to focus on Tibet

BEIJING: Even as it battled domestic problems vowing to crush Tibetan rebels, the Chinese government got a huge relief from across the Taiwan straits. The Taiwanese people elected a pro-China president for the first time in many years.

A lot of China's energies have been spent on the Taiwan problem. The poll outcome in Taipei will release pressure on the Chinese government on an important front and help it concentrate more forcefully on solving the Tibet challenge. The Communist Party of China's mouthpiece, the People's Daily, came out with an editorial on Saturday calling for efforts to "resolutely crush" the movement for Tibet's independence. The government also released photographs of 21 ‘most wanted' protesters in order to flush them out of their hidings.

The statement showed that the hardline segment within the party has emerged stronger in comparison to the section that favours negotiations with the Dalai Lama. "We must see through the secessionist forces' evil intentions, uphold the banner of maintaining social stability ... and resolutely crush the Tibet independence forces' conspiracy," the People's Daily said.

An estimated 250,000 Taiwanese expatriates returned to Taiwan, Saturday, to choose their next president.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sigh, not to be nit-picking your language, but there are a lot of "waishen ren" who are still really citizens of Taiwan ROC. As far as I am concerned, they are Chinese who have loyalty to Taiwan ROC just as much as people who are "Taiwanese".

But on that note, I am very ecstatic Ma Ying Jeou won as well! It is a new leaf in a book that was about to end abruptly.