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2012年3月20日星期二

090922 The injustice of the verdict against Chen Shui-bian 对陈水扁的不公裁决

Date: Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:27 PM
Subject: The injustice of the verdict against Chen Shui-bian 对陈水扁的不公裁决
To: "salon-friends@googlegroups.com" <salon-friends@googlegroups.com>, "lihlii@googlegroups.com" <lihlii@googlegroups.com>

> http://twitter.com/davidonformosa/status/4121512762
  1. [Taiwan Matters] The injustice of the verdict against Chen Shui-bian http://bit.ly/BYaw912:15 PM Sep 20th from web
  2. [The Economist] Banyan: The trials of Ah-Bian http://j.mp/17aYTZ#Taiwan11:17 AM Sep 19th from bit.ly
  1. A-bian: guilty of challenging the KMT's power and promoting freedom and democracy in Taiwan. Life sentence.5:06 PM Sep 13th from iTweet
  2. A reminder that this was not the first time A-bian has been found guilty by the KMT's kangaroo court http://j.mp/6gF5O4:58 PM Sep 13th from bit.ly
RT @Portnoy: 自翻自推: "Global Voices Online » Taiwan: Response to Ex-President's Life Sentence" ( http://bit.ly/M57Oi )3:58 PM Sep 13th from iTweet
  1. Chen Shui-bian sentenced to life - photos by @cfimages on Demotix http://j.mp/3zqOaM2:18 PM Sep 11th from bit.ly
  2. AFP article on Chen Shui-bian sentence given a seal of approval by Michael Turton! http://j.mp/trIHG1:18 PM Sep 11th from bit.ly
http://taiwanmatters.blogspot.com/2009/09/injustice-of-verdict-against-chen-shui.html
"Taiwan is not a province of China. The PRC flag has never flown over Taiwan."

Stick that in your clipboards and paste it, you so-called "lazy journalists"!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The injustice of the verdict against Chen Shui-bian

It's no surprise Ma Ying-jeou never passed the bar exam

On September 11th, 2009, Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. This development will certainly divert people's attention from the poor performance of current president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during the Typhoon Morakot rescue effort -- a performance which brought his approval rating down to a record low of 16 percent.

But Chen's case stinks not only because Taiwan does not have a set of healthy tax regulations but also because the testimony of criminal suspect Jeffrey Koo, Jr. (辜仲諒) was used to convict Chen in exchange for dropping charges against Koo.

The fact that Ma was able to ignore the overwhelming stench of this case while his Harvard Law School mentor felt sad about it leads me to conclude that it's not surprising to learn that Ma never passed the bar exam!

Ma's former mentor Jerome Cohen is certainly not proud of his former student. This is how Cohen reacted instead:
"It is a very sad day, it is also a very important day."
And how could Cohen not be sad? He had earlier given Ma a hint about Chen's human rights, but Ma didn't pay any attention.

Now the kangaroo court is going to lay more charges on Chen, and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-dominated Legislative Yuan is proposing yet another unfair law "decriminalizing" the use of the fund by government chiefs. This change will victimize only Chen while letting suspects in many previous corruption cases go free and will make things easier for future government officials to misuse their special allowances. If the new amendment is passed, pending corruption cases against KMT party members will be conveniently dismissed.

Because it could not stand the test of fair trial (presumed innocent until proven guilty), it is unlikely that the 1,415 pages of the judgment against Chen will ever be translated into English out of the fear that the content would be challenged by law experts around the world.

However, an English version of Chen's defense is available on a non-profit educational organization's site. and links are provided under "References" below.

I hope my analysis below will provide guidance to the people of Taiwan who may know very little about how political donations are dealt with elsewhere in the world and were blindly influenced by the pan-blue media in Taiwan into believing that Chen Shui-bian is guilty as charged. After all, a person is presumed innocent until proved guilty, and Chen should be treated with no exception.

Chen's unspent donations left over from previous election campaigns
First, I would like to introduce some forms which are readily available from the Internet, and which are common knowledge to tax practitioner in North America: "information returns" and "trust returns" like the ones below.

First is this:

CONTRIBUTIONS TO A REGISTERED PARTY OR TO A REGISTERED ASSOCIATION INFORMATION RETURN [PDF file]

This is the information return (T2092) which is filed annually by a registered party or a registered association to show the total contributions received, and all the slips detailing each contributor's amount of contribution and his name and address must be kept for 2 years for possible selective inspection by a government auditor.

But this type of information return does not exist in Taiwan because theKMT does not want to disclose their secret financial dealings and its total donations received.

There's also this:

IC75-2R7 Contributions to a Registered Party, a Registered Association or to a Candidate at a Federal Election

The information provided at the link above gives clear guidance to the subject discussed. Pay special attention to points 25, 26, 27, 28 (maximum deduction of $650 from tax payable so no one will benefit from a huge donation and consequently avoiding bribery), and 32 (no carry over of unused deductions to the following tax year).

In the US tax system
In the US, a political party can file an Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations [PDF file] (Form 1120-POL), and the rules are clear about what's exempt and what's not (investment income derived from political contributions are not exempt) see here.

There is other related tax info to be found here: "Trust income tax returns" like this form in Canada or like this one in the US.

But in Taiwan, the KMT does not want to pay taxes to the government on its investment income or business income or capital gains on sales of properties, nor do they want to return the assets to their rightful owners -- the people of Taiwan and to the now-defunct UNRRA -- so none of the aforementioned tax forms exist in Taiwan.

In other words, the KMT is like a criminal organization running some business enterprises while avoiding taxes along the way. And the transactions between the party and some key members of the party cannot be verified to be dealing at arm's length whereas the transactions between the party and the state were known to be indistinguishable during its terms in power.


In this respect, I find that the regulations in Taiwan needed serious overhaul.

In Chen's case, since no such filing requirements exist for political parties in Taiwan, it follows that the DPP wouldn't be able to file any returns similar to the ones mentioned above, nor would Chen be able to locate every last one of his supporters who donated to his election campaign and return the money to them (Which donors would get how much money back?) and ask them to donate again in future to other DPP candidates. So what could be done with the money left from Chen's election donations?

Chen couldn't report it under his personal income tax return -- nor should he have. Because the fund is for the purposes of his election or for other DPP functions, he knew that whenever there was a DPP event or whenever DPP candidates needed money for elections, he would be able to draw from these funds. In the meantime, moving the leftover donations abroad for investment was wise, and there was nothing wrong with that, otherwise he would have been subject to personal income taxes on this fund. That would have been an incorrect classification because this fund was not for his personal enjoyment. Moving money abroad did not constitute money laundering unless the prosecutors could establish that the money was obtained not from the donation leftovers but from a criminal act, e.g., money which belonged to the country.

There might have been disagreements between Chen and his wife as to how the money in this fund would be used, and perhaps his wife would have even liked to keep some (if not all) for their own family. While that would amount to selfishness, it wouldn't be a crime.

Additionally, people may have donated to Chen while not donating to other DPP candidates simply because people admired Chen so much for being a good Taiwanese role model who grew from a poor boy who almost had to drop out of school in order to work to help feed his family into a Taipei mayor with good record and, eventually, a national leader seeking reelection.

So, with the lack of Taiwan's tax regulations regarding political parties' information returns and/or tax returns, Chen couldn't be guilty on account of how the leftover donations were handled. While the KMT had all kinds of investment income and capital gains, they had never paid a cent of tax to the country -- this is tax avoidance.

The State Affairs Fund
This excerpt from "Former President Chen Shui-bian's Plea of Not Guilty Outside the Court (2)" provides some details:
The state affairs fund is similar in nature to the special allowances fund provided for administrative heads of government. The regulations governing both are loose and resemble guidelines more than strict laws. The application and reimbursement procedures of the state affairs fund have always been conducted in accordance with established practices. No one, from former President Chen and his aides to accountants in the Accounting Department of the Office of the President, has had any intention to commit crimes or corruption or to take money for their own pockets. They simply had inherited imperfect application and reimbursement procedures, which were the established practice left by the previous governments. This imperfect procedure can and should be reformed, but no one should be selectively charged with corruption simply because he or she had followed the previous governments' practice.

President Chen had, on his own initiative, cut his monthly salary by half, which means that his annual income was reduced by NT$5 million per year resulting in an NT$40 million reduction of his salary over his eight-year presidency. He had also, on his own discretion, terminated the Fongtian project and the Dangyang project, two secret National Security Bureau funds totaling NT$3.6 billion that used to be called "the President's private money." Moreover, he had donated all of his presidential election subsidies of more than NT$340 million. How then could such a president have any motive for embezzling a paltry NT$104 million from the state affairs fund? Further, in that fund, Chen has listed all fund expenses to prove that the total amount of expenditures from that fund had far exceeded the original amount allotted to it. For that reason, the accusation in the bill of indictment that "[Chen] had raised funds from other sources to pay for the expenses he listed, but he still put the state affairs fund into his private pocket" is more than absurd!
In addition to the above points, the unreliable testimony by Jeffrey Koo, Jr. -- who was cleared of any criminal charges by implicating Chen as being involved in a land deal -- also played a crucial role. However, throughout the indictment, the prosecutors assumed that Chen directed his wife (who didn't hold any public post) to act on behalf of him (who held a public post). We should all know that a person without an official post couldn't commit the crime of corruption; therefore, in order to convict Chen, the court had to assume -- without proof -- that Chen was the mastermind and that he directed his wife to commit the act of corruption.

It is widely believed that while Chen was so occupied with national affairs that he actually let his wife handle the family's financial affairs. If there's anything for Chen to regret, it would have been that he should have paid much more attention to what his wife was doing instead of being such a damn good Taiwanese nationalist leader, for it angered both China and the United States, causing him to be labeled as a troublemaker.

Chen's priority was always how to make Taiwan a normal nation, as he describes here in Block C of this interview on CNN's TalkAsia:

6:10 YouTube video: "Chen Shui-bian TalkAsia interview (01-2007) Part 3/3"


Chen Shui-bian TalkAsia Transcript
POSTED: 9:34 a.m. EST, February 2, 2007

[...]

[Q. by Anjali Rao:] President you're now in the last term of your presidency what are your priorities now?

A: As the leader of this nation, I want to make Taiwan into a normal country. Even though Taiwan is an independent, sovereign country,it is not yet a normal and complete country. Why do I say that Taiwan is not yet a normal country? Because if it were, it would be a member of the UN family and also be the member of the World Health Organization. Why do I say that Taiwan is not yet a complete country? Because our current Constitution has never been approved by our people. The 23 million people of Taiwan really need a new Taiwan constitution that is timely, relevant, and viable.

I want to put the emphasis on striking a good balance between prosperity and social justice and equity. Therefore, our main policy goals include increasing investment in Taiwan, continuing to createmore job opportunities, bridging the gap between urban and rural areas, as well as decreasing the gap between the rich and poor. These are our major policy goals.
Holding Chen incommunicado without being charged, conducting a "trial by press" by leaking detrimental information to the media, and videotaping Chen's meetings with his lawyers (a practice which was declared unconstitutional by the Council of Grand Justices) had all violated Chen's right to build an effective defense. Topping it off was the unconstitutional switch of the presiding judge to Tsai Shou-hsun (蔡守訓) to take over Chen's case all pointed to the weakness of a fair trial.

The opinion from Chen's original lawyer about the unconstitutional change of the presiding judge to Tsai stated that the case should have been reverted back to the judge who was handling the case from the beginning, i.e. judge Chou Chan-chun (周占春) [Taiwan Matters translation]:
陳水扁原辯護律師鄭文龍表示,扁案從周占春合議庭被換到蔡守訓合議庭,違反法定法官原則,他認為全案違憲而且無效。

Chen Shui-bian's original lawyer Cheng Wen-lung said that since Chou Chan-chun was replaced with Tsai Shou-hsun by the procedural committee, this violates judicial principles, and he believed that this rendered the entire case unconstitutional and invalid.

陳水扁原辯護律師鄭文龍:「我們很有信心大法官應該會宣告這個案子違憲,既然是違憲的判決,當然是無效的判決,二審法院最好的方式是直接廢棄發回,再由一 審重新審理,應該由當初的承審法官,周占春法官繼續審理這個案子,因為這個案子的序屬,我們認為還在周占春法官手上」

Cheng said, "We are confident that the Council of Grand Justices will declare this case unconstitutional. Since this is an unconstitutional ruling, it surely is an invalid ruling. The best way to deal with this in an appeals court (AKA "court of second instance") would be to dismiss and return the case to the first court proceeding ("court of first instance") for the original judge, Chou Chan-chun. Because of the order in which this trial has proceeded, we believe that the case is still under judge Chou's jurisdiction."
Here's what Ma's Harvard mentor, Jerome Cohen, had to say about the changing of judges:
Asked whether it was appropriate for the judge to have been changed half-way through Chen's trial, Cohen said it would have been reasonable if judge Tsai Shou-hsun (蔡守訓) had taken up and presided over the Taipei District Court's collegiate panel right from the start.

Because the judges were changed after the case had started, it was natural that there was public doubt over the matter, he said.
The chaos resulting from the recent erosion of justice in Taiwan reveals two key personnel who -- like cancer cells -- should have been removed immediately from the government's posts. A brief background check for them revealed some interesting details.

The first of these is Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰), who was the chairperson of the unconstitutional, pan-blue-dominated "319 Truth Commission" (319 槍擊事件真相調查特別委員會) (MORE: 1, 2, 3), a committee that tried to overturn Chen's 2004 presidential election victory by claiming that Chen staged the March 19, 2004 assassination attempt on himself in order to win sympathy votes.

Jerome Cohen's "Lesson in Integrity for All" contains a hidden message for Wang:
The case [which voided the criminal corruption conviction of former US senator Ted Stevens-R] also illustrates the importance of havinga justice department chief courageous enough to repudiate his staff's misconduct, replace the offending prosecutors, initiate an investigation and drop the charges.
The second one is judge Tsai Shou-hsun, who just happens to be the judge who acquitted Ma Ying-Jeou for his involvement in his special allowance corruption case and jailed Ma's secretary, Yu Wen, instead.

Cohen's "Lesson in Integrity for All" also contains another hidden message for Tsai:
Several times during the trial, Judge Emmet Sullivan, prompted by dynamic defence counsel, reprimanded prosecutors for withholding evidence, and sought to remedy any damage to the defence.
Chen's case has caused outrage among the people in the English blogosphere.One example can be read here:
If you look at the evidence, it's actually fairly weak. One of the charges was to do with a land transaction for a science park. I don't believe testimony actually showed Chen's connection to it, just that of his wife. But, with almost all the charges, the prosecutor said "how could Chen not know". I'm not sure how why husbands are responsible for the crimes of their wives.

What Chen was guilty of was taking advantage of a big hole in Taiwanese law that allows politicians to deal with surplus campaign funds as they see fit. There were proposals to close this during Chen's presidencies, but the KMT-controlled legislature strangely cut them all down. So I'm not sure how that's a crime either, least of all money-laundering. To launder money it has to be obtained illegally, from criminal proceeds, etc. If the law doesn't say Chen wasn't entitled to keep it, moving it around can't possibly be money-laundering.
Here's another example by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.: "The Real Source of Taiwan's Campaign Corruption," Tuesday September 15, 2009.

People say that Ma is keeping Chen in prison because Ma cannot continue to deceive the people of Taiwan without Chen being around to divert attention; in case you haven't noticed, the Mandarin word for "cheat" or "deceive" is piàn​ (騙), which is formed by combining two characters. Ironically, the left half is Ma's surname, which means "horse" (馬), and the right half is the latter half of the former president's given name: Bian (扁). Ma wishes to keep A-bian behind bars so A-bian's case can help Ma to continue deceiving the nation by drawing away attention from his poor performance.

Taiwanese people who divide themselves among pro-Chen or anti-Chen camps should view the whole situation from a broader scope. Since the Ma administration came into power in 2008, justice and rule of law in Taiwan are swiftly being eroded. Something has to be done quickly to stop this.

The KMT is not just a simple political party -- it is a criminal organization engaged in tax avoidance economic activities, and has never paid a cent of tax to the country on its investment and other business or capital gains income. They have illegally sold properties and assets misappropriated from the Taiwanese people and of international aid to private owners.

If the heavy fines imposed on the accused in Chen's case are paid, they will eventually wind up in the combined KMT government's coffers to assist the party in its subsequent criminal activities, e.g. tax avoidance economic activities and vote-buying schemes, resulting in a vicious cycle.

As Chen Shui-bian pointed out in the TalkAsia interview, the people of Taiwan have never approved the ROC constitution which has been used to govern Formosa since the arrival of the KMT per General Order no. 1. They never had a chance to conduct a fair election independent from the ROC constitution and were consequently deprived of the chance to have a normal functional legislative body to pass fair laws.

Taiwanese abroad should hold a demonstration in front of the UN, and the people of Taiwan should protest in front of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to demand the confiscation of all the assets of the KMT criminal organization and evict that party from Taiwan. It is a Chinese party which should not participate inTaiwanese elections. Since there is no longer any hostility between the twoChinese parties (the KMT, and the CCP), the KMT's ROC government should terminate its exile status and return to its origins -- namely, any territory in China-- and let the de facto independent Taiwan become a normal nation.

References:
The English version of Chen's defense, in five parts:
http://www.wretch.cc/blog/ketagalan/12878262
http://www.wretch.cc/blog/ketagalan/12878271
http://www.wretch.cc/blog/ketagalan/12878272
http://www.wretch.cc/blog/ketagalan/12878274
http://www.wretch.cc/blog/ketagalan/12878276

Earlier on my personal blog:
* Tracking Taiwan's evaporating national assets - Ma is a suspected criminal on the loose

Previously on this blog:
* Tuesday, December 16, 2008, Taiwan Echo and Tim Maddog: "Seeing Chen Shui-bian's so-called "money laundering" case from another angle"

* Tuesday, August 14, 2007, Tim Maddog: "Ma Ying-jeou acquittal documentation online"

* Saturday, November 18, 2006, Tim Maddog: "The differences between the cases of Ma Ying-jeou and Chen Shui-bian"

The erosion of justice in Taiwan:
This has been a long-running series. Here, in chronological order, is a list of some recent letters on the subject and news about related events:
* November 6, 2008: Scholars and writers from around the world publish an "Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan." The same letter as an online petition has been signed by more than 2,000 people.

* November 25, 2008: Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) calls the open letter "inaccurate."

* December 2, 2008: "Eroding justice: Open letter No. 2" counters Wang Ching-feng's claims.

* January 8, 2009: Over a month later, Wang Ching-feng comes up with "clarif[ications]" regarding the open-letter writers' so-called "misunderstandings."

* January 21, 2009: "Eroding justice: Open letter No. 3" is addressed to President Ma Ying-jeou.

* January 24, 2009: Two more "US-based Taiwan experts add [their] names to open letter [No. 3]."

* January 25, 2009: President Ma claims the public had gained confidence in the judiciary in 2008 -- the exact opposite of whatthis Taiwan News article tells us they actually felt:
According to recent surveys conducted by Academia Sinica and the Web site Yahoo! Kimo, over 50 percent of the people do not believe in Taiwan's judicial systemand over 75 percent have no confidence that the Judicial Yuan will undertake judicial reform [...]
* May 22, 2009: An estimable group of scholars and writers -- 26 in all, and each one with a deep understanding of Taiwan and the surrounding facts -- has composed an open letter addressed directly to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). The letter addresses the ever-increasing problems with judicial fairness, press freedom, the lack of transparency in the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) rapprochement with China, the loss of Taiwan's sovereignty, and the loss of human rights. The argument the letter makes is rock solid. It is based on demonstrable facts.

* September 11, 2009: Chen Shui-bian gets life

* September 12, 2009: "Jerome Cohen, Ma's Law School Mentor, Again Speaks Out on the Ma Government Violation of Human Rights," by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.
(Tim Maddog contributed to this post.)

Labels: , , , , , , , 

posted Sunday, September 20, 2009 @ 4:55 AM by Άλισον

1 COMMENTS:
At 1:58 PM,   J. Ma said...
I agree with almost everything of substance stated in the article. Unfortunately, it sounds like something one hears on the playground at recess in 4th grade. Why don't you get someone who actually knows how to write?


http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14437667

Taiwan

Go directly to jail

Sep 12th 2009 | TAIPEI
>From Economist.com

Is jailing an ex-president a blow against corruption in Taiwan or a sign of persecution?


AP/Shutterstock

TAIWAN'S former president, Chen Shui-bian, was sent to prison for life on Friday September 11th after being convicted of various crimes, including embezzlement of government funds, forgery and accepting bribes over a land deal. It is a harsh sentence for the 58-year-old who ruled Taiwan from 2000 to 2008 and who had a feisty reputation for promoting independence from China.

Officials suggest that the punishment, which includes a fine of NT$200m ($6.1m), needed to be severe because of damage inflicted on the country. Mr Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, was also given a life sentence for seven crimes relating to corruption and a fine of NT$300m. The court punished several others, including former aides and the president's son and daughter-in-law.

The young democracy is now divided between those who are celebrating the fact that even the most powerful are not immune from the legal process and those who see the prosecution, conviction and harsh sentencing of a former president as evidence that the courts are under the sway of politicians.

Mr Chen's supporters, naturally, claim the latter. His office issued a statement calling the verdict "unconstitutional, illegal and invalid" and claiming that Taiwan's justice system is unfair. He plans to appeal and his office wants his immediate release from prison. In the streets near the court his noisy supporters let off firecrackers and waved placards, also demanding his freedom. Lines of police stood guard by barbed-wire barricades.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and foreign analysts point to irregularities in the judicial process. Mr Chen himself claims that corruption charges, which were first put to him three years ago, amount to persecution by the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) that, he says, is attempting to appease China. Mr Chen upset the KMT by bringing to an end its half-century of rule in Taiwan and by tackling the government bureaucracy which was long accustomed to KMT influence. In his controversial years in office he also provoked China, stoking military tensions and talking of de jure independence for the island.

The KMT returned to government last year, led by President Ma Ying-jeou, whose spokesman now denies all charges of political interference in the trial. It is generally believed by the Taiwanese public, analysts say, that Mr Chen had been involved in some kind of wrongdoing, although there is also doubt that the former president has been treated fairly by the judiciary.

One problem is that Mr Chen has already been in jail for over nine months, allegedly to prevent him from collaborating with witnesses involved in the trial. Critics say this is a sign that the courts did not presume his innocence. A panel of judges which released him from prison briefly in December was mysteriously and secretively replaced with a new panel that ordered him back behind bars after criticism from KMT politicians. The same trio of judges presided over the trial.

"To me this is indicative that the legal system in Taiwan has been slow to democratise," says Professor Bruce Jacobs, a Taiwan expert at Australia's Monash University. He suggests that whatever happened in this case, the judicial system had long been under the influence of the KMT and has been slow to reform. There is some doubt, too, that the embezzlement charges were appropriate.

The DPP is now in an awkward position. If it defends the former president fervently then voters may punish it for supporting a politician considered corrupt. On the other hand the party does not want to risk alienating Mr Chen's hardcore supporters. Thus the party produced a careful statement claiming that Taiwan's judicial system is flawed and supporting Mr Chen's appeal, but also saying that the ex-president should take responsibility for his actions, for example by remitting large sums of money kept by his family overseas.



justlistenall wrote:September 22, 2009 14:33
@ orphan wrote: September 21, 2009 2:27

[" @ justlistenall You surprised me that Manchuboy turned out to be an Indian! "]

There is no way on this forum you can dispute what one claims to be, or to assume someone's identity unless it said so in its posting. But you can always draw your own conclusion.

Category 1. Take for example [Hou Yue], who claims he was born in U.K. by his immigrant Chinese parents and educated in business adm. and international relations. Yet his poor English writing does not seem to support that claim. His writing gives him away.

The writing itself of course is not important and is to be respected at whatever level of proficiency, what hurts is that here is a native guy who'd say so much and so often, not criticisms, but words of hatreds against his motherland, behind her back so to speak.

Category 2. There has been a small band of Indian posters who were hell bent on bashing Chinese whenever an Economist article on China showed up, with vicious tongue and foul language.

That got subsided upon given a good measure of antidote postings in defense of Chinese views and values (remember pen names like [S.F. Tiger], [Qinzhirong], [Gold Phoenix]…)?.

And now some bashers have gone incognito with new pen names and more "civilized" tone of discourses posing as Westerners (such as some are with this article) and mumbling half baked anything barely related or totally unrelated to the subject matter (Mr. Chen's jail term), on and on and on.

But its end message was invariably the same. There too, their writings, like in Inglish, give them away.

What hurts here is that many Chinese including this one have thought of Indians in the line of "we are the world" brotherhood. I still do.

[Orphan], if it turns out this guy was Chinese instead of Indian (Manchuria implied or hinted? It failed to confirm one way or the other. And I did not read much of its postings except glancing the first few sentences of some, and that was enough to call for Pepto Bismol), that would put it right into Category 1, right?

Again, these are personal observation only cincerning this article.

Recommend Report abuse
Beatrice_bei wrote:September 22, 2009 13:20
I wonder why there are still so many Taiwanese citizens support for such a corrupt leader?

Recommend Report abuse
Manchuboy wrote:September 22, 2009 5:45
...should be nonsensical, a double negative gives the opposite...

Recommend Report abuse
Manchuboy wrote:September 22, 2009 5:26
justlistenall, your paranoid (also reference my previous post to you on the subject) is totally non-nonsensical, your anger is rather unnecessary, and your humour is not funny. Actually I prefer more rational and practical argument without psychological or philosophical digressions. Humour is OK, as long as it is funny, I mean as a digression only.

PS: And I don't expect you can follow my reasonings on legal matters. Which is just fine. Not a complain. And definitely not personal.

cool head, nice talking to you. Need to take a short break now (hell, too much work in the office). Talk you you some other time.

Recommend Report abuse
Manchuboy wrote:September 22, 2009 4:46
Is Manchuria part of India? LOL

Recommend Report abuse
Manchuboy wrote:September 22, 2009 4:45
cool head, I also agree with you that voting is not the only thing matters, but probably not in the sense that you would mean. If you have read carefully, I (or for that matter, the western view) is not saying that China SHOULD go into voting now or any time in the future. My suggestion (or for that matter, the western suggestion) is that SINCE there are Chinese within (and without) China who want to express their opinion freely (like the fact that Chinese Government jailed the largest number of journalists), and local and international NGOs who want to help Chinese citizens (like the Chinese groups helped the Sichuen relief and the Catholic Church), and unhappy minorities (like Tibetans) want to voice their discontent and to have discussions with the Government, and like FLG folks who want to practice their version of chi-kung-cum-religion that is lawful in anywhere around the world except China (including Singapore and Iran where there are legal practicing groups and organizations), and giving independent power to courts and legislature, that can help the fight against corruption and abuse of petty Government officials.... These are of concern to the west, not just Governments, but actually people, who expect their Government to care on their behalf too.

The following is the divergence: liberalizing the above will eventually lead Chinese to ask for direct election eventually. The western view is that there is nothing to fear about direct election, whereas the Chinese Government doesn't want to liberalize the above for fear of eventual losing grasp of their absolute power. A morality issue here, is liberalizing the above good for the Chinese? If yes, what should the Chinese Government do?

Concerning selecting the best in democratic election, it is same as in an independent judicial system, when a judge deliberates, one party will win, one party will lose, and not everyone will agree with that particular judgment; but all will say the system delivers justice. If one is too judgmental in thinking he always knows what is best for his people, eventually he will become a dictator, assuming he can weird enough power.

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cool_head wrote:September 21, 2009 18:00
Manchuboy, this time I mostly agree with your last response to me. However, I want to point out that the right to select who is to govern does not necessarily mean you actually get who you select. Or worse, have you ever felt that you had to vote for the lesser of two evils? It is hard to say if selecting a corrupt president like Chen is better than having a non-elected government that can grow the economy at around 10% a year, even though the latter also needs much improvement. Election for the sake of election regardless of the results and regardless of the development stage of each country? Voter turnout rates are typically very low in poor countries, because it is usually corrupt politicians taking turns to be in power. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean that being able to select leader is bad, I mean IN PRACTICE its benefits are not as great as they are hyped. That's why it is an obsession for the West to make a big deal out of it. It's just different political systems that may or may not work in different countries at different stages. Chill out, no need to keep preaching and antagonizing other countries.

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orphan wrote:September 21, 2009 2:27
@ justlistenall

You surprised me that Manchuboy turned out to be an Indian!

I may have missed that info, can you please provide as I though all the time he/she is a Chinese!

If he really an Indian, Mr Michael Fennel and you're touching on his/her nerve!!!

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justlistenall wrote:September 20, 2009 16:53
@ Manchuboy

Taiwan has recently successfully held two international games sanctioned by International Olympics. The most recent one held in Taipei, the Deflympics (for the hearing impaired) was a resounding success.

These are the relentless efforts of organizers and many volunteers in the heat and thick of Mr. Chen's conviction. These international sports events are the pride of all Taiwanese people.

You mumbled a lot using Mr. Chen's case for a lot more unrelated opinion here.

Why not pay some attention to your India that is slated to hold the relatively obscure Delhi 2010 Commonwealth games.

As the Economist has it: Quote:

[India's preparations for the games are a shambles],

[Commonwealth Games Federation president, Michael Fennell, wrote this month to the OC, seeking crisis talks with India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh.],

[Why is India, even as it demands, and gets, more respect in the world on the back of recent economic progress, making such a hash of this?], unquote.

Better hurry up.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 19, 2009 1:44
religionofreason, your exposition sometimes escaped my easy comprehension. Political power struggle has never been "gentlemanly" anywehre, US included (ref: Nixon's secret tapping). That is way a separation of power into administration/judiciary/legislature, plus a general sharing of power [supported by freedom-of-speech, and freedom-of-association] with NGO and general public is so important. Perhaps the most brutal political power struggle always happen in authoritarian or totalitarian regimes where gun is the rule of the land. Like Deng in 1989 moving outside PLA army to Beijing to suppress peaceful student demonstration and put then Party Secretary under house arrest for the rest of his life, without due process of course.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 19, 2009 1:35
wack-intelligence, please kindly refer to my post address to cool head for my suggestion to the Chinese Government. For US, of course I'm taking about today, following similar comment by justlistenall.

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 18, 2009 23:11
Manchuboy,
"The US has certainly earned the respect of her citizens of diverse ethnicity, and they want to build a better America with all their zeal. China?"
Absolutely, the CCP has not earned much. So what you are saying is that, because of so, China should be filled with riots, one ethnic group killing the other or go into civil war?

Did the US earn that before and after the Civil War? I guess not. What other argument you want to make?

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religionofreason wrote:September 18, 2009 19:15
While the Democratic Progess Party purged all Party dissents in the such movements as denouncing seven big bundits,it seemingly consolidated support for Chen and loud voices of zealots. One may wonder that even armed with so big a logo with super sales genius won't be enough to qualified as a sustainable salemanship. Without sincerity and overconfidence in the own spinning talent and underestimate the wisdom of everyone else, it is failing enough only serve to make speedy write off on the value of goodwill of the abused logo, democracy. May Manchuboy learn sth from the failure of DPP ? It seems a bit difficult. One often don't care much for the easy borrowed tools.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 18:37
Hope's there, your "liberal" extrapolation of my "fervent" comment to beyond recognition is quite funny. But to be frank, quite childish too.

PS: Unfortunately I enjoy more to have meaningful conversations with fellow posters (like ones with cool head and Falmer), then having funny chats. Nothing personal.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 18:15
"That's why Chinese should remember "918" today because there are still many poor souls who are unable to come to terms with the awakening and prospering of China, as evidenced here by some posting still trying to "pulling her legs", in vain of course."

Still bearing a grudge against the Japanese? Forgive and forget. Some religious or morality education might have helped. One more reason to allow the Catholic Church to be a legitimate religious organization in China. Singapore always does, talking about learning from the Singaporeans....

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Hope's_there wrote:September 18, 2009 18:12
I am so pleased to see that Chen's been sentenced guilty. The reults are based on the solid evidences, the testimonies from his own family members, his own confession, and his ex-staff's testimonies. And, like defendent in Taiwan, Chen is granted to 2 appeals.
Among one of the comments from previous time, I do disagree to the comment that states: "fervently" speaking up one's mind is acceptable(Regarding to Chen's supporters). To me, that's just plan mafia style. How is it legal and ethically acceptable that people sent out death threats to judges (and their family), or threatened to gun-down others who have differenct opinions?
This topic here is about "is Chen's sentence a blow agaist corruption or a sign of persecution". I say that base on the evidences, the result is legal and fair.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 18:01
cool head, China has a corruption index of 72 whereas Taiwan is 39, we can safely conclude that China is a more corrupt society than Taiwan. The fact that India has a corruption index of 85 clearly shows that democracy is not a guarantee to a non-corrupted society. Both the Chinese and the Indian Government have been trying their best to fight corruption (i.e. they both have good intentions), one study (http://www2.undprcc.lk/ext/HDRU/discussion/other/Posting_05_June_China_v...) suggested that the obstacle in India is low education level (though with developed democracy), whereas in China (though with higher education level) it is due to lacking in democracy. Perhaps there are other explanations too.

Glad to hear that you support freedom of speech. It is sad to see China has the largest number of jailed journalists who just want to voice their thoughts that unfortunately angered the Central Government.

As for minority, the hearts of minorities need to be won. Similarly, for any possible re-unification with Taiwan, the hearts of the Taiwanese need to be won. Here, I do believe any positive step towards political reforms, like freedom-of-speech, power sharing with local/international NGO's with good causes etc. will help. Like it or not, the current political culture is towards respect for self-determination (i.e. a government has to negotiate and discuss with minorities who are not satisfied with current rule), sharing of power (the division of power between administration/judiciary/legislature, plus give more degree-of-freedom to NGOs), and government being viewed as servants of the people (rather than masters). As I see it, the Chinese Government is getting more difficult in "containing" these aspirations of her people. Like it or not, the Chinese Government has to deal with it one way or the other. I believe, the wiser move will be moving towards power sharing with other entities (religious groups, opinion groups, media, academics, and ultimately other political parties) of society, in a planned and open manner. Sincerity in power sharing and respect for citizens' rights and aspirations can certainly win respect for CPC.

Don't you think it would be embarrassing for a Chinese student in university to tell his western classmates that he doesn't want to have the right to select who is to govern his country, and that he doesn't want to have the freedom to express himself in his blog without fearing that his Government might lock him up?

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cool_head wrote:September 18, 2009 15:10
What is really important is a clean and efficient government regardless of how to achieve that. Chen's government is neither clean nor efficient. It was corrupt and brought Taiwan economic setback. For such serious corruption in such huge amount and even to this day, his family still refuses to disclose all their overseas accounts (several discovered only by third party), even death penalty is justified as long as most Taiwanese agree.

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cool_head wrote:September 18, 2009 14:53
Manchuboy wrote: "cool man, On corruption index, shouldn't we look up rather than look down? (Hong Kong: 12, Taiwan 39, Malaysia 47, South Korea 40, China 72, India 85…..) You talking about India is like 50 steps laughing at 100 steps :)"

You miss my point. If you mean that democracy keeps a government clean? India and many other poor democracies prove that democracy has little to do with clean govt IN PRACTICE (don't bring up theoretical rhetoric, I know I know, blah blah). As for those with better ranking, don't you see that they are also economically more developed than China? If you think democracy always leads to better economy, HK, Taiwan, S. Korea and Singapore all had their economic take-off under non-democratic rule during the 70's. During the 8-year rule by Chen, Taiwan's economy suffered a serious set-back, thanks to the much touted first democratic power transfer there. Personally I never think what the Chinese government is doing is all perfect. I believe all Chinese government officials should be required to make their income and properties public, which I heard they are planning to do (I hope it is not just lip service). I also strongly believe the Chinese government should allow free press. But when it comes to minority issues, there is a lot of nationalism involved inside the ethnic groups and things are complicated, exaggerations by exiles are rampant. The usual western criticism about the lack of "free speech, religious freedom" is over-simplification because such criticism applies to entire China, then why single out those regions? Remember that many Hawaiians are still resentful that they have never been given a chance to regain their independence. How does the US suppress their voice? By flooding the islands with immigrants from the US and making native Hawaiian population the minority. Hawaiians have to know English to survive in the society. Sounds like Tibet or Xinjiang? Democracy means the majority rules, so it played out very nicely, didn't it? Note that the Tibetan government-in-exile does not even understand separation of church and state, but they are pretending to be democratic (ever heard of "democratic theocracy"? lol). Many Tibetans inside Tibet support Dalai Lama only because he is like their god. Remember that the Iranian people unconditionally supported Ayatollah Khomeini. China is against Dalai Lama not because of his priest role, but because of his political role.

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justlistenall wrote:September 18, 2009 14:16
That's why Chinese should remember "918" today because there are still many poor souls who are unable to come to terms with the awakening and prospering of China, as evidenced here by some posting still trying to "pulling her legs", in vain of course.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 11:56
"Like the U.S. should be treasured and loved by all Americans including Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans and Indian Americans as "one nation, indivisible", China should be treasured and loved by all Chinese including Tibetans, Xinjiangers and Taiwanese, as "one nation, indivisible"."

The US has certainly earned the respect of her citizens of diverse ethnicity, and they want to build a better America with all their zeal. China? Ask the Tibetans, the Xinjiangers and the Taiwanese (and ask the dissidents [o, and journalists too) who are jailed, ask the Tienanmen mothers, ask the FLG members...), do they want to be a part of that grand dream of yours? China has yet a long way to go in terms of social and political progress and you "dreamers" are pulling her legs. But I'm positive that day will come eventually. You "dreamers" are simply on the wrong side of history.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 11:14
Falmer, I would rather understand 10-15 years to be your own opinion of fairness. And I would venture to say that if THAT be the judgment, the prosecution will appeal, and some other people will call that judgment to be bad too! Actually that is why we need a system of appeal, as per my analysis in another post. Legal justice is defined by the system and not by our individual sense of what is being fair in individual cases. I'm sure most Taiwanese are mature enough to value legal justice more than their own individual sense of fairness in individual cases (but that doesn't mean people will not voice out their individual sense of fairness, sometimes even fervently, as you have noticed).

As I see it the vigour of the Taiwan's political process shows how much Taiwanese care about their political future, in particular with a menacing neighbour who are armed with carrot and stick. I can only praise the bravery of the Taiwanese and their strength of mind and character in upholding their democracy (despite differences, which might at times be quite polarized, as you have mentioned), negotiating their way for a better economy and protecting their home industries.

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justlistenall wrote:September 18, 2009 10:35
Like December 7th, 1941 and September 11th, 2001 to most Americans, the September 18th, 1931 is a day of infamy for most Chinese.

Today (September 18th) is a day not to recall hate or revenge, but a fitting day to appreciate how far China has come along and how much it has achieved over the past seventy seven years, particularly last thirty years as a provider to its people and a contributor to the world. No need to cite statistics and the difference between now and then is like day and night.

If the saying "Living well is a best revenge" means something, China as a nation led by CCP has certainly done close to that today.

No nation is perfect and China is still far from it, but it's the only one Chinese citizens have got, with the excitement of having lots of room for lots of improvement to ponder.

Like the U.S. should be treasured and loved by all Americans including Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans and Indian Americans as "one nation, indivisible", China should be treasured and loved by all Chinese including Tibetans, Xinjiangers and Taiwanese, as "one nation, indivisible".

In that vain, the will, aspiration and welfare of Taiwanese should be respected and protected by all means, in spite of what happened as a result of Mr. Chen's conviction one way or the other.

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Falmer wrote:September 18, 2009 9:56
Manchuboy, what is the law if not the emanation of the rules and customs of the majority?

But my point was more about what is normally accepted and done in such a case. I wish I was a TW lawyer and could review and understand previous cases with similar circumstances to weigh whether or not this sentence is fair.
I can barely believe that life is a proper sentence for corruption. Yes, it us very wrong, but it still does not equate to murder or else.

While I perfectly agree with the principles of law and independance that you've described, let's not forget that we are not discussing of France, the US, or any western country. This is Taiwan, an emerging democracy whose state and political scene is still convulsing with the nasty surprises of its past, the bullying of its giant neighbor, and the political alternatives it sees ahead.

The law here is often not really applied. It's complicated and bureaucratic, and finding a way around is often something you are being suggested by state workers as a foreigner.
The political scene is incredibly polarized. People avoid talking politics in public (they will often say "I dont have an opinion") for fear of disturbing the proverbial politeness and harmony of this otherwise peaceful and lovely society.
I have attended rallies of tens of thousands of people protesting against one president or another, Member of parliament have resorted to actually SHOVING INTO THEIR MOUTH and eating the majority's bill to prevent a law being passed (namely resuming air traffic between TW and the Mainland).

In these conditions how can a judge's decision pertaining to the head of the independence movement, the man who spent 3 years in jail in the 80' for his fight against dictatorship, not be somewhat influenced by politic?

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 9:45
peter, overturning the decision of a lower level court in the appeal procedure is part and parcel of an independent judiciary system. Of course in an independent judiciary system, for practical reason, there will also be in need of a court of final appeal (and in minor cases, like simple traffic offense, the appealing right might stop much earlier) where a number of the most senior judges of the country make a final decision on the case. The rationale of the whole system is to ensure a better deliverance of justice. However, since judges are humans (and therefore susceptible to conscious and unconscious influences), and judges deliberation has to be based on available court evidence at the time of judgment, carriage of justice cannot be guaranteed 100% of the time.

No judiciary system is foolproof, yet an interesting question: assuming that one got into legal disputes with the government of the land; does one prefer to be a defendant in a mainland court or a Taiwan court? Probably most people will opt for a Taiwan court!

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peter hsu wrote:September 18, 2009 9:01
Obviously Taiwan is the country of young democracy that is how two panels of justices made opposite judgments and the first one released the ex-president from the custody and then the next one re-arrested him behind the bars, just for one trial.

If we could think over the trail itself, the ex-president has made a most profitable service during his two terms of presidency that is a certainty. This also indicates Taiwan as the country of young democracy after it left the priest alike totalitarian presidential services, the corruption went back by misusing the governing power derived from the young constitution.

The intention of misusing the governing power indicates the uncivilized politicians are popular in Taiwan. Learning curve of democratic education has not reached the self-esteemed stage.
The opportunity for uncivilized politicians to misuse the governing power it indicated that the constitution is not a balance one.

Fortunately, the average people crowded, yelled and filled up the midtown of Taipei city, the youthful enthusiasm has been gathering hundreds of thousands of people in the pretest against Chen's corruption over one month long; politely the pretest didn't involve turmoil or course any conflict. Neither had the trouble dragged the GDP growth.

The people are well self-esteemed, instead of the politicians.
The watch dogs will help the people to educate the politicians for Taiwan democratic maturity.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 8:15
"Those of you who argue against democracy should question why you are on this forum. Perhaps it is because you live in a country where there is no such thing as free and open political debate." fumanchuck

"Debate" is an important education tool in the west, from primary school onwards. And nowadays, many school children in the west can elect their own class representative, and some even have representatives sitting on committees, together with teachers and/or parents to decide on students affairs. This is normal in the west. I guess it would be quite different in mainland China. And education certainly affects how people think and behave. It certainly is NOT something special to Chinese personality, just look at Chinese in HK, Taiwan, US, Canada, and UK etc.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 7:59
Falmer, political motive is a speculation. And speculation of a political motive makes "good" articles with many readers. And political motif is an accusation, a judge should be impartial. Consideration of how the majority of the citizens would like the judge to decide in certain way for a particular case is indeed a political consideration that might lead to a miscarriage of justice. Certainly a judge should decide on the merit of the case alone, and NOT after having an opinion poll as to what the majority of the citizens expect the judge to deliberate. Worse yet, if the judge, by his own speculation, as you seem to have proposed, consider the opinion of the citizens, AS PERCEIVED by the judge himself, and then decide accordingly.

Of course, whether or not a particular judge in a particular case has exercised political consideration is another matter (he should not is not equal to he would not).

The position of the Economist seems to be that the judge (and also asserting judges in Taiwan have that tendency) has exercised political consideration (which Common Law forbids). But your position seems to be that political consideration is indeed good and necessary, the judge had indeed exercise political consideration, and further more "he fucked up", i.e. have handed out a politically-motivated judgment that has back-fired, contrary to public good or opinion (such good and opinion, of course, being all perceived and interpreted by your good-self).

I apologize writing too theoretically on this issue.

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fumanchuck wrote:September 18, 2009 7:58
Those of you arguing against democracy, whether based on your irrational jingoism or your misguided logic that Asians are somehow unsuited to a political system of Western origin, are missing a key point. Democracy is based on the free exchange of ideas, much like this forum. This inherently maintains a continual process of self-criticism. To argue for democracy is to argue for the right to criticize one's own government. All other forms of government, whether in Singapore or in China, inevitably restrict this freedom of speech. So whereas you see the world in terms of us against them, the truth is that people like me are arguing for your power to say what you believe, whatever that may be.

Those of you who argue against democracy should question why you are on this forum. Perhaps it is because you live in a country where there is no such thing as free and open political debate.

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Falmer wrote:September 18, 2009 6:26
Manchuboy, we both know that judges have a surprising amount of leeway when it comes to sentencing. Life was the maximum penalty requested during this trial.

And more than political, applying consideration to how you are sentencing is more a matter of making justice legitimate. I don't think the tone of this article from the economist would have been the same had a few details been arranged differently.

This is where I don't get the pupose of all this. If there is a political motive behind this decision, why making it so gross and clear? If not, why not trying to make it more "normal" ?
This really is a fuck-up.

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Azureangel wrote:September 18, 2009 6:03
Mr. GAstudent, I agree, Taiwan is very much a part of China, just not a part of the PRC and on present trends, likely never should be.

I liked the point that the maturity for a country must be based on more than strength and size. Maturity for a government comes when they have the confidence to accept criticism and take steps to rectify the problems (people will always have problems) without fear that its an attempt to bash the government senselessly. A large part of that confidence is the result of an independent judiciary the people of a country can rely on for justice. This is disappointingly absent within the PRC with political allegiances coloring every decision. Even the story covered by TE of the young lady who defended herself from rape by those 3 party officials. If not for the public outrage that managed to be stirred up (not because of CCP media of course!) but by people speaking out was this poor girl allowed to continue living her life in peace. There was no indepth investigation, the facts surrounding the situation were clear, yet the girl was held for 2 weeks before she was released. She would have been yet another statistic for the CCP to cover up. Perhaps you think this girl is lucky, and perhaps she is because she actually escaped with her life, but the reality is, she still had to defend herself from being raped by CCP officials.

The fear (or excuse) in the PRC that the next uprising could bring the entire PRC house of cards as justification for its handling of the government is utterly alarming. When will a stable and peaceful PRC emerge? what does it take? Perhaps a look to the U.S. (since examples from Taiwan would be too offensive to mainlanders)

The U.S. has made some terrible mistakes when it comes to Iraq and by losing its initial focus on Afghanistan and, in so many ways the leaders that brought the U.S. on that path and the citizens that permitted it, are paying the price politically, economically, and socially. The correction began when the falsehood of wmd was exposed. A falsehood that was exposed by many independent voices, an exposure that was not hushed up and buried, no facsimile of what an iraqi bomb might have looked like was put into place. The lie was simply exposed. Within the PRC, when will this type of correction begin when it comes to those who suffered and died from the usual long list of famous places this year and the millions of other instances under the control of the CCP that gets less attention.

To religion of reason, thank god the article you read questioning the viability of democracy in China was written by a British publication, once again proof that even the most cherished of western institutions continue to be questioned and considered and reborn... without persecution.

It is so strange that so many from the PRC think that people want them to fail. What is so difficult about wanting to see peace and prosperity for the entire globe? Only the losers want to see others fail. In response to the nationalistic nonsense of CCP supporters claiming (somehow) that Chen's conviction is the result of Democracy's failure or incompatibility in Asia, I see most posters ardently trying to help the PRC become a better place because they ardently appreciate the freedoms they have! They cherish them! And our french friend is right, while this article isnt even about China it inevitably steers toward the PRC/ROC question. But, (it seems Freud was right) the subconscious need is not on the Taiwan side, it is on the PRC side, due to their wish to make Taiwan a part of the PRC. Take look at the first posts to see who brought up the PRC to begin with.

What is so hard to see? This article is about Taiwan, not China.

BTW, PRC citizens still had to show their passport and be admitted by British and Portuguese immigration controls. That is very simple. And the islands weren't loans, they were leases. And part of HK was not even leased, but conquered militarily and recognized as such.

Why do you want to make this complicated?

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 5:28
"Taiwanese do not trust their Government, corruption and persecution run rampant,..." froma guy with a Japanese name.

The fact, however, is: corruption index - Hong Kong: 12, Taiwan 39, Malaysia 47, South Korea 40, China 72.

The fact is also: on persecution, from my previous post:
"Check up this webpage from CPJ (a NGO called Committee to protect journalists): http://cpj.org/imprisoned/2008.php#china. According its 2008 prison census, there were 125 journalists in jail because they had published something their government didn't like. And China ranked as number one with 28, followed by Cuba with 21, then Burma with 14 (by the way, all authoritarian regimes). For those of you who want to know how the Americans are doing, you might be pleased to know the number is 1 (a journalist from Reuter was locked up in Iraq by the US military there, sure enough the CPJ condemned the US Government too on this single case). Incidentally Taiwan is Nil."

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 4:24
"If the trial has been fair and independent, convicting him to 10-15y would have been a better way to appear just and measured." Falmer

My dear Frenchman, when a judge deliberates on a case, he should base his judgment solely on the merit of the case itself. Trying to "appear just and measured" in the eyes of the citizens is a POLITICAL consideration itself.

But fair to say the deliberation of justice or the miscarriage of which is a difficult issue both theoretically and practically. Afterall, a judge is only human.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 18, 2009 4:13
cool man, On corruption index, shouldn't we look up rather than look down? (Hong Kong: 12, Taiwan 39, Malaysia 47, South Korea 40, China 72, India 85…..) You talking about India is like 50 steps laughing at 100 steps :)

The underlining logic of your points is actually quite simple: "Whatever the Chinese government doing is exactly the right thing to do. If not doing this way, the country will be in chaos and the economy will suffer".

I travel to China from time to time. Actually I have heard of better logic than yours: "Don't push our government to do any political reform like having freedom of speech, otherwise those in power will fear that they might lose their power and will do reckless things to harm the market economy. Just support our Government and we'll live in peace".

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dielianhua wrote:September 18, 2009 1:50
Mr chen is a legendary,as the symbol of democracy,he took the KMT down into ground,as the symbol of jurisdiction independence ,he was sentenced life prison.When it come true in mainland? God blesses Taiwan people.Best wishes from mainland.

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Falmer wrote:September 18, 2009 1:09
This is one of these articles whose comments puzzle me: Everybody seems to have something unrelated to throw in, and give whatever piece of poor opinion it feels like it has had brimming in for a long time.
Guys, please cut down the crap and get back to topic!
Topic is Chien Shui Bian's jail sentence and the Taiwanese legal system.

I, as a French living in Taiwan, was shocked by the length of the sentence. While I certainly welcome that even an ex-president can be judged for corruption (something that should happen in France), the idea that CSB could be condemned to a life sentence reeks of politically motivated heavy-handedness. This lack of proportionality gives weight to his argument that his trial was political persecution.
If the trial has been fair and independent, convicting him to 10-15y would have been a better way to appear just and measured.
If the trial has been politically motivated, the heaviness of this conviction is the best way to make it appear so.
In both hypothesis, the current verdict has been a bad choice.

There is going to be a lot of attention on the next high profile corruption case. It would be wise for the TW judiciary to make a careful choice.

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 17, 2009 22:22
"In the case of Macao and HK, when they were not under the political control of the mainland they were required to show their passport because they were Portuguese and British territories respectively."

Except they were not, they were "loaned" territories, each between 97 to 99 years. And their citizens hold special territory passport, not British or Portuguese passports, and they were not British or Portuguese citizens. Today, even though they are officially PRC territories, their citizen still hold special territory passports.

The world is not as simple as you think.

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 17, 2009 21:44
feelsonatural81,
When did you see me denying the existence of ROC? These are two warring states, and of course PRC does not recognize ROC and ROC vice verse.

And yeah, next time use ROC instead of Taiwan please, there is a place call Taiwan, and there is a state ROC which existed since 1912. I don't think you received your elementary education since Chen come into power right?

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Sensible GaTech Student wrote:September 17, 2009 18:24
I'm going to step away from my personal views that Taiwan is unequivocally a part of China, and simply analyze what the DPP should do pragmatically:

Run as far away from Chen as they can.

There are others in the DPP that will fill the void of leadership that Chen has left: young, ambitious, less corrupt idealists. The DPP made a critical mistake in putting all of their chips in with Mr. Chen in the first place; to now regress to throw all of their support once again to Mr. Chen would damage the short and long-term prospects that the DPP has of winning any future elections.

This chance is already slim enough as it is...why would they risk it again on someone already doomed? There is no way they can fight the KMT and their established system on this issue...so why do they try? I can only chalk it up to more foolish idealism. If the DPP (and specifically the DPP, not any other of the hundreds of Taiwanese parties) wants to win, it has to be smart. So far, they've been all reaction and no proaction.

(I should mention, before being assaulted with further baseless accusations of being Chinese, that I am a white American. Not all Americans support an independent Taiwan)

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religionofreason wrote:September 17, 2009 16:33
The democracy won't even be sell well with often shabby prototypes and crony salesmanship. Such as labeling the brand and taking out high-tech part of it and sell a simplified poor quality version. It may work on naive consumer group in short term. But it will be a very bad advertising to more sophisticated comsumer group. It is common sense.

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religionofreason wrote:September 17, 2009 15:50
Thank God there are those in the China who take time to point out the flaws in West prejudices and politic zealots because in your country, doing the same can land you in minor sideline. Why don't you grow up and show how much you really love democracy by starting to criticize it yourselves. That is the only way it will ever improve and gaining the convincing credit.

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cool_head wrote:September 17, 2009 15:44
Democracy certainly has many benefits. I strongly support free press in China to expose corruption and injustice. However, just like medicine, democracy is not one-size-fits-all. For some countries, it has bad side effects. It seems that for developing countries, its negative effects outweighs positive effects. In the past century, no developing country has ever become prosperous under democracy. For example, India's corruption index is even worse than china. Therefore only picking out the benefits of democracy, which indeed work very well only in developed countries, while turning a blind eye to its negative effects on a poor country is ignorance. The real challenge for a developing country like China is to draw the line about what features of democracy to adopt and what pitfalls of democracy to avoid for now. Certainly the Chinese government is not doing a perfect job in this regard, such as not allowing free press, but on the other hand, it is also hard for them to know how much control they should loosen before it gets into chaos and an opposition party takes power. Theoretically this is perfectly fine, but what if such a new party is as incompetent as the DPP in Taiwan and the new leader is as corrupt as Chen? The important thing is not whether the process is theoretically correct or not, but rather whether the end result is good or not. Blindly preaching democracy in developing countries is like pushing people to take drug overdose without any concern about the actual result in the particular context of each case. Therefore it is an obsession. The Chinese do loose a large part of their political freedom today, but the world is not perfect, if that's the price they pay to become economically prosperous, so be it. China does not want to become India.
Manchuboy, I know you will be tracking me down again. Go ahead, make my day.

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religionofreason wrote:September 17, 2009 12:51
You don't need to understand it and just worship it. It is a deadly kill for any idealism with cheerful blindness.

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religionofreason wrote:September 17, 2009 12:41
"What's so good about having the vote?" veteran BBC foreign correspondent Humphrey Hawksley asks in his new book, "Democracy Kills." In Britain, Japan, and the United States, the answer is easy. In the developing world, however, identifying the benefits of democracy can be anything but.
In the Ivory Coast, for instance, democracy and its sidekick – free market economics – have brought political instability and economic ruin. Cocoa producers are paid the same for a kilo of beans as 30 years ago, even though the price of a chocolate bar has risen fourfold. Adults have the vote, but their children are essentially slaves.
Mr. Hawksley's book is a chronicle of how economic despair leads to political alienation and often violence. There's nothing new to that story, but what is surprising – uncomfortably so – is this: Evidence shows that attempts to democratize the developed world have made internal tensions much worse. Often, as in Iraq, voting actually offers a new forum for acting out ancient animosities.

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justlistenall wrote:September 17, 2009 12:35
justlistenall wrote: September 16, 2009 18:14

On account of this article, many posters have offered good opinions about Mr. Chen Bian's verdict, Pro and con.

But, do you know why even for a relatively local article on the conviction of Mr. Chen in Taiwan, there are still a few posters with postings after postings to bash Chinese value and system and China's leaders (It's laughable that some undoubtedly with double poster pen names to play up its postings by the tale telling duet endorsing of each other)?

Here is why in my view:

1. Subconsciously, these posters are resigned to the fact that Taiwan is a part of China and that Taiwanese and Mainlanders are all Chinese. That's why whenever the word Taiwan is mentioned, it immediately triggers their nerves on matters concerning China.

2. They can't stand the thought or the fact rather, although they can't do anything about it that China is awakening and prospering.

China today is Japan's largest importer, replacing the U.S., that is helpful on Japan's economy recovery, and China is India's largest exporter. China is world's first nation to develop and dispense immunization formula for H1N1; about two weeks ahead of the U.S. which is troubled by more than 400 unfortunate deaths.

China runs worlds fastest regularly scheduled commercial trains (Beijing-Tinjing) at 340 Km/H a clip; and China spends about $30 m a day constructing Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway soon to be finished ….

3. China of course has problems to work at too, and tons of them. These postings just can't pass up any chance to jump in to ridicule these problems with brutal exaggeration and graphic distortion, wishing in their sick minds that China would remain and get stuck in the problems and the more the merrier for them.

All these words of "human rights", "totalitarianism", "ethnic strife" etc. out of their pseudo fancy bashing postings are but abusive cover for their dark side or inside.

Such are the general state of postings of China bashing in my observation on the forum of this article. I feel sorry for these bashing posters.

Then again, they are serving unwittingly as some negative material to remind people to work harder for the good of their country, China, the U.S., India,… indeed whichever their country happens to be.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 17, 2009 10:27
"I just wished that Chen and his cronies will accept this just setence and let Taiwan moved on." Kevin Kon

Nice post of yours. Taiwan certainly will move on. Chen has every legal right to appeal, that is called due process. And Chen has all his freedom-of-speech to claim himself innocent even after conviction. Some folks will still believe Chen is innocent, which BTW is perfectly fine for democracy, the Government won't lock these people up (unlike some of Taiwan's neighbours):)

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Manchuboy wrote:September 17, 2009 10:10
...liberal democracy, according to Hands off Chain, means "The classification "liberal democracy" is based on the rigorous analytic standards employed by Freedom House in its Freedom in the World 2009 report on the state of political rights and civil liberties around the world (www.freedomhouse.org)." source: same webpage as previously post.

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Manchuboy wrote:September 17, 2009 9:57
"In ancient time, these sorts of criminals are just executed or the whole family is being exiled." happyfish18

True, and that is called progress. Even today some countries like to execute alleged criminals more than others. Some figures from Hands off Cain (http://www.handsoffcain.info/bancadati/index.php?tipotema=arg&idtema=120...), the top ten list in 2008:

China: at least 5,000
Iran: at least 346
Saudi Arabia: at least 102
North Korea: at least 63
United States: 37
Pakistan: at least 36
Iraq: at least 34
Vietnam: at least 19
Afghanistan: at least 17
Japan: 15

Remarks: only US and Japan are liberal democracies.

BTW: Taiwan doesn't appear in the full list

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Manchuboy wrote:September 17, 2009 9:43
"(some undoubtedly with double poster pen names to play up its postings by the tale telling duet endorsing of each other)"

"undoubtedly"? OMG, this guy is so paranoid.

Dude, relax...

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Manchuboy wrote:September 17, 2009 9:37
"And stop trying to convince yourself that Taiwan has been growing economically and socially; it has not for a long time, went downhill during President Lee's rule." CatherineEnvy

It is funny, on the one hand these mainlanders call Taiwanese brothers and sisters, on the other they seem to "enjoy" seeing anything "downhill" in Taiwan. Talked to many Taiwanese folks (who have business in the mainland) personally, they all praised the economic progress of the mainland, but as to "social progress" (like morality, freedom of speech, human rights, freedom for NGO's), they have deep reservations. But do these Taiwanese "enjoy" seeing this "social-downhill" in the mainland? No. Their normal response is "That is none of my business, I'm only here to make money".

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Manchuboy wrote:September 17, 2009 9:23
"Democracy has become a fashion, obsession, but actually it can also produce corrupt presidents like Chen." cool head.

No bullet needs to be fired to take down a dishonest civil servant, even if he is President or former-President in a democracy, like Chen or Nixon. Some mainlanders in this forum seems to think that outsiders (westerners or non-mainland Chinese) want to "impose" democracy to China. Fact number one: they can't. Fact number two: many mainlanders are actually asking for more freedom of speech that incidentally might eventually lead to democracy in the maninland. Don't believe me? Check up this webpage from CPJ (a NGO called Committee to protect journalists): http://cpj.org/imprisoned/2008.php#china. According its 2008 prison census, there were 125 journalists in jail because they had published something their government didn't like. And China ranked as number one with 28, followed by Cuba with 21, then Burma with 14 (by the way, all authoritarian regimes). For those of you who want to know how the Americans are doing, you might be pleased to know the number is 1 (a journalist from Reuter was locked up in Iraq by the US military there, sure enough the CPJ condemned the US Government too on this single case). Incidentally Taiwan is Nil.

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Daveycool wrote:September 16, 2009 22:54
@cool head

good read, thanks.

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cool_head wrote:September 16, 2009 20:18
Democracy has become a fashion, obsession, but actually it can also produce corrupt presidents like Chen. Read this:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0915/p09s02-coop.html

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freezing.point wrote:September 16, 2009 7:53
Azureangel wrote:
September 16, 2009 3:55

Without a lot of growing up by the CCP government however, Tibet and Xinjiang will continue to represent a big flaw to that commonwealth concept.

----

I find it interesting that it is the communist party which has actually dealt with tibet and xinjiang extremely calmly, that needs to grow up, while the U.S. that attacks anyone who disagrees like a common schoolyard bully, is the mature one.

may god help us if maturity is defined merely by being bigger and stronger.

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happyfish18 wrote:September 16, 2009 6:53
In ancient time, these sorts of criminals are just executed or the whole family is being exiled.

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Levin Kon wrote:September 16, 2009 5:39
Having followed Chen's list of crimes closely throughout the years while in Asia, I have to state that the sentence is fair. Of course, there are other crimes by Chen and his cronies where justice is not served yet. I just wished that Chen and his cronies will accept this just setence and let Taiwan moved on.

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Rita Ding wrote:September 16, 2009 3:59
I am from Taiwan and all my family is still in Taiwan. We know that Chen has been treated fairly in the entire process. Chen had been a lawyer for many years before he started his political career. His two-faced lawyerly personality never changes -- always accuses others of wrongdoing and never blamed himself even though he was the worst president we ever had.

I am disappointed to see uninformed comments like this from economist.com. When Chen was president, a lot of parents who lost their jobs and had been unemployed for many years killed themselves and took their kids with them. All Chen did was accuse of others not letting him to do his job. He was a president for 8 years. Taiwan regressed terribly during his 8 year presidency.

I applaud Taiwanese democracy. We voted out KMT and our judicial system put our ex president in jail through an equitable, fair judical system without riots or turmoil.

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Azureangel wrote:September 16, 2009 3:55
The passport remains a good example of a sovereign state exercising control of its borders. In the case of Macao and HK, when they were not under the political control of the mainland they were required to show their passport because they were Portuguese and British territories respectively.

Though forged by war, some of those wars being accidental since the UK as the world's dominant power was compelled to keep the peace, the British Commonwealth accepted the independence of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India almost entirely peacefully. If the CCP were to honestly view Taiwan as part of a commonwealth, it would bring much stability to the region and confidence to the Taiwanese people. Without a lot of growing up by the CCP government however, Tibet and Xinjiang will continue to represent a big flaw to that commonwealth concept.

@Justiceisserved

Sooo, a Taiwanese bully = Terrorist

What does that make a mainland bully?

The U.S. has not sought to expand its territory since the annexation of Hawaii. Since that time, the CCP has militarily seized over 40% of its present territory. With another land grab in its sights. So yes, the CCP is a militaristic, expansionist one party dictatorship with a record of atrocious disregard for human rights and suffering.

Incidentally, (according to independent human rights watch groups) by some measures, the number of casualties in Iraq (including both wars, the ensuing political turmoil, sectarian violence, suicide bombings, road side bombings, and collateral damage) as of last month number over 1 million souls. Terrible indeed. War is not the answer.

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cncop wrote:September 16, 2009 2:54
i dont want to talk about political issues here.war hurts both sides of people.there is no reason for us fighting each other who are speaking the same language.chinese are a big family.just like common wealth,although uk invaded their countries many years ago(australia,new zealand,etc),they bring new blood,too including technology,language,cultural styles...they still repect the queen of uk,because they born form the same root.so do we....

there are hundreds of thousands of taiwan businessman grab a lucrutive profits from china.obviously,taiwan cant live his own without china.we love peace,segregation is not a solution for both of us.strengthen exchange ranging from all aspects of fields is essential,esp in edu,health care,NGO...

im a student from china...my aunt married with taiwanese....i understand thier complaints,and i also dont fully appreciate about mainland's measures to taiwan such like alienate taiwan from international community

in short, yellow skin, black hair and eyes,speaking the same language,traditional culture background....yes so many in common....those are roots which we cannot escape and deny

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Justice is served wrote:September 16, 2009 2:48
Well, they've done it again! (to kill the Law in Taiwan) Chen's fans started to put out the death threats to the judges who sentenced him (Sep 14, Asian time). Before we go further, let me just tell you, Chen was kicked out of his own Party. You see, his lies are soooo rediculous, not just his own family members, but also his own buddies won't "buy" them any more (no money left to buy...)
And, yes, Chen's fans started to put out death threats to the judges (3). Are they stupid? No, they do this to make sure that while Chen appeals (he's got 2 chances), he will eventually be "guilt-free"--since no one dare to take his case no more.
While I rediculed the violence on our beloved Chinese news paper, I actually was threatened to be gunned down, too!! Here, in the United States! Just to let you guys know--Support Chen eqauls to support terrorists!!
Don't laugh, every terrorist starts as a bully, than a voilent person to the society, than become so out of real world, they finally lost it. You think noghting can top this? Check it out, in Taiwan, knowledged people (college professor) yell out the stop of these death threaths--BECAUSE IT PUTS A BAD PUBLICE IMAGE TO Chen for the next election (2012). .....Now, you can laugh! Yes, I think the Law system is dead in Taiwan--killed by thses terrorists.
Just remember, support Chen equals to support the terrorist! (Don't say: no one has warmed us...)

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freezing.point wrote:September 16, 2009 2:00
BabyBackRibs wrote:
September 15, 2009 18:11

To the previous commentator calling Chen and others secessionists:

Taiwan is a nation. If it's a province (of what?) then how can an ex-"President" be convicted? Plus, any foreigners (including the Chinese) wanting to enter Taiwan customs need either a visa or visa-exemption to enter. Unequivocally, that's a nation exercising its sovereign power.

Thus there is nothing to secede from since has never been part of PRC and Taiwan's already a self-governing nation. There is only a militaristic China wanting to attack and annex Taiwan against the will of Taiwanese people. Military strategists highlight the geographic significance of this move for China to break the island chain blockade (extending from Japan to Taiwan to Philippines) so that it has a chance to become a Pacific military naval power. If China is really concerned about its territorial integrity, it will seek to recover Mongolia that declared independence from China in early 1900s and all the northern lands that Russia seized from the Chinese Ching dynasty (in the 1800s). It will also defend the lands in dispute with India and Diaoyutai from Japan.

China willing to attack Taiwan (China's Anti-secession Law) and imposing its rule on a free self-governing people of Taiwan is characteristic of an invader. Taiwan's a democracy now, and the legitimacy of the government is derived from the consent of the people. UN and US Congress Human Rights reports have repeatedly pointed out that Communist China is rife with human rights abuses, systematic censorship, and repression of the dissents, and so why would any democratic and free people like the Taiwanese want to surrender to China?

----

So what? The US has attacked more nations than anyone else except Hitler during the 20th century. They use artillery and air strikes on civilians. They kill millions of Iraqis. Has the mainland attacked one island of Taiwan since 1950's? How many people on Taiwan died because of the mainland? Zero?

I find it amazing that you'd say that China is a militaristic nation when China has not fought a war in 30 years, and all previous wars have been either civil wars or defensive wars! Look at actions, not just words. In fact, in words, the US blatantly practiced military blackmail, sometimes nuclear.

Also, one more thing: Taiwan's status, has nothing to do with the will of the people on the island. It'll be nice if Taiwan would go back on its own, but that is optional. As Li Ao and even American analysts note, Taiwan's occupation would take about 2 weeks and the air force would last 3 days. Fear of the Nationalist army has nothing to do with not taking back Taiwan. It has everything to do with the United States, who is the most ruthless and brutal power the planet has ever seen next to Nazi Germany and the early Soviet Union.

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 16, 2009 1:29
wack-intelligence,

Oh, so all of a sudden you bring up the ROC? Do you even recognize the ROC?

ROC is the very concept that the PRC have been vehemently denouncing. The PRC do not recognize two Chinas therefore view ROC as illegitimate. Basically ROC means nothing to the PRC.

To bring up ROC (something you don't believe) to justify your argument of province is very convenient indeed, so now the ROC is recognized and legitimate now?? You are being selective on things that suit you. Yes, the ROC see Taiwan as a province, but the ROC also see PRC as villains and illegitimate. Do you buy that?
Utter hypocrisy!

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 16, 2009 0:13
"Thus there is nothing to secede from since has never been part of PRC and Taiwan"
I notice that the green toads never use ROC, if you do not want to be ROC citizen then just get the heck out of ROC alright?

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 16, 2009 0:09
BabyBackRibs,
If it's a province (of what?) then how can an ex-"President" be convicted?
- it is considered a province by PRC AND ROC. It is weird that you ask this question, if you are from ROC you should have learn it in your geography. Why the ex president of ROC cannot be convicted?

Plus, any foreigners (including the Chinese) wanting to enter Taiwan customs need either a visa or visa-exemption to enter. Unequivocally, that's a nation exercising its sovereign power.
- Really? Then HK and Macao must be nations. Mind you Chinese used to need a passport to enter them, even though they were "loaned" territories.

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Leon HAHA wrote:September 15, 2009 19:24
It's now apparent that Chen's family is both greedy and stupid. Greedy to take money that they shouldn't have, stupid to think that because it had always been done that way, they were going to get away with it.

There is nothing wrong in prosecuting Chen and his family for immoral behaviors, but there is everything wrong in letting others get away with it. Mr. Ma himself committed the same offense, the only difference is the amount in question. The judicial system of Taiwan is obviously swayed by political influence and favors. Such selective prosecution will only reinforce the distrust in the judiciary.

It's naive to suggest that eight years of DPP can remove fifty years of entrenched KMT patronage machine. It's even more silly to suggest Taiwanese are so provincial that they will not support a political party run by the mainlander Chinese. A Chinese proverb is best suited to describe those of you who suggest Taiwanese conduct their lives based on "racial" difference: "The one who is the thief calling everyone to catch the thief." Such diversionary tactic is at best self-delusional.

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BabyBackRibs wrote:September 15, 2009 18:11
To the previous commentator calling Chen and others secessionists:

Taiwan is a nation. If it's a province (of what?) then how can an ex-"President" be convicted? Plus, any foreigners (including the Chinese) wanting to enter Taiwan customs need either a visa or visa-exemption to enter. Unequivocally, that's a nation exercising its sovereign power.

Thus there is nothing to secede from since has never been part of PRC and Taiwan's already a self-governing nation. There is only a militaristic China wanting to attack and annex Taiwan against the will of Taiwanese people. Military strategists highlight the geographic significance of this move for China to break the island chain blockade (extending from Japan to Taiwan to Philippines) so that it has a chance to become a Pacific military naval power. If China is really concerned about its territorial integrity, it will seek to recover Mongolia that declared independence from China in early 1900s and all the northern lands that Russia seized from the Chinese Ching dynasty (in the 1800s). It will also defend the lands in dispute with India and Diaoyutai from Japan.

China willing to attack Taiwan (China's Anti-secession Law) and imposing its rule on a free self-governing people of Taiwan is characteristic of an invader. Taiwan's a democracy now, and the legitimacy of the government is derived from the consent of the people. UN and US Congress Human Rights reports have repeatedly pointed out that Communist China is rife with human rights abuses, systematic censorship, and repression of the dissents, and so why would any democratic and free people like the Taiwanese want to surrender to China?

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Daveycool wrote:September 15, 2009 18:04
" Mr. Chen's election and peaceful transition into power was a reflection of that pride.

What happened after was disheartening in so many ways. The political struggle between the two parties created utter gridlock. The government ground to a halt. Hope fell away to frustration as the KMT refused to cooperate by confirming executive appointees, prior alliances to the KMT oiled by money and nepotism were called into question, when Chen began making policy changes ranging from relations to China and the education system the KMT (mush like Republicans today with the HCS in the U.S.) began to portray the DPP as a threat ideologically and monetarily." -- Azureangel

Yet, the KMT portrayal resonated with the electorate. Mr. Chen got elected to his first term via a Soong/Lien candidacy that split the pan-Blue. He won a second term with a rather thin margin in addition to having large numbers of the military being denied their right to vote -- the military is seen as a pan-Blue leaning institution.

Mr. Chen isn't a hero of democracy. I believe as it is becoming increasingly clear to me that he was an accidental "hero" because he hated the KMT and probably Waisheng-rens and opposing the KMT aligned him with the cause of democracy -- he has abused democracy whenever it suited him. Much like Lee Teng-Hui before him, he was a political opportunist without a personal conviction to any ideology or political system. Mr. Lee had joined the communist party because he hated the KMT and later joined the KMT. You can be assured that politicians like these will put their personal interests above the country's or worse betray pan-Green if the circumstances were right.

Anyway, what is evident is that the electorate was clear on certain things such as keeping things "status quo" and I believe that they wanted the KMT to obstruct some of Chen's more radical policies -- this is after all how democracies work.

If any of the policies were clearly good for Taiwan the strength of the underlying logic of the policies themselves would easily have made the KMT and the pan-Blues look positively bad for opposing passage of those bills. Unfortunately, I've heard, many of Chen's and pan-Green policies were designed to also give a backhand slap to waisheng-rens that would have created a more divided Taiwan. I wa astonished to find so much resentment between the wai's and the ben's and 20 years of green power has actually made it worse.

Taiwan cannot afford to have a segregated society of waisheng/bensheng groups. If anything, policy-makers should take a page out of Beijing's playbook and Taiwanize those Waisheng-rens. Already some Waishengers are proud of being able to speak Taiwanese -- either that or they have been shamed into not being able to speak it.

Someone had once said that Mr. Obama's success (in getting elected) was that he was not a running to be a Black president but the American president -- meaning that his policy posture is one that never would have pitted blacks against whites or vice versa, his policies would aim to benefit everyone regardless of skin color.

The pan-Greens should seize the political center using Obama-tactics and win Blue votes along with the Green votes (because where are the center-greens gonna go?) with inclusive policies. If Mr. Ma is as inept, clumsy, and cynical as the pan-Greens have said he is, this would be a great opportunity to capture the centrist blues -- forget the more extreme blues, they are beyond reach -- and leave the KMT behind as a permanent minority or force them to come towards the Green side a little. Besides, this is where democracies work best: at the political center.

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 15, 2009 17:21
Wow M Robson,
Where does your statistics come from? Provide the links for a few please, I think you are talking BS.

-high number of senior positions in government institutions?
Where is the statistics?

-opportunity at multi-national companies and leading corporations?
Statistics? And gee, why? I have to ask, you are telling me foreigners discriminate non-mainlanders right? What does it have to do with mainlander?

-children of civil servants/military receive educational subsidies
Is that true for a lot of developed countries? Especially the military. Gee, I did not know going to the military is like winning a lottery. In the US it is more like a prison sentence.

-in terms of post retirement benefits
Same as the last one.

-why is it that all those prosecuted for graft are DPP
Statistics? If this is true, don't you think there is something wrong with the DPP?

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Azureangel wrote:September 15, 2009 15:39
Nathan,

I can not help but feel your statement of, "Instead I want to make it clear that the top leaders in China will not commit a crime simply because they will not do anything at the risk of perishing their rule in China and belying their vows to rejuvenate the Chinese nation." has not yet been adequately supported for your ideas to be clear.

It has been shown in various previous threads, including this one, that rampant corruption is present at all levels of the CCP government (even at the highest levels), massive property seizures, excessive brutality by security forces, denial of judicial hearing, horrendous safety conditions within majority government controlled companies (within the last month 116 people died in a collapsed coal mine supposedly 'closed' for safety reasons majority owned by CCP party members), attempts to organize politically being punishable by death, even the PLA is not even a national army but a party security force.

I look forward to hearing your further justification of how CCP officials would not even think about committing a crime out of fear that their rule might perish or fail to meet their goal of 'rejuvenating' China.

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M Robson wrote:September 15, 2009 13:00
To anti-racism (September 14, 2009 23:51),

I like your header "anti-racism" but I find it ironic you feel you are a victim of persecution in Taiwan.

I respect your feelings, but comparing Taiwan to a country like the U.S., I find appalling the level of SYSTEMIC discrimination in Taiwan. Systemic because I find discrimination is instituted into government organizations, media, and popular culture. I understand these conditions are improving but have put the non-mainlanders ('Taiwanese' loosely speaking) at a huge disadvantage in terms of class, wealth, and opportunities over the past 60 years.

Before you call yourself a victim of discrimination/ persecution, have you wondered?

-Why is it that 'mainlanders'' occupy disproportionately high number of senior positions in government institutions?

-Why is it that 'mainlanders' and their offspring get disproportionately more (relative to total population) opportunity at multi-national companies and leading corporations?

-Did you know that children of civil servants/military (mainlanders used to get preferential treatment in slotting into these positions) receive educational subsidies when the poorer non-mainlander families struggle to come up with tuition money?

-in terms of post retirement benefits, savings, and social safety net, the civil service, military personnel (again for many years, these opportunities went to mainlanders first-by ethnicity) are able to enjoy benefits that are simply unavailable to the ordinary Taiwanese? While many mainlander families enjoy financial security, many old non-mainlanders grow old without any social safety net - at least substantially less.

-why is it that all those prosecuted for graft are DPP (therefore likely to be a non-mainlander)? Do you not think this is inherently unfair?

YOU WROTE: "..and for that reason--that reason only, people like me (the new-comers) were never allowed to be called the "Taiwanese"."

MY RESPONSE: The only person who can decide whether you're Taiwanese or not is YOU. If you feel you're a Taiwanese, then you're a Taiwanese. Who cares what other people may say.

YOU WROTE: "Chen and his party labels us, harrasts us, persebutes us, and eventually, kicked us out of the only country we ever have."

MY RESPONSE: I know of many mainlander Taiwanese who work and live and Taiwan, how is anyone able to do that to you?

YOU WROTE: "(Taiwan) was a land of slaves for the Japenese. Farmers pay tax to the Japen emporer, and bussiness men export coal and timber logs to Japen.

MY RESPONSE: as a colony, Taiwan did export resources to Japan. As Japan's first colony, however, Taiwan also was where the Japanese allocated their best engineers, architects, etc. to build up Taiwan's modern infrastructure. Did you know Taiwan had the second highest per capita GDP in Asia and second highest living standard (behind Japan) as of the end of World War II?

YOU WROTE: "Chen kicked out us new-comers and started the new segragation among people in Taiwan to win the election. Today,

MY RESPONSE: Chen was definitely no angel and was at times inflammatory, but how was he able to segregate the people of Taiwan?

I think the issue here is people of Taiwan (mainlanders or non-mainlanders) have to agree restitutions must be done to right historical wrongs.

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GEOPOLITICONOMIST wrote:September 15, 2009 12:39
Jailing ex-president Chen Shui-bian is corruption in the judicial practice itself and will not do a fragile mickey-mouse democracy any good. Taiwan is a capitalist country and not a democratic one and no amount of persecutory frame-up of this sort will convince the world otherwise.

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Nathan-Asian guy wrote:September 15, 2009 11:06
At four o'clock, September 11th 2009, the judge's gavel finally fell on the table, generating a sound that marked the fate of Chen Shui-bian, former leader of Taiwan. Chen was convicted of embezzlement of government funds, forgery and accepting bribes over a land deal. It was a harsh sentence for the 58-year-old politician, throwing him into the jail for the rest of his life and including a fine of 2 million NTdollars. However, Chen's families are not immune to the trial. Concomitant with his imprisonment, Wu shuzhen, Chen's wife, a disabled woman, was also given a life sentence for seven crimes and a fine of 3 million NTdollars.
The final verdict put DPP (Democratic Progress Party) in an awkward position. If they defend their former "president" fervently, the voters would sniff at it for supporting a politician corrupt. On the other hand, they would do everything possible to keep the Chen's hardcore supporters at their side.
Anyway the result of the first trial leaves us with serious contemplation over the actual judicial situation in Taiwan. And we'll see two different factions treating this result in an opposite way. This morning the noisy supporters of Chen protesting before the court held a steadfast view on their beloved "president" that Chen could not have committed those crimes and he absolutely suffered the politician persecution imposed by KMT (Kuo Ming tang). Another group of people who denied the verdict was DPP members who did not believe their former party secretary could have been a criminal, though some compromised a little by saying, Chen should be responsible for what he had done. On the contrary, for people have tolerated 8 years for Chen's horrible actions including public claims for the independence of Taiwan from China which tensioned the across-striate relations and nearly generated a missile crisis in 1996, accepting bribes and corrupting by transporting a large sum of money to the foreign countries, they would cheer at the power of law and fairness of Taiwan judiciary system that finally brought criminals into justice. Let's identify Chen shui-bian again, he was the former "president" of Taiwan and he is also the very person who is enjoying his day in jail. What can we infer from this? Obviously enough, under Taiwan judicial system, no one, including the "president", would be immune to the punishment of law if he or she commits crimes. And this is what "everyone is equal under law" presents to us.
Naturally, denouncement and condemnation begin to pour down on the judicial system governed by the CPC (Communist Party of China) that the leaders of CPC will not be another Chen even if they commit a crime. Some people say, Chinese judicial system is vulnerable due to its lack of check and balance, the very property that enables some western countries to condescend to socialist countries like China. Here I am not comparing the judicial system in China between that in the west countries. Instead I want to make it clear that the top leaders in China will not commit a crime simply because they will not do anything at the risk of perishing their rule in China and belying their vows to rejuvenate the Chinese nation.

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 15, 2009 6:45
Very well said Azureangel!

A lot people fail to see what Chen Shui Bian meant to Taiwan. Up until the point he became the president, he almost had the trait of a "hero".

He grew up poor, unlike Ma and other KMT members who were born with silver spoons in their mouths and had their bright future all set out for them. If he really wanted safety and wealth, he could have joined the KMT in the first place, this way he could really concentrate on counting money. But instead he joined DPP and risked his life to defend political prisoners. Why did he do that??? Definitely not for money. He definitely would have been welcomed by the KMT with his qualifications.

I am not saying he is innocent but just because someone did something wrong it doesn't mean everything he did in the past is wrong!

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Azureangel wrote:September 15, 2009 5:37
To those that do not recognize the accomplishments of A-Bian:

Please recall that he was born from a poor family in Southern Taiwan and had to work hard growing up. Unlike Ma Ying Jeou born from HK with rich parents and connections to the KMT government.

The government did not pay for Chen Shui Bian to go abroad for his education like Ma Ying Jeou, nor was Mr. Chen given the 'job' to influence those few Taiwanese permitted to study overseas. Mr. Chen, by choice, was active in the freedom and democracy movements while he was a student here at National Taiwan University.

After becoming the youngest Taiwanese to pass the bar he became a freedom fighter.. a commitment to democracy he showed by his willingness to defend many of the arrested protesters and pro democracy leaders. Mr. Chen was even willing to go to prison himself (before these recent corruption charges) and afterward still continue to work/sacrifice himself for the freedoms Taiwanese enjoy today.

Chen Shui Bian was, and I suppose in some ways still is, a symbol of what even the poorest in Taiwan are capable of achieving though hard work and commitment to their country (just hopefully not the corruption part @@). He showed that family connections and money were not required to bring about great things.

Which is why it is so sad to see that Mr.Chen fell foul with these corruption charges, but fighting for freedom and making efforts to line your pockets and that of your family are very different animals. Mr. Chen was pulled down by the effects of corruption and entrenched interests. But, if Taiwanese continue to persevere and demand better from their leaders, we can overcome the disgusting circle that corruption causes.

To insure an accountable government and due respect is given to the due process of law, granting an appeal to Mr. Chen is a necessity. He may be found guilty again, but it would be yet another reminder of the negative consequences demanding cash for the granting of political favors. It would insure that the judges were more likely to be impartial. A re-examination of the evidence would show that there were no irregularities. To honey the process for the KMT, it would be a chance for the KMT to play the 'corrupt' DPP card again for politicking purposes.

The Taiwanese people still have too many unanswered questions and the answers they have been given thus far have been bitter.

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Azureangel wrote:September 15, 2009 4:16
The people of Taiwan did not vote in favor of Chen Shui-Bian because they thought that he would become corrupt.

Although there were those that voted DPP because they wanted greater distance with the PRC, I recall most voting for him because they wanted to end the KMT stranglehold on their country and challenge their circle of corruption. He convinced businessmen through the power of his words the benefit of a more accountable government, he spoke of hope for a stronger, safer, more stable Taiwan, he echoed parents concerns at KMT leadership whose children were not getting the education they needed CHen Shui-Bian's charisma was undeniable.

Taiwanese wanted their country to grow, not only economically (they have seen much of that), but also politically. Perhaps with a little too much pride, we were proud of our status as democratic country and Mr. Chen's election and peaceful transition into power was a reflection of that pride.

What happened after was disheartening in so many ways. The political struggle between the two parties created utter gridlock. The government ground to a halt. Hope fell away to frustration as the KMT refused to cooperate by confirming executive appointees, prior alliances to the KMT oiled by money and nepotism were called into question, when Chen began making policy changes ranging from relations to China and the education system the KMT (mush like Republicans today with the HCS in the U.S.) began to portray the DPP as a threat ideologically and monetarily. Businesses found themselves uncertain how to relate to this new government until money started changing hands again.

Taiwanese still want something better. Contrary to what some posters claim, Taiwanese who see the former president as guilty and yet still call to question the process by which the verdict was brought about are a reflection of this. The man's crimes are not as important as the overall functioning of the government and its respect to the due process of law. Taiwan is still lost and disheartened, and the challenge to their belief that the KMT and the DPP have been even passable custodians (no one thought that either were ever 'good') of power have been called into question by the evident lack of separation of powers, that the two parties are more concerned with personal enrichment than their duty to the country, and the idea of closer political ties to the CCP sickens them.

So Taiwan is presently adrift.

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Alf HO wrote:September 15, 2009 4:09
Disappointing about Economist by not giving balanced views/facts: evidence to support the verdict, the quantity of people on both sides of argument!

There may never be 100% 'independent judicial' system on earth (e.g. US CJ appointed by president/senate who have party line). Worse still, some argueing parties may not agree on judicial system or judge. Taiwan has presented it well in this trial.

Anyway, the drama may continue in Taiwan; let's see how its judicial system play its role.

I will take a break from Economics for time being ... disappointing not just once...

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Kingers wrote:September 15, 2009 3:42
smells very bad from long distance

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deminister wrote:September 15, 2009 3:37
I suppose that there is not one country in (South East) Asia that has an independent judiciary.
>From Singapore to China, from Thailand to Vietnam, it does not really matter. Courts are merely told what to do and will always follow the political powers of the moment. In a matter of fact a small elitist group in each and every country is often able to instruct judges and prosecutors. One could lock up each and every political leader or none. The only thing that can be told from this rather absurd sentence is that the elite who is holding the real power is becoming sympathetic to China and it might not be so positive at all.

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 15, 2009 1:50
American in Taiwan,
Did you receive your education in America? I am curious because your choice of words like "rape" to describe a situation you despise with ease, you seems more like someone who would throw a punch in the house than shouting "you lie!" (and that is considered rude in this media's own words).

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neverland~ wrote:September 15, 2009 1:33
after Chen shui-bian bcame the president of Taiwan, Taiwan has been unsteady, i really doubt his personal purpose as a president, just for that million dollars he embezzled? pls just give the peace back to Taiwan and the fact that Taiwan is part of China can never be denied.http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14401566&source=hptextfeature&mode=comment&intent=readBottom

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Liu wen yi wrote:September 15, 2009 1:17
Since when has "court packing" been a problem for Taiwan's judicial system ?

Consider looking at American judicial system and its "politicization" with the disputed 2000 presidential elections rigging with the Florida electoral vote count (remember chads?) resulting from the Dubya Bush vs. Al Gore presidential election cycle ?

Western nations have no standing to criticize Taiwan's judicial system and the processes which culminated in the conviction of CSB for official corruption, embezzlement, and other nefarious acts while at the helm of public office.

The DPP leaders are talking from both sides of their mouth. You can't criticize CSB for official corruption and admit that he is "on the take," while in the same breath, coming to his defense and question whether or not CSB was given procedural due process.

A crook is a crook is a crook. No "ifs" or "buts" about it.

And all of this semantical circumlocutions and hypocritical "mea culpas" from DPP leaders can mask the fact that they had a crook as a leader.

Let justice shines in Taiwan. Equal Justice for All in the eyes of the law, regardless of their political pedigree, or "guanxi."

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Snowy-be a good being wrote:September 15, 2009 1:04
It is generally believed by the Taiwanese public, ECONOMISTs say, that Mr Chen had been involved in some kind of WRONGDOING, although there is also doubt that the former president has been treated fairly by the judiciary.
"Wrongdoing"? That's not the word for the jerk who embezzled millions of dollars! Again, facts speak; Economist is eating up its own reputation.

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new2town wrote:September 15, 2009 0:35
For those reader's comments on praising the sentencing, where are their comments on obvious irregularities in the judicial process including mysteriously and secretively replaced the judge in the middle of the process?

When the judicial system had long been under the influence of political ideology, no wonder people in Taiwan do not trust and respect their judicial system.

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anti-racism wrote:September 14, 2009 23:51
I vote for the victory of law. "Persecution:" is what Chen and his party have been doing in Taiwan to the "new-comers".
I was born and raised in Taiwan. However, my family was in Taiwan for only 3 generations; and for that reason--that reason only, people like me (the new-comers) were never allowed to be called the "Taiwanese".
Sadly, us "new-comers"--eventhough have nothing to do with KMT, were all involuntarily labeled as KMT. The only thing we have in common with KMT is that we escaped from China before KMT loss it to the communist China. Under no consideration, us "new-comers" can be politically accepted as "the Chinese". On the other hand, Chen and his party labels us, harrasts us, persebutes us, and eventually, kicked us out of the only country we ever have.
While Chen and his party claims that they are the only one against the communism, they actually had never fought the communists ever! Historically, before KMT came to Taiwan, the island was under the domain of Japen. It was a land of slaves for the Japenese. Farmers pay tax to the Japen emporer, and bussiness men export coal and timber logs to Japen. And,during World War II, Japen drafted the able men from Taiwan to fight--don't fall off your chairs--the U.S. of A!!!!! (on those islets of south Pacific). Only after Japen lost in WW2, they returned Taiwan back to the R.O.C under KMT's domain. At that time, the USA helped to set up a democratic country in Taiwan under the name of Republic of China (ROC) with KMT.
Chen kicked out us new-comers and started the new segragation among people in Taiwan to win the election. Today, I am pleased to see that Justice is served! Don't let Chen and his party manipulate you guys, too. All they want is political power and nothing else. Persecution is what Chen has been doing for the last 8+ years!

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Nirvana-bound wrote:September 14, 2009 21:41
I don't know enuf about the scandal that rocked Taiwan to wager any comments. But what springs immediately to mind is the sad & deplorable miscarriage of justice that's happening in the self-proclaimed citadel of justice & fair-play, viz: the USofA.

How come the 'Bushwhacker' & his ruthless lackey 'Slimey Dick' are walking scott-free instead of being charged with economic treason, genocide, corruption & arrogantly misleading - not just their nation but the world at large - during their eight-year reign of terror, mayhem & gross duplicity??

The blatant & ongoing hypocricy & hubris that plagues the American nation, is what confounds & infuriates me, no end. Americans will much rather remain in abject denial than admit their leaders are flawed & corrupt, ethically & morally. And so the charades & the mass denials, continue unabated.

What a monumental tragedy...

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Daveycool wrote:September 14, 2009 21:12
"The KMT has been out of office for 8 years" -- wack intelligence

Actually even before that Lee Teng-Hui -- who was very green although he was a KMT politician -- started a bensheng ren-ization of the KMT leadership... 16 of 31 members of the central committee were bengshen-ren. The executive yuan was also reshuffled with more bensheng-ren replacing the waisheng-rens.

So, all-in-all there had been 20 years of missed opportunities (the Lee Presidency started around 1988) and mismanagement under pan-green auspices. It just goes to show that the pan-green are just as power hungry (no interest in reform once they attained power), self-interested, abusive, corrupt, and probably more inept than the blues when it comes to actual governance. And this is happening after Taiwan has switched to a democracy. I blame this on the polarizing effect of democracies. It makes the centrist majority apathetic and extremists more extreme but wielding power and protecting their power.

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xxx1977 wrote:September 14, 2009 20:43
This article got an excellent point.

Why the previous judge was "mysteriously and secretively" replaced by another judge?

And there is an interesting fact that can't be denied and this article didn't point out.

Taiwan's judical system not just "mysteriously and secretively" replaced the judge of Chen's case. The most interesting and amazing fact is that the judge who took over Chen's case and gave Mr. Chen life-time prison sentence is also the judge who gave Taiwan current president Mr. Ma not guilty verdict in another similar charge.

WHAT A COINCIDENCE!!! DONT TELL ME THIS IS NOT POLITICAL INTERFERENCE.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Mr. Chen is innocent but I'm very sure Taiwan's judicial system in his case is miserably interfered by political.

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zz55 wrote:September 14, 2009 20:04
while calling this sentence a political settlement, the economist is being the most political of all. As someone who is familiar with the kind of things chen was doing and is neutral on the issue of Taiwanese
Independence, I find chen well deserved his sentence.

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Liu wen yi wrote:September 14, 2009 20:04
The verdict is beyond a reasonable doubt.

CSB was proven to have been "on the take," corrupt, and abused his office, with sleazy, unbecoming conduct not unlike some of the crooks, rascals, charlattans, scoundrels you in Wall Street and Canary Wharf.

Fact is the system worked in Taiwan; and in America and the United Kingdom, it is "business as usual."

None of the crooks, thieves, pirates, con-men, white-collar corporate looters from Wall Street or Canary Wharf have been indicted, prosecuted, nor successfully convicted one year after the shenanigans of Lehman Brothers.

Hence, for the Aussies, or for that matter any Western pundits to hector Taiwan's judicial system and the processes which worked to convict a former president caught "on the take," should be taken as "Western farts" --- hot, malodourous air.... just calculated as "stink-bombs" to diss Taiwan and its people in their quest for clean and honest government.

The Western countries don't have clean and honest governments at this time. So they should be the least competent to try to preach what they don't themselves practice in their own backyard.

Clean out that mess in Wall Street and Canary Wharf; then come back and criticize Taiwan.

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zz55 wrote:September 14, 2009 20:01
while calling this sentence a political settlement, the economist is being the most political of all. As someone who is familiar with the kind of things chen was doing and is neutral on the issue of Taiwanese
Independence, I find chen well deserved his sentence.

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wack-intelligence wrote:September 14, 2009 19:34
So, no longer "alleged", "accused" huh. I guess the Economist has finally gotten the whistle that this guy admitted sending hundreds of millions abroad himself (through his wife) as well as confirmed by his closely related.

But of course, the Economist still forgets that Mr Chen has been kicked out of DPP.

"He suggests that whatever happened in this case, the judicial system had long been under the influence of the KMT and has been slow to reform."

This guy claims to be expert? The KMT has been out of office for 8 years, I would guess the judges have more DPP influence than the KMT, just conveniently ignore the background of those replaced and their replacement. What a shock that Mr Chen almost has gotten ROC into a constitutional change into independence but forgot to change the judges!

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Candymancan wrote:September 14, 2009 19:30
Mr. Chen Shui Bian's conviction marks the end of an era. Whether his conviction is fair or not is not the real issue of importance.

What's important is that an era has ended with his demise of choke holding power on Taiwan.

It was an era of transubstantiation of Taiwan from its one-China policy stance to a secessionist breakaway ideology, a process almost pulled off by twenty years of rules in tandem between Mr. Lee (KMT, but de facto DPP minded) and Mr. Chen (DPP). Small wonder that some people would blame Taiwan's every current woe on KMT.

It failed short in the end as a result of voters' rejection of Mr. Chen in favor of Mr. Ma last year.

A new chapter for Taiwan is now in the making, not necessarily because of the election of Mr. Ma (KMT), but more importantly, because that China's unprecedented international prominence and economical clouts achieved by CCP not imaginable twenty years ago.

Taiwan's recent export resurgences to mainland, the direct flights and the expected EFCA etc. are all telling forces of push (from Taiwan) for closer ties.

At the same time, China's newly gained strategic and stake holding partnerships with major powers and China's commitment for unification in peace are awesome forces of pull (from mainland) in the same direction.

As the forces of push and pull working together and gaining momentum, China will be reunited before long and the best interest of Taiwan will be served.

It's never sad to be Taiwanese as they are also Chinese.
God bless Taiwan and the great Taiwanese people, and their country China.

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haluha wrote:September 14, 2009 16:26
"Thus the party produced a careful statement claiming that Taiwan's judicial system is flawed and supporting Mr Chen's appeal, but also saying that the ex-president should take responsibility for his actions, for example by remitting large sums of money kept by his family overseas." Only the last paragraph tells the truth that only Mr. Chen Shui-bian plays the politics---mixing his "wrongdoing" with his political figure. Mr. Ma Ying-jeou should make a deal with Mr. Chen to pardon him if Mr. Chen remit large sums of money kept by his family overseas.

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Daveycool wrote:September 14, 2009 16:21
This sentence sound awfully long -- it feels a little too harsh for it not to look like there was some political motivation behind the punishment. I'm glad Mr. Chen has a right to appeal. Is the money that he had stolen being taken back? At the end of the day, the harsh sentence isn't a setback for the greens. It provides an opportunity for them to start anew albeit with Mr. Chen being the sacrificial lamb.

Mr. Chen's crime has far worse impact on Taiwan and the region than simple embezzlement. He rose to power in a democratic process and then proceeded to weaken the democracy by committing the crime. It seemed as if he was daring the judiciary to bring him to justice.

However, I especially, worry for Taiwan's democracy. It seems likely that this case and how it has been handled will start a long episode of tit-for-tat/revenge feuds (not that the blues and the greens haven't already been going at it but now we are embarking on a new chapter of far more intense but still petty fights) that will distract everyone from real issues and that will consume the politicians' time and energy. Democracy is to be treasured not abused and while it is natural for a young democracy to test the limits of its freedoms, it feels like this is going a bit too far with a pretty damaging result. It looks like the feud will intensify.

Taiwan looks doomed. There are no strong, powerful, visionaries with the gravitas to take over the reins of power by the next few (three?) election cycles. The potential candidates all seem small and petty. Is this a result of the pattern of personal attack politics that Taiwan's democracy has descended into? Have they driven away Taiwan's best?

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Azureangel wrote:September 14, 2009 15:40
wasn't***... this wasn't intended to be an economist print version article. Sorry @@

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Azureangel wrote:September 14, 2009 15:38
Oh dont you fret none too much there Kev,

This article is only an economist.com article. It was intended for the print version. The print version has more editing, more senior writers, and more time to write a more nuanced article.

This article wasn't bad for what it was intended, to be somewhat middle of the road, give an opinion on the verdict of a former president, and provide some gristle for Taiwan supporters and PRC supporters to chew over. It keeps the website busy.

Just enjoy it :)

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kevindatz wrote:September 14, 2009 15:13
Reading articles like that,I have no intention to renew my economist subscription. Or this magazine can rename itself to 'Politics', and I will be happy to read craps like this in its rightful place.

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APHK wrote:September 14, 2009 14:57
chinacat wrote "Mao...he's hungry and his wife's hungry and his chilren hungry too and everybody in China hungry when there's no enough food during the silly Great Leap Forward"

That is so inspiring. The Great Helmsman going hungry with his people. But, somehow, I doubt that very very much.

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 14, 2009 14:52
Azureangel,

I know the feeling. It's very typical of them. Very very typical.

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Azureangel wrote:September 14, 2009 14:25
Alright! Let the discussion begin??

@justlistenall,

Of course you don't have to pay my statements the slightest heed! I am not twisting your arm or pointing a gun at your head. Since you seem to not understand what I write and are unwilling to explain your accusations of me, I doubt I would even notice the difference. Thus far I have noticed that you have chosen to try and silence two Taiwanese posters here without any justification. This is disheartening and far beyond your authority, but perhaps you will permit me an audience one last time.

I must begin by wondering why you would attempt to deny me the right to speak or for others to listen, to be frank, of course I have the right to criticize anyone I wish! Just as you have the right to attack Mr. Chen or anyone else (as you have done so frequently). As to whether I should criticize another is an entirely different matter.

As yet I have not criticized anyone on this thread, not you, the Chinese people, Hu Jintao, or even his son... but I may... especially if they deserve it. You certainly won't be the one to silence me. Thus far, I have simply asked if Hu Jintao is compelled to disclose his financial assets to the world. Perhaps he might even be the benevolent leader and choose to disclose all of his financial information of his own accord to set a good example, or prove his resilience to graft and corruption, or maybe some other reasons... Honestly, I don't know, which is why I am asking.

I have searched for information about Hu Jintao's financial status online and thus far haven't had much luck, but I am not as proficient at uncovering potentially blocked content from China as perhaps some other posters here might be. I was quickly successful in finding the financial data for the U.S. President Barack Obama however; I have taken the liberty of posting it below for those interested.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/candlook.php?CID=N00009638

Perhaps justlistenall you feel that by merely making an inquiry into the financial status of your dear leader I am making an accusation of impropriety. If that is the case, and worse if you think it is wrong for a leader to disclose his financial assets, then I regret that there is likely little we can discuss on this thread since that is primarily what this article is about. Since you have refused to explain what on earth you are talking about when you say I have "bad mouthed a head of state", you are choosing to condemn me without presenting your evidence. Which brings us to upbringing...

So what have I betrayed about my upbringing by wondering at the accountability of a country's leader? Perhaps you are referring to my greater expectation of the rule of law as it applies to all citizens of their country and the universal human rights as defined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Perhaps you are referring to my belief that the head of state is meant to be a servant to the public and therefore seeks to assure them through openness that he is doing the best of his ability to serve the nation. I admit I am a strong advocate for such things. In fact, because of that upbringing, I now feel emboldened to chastise you a bit here, perhaps you are betraying your upbringing by your wish to silence me and others for allegedly crossing some imaginary line of impropriety you created when all I am seeking is factual information. What is the matter? Are you afraid you will see something you don't like?

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chinacat wrote:September 14, 2009 13:54
HuoYue,

"Mao wasnt corrupt....LOL"

Have't finished reading your all long postings yet. But I think you should know what I meant: I meant to say that Mao was not corrupt in the sense of Chen Shui-bian's. Mao didn't grab the money that's not his. And he's hungry and his wife's hungry and his chilren hungry too and everybody in China hungry when there's no enough food during the silly Great Leap Forward, according to the stories told by the people who worked with him. CCP did confess their mistakes. They have said the biggest mistakes were the Culture Revolution and The Great Leap Forward. Mao was wrong because he had made the wrong policy. But he didn't have the intention to hungry the people. This is what most Chinese people believe, and after so many years, still most people in China respect Mao because he's the found father of the PRC. If you still think CCP is a party that never have a clue to care for the people then you are wrong.

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chinacat wrote:September 14, 2009 13:36
infuse10,

"Red misinformed", "Nationalist", "all types of ridiculousnes". That's all about me? Wow, lots of name calling and I think I am going to take them as compliment. lol

"Funny you mention this, why is it that only china wants Taiwan to be part of it, and rarely the other way around. As to the visa thing, Chinacat why don't you try to use your PROC passport and beg the Taiwanese officials to let you in, we can see either you will get DEPORTED....."

Yep, I see all the tourists from mainland got deported. ;)

"As to accusing me of living in Taiwan, dude you shouldn't just assume, I am American first, but ethnically chinese, and belong to the NATION of Taiwan/Taiwanese...."

So.. Hi American infuse10, how's your feeling about the women, children and men in Iraq and Afgh. killed by your great democratic American government? I am very interested to know.

"I love how you accuse me of stubborn, as probably folks with a slight sense of logic would agree that you not only are stubborn, but probably need a psychiatrist for your inferiority complex, or try buying 1984 and reading it and find what happened to you."

"psychiatrist", "inferiority complex"?? Bring on more name calling please since you are very good at it. lol

To Justlistenall: you are right, this infuse10 guy is very bitter.

Signed: Chinese Red Cat. ;)

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watang wrote:September 14, 2009 12:33
The politic and the business can never be departed!
Ironically, that in a democratic area exists corruption!
I had been thought in the democratic area never appear this phenomenon!

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blackjerry wrote:September 14, 2009 9:19
In a way, corruption has enhanced CCP's hold power. Officals support CCP because they can get profit from the system in China.

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Christie1973 wrote:September 14, 2009 8:39
People who are defending mao are crazy. If Mao stilll was the leader of China, they even can't log on this website!

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HuoYue wrote:September 14, 2009 8:37
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0254/is_1_61/ai_84426602/pg_3/?ta...

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HuoYue wrote:September 14, 2009 8:35
Although a privileged group member may be incompetent and may have low IQ, his position nevertheless makes him an important figure in political and economic affairs. To the paramount CCP leaders, he is their reliable representative in a state department or in a local region of the country, monitoring the public for them; to the ordinary people working in his department or living in his region, he is the law. Usually what he himself has to do is no more than drawing circles on documents and then signing his name on them, or passing on the instructions of the paramount leaders to their subordinates and reporting to his boss the main events or trends in his region. All these duties are of primary importance, according to the CCP tradition. The state grants him many special benefits in exchange for his loyalty, providing him and his family with cars and drivers, nurses and housekeepers, and even paying most of his expenses, although his salary is much higher than any ordinary employee. While these high-ranked off icials firmly control the power of making decisions, many of the real administration duties are actually done by their secretaries and their subordinates. Thus what they exploit from society by far exceeds what they actually contribute to it. We will refer to this as implicit corruption. We call this "corruption" because it leads to social unfairness and destroys economic efficiency. We use the adjective "implicit" because the utility received by a privileged group member to some extent reflects his important role in decision making, given a CCP political and economic environment. The total utility he receives could be regarded as an equilibrium price for his service in a Walrasian market subject to some environment constraints. To put it another way, although a privileged group member receives many more benefits than he ought to according to the criterion of a free market, these benefits are "legally" entitled to him by the CCP political and economic system. He obtains these benefits without doing anything a gainst the law.

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HuoYue wrote:September 14, 2009 8:35
Some people hold the view that China's corruption problems have their root deep in the Chinese culture. They argue that the Chinese people, as well as most of their counterparts in Asian countries, have a long tradition of placing personal connections above the law, and that this is the real source of corruption. They conclude that, no matter what political system China chooses, the corruption problem can never be avoided. Many CCP officials and business bigwigs agree with this view, although they do not admit it in public. I have had discussions with several friends who are either CCP officials or very successful businessmen; all of them privately supported this view, They even argued that corruption was not too bad, and that if you could take advantage of it, it could work for you very efficiently, and that, after all, you had to accept it if you wanted to survive in China.

The culture-root view fails to realize that, while culture might affect people's social behavior, a political system together with a legal system of society could introduce a new social norm, changing people's way of thinking and their behavior, and changing culture itself gradually. In China's history, such as during the early Han Dynasty and the early Tang Dynasty, there were actually periods of rule of law, and no serious corruption crimes were recorded. On the other hand, the darkest periods in China's history are all related to a corrupt political system and to the illegal behaviors of a tiny group of bigwigs or aristocrats who were protected by a fatuous and self-indulgent ruler.

Most Chinese economists and scholars, however, correctly observe that the cause of China's current corruption problems is the lack of separation between business and government brought about by efforts to open up the Chinese economy. Dr. Xu Cheng Gang, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, argues that, with China in the midst of economic upheaval, the government continues to allocate resources, placing officials at the center of the market and enabling them to channel profits into their own pockets. (Refer to BBC News, September 13, 2000.) The observation of Dr. Xu is of course correct. However, like most other Chinese scholars, he does not go the further step, and expose the root of corruption in China's political and economic system.

Since the CCP came into power, in order to secure their hold, their top leaders have been paying great attention to the problem of selection of "successors." A tiny percentage of their former subordinates and many children of the top CCP leaders--the princelings--have been chosen as candidates. The princelings, beginning from a young age, have enjoyed various kinds of privileges, from attending the top universities to choosing the best occupations. After a period of training and practice, many of the princelings have been promoted to heads of CCP organizations or to heads of important government departments. Today, the leading members in the CCP central committee, the top-level central government officials, the highest-ranked military officials, the heads of the provincial governments and the heads of the major state-owned enterprises, except for a very tiny percentage, are all members of this privileged class.

cont'd next post

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HuoYue wrote:September 14, 2009 8:32
chinacat wrote:
September 13, 2009 6:21

infuse10,

"Thats good progress, but what I meant is that a top leader as in the position of Hu or Mao would never be jailed. The CCP would never allow falling of the government from the top, it would jeopardise their rule."

How silly you are!! Hu and Mao are not corrupt. The only thing that Mao left to his children and families was ... nothing!! Please take note! The people of China respect him because he's the most clean leader of China!! Please take another note!!

And your president Chen, the son of Taiwan, he and his family didn't nothing but grabbed money that wasn't his... I am not complaining though, as without him, there's no drama of Taiwan that interests me so much. lol

Mao wasnt corrupt....LOL

Here is a great research paper on corruption, Mao and the Chinese system that he created.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0254/is_1_61/ai_84426602/

Quote from the article:

"After all, as can be seen from our analysis that follows, Mao cannot escape responsibility for the offense that it was he who created a political system granting and protecting privilege, which is the very root of China's corruption problems".

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Michael Wan wrote:September 14, 2009 8:17
It is crystal clear, if anyone ever notices about the news on Mr. Chen's case, that Mr. Chen and his family taped public money into their own pockets. Yet, the article has tried to obfuscate the issue be a political trial. What a shame to this world known magzine!!!

Michael Wan

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Christie1973 wrote:September 14, 2009 8:12
It seems that democracy still has a long way to go in Asia. A-Bian had been seen as the hope of a New Taiwan but turned out to be quite dissapointed. But anyway at least Taiwan has started building a democratic symstem (the politician might still need to learn how to behave themselves under the symstem), but in mainland China, no any hope yet.

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justlistenall wrote:September 14, 2009 7:34
@ Chinacat

It's rather big of you to offer corrections to [New Student 2009]'s posting. I thank you, not on his (her) behalf, but for myself on your spirit of sharing here.

BTW, on count of 1 to 10, I am confused 10 by some postings here too.

But it's fun to see different views on Mr. Chen's conviction. And it's funnier that even if you follow through in their views and with their logics to the very or bitter end, only one logical conclusion would emerge: That's Reunification.

That's not surprising really, as there can be only one reality in this world of ours.

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infuse10 wrote:September 14, 2009 7:30
"chinacat"

"More fun for me to correct your British English than to argue with infuse10 (confused10 more likely), who's the most stubborn Chinese living in Taiwan.

If he's mad at being called Chinese instead of Taiwanese then I'd be amused immensely. hehe ;)"

Believe me don't use the word chinese and throw it around, as you are just a Red misinformed, Nationalist, who has in the past accused all types of ridiculousnes from arguing that Mao is better than Chen, when he is in imprisoned, believing that the descendants of Mao took nothing. I think as someone said before the pollution is getting into your brain. THANK GOD your view does not represent all the mainland chinese, as many admit Mao is terrible as I have met in the past, but while you revere him so much, you should consider leaving the US i guess.

" Taiwanese wanting to enter mainland China need NOT either a visa or visa-exemption to enter. Why? Because Taiwan is a province of China, and Taiwanese are China's citizen as well!!"

Funny you mention this, why is it that only china wants Taiwan to be part of it, and rarely the other way around. As to the visa thing, Chinacat why don't you try to use your PROC passport and beg the Taiwanese officials to let you in, we can see either you will get DEPORTED.....

As to accusing me of living in Taiwan, dude you shouldn't just assume, I am American first, but ethnically chinese, and belong to the NATION of Taiwan/Taiwanese.... I love how you accuse me of stubborn, as probably folks with a slight sense of logic would agree that you not only are stubborn, but probably need a psychiatrist for your inferiority complex, or try buying 1984 and reading it and find what happened to you.

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betelnut310 wrote:September 14, 2009 6:07
on the face of it the crime seem to pale in comparison:

Bernie Madoff, $65 billion, sentenced to life in prison

Chen Shui Bian, $27 million, sentenced to life in prison

But a thief is a thief. A single murder will get you death or life, just as 10 murders will get you the same. Plus there was so much expected of Chen, he really failed the Taiwanese people as a whole with these crimes. DPP really needs to use this opportunity to cut all ties with Chen if it hopes to eventually retake the presidency.

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juitter wrote:September 14, 2009 5:36
To Azureangel :
the company where Hu Jintao' son worked does not means Hu Jintao's son's company.
As far as I am concerned.Hu jingao' son even not a senior management of this company. If he worked for Morgan Stanly and Lehman Broth ers,do you want to blame the crisis on Mr Hu totally?

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chinacat wrote:September 14, 2009 5:36
Hi, new student 2009. Please permit me to correct your British English to the perfect Chinese English. ;)

"Do not silly. Chen Abian is not accuse or in jail when he was in power. His wife not appear to law court summons 17 time in a row when he was in power. China is better."

Don't be silly. Chen Abian was not accused or in jail when he was in power. His wife did not appear to law court summons 17 times in a row when he was in power. China is better.

"How come they names all CHEN (just joke)"

How come their names are all Chen (just joking).

"@ orphan, justlistenall, Chincat: Thank your support and advice. I study will improve."

Thanks for your support and advice. My study will be improved.

----------

P.S.

More fun for me to correct your British English than to argue with infuse10 (confused10 more likely), who's the most stubborn Chinese living in Taiwan.

If he's mad at being called Chinese instead of Taiwanese then I'd be amused immensely. hehe ;)

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justlistenall wrote:September 14, 2009 4:10
@ new student 2009 wrote: September 13, 2009 8:49

I am delighted to see your participation of Economist forum posting here discussing Mr. Chen Abian's conviction.

BTW, I think posting by [orphan] to you offers good advice to study. Try it if you will.

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justlistenall wrote:September 14, 2009 3:55
@ M Robson wrote: September 13, 2009 19:44

The last gasp style of your disparagement of Taiwan's judiciary process, the whole nine yards of it, is a serious affront and insult to all Taiwanese people, including the silent majority who wants tighter relationship with the Mainland and the no so silent minority of independence inclined.

Your attack does not merit any further rebuttal. Polls made following court conviction of Mr. Chen clearly suggest that you are way off base in your posting.

You are wrong by citing wrong points out of context for wrong reasons to advance your twisted and wrong view again and again in your posting.

Such deliberate and sinister misrepresentation is no doubt in my view designed to confuse readers who are not particularly intimate to the Mr. Chen case, and to inciting discords among Taiwanese people of different political views.

It just won't work, as Taiwanese people have spoken with votes and polls, and they are not about to buy your ill advised argument.

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milandream wrote:September 14, 2009 3:40
i am not sure whether chen is the worst "president" in the history, but he is absolutely one of the richest "presidents" taiwanese people have ever seen........

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DifferentAngle wrote:September 14, 2009 3:26
Those who named Taiwan experts know Taiwan justice system very well ? A similar example is the policeman in US is more brutal to the suspected criminals than the one in Taiwan does. Can we say US a inhuman country ? If the justice system is still under KMT's influence, it proved that DDP's justice system reform policy is zero. There are more and more similar cases during DDP's ruling period. It shows more serious all because it happened to the has-beem ex-president.

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Huyu wrote:September 14, 2009 3:16
Sir, Ah-bian was never a criminal; his conviction is totally unfair. You see, in the best tradition of democratic values he merely made use of 500million TW$. It is indeed all for the good of his people; as he is the best judge of this. He is such a great democrat, he shouts Long Live Democracy everyday, every hour, and five times a day. His piety toward democracy exceeds the most devoted Muslims, or the most Christian of the Christiandom in the middle ages. We totally support him and he are totally in awe of his ability to just make use of a few million here and there. We shall demonstrate in front of his jail forever as there is a chance he can still signal to us in the Bian-language as to how we can also enrich ourselves so we can all become a Bian-style millionaire. Sir, free Ah-Bian, it will be a wonderful world - at least to us these newly Baptized millionaires.

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milandream wrote:September 14, 2009 3:16
after what chen has done to mailand China and the people in Taiwan, he definitely deserves the life sentence. mainland china and taiwan have been seperately ruled since the civil war, but none of the political leaders has ever claimed the independence of taiwan until lee and chen came to power, which greatly increased the tension,both politically and militarily.to taiwanese people,chen is just a corrupted rat and to those people in the Great area of China, he is just a juda of the nation.

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Magicrust wrote:September 14, 2009 2:44
I always consider Economist a great magazine with an honored international fame. However, while the writers of all of the news posted showcasing the brilliant penmanship, you should make sure that every issue you're talking about comes with enough evidence that is convincing. Otherwise, many readers may be offended because of the tone of critising and judging their own countries.

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Reformist wrote:September 14, 2009 2:28
Mr. Chen, ideologically, was the hope of an independent Taiwan, but, practically, a keen and earnest copycat of a historically ever corrupt mandarin system in general or the old KMT in specific which includes the many-faceted Mr. Lee, a communist first with an avid inclination of anything Japanese, then an obdient KMT's top dog turning his true color while, after beeing passed the reign (since he has no son in succession - a very mandarin mentality of the old KMT dynasty) seeing an opportunity doing anything non Chinese, i,e. democracy in the island vs mainland's totalitarianism.

But the new KMT clan which is represented by Mr. Ma now is a new breed of a clean leadership, at least seemingly so, and a symbol of a non-corrupt society the Taiwan's modern middle-class majority desire to have but never had. Mr. Chen, though self-proclaimed as a promoter of independent Taiwan, reveals his true color alongside his typical old Chinese mandarin characters: nepotism, corruption, inside dealing, bribery, jiggering, though possessing by taining a law degree from Taiwan Univerisy and that is a total shame and true irony to himself, his family, the university, and Taiwan's democracy, even though back not by law but people in charge.

Taiwan is still very infantile in political progressing, crying trivial complaints to the visiting mandarin offices or the president on scene or street, and does not want to learn and grow since the learning and growing will turn the old established, mostly those in Taipei, into commonfolk, all equal under the laws and cut themo off from the traditional gains from the lucrative business of bribery and corruption. In this sense, Taiwan is merely 50-steps behind China's 100-steps backward.

And, now, Mr. Chen is paying his wrong act of the so-called new Taiwan vision based, however, on his old Chinese manderin characters. Now, I doubt his all-for-Taiwan vision is a cover-up of his erasible, innate traits of being a typical Chinese in character, self-profiting for his own family, not the society, nor the island which is just a mere name used by him and other local establishment to promot his or their hidden personal gains as so did the old Taiwan mentor, Mr. Lee. Bravo, bravo, for Taiwan Indenpendence; True in true, parochial aggreesors for islandic dominance away from China's hands. Hands change, not the system. That is the key reason China has survived for thousands years by changing to the same hands of new, but indifferent class, all in the same political environment and stale mandarin mentality which are all non-evolutable nor progressable.

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Azureangel wrote:September 14, 2009 2:21
@justlistenall

Personal attacks? I don't believe I have attacked anyone here? Do you think I am attacking Hu Jintou? I am simply asking a question as to whether he is required to disclose his financial holdings or not, like that of all U.S. politicians and many Taiwanese political leaders.

Perhaps you mean I am making personal attacks on Mr. Hu Jintou's family? Please excuse me, I am simply providing information that recognized sources have published.

Am I missing something else?

I bring up Hu Jintou's son and others among the CCP elite because some see Mr. Chen's verdict as a verdict on Taiwanese democracy and that Taiwan should be running into the arms of the CCP as a savior. As strange as this perception is, as well as the idea that Taiwanese might have been repressed in someway for saying that they weren't in favor of independence, some people seem to construe events in this way.

I AM trying to dispel such myopic notions as those above for the good of all Taiwanese. At present, closer political ties with the PRC is certainly not a step in the right direction. The actions of the KMT are alarming enough as it is. (see M Robson's post... since he explained it much better than I ever could)

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sanman wrote:September 14, 2009 1:52
Taiwan has been a One-Party dictatorship under the KMT since the beginning, and has now returned to these roots. It was only for a brief period that they temporarily experimented with allowing "democracy", which they have now quickly discarded as being too inconvenient for their liking. So KMT has now once again reasserted itself to bring back the One-Party State, by imprisoning the leader of the opposition for life. Sorry, but you can't call yourself a democracy, when you're a One-Party State. KMT wants people to vote - with only one choice on the ballot.

What then would be the moral significance of an invasion of the island by mainland China? None whatsoever, since Taiwan is already a dictatorship itself, and thus there is no question of defending anyone's freedom or democracy. What freedom or liberties are KMT claiming to be defending from attack? The KMT runs the island, including the judges who sentenced the opposition leader to life imprisonment through a show trial.

The KMT has no credibility, and the current situation is untenable. Their recalcitrant anti-democratic attitude will only lead them to resort to worse and worse stunts to thwart the citizenry of Taiwan. Eventually, this will either precipitate a civil war, or an invasion by the mainland -- or both.

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long march wrote:September 14, 2009 1:18
Chen Shuibian being sentenced to life is certainly the best time to threaten mainland China with Taiwan independence.

Bravo!

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 14, 2009 0:32
"Pity dogs....go and beg your US master! See if US will give you anything now!"

Can you please not be so vulgar in your language?
I can sense a lot of hatred in you but I am sure there are other words to express yourself. Show some humanity and decency please!

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 14, 2009 0:23
M Robson

Great post, thank you.
Indeed it's very alarming. It's always very easy to find a scapegoat and divert attention where people focus on one person/event, but the real danger is not realising the danger lurking behind.

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SwimmingMercury wrote:September 14, 2009 0:17
He deserves what he gets now.... Embezzlement is a tradition for all Chinese politicians. I just don't like those like him pretending to be a symbol of kindness and justice even after his crime was uncovered....

Pity dogs....go and beg your US master! See if US will give you anything now!

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Latuza wrote:September 13, 2009 23:01
I do want to commend the Economist staff writers for writing such a balanced article on this issue. It presented arguments of both sides, including all the evidences and irregularities of the case (which amounts to clear human rights/criminal law abuse in democratic countries with strong rule of law like the US), and leaves the readers to judge for their own.

Instead of many other foreign media just toeing the same line purported by the KMT government that has a history of repressing dissents and has such a powerful economic and political clout in Taiwan.

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long march wrote:September 13, 2009 22:56
I suggest that Taiwan secessionists should work on blowing the second bubble, instead of trying to save the one already burst.

He got a life sentence plus 72 years. Maybe we can forgive him for the life but keep the 72 years?

Come on, there are more charges waiting for Chen Shuibian. Seriously, do you really think he can get away with the money he took?

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Latuza wrote:September 13, 2009 22:52
Ever since the Nationalist/KMT-controlled Congress changed the judge of this case in order to continue imprison Chen without conviction to this day (his verdict), this case has lost all its credibility and whether or not Chen has committed graft is besides the point. The moment Chen stepped down from presidency he has been immediately thrown into prison with handcuffing (months of imprisonment with handcuffs absolutely violated any human rights and democratic principles). Even the case's "biased" investigators have been caught on tape mocking Chen (check the news). If this isn't a clear sign that the KMT is mounting a unrelenting retaliation I don't know what it is.

In all of Taiwan's history up to this day, none of Nationalist top officials were ever brought to justice for graft. No one, not one person in 50 years of KMT rule. If you were in Taiwan during any elections you know that KMT way outspends DPP (TV and print media ads, billboards). It owns so many corporations and properties in Taiwan. This is entirely illegal in US, that's why Democrat and Republican politicians need to fundraise every election. Yet the KMT reports its election political contributions (donations) and spending lower than that of DPP. Where'd the money go? Their pockets? Why has no KMT official ever brought to justice? B/c KMT-controlled Congress froze the Investigative Yuan (investigate gov officials) during DPP rule, and the judiciary is still mostly a KMT-controlled machinery.

Chen was convicted over the state affairs discretionary fund. It's exactly the same nature of governor discretionary fund that current president Ma had when he was Taipei mayor. He also put the money in his own bank accounts and spent it on personal expenses. He was also indicted but got acquitted with the court claiming it as "substantial subsidy" so he can spend it as he pleases.

The money Chen put into his own accounts is from the same type of discretionary fund. Yet he got convicted!?! It's merely exploiting a legal loophole that does not define if the discretionary fund could be used for personal purposes or not. All past presidents of Taiwan could take out money from the discretionary fund (kind of like a bonus salary), and have used the funds for all sorts of personal expenses to some degree.

Why does Chen transferred/laundered the money overseas under some covert accounts? Sounds like embezzling and money laundering. But if you know it's a discretionary fund and he could use it as he pleases, then so what? Also it's state affairs fund, meaning it can be used for secret overseas national security missions/affairs. For the safety of the agents, he could not reveal the usage of the funds. So then he's stuck. Cannot testify in court what the money is used for.

It's not justice and full-fledged mature democracy when only the top officials of a party that's been persecuted/oppressed since history are convicted of graft. It's when top officials of both parties (both the KMT and DPP) can be brought to justice for graft is there an impartial and trustworthy judicial system.

Right now, the KMT is merely using the judicial system for its political gain by catching Chen on a legal loophole where all its past government officials (including President Ma) have done the same thing.

But I do reprehend Chen for not being careful (saying his wife manages all financial affairs) and fell prey to the same temptation to put the discretionary fund into his own accounts. Then again, if it's his discretionary fund to spend, why can't he?

Just compare how Ma's treated during his case and how Chen is treated (handcuffed, imprisoned, mocked (an imitation play) by investigators of his own case, judge fixed by KMT-controlled Congress), you know there is no way this is a fair and impartial ruling.

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betelnut310 wrote:September 13, 2009 20:28
M Robson,

I understand there's a lot of irregularities surrounding the case.

But Mr. Chen knew full well that he would not get a fair trial. So if he knows that, he should have been extremely careful to not commit ANY crime at all.

At issue here is not whether he committed the crime, we know he did. At issue here is is the punishment too stiff.

As someone who is fully aware of the flaws in the criminal system and who fully understands that he of all people would be severely punished by the KMT government. He should have been extremely careful to a fault to avoid any illicit. Instead, he did exactly the opposite.

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M Robson wrote:September 13, 2009 19:44
This verdict on Chen is a mockery of rule of law and the universal value system that makes this world an enlightened place to live. Due process of law, fairness/justice, arbitrary detention, proportionality of punishment to the offence, basic human rights - all were trampled/violated in bringing about this most vindictive verdict.

Following this trial - and the manner in bringing about this verdict, one has to wonder "Are we living in '70s Taiwan when the authoritarian Chiang Kai Shek was law? This trial smacks of political persecution on the basis of ethnicity and political allegiances. I believe the world needs to zoom in on this trial, and I invite everyone to get a transcript of the verdict; translate it and read it.

Let's take a look at this very harsh verdict and the trial that is loaded with fatal, illegal and unconstitutional flaws that would have resulted in this case being tossed out early on in the trial - in the west.

There are many anachronisms about this trial that are absurd to say the least:

-Proportionality of Punishment to the Offence: If you are a murderer or committed a crime against humanity, you deserve to get a life sentence. If you are a thief or a corrupt, greedy ex-official/president, you probably should get five to seven years - possibly ten, but NOT a life sentence.

-Changing the judge mid stream!: When it appeared that the judge presiding over the trial actually respected human rights (Judge Chou) and had granted Chen the right to post a bail, he was sacked and replaced by the current Judge Tsai. Bottom line: If the judge cannot deliver you a verdict you are looking for, replace him with another one that will.

-Justice/Fairness for all? The legal system is just so long as you are a member of KMT? Keep in mind this is the same judge that had meted out a NOT GUILTY verdict to Ma Ying Jeou and now has ruled that Chen should spend the rest of his life in jail. It's worth highlighting a number of Chen's offences prosecuted is in substance identical to Ma's - pocketing discretionary cash funds and appropriating them as a personal income - for personal use (former President Lee was on the record to point this out). As they turned out, the verdicts for Ma and Chen could not be more different. Why is that? The balance of Chen's offences prosecuted centered on illicit income/wealth associated with influence peddling, receiving bribe money (but no definitive evidence, Chen the ex lawyer is widely understood to have maneuvered very deftly and left little to no evidence behind). It's no secret KMT officials at central government and local levels routinely rank amongst the richest persons in Taiwan (officials are obligated to declare their assets). How were they able to accumulate gargantuan wealth as public servants? Since President Ma took office last year, we have seen so many non-KMT (DPP) officials arrested (some in violation of due process), but I have not seen one KMT official - not a single one - rounded up. Apparently, life is beautiful if you are a member of KMT.

-Arbitrary detention: Chen's case highlights this truly frightful erosion in human rights here in Taiwan. In the west, if you can't convict a guy, you let him loose. Period. Well, they weren't able to convict Chen but kept him in slammer for what seemed like forever. Earlier this year, a number of DPP officials were arrested (without any charges in and violation of due process of law) - one instance in the middle of the night. It's a little scary to think, in less than two years since Ma took office, we're rolling back the clock and you could disappear in the middle of the night if you're at odds with those in power.

-Guilty by Verdict-Not Evidence. Many believe this is the reason the court could not convict Chen sooner. Did Chen take money from corporate patrons? Most probably yes but this doesn't make him guilty under Taiwan law-especially if prosecution could not prove this was bribe money. They couldn't; note not one single one of Chen patrons/donors have been prosecuted.

-Witch Hunt? Politicising the Trial. Leaking Confidential Trial Details to Media Bloodhounds. Pretty much every evening over the past year, we've been besieged, on nightly talk shows, with corruption allegations/accusations being heaped on Chen and his family. One has to ask "Who on the prosecution team or in other branches of government have been leaking confidential details to media?" Many of these allegations turned out to be false; It's fair to say the government has done absolutely nothing to reign in these army of pro-KMT media bloodhounds.

A truly scary development unfolding in Taiwan if you care about preserving in Taiwan the universal values underpinning our democratic way of life.

Do PLEASE shed light for global audiences on what's taking place here. The people of Taiwan - the silent majority - needs your help!

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infuse10 wrote:September 13, 2009 18:41
"Jean Wen"
"To APHK: No, The fact it is just Opposite as you said, Due to some people like Infuse10, associate Taiwan's current corruption case with China Mainland, and linked to China Leader, which make me a comedy spectator have to say something ; I have to tell him that Mainland's Grape is sour, but beloved and Improved by our Mainland people;"

"Mr.Mao who in Mainland, and who is beloved by most of 1.3 Billion Chinese people; Although Mr Mao did some wrong during old age, just want to know, why you exist the silly logic to compare with Mr.Chen?"

I totally agree with APHK, the fact is that many of the mainland chinese look at Chen as a ground of refusal for democracy, as has been mentioned many times before here, and yet the present situation shows that Taiwan's judicial system is independent, and even a leader can be imprisoned for life.

"Jean Wen" I am only critical of the CCP because of your fellow CCP nationailists, who state lets just say crazy comments, such as blaming Tiananmen on Taiwan, stating and honestly believing the very LEAST that Mao is honestly better than Chen. Jean Chen did not kill lets just say 40 million people, and he is going to be in prison for life. As to accusing me of critical it is the mainland chinese who make me so, by facricating ridiculous comments.

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Azureangel wrote:September 13, 2009 17:35
Incidentally, many associated with the CCP elite are associated with what many outside the PRC would consider corruption, but might be considered common practice within the PRC.

Corruption among the highest in the CCP seems to be generally accepted and they are widely regarding as being immune to prosecution. The tradition of falling on your sword or the Japanese concept of seppoku is pretty much out of the question.

Since many of you probably already read about the corruption inquiry in Namibia involving Hu Jintou's son, here is a link to a related article from Australia.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25810295-25837,00.html

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Azureangel wrote:September 13, 2009 17:14
Without meaning to disappoint a large number of posters here, Chen Shui Bian was not found guilty for his pro-independence stance (officially anyway) he was found guilty for corruption. That A-Bian was a DPP leader should not have had an effect on the verdict. Perhaps it was just Chen's bad luck to be the first president not to have each of the 5 branches in his corner and international pressure from the economic storms for a temporary forcing of Swiss bank disclosure.

Did Mr. Chen embezzle and money launder money to the tune of more than 6 million U.S. dollars? I believe he did. I believe he deserves the full punishment for his actions. However I also believe he is fully entitled to an appeal. I believe the appeal is crucial to silence some of the DPP criticisms of how the trial was carried out and the possibility of partiality among his judges. Though I believe it unlikely, I am forced to concede that it is possible that the charges were played up to stem the rising popularity of the DPP.

Mr. Chen was weighed and found wanting, but, regardless of the above, the motivation for this trial remains in question. Does the trial of a former president and his guilty verdict indicate a welcome new standard of accountability among Taiwanese politicians? If this is an improvement in the standards of the rule of law in Taiwan, this event should be heralded as a positive outcome for the future of Taiwan, and we should expect further corruption charges against KMT in the future as well... regardless of who is charged with the enforcement of laws at the head of the executive branch.

If the motivation for this prosecution however is not meant to curb political malfeasance, but instead was based primarily on political suppression than it is a darker day for Taiwan.

Democracy is not defined merely by the right to vote. Democracy means working within the confines of the constitution. The constitution being the agreement between a people and their government. Democracy means upholding the rule of law regardless of what party temporarily holds what office. The DPP was guilty of not following the letter and certainly not following the spirit of the law. The KMT however is also sadly guilty of this as indicated by their refusal to fulfill their duties of government when the DPP controlled the executive, the abnormalities surrounding the case of Mr. Chen, and the widely perceived corruption of KMT politicians.

KMT and DPP... please stop putting the party before the country!

A word of caution to Taiwanese. Every society must draw a line between where the rights of the individual end and the rights of the community begin, even within the PRC with over 80 crimes punishable by death, individuals have certain rights that should not be infringed. Those individual rights are imperative for determining when a person or government oversteps their bounds by oppressing another. Mr. Chen is guilty of gross impropriety, but if it turns out that this trial (and those of Chen Shui Bian's family) were cooked up as a means of suppression, than a far greater crime has been committed by oppressing the people of Taiwan.

Fellow Taiwanese, I wish to encourage you to demand ever greater accountability among our politicians... both for their actions and inaction.

As a separate inquiry: is the chairman of the CCP required to disclose all of his financial holdings? If so, did Hu Jintao disclose his financial assets before and since becoming a high-ranking party official?

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betelnut310 wrote:September 13, 2009 16:48
sorry for the multi-posting, but here is another issue in regard to the harsh penalty.

Taiwan comes from a history of corrupt leaders. Taiwan as a country needed to make a clean break from that lineage of corrupt leadership. This is why the penalty needs to be harsh. And this is why the life-sentence appears so out-of-line to the crime from a Western prospective. But if you understand how important it is for Taiwan to cleanse itself of corrupt politicians, you'll understand this sentence IS just.

Much like Singapore, its location lends itself to drug trafficking. If it doesn't have extremely harsh sentencing laws, it naturally becomes a drug trafficking hub. This is why the you get caught, you get hang approach. Sounds out-of-line from Western standards, but given where Singapore is, it is absolutely necesssary.

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betelnut310 wrote:September 13, 2009 15:40
Here's another example:

Is Singapore's death penalty for drug traffickers too stiff and harsh?

Absolutely.

Are drug traffickers fully aware of the possible outcome?

Absolutely.

So when a drug trafficker such as a 20 year old first timer Viet-Australian got caught and get the death penalty, why should there be sympathy, just let him hang.

This is the same thing here. The sentence is too harsh, but you did the crime and you were fully aware of the consequences.
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betelnut310 wrote:September 13, 2009 15:35
Yes, the Taiwanese judicial system is flawed. Absolutely.

Now who better than Chen to know that this is a flawed system? He is a lawyer that grew up in that system and he has been a career politician in this flawed system.

He is also very aware that in a Democratic system, power will go back and forth from one party to another. He exemplified that transfer of power.

Therefore, knowing full well the danger of this flawed system, he of all people would have known the importance of staying clean. But power and wealth corrupts and he looted away.

I for one have no sympathy for someone who knew the full consequences of his actions and still did the crime.

This Taiwanese independence supporter say lock him up and throw away the keys.

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 13, 2009 15:21
For those who don't seem to understand democracy,

Democracy is not a goal, it is simply a means, it's a process. Along the way the road can be bumpy because different people have different opinions. I don't know if it is the best way to a better society but to achieve a healthy, diverse society, in which the people are intelligent and have their fair share of information, democracy seems to be inevitable. Democracy does not belong to the West, or America, it doesn't have to be. It is a human need.

People who haven't experienced it may look at it as chaos, and inefficient when it comes to consensus. But it's because those people are simply still in an earlier process where economic and material prosperity are the priority, up to a certain point in time when people have enough material stuff, they will start demanding rights and voice opinions and care for things other than money. It's merely a matter of time. It's a natural process any society would have to face, some earlier, some later.

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lecra wrote:September 13, 2009 14:42
"Mr Chen himself claims that corruption charges, which were first put to him three years ago, amount to persecution by the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) that, he says, is attempting to appease China"

Only two types of people would believe Chen - those who are brain-dead, and his die-hard supporters in DPP.

The probe into Chen's and his family's corrupt practices begun three years ago when he was still Taiwan president. Chen was then protected by presidential immunity.

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Jean.Wen wrote:September 13, 2009 14:41
To APHK: No, The fact it is just Opposite as you said, Due to some people like Infuse10, associate Taiwan's current corruption case with China Mainland, and linked to China Leader, which make me a comedy spectator have to say something ; I have to tell him that Mainland's Grape is sour, but beloved and Improved by our Mainland people;

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APHK wrote:September 13, 2009 14:01
The mainland Chinese seem to associate Taiwan's current situation to justify their case against democracy.

So the grapes are sour if you cannot eat them?

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Jean.Wen wrote:September 13, 2009 13:56
"infuse10" , nearly most of your comments with very critical & complaint to CHina mainland, I suggest you comment more about your own homeland, China mainland is a Land without perfect, but with good future and stably improvement every year;
Yes, China mainland is not pefect, however, at least the people here love here, and all are join hands to improve it;

If you live in Taiwan, which is in good system of " Democracy" " Freedom" , please take more time to enjoy the system and freedom; or join arguing in your own homeland with either DDP or KMT;

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Jean.Wen wrote:September 13, 2009 13:35
I can't understand why Taiwan still have supporters think of " Chen is not treated fairly" , and DDP is like a " Crazy party" who only work for "Political target " ;

Taiwan News, T.Vs, who all alleged to be Democracy , Freedom "Country" of Asia, now see the fact, what it is; At least what is the previous " Democracy";

RE: "infuse10" , This news is related to Taiwan Political Crime only, not related to Mr.Mao who in Mainland, and who is beloved by most of 1.3 Billion Chinese people; Although Mr Mao did some wrong during old age, just want to know, why you exist the silly logic to compare with Mr.Chen? At least KMT lost China mainland, lost Taiwan in last 8 years, while Mr.Mao, who can control and create a peaceful and developing China ( Although not good enough);

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christy_h wrote:September 13, 2009 13:17
well,from what i know (i am taiwanese, living in taiwan) most people in taiwan, aside from the really really hard-core supporters, would probably think that he deserved it.
During his office, he messed up taiwan in the sense that he didn't do anything FOR the people (not anything significant enough to be taken into account), and he missed out on taiwan's big chance to develop to its full potential.
I know that other officers/ presidents have probably done similar things, but he is definitely the biggest 'criminal', laundering the people's money on such a big scale.
For those who think that pres. chen does not deserve such a 'harsh' sentence, think of what will happen if they let him off easily? that'd be like, an open invitation for gov't officials to be corrupt, since it 'doesn't really matter' anyway...

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Peninsula in April wrote:September 13, 2009 12:43
This is democracy, what this America-lead world would like to father upon Chinese.
Endless political rally, ugly shows for political aim, embezzlement and coruption, are these the reason why Taiwan is called the model of democracy in asia?
We are not sure what Mr Chan did. What matters is who enjoys this meaningless arguement? Does democracy mean our lives have to be filled with political games?

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 13, 2009 11:54
PSTAR-HAN-LOW,

Please don't ASSUME. Why do you think that I think that Chen should be exempted because others in the past have done the same or similar wrongs? No, I am simply saying the double standards are unjustifiable. Chen should get what he deserves, that's it! If it means life sentence, then so be it. I just hope from now on this standard will be used for other politicians in the future, but I doubted it. BTW, I am not sure where you stand on China-Tibet/Xinjiang, but whenever China gets criticized by the West on this, many Chinese would accuse the West of hypocrisy, because of colonization and past wars. Can I not say, "just because the West did bad things before, does it mean China can do the same"?

As for your second quote,
"it doesn't matter if Chen had committed the crime ,because his trial was carried out during his political rivalry's presidency, hence that is a political persecution"

When did I say this? Please don't put words in my mouth. But if you want my opinion, there are many reasons for this to be a political persecution, this may be one of them. What makes you think this is not a political persecution? Chen may be guilty, but the way it's been carried out also provides good reasons for it to be a persecution.

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new student 2009 wrote:September 13, 2009 8:49
@ infuse10 //September 13, 2009 5:51//
Do not silly. Chen Abian is not accuse or in jail when he was in power. His wife not appear to law court summons 17 time in a row when he was in power. China is better.

@ LesAdieux wrote: //September 13, 2009 5:40//
How come they names all CHEN (just joke)

@ orphan, justlistenall, Chincat: Thank your support and advice. I study will improve.

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infuse10 wrote:September 13, 2009 7:02
"china cat"

"The only thing that Mao left to his children and families was ... nothing!! Please take note"

Mao's descendants to this day have substantial dominating influence over the CCP, Mao is still reverred by many in China, his descendants continue to enjoy many benefits including high paying jobs, respect and admiration from people like you.

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chinacat wrote:September 13, 2009 6:21
infuse10,

"Thats good progress, but what I meant is that a top leader as in the position of Hu or Mao would never be jailed. The CCP would never allow falling of the government from the top, it would jeopardise their rule."

How silly you are!! Hu and Mao are not corrupt. The only thing that Mao left to his children and families was ... nothing!! Please take note! The people of China respect him because he's the most clean leader of China!! Please take another note!!

And your president Chen, the son of Taiwan, he and his family didn't nothing but grabbed money that wasn't his... I am not complaining though, as without him, there's no drama of Taiwan that interests me so much. lol

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PSTAR-HAN-LOW wrote:September 13, 2009 6:03
To feelsonatural:
>From your comment I quote: "Whether he is guilty or not, the legal process taken against him was flawed, if not rigged. Even if he is guilty, the double standards are so clear. The KMT have had a long history of corruption, they are the masters of bribery,"
Is that your true belief that, because others have done the crime and got away with it,then you would automatically be entitled with the legitimay to do the same? Put it in context,because kmt was corrupted-for whenever they had been, therefore whoever got to the power should do the same and exempt from perscution .
And the other point of you was "it doesn't matter if Chen had committed the crime ,because his trial was carried out during his political rivalry's presidency, hence that is a political persecution.
what a profound insight you have there.

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infuse10 wrote:September 13, 2009 5:51
"Les adieux"

""The fact that Mr. Chen is sentenced to prison clearly, shows that Taiwan's democracy is on the right path. If this were to happen in China, for those chinese nationalists out there, no CCP top leader would ever be imprisoned."

for your info:

cheng kejie, vice chairman, national people's congress of china, was sentenced to death for corruption;

chen xitong, party chief and mayor of beijing,
chen liangyu, party chief and mayor of shanghai,
both chen were polibureau member, they were jailed for 15 years each for corruption"

Thats good progress, but what I meant is that a top leader as in the position of Hu or Mao would never be jailed. The CCP would never allow falling of the government from the top, it would jeopardise their rule.

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LesAdieux wrote:September 13, 2009 5:40
@infuse10

"The fact that Mr. Chen is sentenced to prison clearly, shows that Taiwan's democracy is on the right path. If this were to happen in China, for those chinese nationalists out there, no CCP top leader would ever be imprisoned."

for your info:

cheng kejie, vice chairman, national people's congress of china, was sentenced to death for corruption;

chen xitong, party chief and mayor of beijing,
chen liangyu, party chief and mayor of shanghai,
both chen were polibureau member, they were jailed for 15 years each for corruption.

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 13, 2009 5:29
Chen's biggest mistake is not being thorough enough, he didn't go all the way.

What I am trying to say is that if he wanted money and security he should have joined the KMT in the first place, concentrating on the art of money making without fear. Instead, he joined the DPP and risked his life for freedom, and later down the road decided to meddle with the more materialistic things in life. Maybe he played with fire a bit but he forgot he was on the wrong side of the game, unlucky!

If he were a KMT member, he could be sitting with his grandchildren happily enjoying his family time. Being a KMT member is like being a VIP in the political arena, there will always be a happy ending no matter what!

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diamondjim wrote:September 13, 2009 5:07
Yeah, go ahead and let China "re-unify" Taiwan. With Mr. Chen's sentence as a backdrop, I'll bet the "unification" of Taiwan would just make those corrupt mainland-Chinese politicians' day!

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feelsonatural81 wrote:September 13, 2009 4:48
This is outrageous! Whether he is guilty or not, the legal process taken against him was flawed, if not rigged. Even if he is guilty, the double standards are so clear. The KMT have had a long history of corruption, they are the masters of bribery, they have taken most of the valuable stuff with them when they fled China. They are by far the richest party in Taiwan, thanks to their tactics and of course connections with the underworld. Incidents like the 228 and white terror are just some of the typical examples. For decades, they have had total control of the legal system and the media. They have had their share of notorious crimes. Many of the more corrupted ones have long before fled to the States, or other countries. If legal actions were taken against them, if justice still exists, many of them would be sentenced to death for sure.

The sad thing is that some people can always walk away unscathed, kings will always be kings, while the unlucky ones pay the price. The injustice lies in the double standards, not whether Chen is guilty or not. Equally sad is that many people take things at face value, they fail to see the big picture. It is a political persecution!!

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infuse10 wrote:September 13, 2009 4:47
The fact that Mr. Chen is sentenced to prison clearly, shows that Taiwan's democracy is on the right path. If this were to happen in China, for those chinese nationalists out there, no CCP top leader would ever be imprisoned. Just shows even more why Taiwan and China are totally opposites. The DPP should continue to reform and break through their mistakes, and also the KMT should too, to become a full developed democracy. Plus

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lpc1998 wrote:September 13, 2009 4:34
Former president Chen Shui-bian defied the US and crossed the American red line of not unilaterally trying to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait by holding the UN Membership Referendum in March 2008 and taking the first step towards Taiwan independence. By doing so, he had harmed US national interests, and while overlooking the CIA dossiers on him that have information when leaked out could send him to jail for life.

This is a clear warning to all Taiwan secessionists: Do not cross the American red line and harm the US national interests.

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PSTAR-HAN-LOW wrote:September 13, 2009 4:15
TO answer those who are confused over, why is the accusation of the Economist's report being biased has been the prevailing comments here.As a person who has watched the event along from the start,I would no doubtly say:he deserves the punishment,Thus the Economist is biased.the writer tried his best to associat the trial of Chen's with political persecution
and his seeking-independence stance.rather than to examine the evidence of his crime.However it is lot easier for the writer to cite staments of chen' supporters while delivering his biased view on the matter,than to challenge the evidence presented during the trial.For we all know ,that even US military found no massive-destruction-weapons in Irap,the supporters and the initiators of this anti-terrorism war(oil war ??)have showed little remorse for millions killed .

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justlistenall wrote:September 13, 2009 4:15
The beautiful Taiwanese people should be congratulated for upholding Taiwan's judiciary impartiality. At the same time, they are contributing to China's reconstruction by providing the mirror stimulus to the Mainland, as legal system reform is a top CCP stated national goal.

Some may berate like ["The day that a mainland court jails a top-tier leader would be a day of celebration for Chinese around the world."].

It's much less important to please "Chinese around the world" than it is to ensure that most Chinese citizens are happy with China's judiciary system reform, a system that still leaves room for improvement perhaps, albeit nobody would dispute that China's system of jurisprudence has seen tremendous improvement over the past decades in my view.

While one may criticize its faults, a round of encouragement or applause sometimes for China's current effort would help go a long way toward that goal back home than mindless reproof, especially on a media of good repute such as this one.

BTW, ["And FYI, "reunification" is a four letter word in Taiwan.""]? Of course, the four letter word is---"MUST", and make no mistake about it!

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boontee wrote:September 13, 2009 3:24
What persecution is there?

Chen deserves the sentence. As the former leader of a nation, he should have set a good example. Instead he got himself involved in massive bribery after bribery, corruption after corruption.

His ugly acts were unthinkable, let alone inexcusable. Let this serve as a stern warning to all those global filthy wealth amassers, especially the politically powerful and the utterly shameless.
(tanboontee)

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religionofreason wrote:September 13, 2009 3:08
Even started from the enquiry from independent undeniable outsiders, Swiss Legal department under the EU anti-money laundering law, it still be dismissed and accused as fabricated corruption. One may wonder that how could other corruption cases involving those powerful voices being able to be uncovered without a lucky Swiss help? Is it sth above the laws and democracy if the politic voices could loud enough?

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religionofreason wrote:September 13, 2009 2:51
It may blame the Swiss Judicial system and EU anti money laundering law. If they didn't provide undeniable envidence to kick off the investigation, it would have no condition and possibility for Chen's persecution.

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Old Collegian wrote:September 13, 2009 2:45
Taiwan is now a deeply divided island state, split over the justice or injustice of convicting and jailing a former President, known for his pro-independence intentions of formal statehood for what mainland China regards as a 'renegade province.' Mr Chen Shui-bian has been sentenced by a Taipei Court to life in jail for receiving and misusing up to US$25 million. Mr Chen, according to news reports, admitted using false receipts to claim money from the state but said such funds were for "secret diplomatic missions", not his own benefit. There is no doubt that Mr Chen and his family have been severely punished for alleged corruption - his disabled wife jailed for life, his son jailed for two and a half years and his daughter-in-law receiving a suspended sentence. It is also remarkable that such prosecutions have been launched not long after the accession to power of Mr Chen's bitterest enemies in the form of the Kuo Min Tang - which, in contrast to Mr Chen, favours closer financial and political ties with Beijing. Two questions emerge - is the KMT doing the bidding of Beijing in discrediting Mr Chen and is the criminal case against Mr Chen valid or fabricated? One wonders. It was not so long ago that the Mahathir regime in Malaysia perpetrated a gross miscarriage of justice by falsely accusing a rising political opponent, Mr Anwar Ibrahim, of sodomy and having Mr Ibrahim wrongfully jailed for seven tormented years. Could the new KMT Government of President Ma Ying-jeou be carrying out a similarly sordid action against their DPP predecessor?

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TW lover wrote:September 13, 2009 1:12
The judicial system clearly needs a reform- it was set up unfairly by KMT years ago; not hard to imagine that now it is a tool for the government(whoever is elected) to take advantage.
I believe the result of the trial is a back step of the democracy in Taiwan- Not very good...

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K Lim wrote:September 13, 2009 0:21
I believe this article provides some very useful insights into the inner workings of Taiwan's judicial system - that a political party could wield such a strong influence over such an important trial. Now, there're two implications which could follow:

1) The conviction (harsh or not being another issue) opens up the possibility to consider corruption charges of other politicians, from any party, and give them harsh sentences.

2) It is one thing to conviction Chen for corruption, and another to convict him for the deed's 'impact on the country'. If so, should the current president not be charged for wanton negligence during the typhoon, which had such massive impacts as to cost hundreds of lives?

The can of worms is big, and is now open.

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KommandoWeiterentwicklung wrote:September 13, 2009 0:10
@rep3: I think you realize that even The Economist is written by mere mortals who make plenty of mistakes.
Britain currently realizes they are selling Information and Security - both wares with wildly gyrating price tags. Paper can kill - but only if people take paper seriously. Same with the internet.
Selling Security means demonstrating your ability to kill. That's what we do in 'ghanistan. Police work can be really depressing at times. Scaring the hell out of bystanders just to ensure the smooth generation and transportation of Money.

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RuDao wrote:September 12, 2009 23:21
Born Again,

"If Mr Chen was born in mainland China. He and his family wouldn't be jailed!
That's why China is not practising the rule of law, and against democracy."

Can you do the readers a favor, by assumeing Mr. Chen and his family was born in India, USA, Russia, Poland, UK and so on so forth, why just pick the comparison of "China"? If you do the comparison with many contries, you are supporting democracy by stating the facts for the readers to consider, otherwise, readers will more tend to treat your comments as biased.

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rep3 wrote:September 12, 2009 22:49
It is sad that the Economist choose to support Chen Shuibian, Jacob Zuma and George W Bush, 3 of the biggest idiots to ever hold office. And always the reason for lending this support was "Democracy". This makes me wonder, what is democracy? Is it the right of the people to pick mentally challenged as their leader?

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thejsto wrote:September 12, 2009 22:01
If you commit a crime you need to pay for what you did, no matter if your an ex-president or Lindsay Lohan. They need to pay their dues to society just like every-other low life.

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the bitch in the beach wrote:September 12, 2009 21:40
we finally know the conviction of ex-president chen, you can't deny the corruption close integrated into the traditional culture in Asian countries. besides China, south korea,taiwan,and even HK experienced the terrible period in which the company bribed the officer commonly. once the impelling supervision disappear, corruption would emerge and expand quickly. Anyway, this is still a big progress in spite of the scandal of president Chen. We should still affirm the democray process of taiwan since it rank the correctness as the most important place , instead of the power

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kchiou wrote:September 12, 2009 20:51
I can't understand how the prevailing response here is, first, to accuse the Economist of bias and, second, to immediately switch to some conventional--and, inherently biased--mantra that barely contributes to the discussion.

As an outsider (I am American), I think that people in Taiwan need to slow down and reconsider the issue here. Regardless of political beliefs, there is a deeply frightening possibility that the national criminal court system is motivated by politics over judiciousness, agenda over impartiality. It is true that no president should be above the law, but the manner in which this case has been brought and conducted is troubling to see, especially in an island that has undergone dramatic steps in the direction of democracy and personal liberties. Taiwan's ruling government already has the presidency and a huge majority in the legislature. When they have control of the courts, as may already be the case, it will be difficult to maintain that there is still democracy in Taiwan.

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born again wrote:September 12, 2009 19:02
If Mr Chen was born in mainland China. He and his family wouldn't be jailed!
That's why China is not practising the rule of law, and against democracy.

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juicyang wrote:September 12, 2009 18:50
Oh,That's the way I like !

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ChineseInFrance wrote:September 12, 2009 17:27
Taiwan has been full of politic issues. I always consider the taiwan's politic as a series of comedies. As I know, many taiwaneses follow with interest these provoking news as a soap.
Chen should be sentenced to jail for life, I think it is very reasinable. The officials who are involved in problem of corruption are probablely sentenced to death penalty.

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Go Go wrote:September 12, 2009 17:27
If there is a long history of corrupt officials being tried and convicted in Taiwan, then this conviction can comfortably be seen as simply standard operating procedure. If, however, there isn't, then the anomalous nature of the action takes on a far more sinister mien.

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reasonable-violence wrote:September 12, 2009 17:09
conventional wisdom has it that reporters not only have rights to
speak freely,but also should be more cautious to make comments on matters those happen in other countries.Now,it seems as if westerners desire to market their utopia democracy all over the world.Unfortunately,chinese do not appear to buy the naive thought.The conventional view that the broad democary should be one of the very highest priority for promoting human development in China is wrong.

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Huilili wrote:September 12, 2009 16:47
The standing point of Economist is obvious supporting a separating Taiwan. Its logic is foul to me as a conscientious Chinese who supports the China's unity. Well, since it is from
British, why not glorifying the collapse of its own country first instead of swaying world's opinion to dismember another country.
Chen Shui-bien is a nation's criminal and should be severely punished for his betraying to Chinese nation.
Besides always highlighting this minor rebelling group of people, please give more attention to those who have stronger sentiment over its nation!!!

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Gardenor wrote:September 12, 2009 16:41
Justice is being served.

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vinchang wrote:September 12, 2009 16:37
>From the Poll of TVBS,Taiwan,China,53% of Taiwanese believe the justice is fair and out of the interference of government,and 31% hold the opposite view。

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Franciscodekaohsiung wrote:September 12, 2009 14:39
The verdict is above all, to the whole Chen syndicate, commensurate to the degree of criminality that the Chens' legendary nature of greed and avidity stands for. The past 8 years of Chen's ruling brought irreversible damage to the country, not just financially or diplimatically but in all aspects, and will remain the disgrace of the country as Chen continues to symbolize the bigotry of his die-hard supporters who persist to claim to be the opinion majority of the people in Taiwan.

Regardless of the arguable former KMT regime for which DPP supporters validate Chen's felony as a last-resort chicanery in seeking some comfort to wuss out from the fact that their sanctified and worshipped Mighty Chen is nothing but a mortal covetting the fortune of the entire nation. I am a national of Taiwan and have no proclivity in siding with any of either KMT or DPP in this particular circumstance; however, it is a bloody crystal truth that you must see: despite the judicial system and whatever you might assume about its neutrality in the sentencing, Chen and his associates are, in terms of sheer sense of righteousness, indisputably culpable for charges that have been pressed to them so far. I dont see any ground of mercy or sympathy for even Chen's unfortunate wife, who was the constant rally-call for all compassion and empathy tricks played incessantly by DPP throughout earlier elections.

Taiwan is not the Scottish government; there is no cherry deal for thugs and scums like Chen, period. And just for the record, my residence location in Taiwan is Keelung City, for those who might doubt my identity and stance in this discussion as a national of Taiwan.

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long march wrote:September 12, 2009 14:14
The fact is that Chen's family was indicted while he was in office. Persecution against "first family"? Nice try...

The majority of Taiwan want Chen in prison. That's the reason Ma got elected. If you don't believe this, just wait for the next election, see if KMT gets voted out of power.

read carefully: "The DPP is now in an awkward position. If it defends the former president fervently then voters may punish it for supporting a politician considered corrupt." - even the author of this article knows that this sentence has public support, yet all the author tries to do is to cast doubt to the trial using "some" words.

The Economist has been biased toward DPP for years. However, as I said before, everybody has to face the reality in the end. It's not like supporting Democratic Progressive Party is supporting Democracy. It's not like supporting a convicted criminal is supporting justice. You may fool some readers for some time, but not forever - just like Mr. Chen Shuibian.

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JJ42 wrote:September 12, 2009 13:22
A simple question in the mind of millions of Taiwanese: If former president Chen Shui Bian is a member of the KMT and friendly to China, like former Vice President Lien Chan whose families accumulated over tens of billions of dollars of wealth being public servants for 3 generations, would the verdict be the same?

If yes, this would be a significant moment to proclaim that Taiwan is truly a proud and mature democracy with credible rule of law, and that the court can not be compromised by political correctness.

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fatfish wrote:September 12, 2009 13:06
"justlisten, you are writing as if you are tapped into a source that knows what the people of Taiwan think, hope and dream. I fear you may be mistaking dogma for common knowlege, please begin to question what you read with a great deal more intalectual vigor.
And FYI, "reunification" is a four letter word in Taiwan."

Smurtman,"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but I promise you we will get there,we as a people will get there!"

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APHK wrote:September 12, 2009 12:50
justlistenall wrote "(Incidentally, a top CCP official, also surnamed Mr. Chen, was prosecuted and convicted for corruption charges by a court in China a couple of years ago with perhaps less publicity but similar significance.)"

So you are implying that mainland courts are just as capable of withstanding political pressure?

The day that a mainland court jails a top-tier leader would be a day of celebration for Chinese around the world.

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fatfish wrote:September 12, 2009 12:48
An excellent actor,causing tension by irritating the mainland and then collecting money by using the fear of the people in Taiwan.Now in jail,however,he is trying to using the same allegation to escape punishment.I can't beleive there exist so many advocators of this crap??!!He is genius,I have to say.......

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ordinaryman wrote:September 12, 2009 12:45
No man is above the law. A conviction is a conviction. If the former President is guilty, he derserves the full sentence, period.

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Smurtman wrote:September 12, 2009 12:28
"Under the separatist Mr. Chen who ruled Taiwan from 2000 to 2008, it was common knowledge that the majority of Taiwanese people were intimidated from expressing their political views unless touting the "independence" line."

justlisten, you are writing as if you are tapped into a source that knows what the people of Taiwan think, hope and dream. I fear you may be mistaking dogma for common knowlege, please begin to question what you read with a great deal more intalectual vigor.
And FYI, "reunification" is a four letter word in Taiwan.

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ouyoumei wrote:September 12, 2009 12:07
Corruption is a small thing compare with the years of economic loss under Chen's government. He also jeopordized the security of the Taiwanese people and used fear politics for his own gain. There are also other viciousness, and moral degradation which have arose within the Taiwanese society during his presidency. But the cost of social disharmony and moral degradation I guess are unquantifiable; judicial processes are also imperfect. But Taiwanese just know it in their gut feeling that it was the right thing to jail this slime for good.

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yangheli-chinese wrote:September 12, 2009 9:35
TURE DEMOCRACY!!!
In front of law,Everyone are equal.

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justlistenall wrote:September 12, 2009 9:25
To most, according to a Taiwan media poll after the sentencing, the corruption convictions mean the justice is done.

The conviction with its stern sentences meted out by the Taipei court is testament that Taiwan's democracy and legal system are capable to stand undue political pressures and demonstrate that even the most powerful are not immune from its legal process. (Incidentally, a top CCP official, also surnamed Mr. Chen, was prosecuted and convicted for corruption charges by a court in China a couple of years ago with perhaps less publicity but similar significance.)

Under the separatist Mr. Chen who ruled Taiwan from 2000 to 2008, it was common knowledge that the majority of Taiwanese people were intimidated from expressing their political views unless touting the "independence" line. Taiwanese of course voted overwhelmingly Mr Chen and his cohorts out of offices in 2008.

It is fitting to note of Mr Chen's baseless claim that his corruption charges amount to persecution by the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) designed to appease Mainland China, as it does amount to disavowing DPP standing and what DPP stands for

The conviction ushers in a new page for Taiwan. Taiwanese are no longer felt held hostage to the "independence" bondage that also held up Taiwan's economy as instigated by Mr. Chen during his rule in Taiwan.

The people of Taiwan can now feel free to ponder the issue of reunification with the Mainland with more realistic and receptive considerations of the future.

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Oceans Deep wrote:September 12, 2009 9:18
It's your right to doubt the sentence ,but do not sympathy with Chen. So I hope any doubt is fact-based ,instead of guess-based.

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Atif Aziz wrote:September 12, 2009 8:59
Irrespective of the vcerasity of claims of corruption, it is a known fact that politicians who also become head of state or government, inclined towards corruption and maladministration and mostly their cronies and relatives uses their position to mint money at the expense of their reputation. Its good to see that no one can escape the justice--which should prevail.

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RuDao wrote:September 12, 2009 8:16
(1) Former president Chen and his relatives had various bank accounts (Mr. Chen was not from a wealthy family and they had dozens or more of overseas bank accounts from Swiss, Japan, USA, to Virgin Island, Singapore, Hong Kong and a number of other countries, why?) for hundreds of million USD where they can not disclose where it came from (this is the fact, just check any reputable news organization, including UN's anti-money laundry unit, where the Taiwanese government first were notified by them of the huge money transfer for Mr. Chen's son's Swiss account. The event was in Y2006 and Y2007, and this was buried until the end of Mr. Chen's presidency).

(2) The judges who judged him were mostly apppointed during his presidency (2001 to 2008). Therefore, Prof. Burce Jacob needs to do some more research and point out the facts where the Taiwanese judiciary system went wrong. Just finger pointing at things he doesn't like and say the magic word "democracy" is really undemocratic. The spirit of democracy is people makes decison or accusation (or, taking credits) based on facts.

(3) There is the appeal court (maybe the Taiwanese should invite prof. Jacob to be an observer), and there is the presidential pardon (if given by current president Ma), most likely, former president Chen will not got locked up for life no matter what happened or whether he deserves it or not.

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Zhang Swift wrote:September 12, 2009 7:57
I can't say I know the truth, but I do know that at least part of the people in Taiwan(I hate the word Taiwanese, sorry) do not like Chen at all. Some even said the reason why President Ma Ying-jeouwon won the election can be summerized as three words(in Chinese):Chen Shui-bian.

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