anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

taiwan's shiny future.

Ma Ying-jeou is officially Taiwan's new president.


He's a total rock star, you know. He's more like a celebrity than a politician. He leaves a trail of swooning women in his wake wherever he goes, and the media loves doing reports on really seriously important things like his jogging sessions.

He also delivered an extremely inspiring victory speech which was superbly written and well-delivered. In the speech he made an excellent point about Taiwanese democracy which I've been parroting since forever, which also underscores - for me at least - the very fundamental reason why Taiwan and China are two separate countries. He said - and I'm simultaneously translating and paraphrasing, two things I'm not that good at, so bear with me - that many people in Asia had their eyes on Taiwan's presidential elections because Taiwan is the only country (de facto but whatever) with a predominantly Chinese population that has a working democracy, despite its flaws. He said this much better in Chinese and I couldn't have agreed any more with him. Putting the Chinese world aside, Taiwan is the only Asian liberal democracy, which I've argued before trumps all notions touted by autocratic Asian leaders that democracy/human rights/liberal democracy are incompatible with Asian values. Whatever "Asian values" means.

Anyway, Ma Ying-jeou is so totally Taiwan's new president which means there's plenty to look out for in the next four years. In some ways I kind of feel bad for him; he has a lot on his plate. Not only does he have to clean up Chen Shui-bian's mess with regard to Taiwan's floundering economy, he also has to live up to his campaign promise of bringing peace between Taiwan and China. Both tasks are not easy by any standard and they might even be equally difficult. But he's more likely to handle these matters with competence than the DPP guy, Frank Hsieh. Commentators in Taiwan have called DPP's eight-year rule over Taiwan an "eight-year long nightmare" (Chinese: ba nian de e meng - hahaha), which goes to show how badly the DPP messed up.

It's quite sad, really. I can totally sympathise with their political ideology and their pro-independence stance; we all know that I'm greatly in favour of formal Taiwanese independence. But I just don't understand how they could purport to "ai tai wan" (love Taiwan) and yet screw up the country's economy to such an unbelievable extent. Remember when Taiwan was one quarter of Asia's economic tigers? Yeah, I don't either. There was a point of time when Taiwan was economically stronger than Singapore. Now? I think we're way ahead.

The most telling loss of confidence in the DPP? Ma Ying-jeou won in two traditionally DPP stronghold states: Kaohsiung City and Tainan City. Tainan, for crying out loud. That's where Chen Shui-bian is from. And Frank Hsieh used to be the mayor of Kaohsiung City. Ma didn't win by a wide margin, but he won. When I first saw the results I thought I was seeing things because such things were practically unheard of before this.

What I find really hilarious? In Kinmen, where my grandparents and therefore my paternal side of the family are from, Ma won some 30,000+ votes. And Frank? Like, 1000+? HAHAHAHAHA. I almost died laughing when I saw that. Serves them right for not recognising Kinmen residents as Taiwanese.

And of course, my darling Taipei voted overwhelmingly in favour of Ma. The place where I used to live, Yonghe, is also overwhelmingly pan-Blue.

So yay! There's actual, real, tangible hope for Taiwan's survival in the long run. I would prefer Ma to be some magician of sorts and somehow conjure up formal independence for Taiwan, but until China realises that the PRC NEVER ruled Taiwan, that's just not going to happen.

Bloody dislike China OMG.

Anyway, I'm sleepy and I don't feel like writing anymore so let me just say that I bought a new pair of red shoes today from People's Park Centre while waiting to collect my Chinese medicine, and the red made me realise that red is an awesome-ass colour. I love red shoes; they go with anything and everything. Happiness is me.

Tags: current affairs, politics, taiwan

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