Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Taiwan's Chen Shui Bian Sentenced to Life Imprisonment..

If any of you have been following, Taiwan's Ex-President Chen Shui Bian has been sentenced to life imprisonment along with his wife on several corruption charges. His son-in-law and daughter have also been found guilty on several counts of money laundery and fined millions. He has also been fined millions along with his wife ON TOP of the life sentence.

This could possibly be the only case in Asia where an ex-President has been found guilty of corruption charges and actually been imprisoned and forced to serve a life imprisonment sentence. Quite frankly, I think its extremely naive for those whom support this decision as a sign of Taiwan's mature democracy as i think the decision is extremely politically-motivated. I mean anyone knows that all of Taiwan's ex-leaders have been corrupt and way more corrupt than Chen esp during the pre-1987 era under KMT dictatorial rule but no one then nor has any KMT president ever been found guilty of corruption, much less prosecuted or even a life sentence! But once a DPP leader comes, the KMT wasted no time at all in prosecuting Chen once Ma got elected and the Prosecution kept leaking information to the press and the mainstream media in Taiwan (which is extremely pro-KMT) kept their one-sided reportage of the ongoing trial of Chen such that he could not get a fair trial. Even the original presiding Judge of the case was swapped when he decided to grant bail to Chen and threatened with treason, how fair can Chen's trial be?!! Then another judge came in and decided to refuse Chen's bail application meaning Taiwan's Ex-President was and is still forced to sit in prison awaiting his trial..and there's no good reason for that! Like how in the world do they think Chen can escape Taiwan if let out on bail? It's simply a tactic by the KMT and pan-blue supporters to humiliate him...There's seriously no credible reason to continue to detain Chen in such an undignified manner..and you know what? The media in Taiwan even decided Chen was given too much 'preferential treatment' in prison, analysing and scrutinising what he got to eat for Chinese New Year in prison...i mean WTF?!!! He's an Ex-President, putting him in prison whilst awaiting trial is totally an abuse of judicial power in the first place with a strong hint of interference with the judicial system by the ruling KMT party, and he can't even get a lil' better prison food??!! Heck, he's spending CNY in prison ppl, give him a break!

The Taiwanese mainstream media and newspapers are mainly pro-China and pro-reunification with China and thus spare no opportunity in degrading Chen and pan-Green Independence supporters at any cost..for instance, Sisy Chen's news program (she's one of the more popular tv hosts in Taiwan) shows her bias against the DPP when she repeatedly wondered aloud what the point of anti-Ma anti-China bias demonstrations were for earlier in the year despite there being real concerns over Ma's current extremely pro-China stance and policies which seek to threaten Taiwan's national security and sovereignty. The fact they were held peacefully (which is a rare occurence) was something to be celebrated but all Sisy could talk about was what the point was, how tourism went down during the demos,etc..yea bla bla bla, and no one in the mainstream media bothered to criticise the huge anti-Chen demos in 2004 and in 2007 (i think) where the pan-Blue camp refused to accept Chen's mandate to rule and refused to accept election riots (despite the narrow margin) and continued to riot ceaselessly for his resignation..back then the likes of Sisy would go on their shows saying how 'shameless' Chen was, etc, see how many ppl didn't support his govt, how he should resign, etc...not a mention of the 'effect of tourism' or 'what lousy losers the pan-blue camp supporters were for not accepting election riots and committee official conclusions' but it was spinned as 'democracy at work'!

Even when Chen was in office, many ppl and mainstream media refused to call him 'President Chen' saying he wasn't the president as the 2004 election results were scammed and that the attempted assasination of Chen and Lu then was a Chen-preplanned hoax (despite all investigations coming with inconclusive evidence linking the assasination attempt to Chen himself)...this shows how disrespectful many pan-blue Taiwanese are of the democratic system in Taiwan. Many said that the election in 2004 was 'one of the biggest joke in the world' . NOPE. The biggest shameful joke was actually the ensuing refusal to accept Chen as the democratically elected President of Taiwan and holding massive ongoing demonstrations calling for his resignation, basically SORE LOSERS..thank god the Court back then decided the results was constitutional and thus, the power of hooligans did not overcome reason.

You simply can't riot until you get the result and party you want just bcos you are a sore loser...
Unlike America which has a mature democracy, and where Americans by and large accept election results, even in similarly marginal instances such as Taiwan's 2004 results (the 2000 elections between Al Gore and Bush had a similar result with Bush only winning narrowly) and where ppl still call Bush, President Bush even if they dislike him, and where Obama has decided not to go after former Republicans or Republican policies, in Taiwan, you see ppl rioting when they dislike the result, insult their President and decide he should get life imprisonment and crappy prison food, not call him 'President' when he was still in office and even decide to go for all-out 'revenge time' once the new KMT govt comes into power, immediately arresting Chen and other DPP leaders....

and of note, I do not even fall into the usual 'category' of ppl whom support the DPP and pro-independence, in fact, given my socio-economic-geographical background, being 'mainlander', 'middle-class', and living in Taipei's Daan District ( Taiwan's wealthiest and coincidentally also the district with the most 'mainlander heritage' residents in Taiwan) you'd think i'd be very pro-KMT and demographic surveys have shown that those with 'mainlander' heritage and living in northern and mid-Taiwan including especially Taipei City, tend to vote overwhelmingly for pro-China KMT. I simply believe the KMT and their 'Republic of China' illusion carry too much historical baggage and belong to another era and another time.

Note: For those readers unfamiliar with Taiwan's history, the term 'mainlander' or Waishenren, refers to those Taiwanese with grandparents or ancestors came over to Taiwan post-1945. This means those whom do not usually have roots in Taiwan pre-1945 and came over after KMT rule from the Japanese after 1945. Usually it means either both their grandparents or parents are from China or one is from China and the other is local-born Taiwanese.


Anonymous said...

I must admit that whenever I think of Taiwan politics, the picture that inevitably comes to my mind are the infamous legislative brawls.

I appreciate your rational take on the Chen Shui Bian affair.

Richard@insular said...

Former President Chen has also sued the United States in the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in order to obtain his freedom.

According to Chen, Taiwan is in fact not a country, but merely "occupied territory of the United States of America." The lawsuit is 24 pages long and makes for interesting reading. Details are at --

hcpen said...

duriandave: The Taiwanese legislators are all brute barbarians..well many of them, they can't talk properly and so resort to violence when it doesn't go their way, shameful!

Richard@insular: Well, i guess it's just Chen's tactic to get out of prison, i don't support such a rationale as Taiwan is in fact an independent nation since 1945. In any case, it's never been part of the PRC, only the ROC.

Richard@insular said...

The Japanese troops in Taiwan surrendered on Oct. 25, 1945. However, the international community did not recognize any transfer of Taiwan's "territorial sovereignty" on that day.

Hence, it is incorrect to say that Taiwan has been an independent nation since 1945.

You should read Chen's lawsuit and the accompanying documentation.

In fact, the military occupation of Taiwan began on Oct. 25, 1945.

hcpen said...

Richard@insular: I'm not going to bother reading the case as its simply absurd to say that Taiwan is merely a territory 'occupied by US forces'. If that were the case, Japan and South Korea would also be mere 'territories occupied by the US armed forces' and not actual countries.

Furthermore, it is irrelevant to me whether internationally it is recognised or otherwise on Taiwan's sovereignty issue.
I believe the facts and actual 'on the ground' situation points to the reality of Taiwan having been an independent country since 1945.

Richard@insular said...

Well, I have a hard time believing that "the facts and actual 'on the ground' situation points to the reality of Taiwan having been an independent country since 1945."

Certainly, none of the Allies recognized that to be the case.

You seem quite confused about the history of Taiwan. Here is a good introduction --

hcpen said...

Richard@insular: As i said before, I do not care about the legal technicalities. Whether or not the Allies recognise Taiwan as an independent country is irrelevant.

One being a woman is a fact even if the society around doesn't recognise one as being a woman. Get it?

Taiwan has been an independent country with its own parliament, ministries, army, education system and syllabus, laws, culture,etc for decades. This will not change even if no one recognises it as an independent country.

Richard@insular said...

Well, one thing is sure: You cannot ignore the legal technicalities.

A claim of ownership to a piece of property has to be supported by the relevant legal documents, even if one has a Ministry of Propaganda which is constantly publicizing the conclusion that the property does indeed belong to so and so. In other words, the society's recognition is inadequate, the legal details must be attended to. Get it?

The Republic of China in Taiwan has been a government in exile with its own parliament, ministries, army, education system and syllabus, laws, culture,etc for decades. This is true, but this does not mean that the ROC/Taiwan is an independent sovereign nation.

As far as the ROC's international status is concerned, since it is not a member of the United Nations, of course it has no legitimate international standing.

hcpen said...

Richard@insular: Of course one needs the proper legal documents for property ownership. But to say that Taiwan is under American occupation is simply ludicrous. There is no legal documents to support this only an inference. Similarly, I 've read somewhere that Taiwan was to be returned to the ROC. Even if there wasn't any such legal documents, this should be the proper legal interpretation to be made given the context, history,etc.

I'd agree with you that the ROC doesn't have good international standing though. I don't believe it's a government in exile as i believe that even the KMT changed the constitution in the 90s relishing ownership of mainland China i think. It's position is ambiguous now.

I believe Taiwan is an independent country as it is definitely not part of the PRC (never has been) or America as even America would not admit its an occupying force in Taiwan now. Thus, its an independent sovereign nation.

The question is thus not whether Taiwan should gain independence or 'reunite' with China but whether Taiwan should REMAIN independent or join with China to form a new country.