Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou, the Cracks Have Become Fissures, Part I

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Monday December 15, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Ma Ying-jeou has been president of Taiwan for some seven months and already the cracks in his counterfeit fa蓷de are becoming fissures. As one elected with a popular majority, his image, so carefully crafted in the past, has not stood up to the test of the reality and responsibility required by the role of President. Even rascals and under-achievers have had a longer honeymoon period than Ma's bare one month.

I attended one of his press conferences a little over a week ago and found it interesting to see how Taiwan's one-trick pony struggled to cling to his position. He kept repeating that he feels his government is "on the right track" so often that we wondered whether he was trying to convince us or himself.

Ma finally owned up to one of his many mistakes. Based on the information they had, his advisors projected that Taiwan's 5.7 per cent growth in this last year under Chen Shui-bian could be turned into 6 per cent by the end of his first term if he pursued his run-to-China program. That seemed a no-brainer at the time, but all it proved is that his advisors had no brains, at least economically and no vision or perspective. Their confidence in the fallible,weak structure of the China market and links was only matched by their confidence in the weak structure of the man they were advising. This will begin a series of articles on how the cracks in Ma's fa蓷de have become fissures in barely seven months.