Friday, May 05, 2006

Now Who's Hu Wooing, And Who's Wooing Hu?

For anybody that read page A17 of today's China Times (中國時報), the lead story (Chinese) was about the planned meeting next week in Beijing between Hu Jintao and one of Taiwan's largest tycoons, Chang Rong-fa (張榮發). So while the front page of everything is caught up with this idiotic bickering on where Chen Shui-bian can refuel his plane - I'll wager the implications are maybe a touch less than the CCP inviting Lien Chan, then treating him to a Mao-like fantasy world of adoring school kids who welcomed "grandpa" "home" - there are other cross-strait relations stories happening on the back pages that are probably more weighty.

Preparing for 3 days in Beijing and at least 5 in China next week, Chang is off to see "old friends" - including Hu, the Transportation Minister, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office, the head of the whatever bureau governs airlines, etc. - about setting up a RMB 500 million operations center in Shanghai that will service both one of the world's largest shipping companies (his Evergreen Marine) and his airline (EVA Air). Now Chang is naturally in favor of direct links, which will benefit him enormously, and it does not at all enter into the equation that he's in many ways an emblem of old-school, Japanese-loving Taiwanese tradition. Several paragraphs towards the front of the article were about how Hu Jintao has recently passed on warm greetings to Chang at every possible turn (twice in the last year, anyway). Indeed, some Taiwan-China relations are very friendly, and what's interesting here is this one doesn't fit either of the two major stereotypes of the putative debate broiling in Taiwan - between the 'Mainland-born latter day loyalists' and the 'homegrown Taiwanese identity camp.' Maybe I'm just saying this because I just read Moneyball - which has absolutely nothing to do with Taiwan, China, or even politics - but would somebody please plot some more variables!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moneyball rocks! Can you draw any A's/Yankees - Mainland/Taiwan analogies?

2:10 AM  

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