Friday, February 17, 2006


The current copy of Time Express on HK news stand shelves has Ma Ying-jeou as cover boy and sporting this gushing grin that makes it more like he wants people to pick him up and hug him than vote for him. It's a near-total puff piece (from a magazine that's basically an ESL tool anyway) , and I expect we'll be seeing a lot of them until Taiwan's next presidential race gets into hardball mode. But this kind of thing will be paving the way. HKese, and even Chinese, really like Ma, probably because he seems sensibly whimpy to them. But talking to an HK gallery owner the other night, a person who aligns himself KMT, believes Chen Shui-bian's use of the assassination attempt amounts to election fraud, etc. - i.e. is predisposed in many ways to like Ma. But his honest judgement is that Ma is too much of a wuss to deal with Beijing without being made their bitch. "At the end of the day, Chinese politics is a very macho culture." This is also the line of Kaohsiung taxi drivers and the rest of Taiwan's south. It's funny to hear a mainlander agree.


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