Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chen Shui-bian Blames His Attorneys For Urging Him to Conceal Evidence

Chen Shui-bian Blames His Attorneys For Urging Him to Conceal Evidence
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 31, 2008

After a 12 hour 30 minute marathon session, Tsai Shou-hsuing and the Full Court have taken the Chen corruption case into a new realm. One. The Full Court ruled that Chen Shui-bian will be returned to custody, but that he may receive visitors. Two. Chen Shui-bian has admitted that Chen Chih-chung and his wife are seeking a plea bargain. Three. Chen Shui-bian alleges that he classified the "Southern Front Project" as Top Secret on the recommendation of his attorneys and advisors. These developments introduce new political and legal factors into the Chen corruption case.

The main impact of taking Chen back into custody, but allowing him to receive visitors, will be political. The last time the Special Investigation Unit took Chen Shui-bian into custody, prosecutors dispatched officials to meet with his defense attorneys and videotaped the meeting. It may continue using this approach. Even though it will be allowing Chen to receive visitors, this approach should enable prosecutors to reduce the possibility of collusion. But since the prohibition on receiving visitors has been lifted, the Taipei Detention Center is likely to become Chen Shui-bian's public relations center and bully pulpit. For example, visits by Wu Shu-chen, Chao Chien-ming and his wife, and Chen Chih-chung and his wife, will all become front page news. Also, whether Tsai Ing-wen or any Green Camp personalities visit him, or fail to visit him, will become a political issue.

Detention is not the same as imprisonment. Chen Shui-bian may still be able to post bail and obtain release. His current efforts are undoubtedly a fight for re-release or release on bail. Next year's county magistrates and city mayors elections are also targets. If Ah-Bian is unable to play a role in next year's county magistrates and city mayors elections, he will lose a lot of his political bargaining chips. Therefore, regardless of whether he is kept in custody, he will attempt to manipulate the outcome of the county magistrates and city mayors elections. The only difference will be whether he can emerge from detention to campaign on behalf of the candidates. Either that, or an endless stream of candidates will visit him while he remains in custody. Chen Shui-bian knows he can not be optimistic about the outcome of his trial. Therefore he must make a last ditch effort on the political front. Being taken into custody but not being prohibited from receiving visitors, may provide Ah-Bian with the perfect bully pulpit. To the Democratic Progressive Party however, Ah-Bian being allowed to receive visitors amounts to headache, because whether or not DPP leaders ought to visit him will become a new bone of contention.

Chen Shui-bian says Chen Chih-chung and his wife are seeking a plea bargain, and would like to return 570 million dollars from their overseas accounts. This was what the Special Investigation Unit referred to when it described Chen and his wife as "unrepentant," and meriting "heavy punishment." It said the 570 million dollars, whose whereabouts were unclear, was evidence in danger of disappearing. Only then was it able to smoke Chen Shui-bian out of his lair. In order to save his son and his daughter-in-law, under pressure of being returned to custody, Chen Shui-bian was already vulnerable. Chen Chih-chung and his wife's plea bargain, at this late date, is less a plea bargain than an attempt to get off scot-free. Investigative authorities should demand that the "Cape 700 million" and the 570 million in the bank vault be returned. They should order the Chen family to map out their entire money-laundering operation, Including their accounts in the United States and Japan. Otherwise, how can their "confession" be considered a genuine confession? A genuine plea bargain?

During the hearing, Chen Shui-bian confessed that the "Southern Front Project" was phony. He blamed his attorneys for urging him to classify the "Southern Front Project" as Top Secret. This amounted to a confession that his classification of evidence as Top Secret was phony, and that his motive was to conceal evidence of criminal wrongdoing and obstruct justice. In other words, Chen Shui-bian has confessed to instructing his attorneys to conceal evidence, and of abusing the power of his office to destroy evidence. This of course is something the Special Investigation Unit also ought to investigate immediately.

With these revelations, Chen Shui-bian's protestations of innocence rang utterly hollow. They further undermined whatever trust might have existed among Chen Shui-bian, his codefendants, witnesses, attorneys, and supporters. On the one hand, Chen Shui-bian confessed that he fabricated the "Southern Front Project." On the other hand, he blames his attorneys and advisors. He did something similar when he leaked that Wu Li-pei laundered money for a "nation-building fund," when he leaked that Tsai Chen-yuan arranged to stash Chen's money in a bank vault, when he blamed Premier Yu Shyi-kun for the Longtan scandal, and when he leaked information about Lee Teng-hui's own money laundering operations. In short, anyone can become Chen's sacrificial victim, as long as he can help Chen gain acquittal, including Lee Teng-hui, Yu Shyi-kun, or Ku Li-hsiung.

Chen Shui-bian's lack of trustworthiness, his lack of scruples, his willingness to betray his comrades, ought to have alerted witnesses and defense attorneys to the dangers of colluding with Chen. Yesterday, after the court dajourned, Cheng Wen-long actually said he was unaware of any "plea bargain." Even Chen's own defense attorneys have been kept in the dark.

Tsai Shou-hsuing has succeeded in getting Ah-Bian back into custody. Chen Shui-bian originally claimed he was completely innocent. Then he admitted that Chen Chi-chung was seeking a plea bargain. Finally he claimed his attorneys and advisors urged him to conceal evidence. Tsai has essentially forced Chen Shui-bian to reenact his defense strategy, from beginning to end, and forced him to reveal a number of major holes in his story. This is beneficial to the future progress of the trial. The court's decision to detain Chen, but not prohibit him from receiving visitors, has responded to "civil rights" demands. But it has also left Chen Shui-bian walking a legal and political tightrope. It may seem to have provided a political stage for Chen Shui-bian. But it also leaves Chen Shui-bian vulnerable, caught between legal and political battlelines. When Chen must appear before a judge, or can campaign on behalf of a candidate, is not up to him.

According to the western calendar, it is New Year's Eve. Chen Shui-bian is back in custody. For the public on Taiwan, isn't this a case of "out with the old, and in with the new?"

2008.12.31 04:11 am

經過十二小時三十分鐘的審理馬拉松,蔡守訓的合議庭將扁案帶進了新情勢:一、合議庭裁定,陳水扁收押,不禁見;二、陳水扁供稱,陳致中夫婦正尋求認罪協 商;三、陳水扁又供稱,因律師團與幕僚建議,所以將虛假的「南線專案」核定為絕對機密。這類新發展,將使扁案在政治面及法律面皆出現新變數。

收押,不禁見;主要的效應將發生在政治面。由於特偵組在陳水扁前次羈押時,曾派有檢察事務官對律師會見進行錄音錄影;此一方法今後可能繼續採用,則雖開放 面會,串證風險應可管制。然而,禁見既解,北所即很可能成為陳水扁的新聞工廠與政治舞台。例如,吳淑珍、趙建銘夫婦、陳致中夫婦的探監,皆將成為新聞焦 點;再如,蔡英文是否探監,及綠營何人探監、何人不探監,亦將成為政治話題。

何況,羈押畢竟不是服刑,陳水扁仍有保釋或開釋的可能性;他當下的努力無疑是以再爭取開釋或保釋為首務,並以明年縣市長選舉前出監為目標。因為,扁若在明 年縣市長選舉中失去角色,他的政治籌碼將嚴重流失;所以,屆時不論他在押或出監,縣市長選舉皆將成為其政治操作的題材。差異僅在,若出監即可上台輔選,或 在押則可預見探監的候選人絡繹於途。陳水扁已知其訴訟結局無可樂觀,因而必將全力在政治面作最後拚搏;而「收押,不禁見」,對扁而言,也許正是吸引視聽焦 點的最佳舞台。但是,對民進黨而言,不禁見卻是頭痛的問題;因為,探監與否,勢將成為路線鬥爭的新標籤。

陳水扁供稱,陳致中夫婦正尋求認罪協商,並願將存在海外的五點七億匯回。這是在特偵組指陳致中夫婦「惡性不輕」並求「從重量刑」,及指五點七億下落未明而 有「湮滅證據之虞」的雙管濃煙齊下,將陳水扁這隻狐狸嗆出洞來。陳水扁為了拯救子媳,且在回押的壓力下,其無罪抗辯的防禦工事到此已崩裂了一個大缺口。但 是,陳致中夫婦至今日地步始有此舉,與其說是「認罪協商」,不如說是脫罪手段;偵審當局除應命其剋日將承諾匯回的海角七億及金庫五點七億匯到,亦當命其供 出全球洗錢的全圖,包括美日帳戶。否則,豈能視為「認罪」?又如何「協商」?

這次庭訊中,陳水扁供認「南線專案」是偽造的,並咬出是律師建議將「南線專案」核定為絕對機密;這不啻證實,其所稱絕對機密根本是假的,而核定為絕對機密 之目的,是在隱匿證據,干擾審判。換句話說,陳水扁供認了律師教唆他隱匿罪證,而他自己則利用職務湮滅證據;這當然是特偵組應立即追加偵訴的項目。

此一情節的揭露,進一步顯示陳水扁的無罪辯護已漸趨土崩瓦解,也可能進一步破壞了陳水扁與同案被告、證人、律師或支持者之間的信賴關係。其實,陳水扁可以 自己一肩承擔偽造「南線專案」的罪責,但他卻指控是律師及幕僚唆使;這與他主動洩漏吳澧培為「建國基金」洗錢,又主動爆料蔡鎮宇為他安排藏金庫,再主動指 控龍潭案是行政院長游錫?所指使,更演出「抓耙子」告發李登輝洗錢,皆可謂是異曲同工。反正,所有的人皆可能成為陳水扁自求脫罪的犧牲品,包括李登輝、游 錫?或顧立雄。


蔡守訓的羈押庭頗有斬獲。一方面,從陳水扁一開始的「全盤無罪辯護」到最後的「陳致中認罪協商」及「律師教唆隱匿罪證」,可謂已將陳水扁的通盤辯護架構 「演習」了一遍,並逼出了幾個重大缺口,有利未來審判之順利進行。另一方面,「收押,不禁見」的裁定,回應了「人權」的部分主張,卻亦使陳水扁將處於司法 與政治兩條戰線互動的高度緊張之中;這雖然看似為陳水扁提供了舞台,但也可能使陳水扁在司法及政治兩條戰線上皆陷於被動;因為,法官傳他出庭,與候選人利 用他探監造勢,皆非操之在扁。


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Taiwan 2008: From the Second Change in Ruling Parties to the Indictment of Chen Shui-bian

Taiwan 2008: From the Second Change in Ruling Parties to the Indictment of Chen Shui-bian
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 30, 2008

In 2008 the political scene on Taiwan underwent a dramatic change. At the beginning of 2008, the island underwent a second change in ruling parties. By the end of 2008, on December 12, Chen Shui-bian had been indicted for corruption and money-laundering. In 2008 cross-Strait relations also underwent a dramatic change. At the beginning of 2008, agitation for a "Join the UN Plebiscite." At the end of 2008, implementation of direct links.

These two threads: internal political struggle and cross-Strait relations affect each other. This article will address the first thread, internal political struggle. Cross-Strait relations will be addressed in a separate article.

The second change in ruling parties has totally replaced the nation's value system. With regards internal political struggles, Ma Ying-jeou's vision of our nation's future has replaced Chen Shui-bian's. Ma has adopted a no to reunification, no to Taiwan independence, no to nation-building, and no to war position. Ma has chosen to uphold the constitution, implement the constitution, amend the constitution, and to reject the "rectification of names and the authoring of a new constitution." With regards cross-Strait relations, Ma champions direct links and rejects confrontation. Ma champions ethnic harmony and rejects social divisiveness. Ma champions clean government and rejects corruption. Ma has rejected officials such as Tu Cheng-sheng, Chuang Kuo-jung, and Ye Sheng-mao. We can now look forward to the emergence of a new kind of public official.

Therefore this is not your ordinary, run of the mill, "second change in ruling parties." The nation's entire value system has been completely replaced. Of the 113 seats in the Legislature, the KMT won 82, over two-thirds. The Blue Camp won 86, over three-quarters. During the presidential election Ma Ying-jeou received over 58 percent of the vote, 7.65 million ballots. These results show that the nation's value system has been replaced, in toto. The Democratic Progressive Party, held hostage by Chen Shui-bian, was defeated in the legislative elections and the presidential election. It was defeated because voters punished it for its pro independence stance and rampant corruption. December 12th's indictment represents Chen Shui-bian being brought to justice for his crimes.

In fact, 2008 represents voters making a decisive, across the board choice about their future. The lifting of martial law was followed by two decades of political and economic turmoil. By promoting "nativist values," Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian unquestionably cultivated a "Taiwan-centric" mentality. Lee Teng-hui established a precedent for Taiwan independence. Chen Shui-bian raised the ante. Together, they tore society apart, closed the nation's doors, precipated political chaos, and deeply wounded the nation and society. Lee's black gold and Chen's unbridled greed, corrupted the body politic. As we have said before, Lee and Chen may have led Taiwan across a river, but they landed on the wrong shore. In 2008, voters attempted to heal the wounds caused by Lee and Chen's two decades of misrule. They are hoping for national rebirth and national reconstruction, and see the day Chen was indicted as a day of national rebirth and national reconstruction.

But shifting winds have taken everyone by surprise. The legislative elections and presidential election at the beginning of the year were political sanctions. The voters used the electoral system to punish Chen Shui-bian and the DPP. Chen's indictment at the end of the year, was the justice system's verdict against Chen Shui-bian's corruption. Alas, the electoral process has failed to clear the air, and the legal process has failed to distinguish right from wrong. Chen Shui-bian refuses to confess his crimes. He screams he is a "victim of political persecution." His supporters insist "Chen Shui-bian is innocent." The "reasoning" behind this equation is "If Chen Shui-bian falls, Taiwan falls!"

Meanwhile, the two elections at the beginning of the year produced two new leaders, Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen. So far both have failed to meet the expecations their supporters had for them. Ma Ying-jeou still can't decide how to position himself. Does he want to stand on the front line, or hide out in the rear echelon? Does he want to be both president and party chairman, or does he feel the two roles should be filled by two different people? Does he want to remain an idol to his fans, or does he want to get his hands dirty in the political mud? He seems forever paralyzed by his own media image. When it comes to real world leadership, he often finds himself at a complete loss. As for Tsai Ing-wen, she attempted to initiate a "post-Chen Shui-bian era," only to find herself marginalized by the Green Camp and the DPP. Her hopes of transforming the Democratic Progressive Party have been dashed.

The year 2008 was an historic opportunity for reflection about the ROC's democracy. This golden opportunity is in danger of being frittered away. Ma Ying-jeou is unable to inspire the nation. Tsai Ing-wen is unable to change the DPP. The entire island remains caught in the maze of the Chen corruption case. A minority of Chen Shui-bian supporters have paralyzed the island, and are choking the life out of her.

Faced with such a situation, the public can not help wondering. What, if anything, can save democracy and constitutional government? America's has elected a black man president. India on the other hand, has been unable to change its caste system. Both are democracies. So why are the results so different?

Can the second change in ruling parties in 2008 save the ROC's democracy and constitutional government? Can the prosecution of the Chen corruption case save the ROC's democracy and constitutional government? And if not, what can?

2008.12.30 02:53 am



這 番「二次政黨輪替」,可謂是國家整體價值體系的全面取捨。就人物風格言,取馬英九,捨陳水扁;就國家路線言,取不統、不獨、不武,捨台獨建國;就憲政架構 言,取護憲、行憲、修憲,捨正名制憲;就兩岸關係言,取大三通,捨尖銳對立;就社會號召言,取族群融合,捨撕裂社會;就政風品操言,取清廉,捨貪腐。甚至 就官員品類言,亦是對杜正勝、莊國榮、葉盛茂之輩的否決,而期待新典型出現……。

因而,這不是一般的「二次政黨輪替」,而是國家整體價值 體系的大取捨、大換置,與大抉擇。一一三席立委選舉,國民黨贏得八十二席,逾三分之二;泛藍得八十六席,逾四分之三。總統選舉,馬英九得票率為五十八%, 得票數七六五萬。這些皆顯示選民對國家價值體系的大取捨、大換置與大抉擇。至於被陳水扁所挾持的民進黨,在立委選舉及總統大選皆遭大敗,正是因其台獨路線 及貪腐行徑受到選民的制裁;直至一二一二大起訴,則是將陳水扁的罪行交付司法審判。

其實,二○○八年的台灣,形同選民對解嚴後二十年來的 政經激盪,作出了總結性的反省與抉擇。李登輝與陳水扁,對於本土意識的鼓吹,確曾充實並鞏固了台灣的主體性;但由李登輝始作俑、再經陳水扁變本加厲的台獨 路線,撕裂社會、鎖國亂政,卻使國家社會創巨痛深。尤其,李的黑金,與扁的貪腐,更使政治體質沉淪敗壞。我們曾說,李陳二人也許帶領台灣過了河,卻上錯了 岸;選民遂在二○○八年為二十年來的扁李路線療傷止痛,並期待國家社會得以新生再造。尤其,在原本的想像與期待中,扁案起訴之時,即應是國家社會新生再造 之日。

但是,情勢的演變卻出乎想像與期待之外。年初的立委選舉及總統大選,可謂是選舉制度及選民對陳水扁與民進黨的政治制裁;年底的大起 訴,則是司法體制將對陳水扁的貪腐進行審判。但是,如今顯現的情勢卻是,選舉投票不能激濁揚清,司法似也不能澄明是非;陳水扁仍不認錯,四處呼號「政治迫 害」,而其支持者仍然主張「阿扁無罪」。這一股勢力的主軸論述是:「阿扁若倒,台灣就倒!」

相對而言,年初兩次大選後出現的兩位新領袖, 馬英九與蔡英文,卻迄今未能在各自的領域中,發揮其自我期許與受社會付託的角色與功能。馬英九迄今仍在「第一線/第二線」、「黨政同步/黨政分離」、「粉 絲偶像/戰場領袖」之間不知如何自我定位;似乎始終沉浸在他自成一格的思維與論述中,卻在實際的領導統御上往往不得要領,搔不著癢處。至於蔡英文,亦從朝 向「沒有陳水扁的時代」的道路中,被綠營與民進黨邊緣化及無意義化,民進黨的轉型再造亦已落空。




Monday, December 29, 2008

Wearing a Helmet, Welcoming the Pandas

Wearing a Helmet, Welcoming the Pandas
United Daily News editorial
A Translation
December 29, 2008

Cross-strait links have been kicked off amidst an air of festivity. The KMT-CPC forum concluded with much to show. A pair of pandas from Sichuan named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan are coming to Taiwan as ambassadors of peace. Yet at a time when the Taiwan Strait is filled with the atmosphere of reconciliation, President Ma Ying-jeou donned an army helmet while reviewing the troops during live-fire exercises.

President Ma said that cross-Strait relations may be improving, but that does not mean we no longer need a military capability. We still need to make military preparations and enhance up our military capabilities. We must not negotiate out of fear.

President Ma is not raining on everyones' parade. He is merely reminding us that we must remain vigilant amidst peace. Indeed, the government must not reduce its military preparedness. Although the mainland has repeatedly stated that it desires a peaceful solution to the Taiwan problem, it has not changed its position on the use of force. The public must be aware of this, and remain cautious.

During decades of cross-Strait confrontation, the mainland's policy toward Taiwan has gradually softened. Early rhetoric calling for a "Taiwan bloodbath" and "the liberation of Taiwan" has changed to "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems," and to "maintaining the status quo," and finally to implicit recognition of "One China, Different Interpretations." This shows that the mainland authorities have adopted a calmer attitude. The "Anti-Secession Law" reserves the right to use of force against "de jure Taiwan independence." Nevertheless the mainland ought to make clear that it will not use force against Taiwan, for at least three reasons.

One. Those who support and participate in the Taiwan independence movement are a minority. The vast majority of the public on Taiwan want peaceful coexistence. It is unfair for the mainland to intimidate everyone on Taiwan in response to the behavior of a small number of radical Taiwan independence advocates. It also runs counter to the mainland's policy of "pinning its hopes on the people of Taiwan."

Two. Modern weapons of mass destruction are extraordinarily destructive. If the mainland attacks Taiwan, it could turn Taiwan into a wilderness. Would the mainland really want such a result? People may disagree about how many died during the 228 Incident in 1947. But bad blood lingers 60 years later. If the mainland is determined to attack Taiwan, the result may be corpses everywhere. How will they deal with the aftermath? How will they answer to history?

Three. The mainland has always referred to the public on Taiwan as compatriots. What is the rationale behind using modern weapons to kill one's fellow countrymen? Two decades after the Tiananmen incident, mainland officials still refuse to face the truth. One reason is they want to maintain social stability. The other is probably inner guilt. How can even one such mistake be allowed to occur on Taiwan?

Of these three reasons, we would like to place special emphasis on the third. On the 24th of this month, the United Daily News' "Public Forum" published an editorial entitled "Three times Chiang Kai-shek prevented the the United States from using nuclear weapons against the Chinese mainland." According to Chiang's diary, the United States was secretly preparing to attack the Chinese mainland during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It was considering dropping atomic bombs. Chiang Kai-shek clearly expressed his opposition, and sought to dissuade or discourage advocates of such a move.

Ever since the Communist Party defeated Chiang Kai-shek and forced him to retreat to Taiwan, he thought of nothing but "retaking the mainland," and "avenging a national humilation." But the ROC's military power was far from sufficient. Since the United States was willing to help, by using its bombs, in principle Chiang should have been pleased. He should have taken the easy way out. But Chiang Kai-shek was determined not to do so, and made this quite clear in his diary. A nuclear strike against the mainland "would have an adverse impact on the people." Many who have read this article feel that the mainland authorities' attitude toward Taiwan ought to be the same as Mr. Chiang's. Only then can cross-Strait relations improve.

During the Spring and Autumn Period, warlords fought each other tooth and nail, year after year. Corpses filled the trenches. King Xiang of Wei asked Mencius, "How can we achieve peace?" Mencius replied, "By promoting unity." King Xiang of Wei asked "But who can promote unity?" Mencius replied, "He who is unwilling to kill others can promote unity."

During the ROC's 2008 presidential election one of the primary planks in Ma Ying-jeou's campaign platform was a peace agreement with the mainland. Following his election and inauguration he has continued to promote this proposal. This sort of unwillingness to kill others is the proper basis for cross-Strait interaction. A peace agreement offers people on both sides of the Strait the hope of peace. It offers a long-term framework for win/win cross-Strait interaction.

If the mainland relinquishes the use of force against Taiwan, that will help convince the public on Taiwan that the mainland has put humanism and human rights above political struggle. When the panda ambassadors for peace arrived on Taiwan, President Ma wore an army helmet and spoke of war and peace. The dramatic contrast reflects Taiwan's hopes and fears for cross-Strait relations.

2008.12.29 03:01 am




兩岸對峙數十年來,大陸對台政策一步步往和緩的方向演進,從早期的「血洗台灣」、「解放台灣」到「和平統一,一國兩制」,以迄目前「維持現狀」的說詞,以 及對「一中各表」的默認,在在顯示大陸當局已漸走向理性。至於《反分裂國家法》所保留的動武條件,亦只是針對「法理台獨」。但是我們仍然認為,大陸應當明 言不對台灣動武,理由至少有三點:


第二、現代武器殺傷力特強,大陸如進攻台灣,可能使台灣變成廢墟荒原。這樣的一塊土地,難道是大陸想要的嗎?再說,一九四七年一次意外的「二二八事件」, 死亡人數尚眾說紛紜,而仇恨之結已六十年難解;若大陸立意攻台,結果或將是「屍橫遍野」,那將如何善後?又如何向歷史交代?



蔣介石自從敗於共產黨退守台灣,無時無刻不以「反攻大陸」、「雪恥復國」為念。但台灣自身軍力遠遠不足,既有美國拔「彈」相助,理應喜出望外、因利乘便才 對。但蔣介石堅決不為,並在日記中明言,核襲大陸「對於民心將有不利之影響」。很多閱過此文的讀者都認為,大陸對台灣的態度,應向蔣先生看齊,庶幾兩岸關 係能有進一步發展的空間。




Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Financial Supervisory Crisis

A Financial Supervisory Crisis
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 26, 2008

Just exactly who is responsible for the financial crisis of the century? Nobel laureate in economics history Joseph E. Stiglitz says the crisis is the result of a series of policy failures. He sternly criticized former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank Alan Greenspan's laissez-faire policies for creating a major catastrophe. He said that when Greenspan lowered interest rates a few years ago, capital flooded the market. Coupled with a lack of market standards, this eventually led to the collapse of financial markets. He believes the financial crisis is forcing many nations' financial supervisory agencies to re-examine their position regarding financial liberalization.

Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, Greenspan has been roundly criticized. The criticisms have fallen into two categories. One. Greenspan's last wave of rate cuts lowered Interest rates too far, and for too long. It planted the seeds of the housing market bubble and inflation. Two. The Federal Reserve Bank adopted a laissez-faire attitude toward financial markets. It failed to fulfill the role of financial supervisor. It allow investment banks to take risks, and commercial banks to make housing loans to consumers unable to pay them back.

Faced with criticism, Greenspan, who believes in liberalism, came to his own defense. He said it was unfair to engage in Monday morning quarterbacking. But in late October of this year, during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing, he admitted for the first time that he made a mistake. He said he was wrong to have assumed that, based on self-interest, banks would do all they could to protect the rights and interests of shareholders. He said he was wrong to have opposed more stringent controls on derivatives.

Investment bank Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on September 15. The U.S. government launched an unprecedented relief program amounting to 700 billion USD, 250 billion of which will prop up the bank, by providing it with additional capital. But by mid-November, the tense situation in financial markets still had not eased. The situation remains worrisome. Stiglitz does not believe these programs can alleviate the situation in a timely manner. It's all a matter of confidence. In the final analysis, the basic mistake is to believe that "the market can regulate itself, and that the government's role ought to be reduced to a minimum."

The financial crisis was caused by the U.S. housing market bubble. It spread to the banking system, and caused the stock market to crash. Not only did banks distrust other banks, banks and their customers were also forced to re-examine their relationship. Millions in the United States have had their homes repossessed. Countless more workers are now unemployed. No one expected such tragic consequences Even Greenspan was forced to admit his mistakes. But for others, what really matters, is how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Look at the United States. Now look at the Republic of China. Before and after the change in ruling parties, financial liberalization and deregulation have been an endlessly repeated mantra. But our financial markets have never been either sufficiently open, or sufficiently disciplined. The Ma administration began repeating the mantra over a decade ago. He spoke of plans for an Asian-Pacific financial center, and advocated liberalization and deregulation. But in the eyes of foreign banks, our level of financial liberalization was a far cry from that of Europe and the United States. Leave aside the question of whether agencies responsible for financial supervision neglected their duties. Our financial industry's compliance with the law is also a far cry from those in Europe and the United States.

Take one of the most sensitive issues, money-laundering controls, for example. The ROC has long been diligent in combatting international money-laundering. But when the Chen family money-laundering scandals erupted, many heavyweight financial holding company bosses were implicated. Some confessed that they helped the Chen family launder both NT dollars and US dollars through dummy overseas accounts. Some helped the Chen family move 740 million NT in cash out of their bank vaults. These are not things bankers normally do. Frankly, without such experts advising and assisting the Chen family, the Chen family would never have been able to launder several billion dollars in money by itself.

For an banker to engage in money-laundering is a serious matter. Not only would their integrity be brought into question, they would face criminal charges. But on Taiwan, many bankers involved in money-laundering continued to serve as board chairmen or general managers. Agencies responsible for the supervision of financial institutions passively waited for prosecutors to investigate. So far they have neither attempted to understand nor to prosecute these crimes. Perhaps these agencies' tacit approval is rooted in other considerations. But the bottom line is these agencies are passively abetting these bankers' money-laundering practices.

Taiwan is dreaming if it expects to become an Asian-Pacific financial center amidst the current financial crisis. Taiwan's bankers have shown no intention of complying with even the spirit of the law. Agencies responsible for the supervision of financial institutions have done absolutely nothing. Under such circumstances, our financial industry will find it hard to rid itself of its image as a notorious money-laundering center. Agencies responsible for the supervision of financial institutions had better understand they are responsible for these consequences.

中國時報  2008.12.26

百年罕見的金融大海嘯究竟是誰的錯?諾貝爾經濟獎得主史迪格里茲(Joseph E. Stiglitz)撰文指出,這是一系列政策失誤造成,他並嚴詞批評美國前聯準會主席葛林史班的自由放任政策釀成大禍。他認為葛老在前幾年把利率降至最 低,資金氾濫加上對市場缺乏規範,最後導致金融市場崩盤,而這場金融大海嘯也讓各國金融監理機關對金融自由化有了新的反省與檢討。

金融海嘯爆發以來,葛老飽受批評。外界的批評主要有兩方面,首先,葛老在上一波不景氣的降息政策,利率降得太低且持續太久,埋下日後房市泡沫與通膨的種 子;其次,聯準會對金融市場採取放任態度,未能扮演好金融監督者的角色,讓投資銀行鋌而走險,商業銀行把房屋貸款借給無力償還的消費者。


投資銀行雷曼兄弟於九月十五日宣告破產之後,美國政府推出空前的七千億美元紓困方案,其中二千五百億美元將挹注岌岌可危的銀行以補足其資本結構,但金融市 場緊張的情勢到了十一月中旬仍未緩解,情況令人憂心。史迪格里茲認為這些方案未能適時發揮功效,完全是信心問題,所有錯誤歸根究柢就是「相信市場可以自我 調整,政府的角色可以降至最低。」

這次金融危機起因於美國房市泡沫,擴散至銀行體系、股市的大崩盤,不僅銀行與銀行之間互不信任,銀行與客戶之間的關係亦重新檢視,美國數百萬人房子被查 封,更有數不清的勞工失業。這樣的悲慘後果,不僅事先無人料到,精明的葛老也不得不認錯。不過,對其他人而言,更重要的是,未來如何避免重蹈覆轍。

看看美國,再想想台灣。政權輪替前後,台灣的金融自由化與大鬆綁的口號從來沒有停止過,不過,我們的金融市場一直處於開放不夠,紀律也不足的情況。馬政府 上台後,延續十多年前的口號,重新喊出亞太金融中心的計畫,標榜自由化與大鬆綁。在外商銀行的眼中,我們的金融自由化程度與歐美的金融中心,還差了一大 截。不過,從金融監理的角度,姑且先不論主管機關是否把金融監理當一回事,實務上,我們的金融業者對於法律的遵守,與歐美國家相比也有一大段距離。

以最敏感的洗錢防制為例,台灣向來在國際間反洗錢方面有良好的表現,不過,最近爆發的扁家洗錢案為例,多家重量級金控大老闆或負責人捲入其中,有人承認協 助將扁家的新台幣、美鈔透過人頭匯出海外,有人協助從銀行保管室搬出七億四千萬元現金,這些行為均違背了正常銀行家該做的事。坦白說,如果沒有這些行家獻 策協助扁家洗錢,光是扁一家人恐怕也無法完成龐大的數十億元洗錢案。

在國外,如果有銀行家涉入洗錢案,這是非常嚴重的事,不僅道德誠信方面受到大眾質疑,還有刑事責任;在台灣,許多涉入洗錢的銀行家仍照常擔任董事長或總經 理,金融監理機關除了被動等待檢調的調查,迄今未採取任何行動進行了解與處置,或許主管機關的默許可能另有特殊的考量,但如此的不作為無異縱容銀行家可以 從事這些不尋常的洗錢行為。

在這波金融大海嘯衝擊下,台灣要成為亞太金融中心,恐怕更是一個遙不可及的夢想,不過,如果台灣的銀行家連最基本遵守法令精神都蕩然無存,金融監理機關對 於這些缺乏金融紀律金融業負責人亦放任不管,那麼,台灣的金融業恐怕很難在國際上擺脫洗錢的臭名。金融監理機關這樣的放任政策會引發什麼後果,最好先盤算 清楚。

How Will the Justice System Eliminate Political Influence?

How Will the Justice System Eliminate Political Influence?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 25, 2008

The Chen Shui-bian corruption and money-laundering case is under attack from both the Blue Camp and the Green Camp. Yesterday judge Chou Chan-chun publicly stated that he need not try the Chen case. He said that if Tsai Shou-hsiung, the judge in Wu Shu-chen's State Affairs Fund case, would be willing to take over before the trial begins, he would be happy to hand the four Chen family scandals over to him. The embarrassing thing is that Tsai Shou-hsiung, fearing he would be accused of political interference, has no intention of taking sole responsibility for the Chen family corruption cases. The first problem the Taipei District Court faces is, who is going to try the case?

Is Chou Chan-chun Blue or Green? After he released Ah-Bian for the second time, the Blue Camp has been wondering. A number of legislators discovered that among the 37 cases Chou Chan-chun tried in recent years, only two defendants were not detained. The other 35 defendants were. The legislators had to laugh. Chou has never been someone who places great importance on human rights when prosecuting suspects. Even more disturbingly, the Blue Camp learned that during the presidential election Chou Chan-chun canvassed votes for Chen Shui-bian, and privately confided that had Ma Ying-jeou wound up in his courtroom during the Discretionary Fund case, Chou "would undoubtedly have sentenced him (Ma) to 10 years!" In the eyes of the Blue Camp, and even the public, Chou Chan-chun's words and deeds have left the impression that his political loyalties might determine his legal judgments.

Of course, whether Chou Chan-chun's political affiliation would actually affect his court decisions must be verified. When prosecutor Liu Chen-wu openly campaigned for Ah-Bian, he was harshly criticized. Chou Chan-chun did not campaign openly. He merely canvassed votes in private. Other members of the judiciary have undoubtedly canvassed privately for Ma Ying-jeou. As long as they do not campaign openly, that does not constitute a breach of ethics for judges. Did he in fact say that he would have sentenced Ma to 10 years? Because we never heard his remark in context, it is hard to say whether he is Blue or Green. For example, he might merely be someone who demands impeccable integrity in public officials. If he sentenced Ma to 10 years, he might have sentenced Ah-Bian to an unexpectedly long term. The Blue Camp's criticism of him is a form of pressure. The Green Camp's cheering him on, isn't necessarily to his advantage. Judges perceived as ideologically biased, are likely to find their careers limited. Even if he believes himself just, any verdict he renders will be in doubt. This is without question a major blow to the credibility of the justice system.

Chou Chan-chun has yet to actually preside over Ah-Bian's case. People from all walks of life have speculated about his words and deeds, and attempted to read his thoughts. This may not be fair. But he is the trial judge in a corruption case involving a former head of state, one that has attracted the attention of the nation, and even the world. It was inevitable that he would be placed under a microscope and subject to detailed scrutiny. Such criticisms of Chou Chan-chun have precedents. Public Prosecutor Chang Hsi-huai investigated and prosecuted Wu Shu-chen for the State Affairs Fund case. He was harassed by the Green Camp wherever he went. Public officials, from the central to local government level, as well as Pan Green pressure groups and TV talk show hosts mobilized, en masse. He was even accused of "treason" for participating in cross-Strait professional exchanges. He was harassed so relentlessly he lost his composure and broke down in tears. Despite the absence of court appearances, Chou Chan-chun is in a much better situation.

The sums of money involved in the Chen family corruption scandal are mind-boggling. The trail the money left is as tangled as a spider web. The case involves every member of the First Family. The Green Camp is adept at manipulating the emotions of their followers, as a way of applying political pressure. Politics will inevitably interfere with court cases. Anyone who might threaten the Chen family, will be subjected to all manner of harassment. Anyone who might be helpful to the Chen family, will win their applause.

The Blue Camp has circled the Chen family scandal for three or four years. It has not mobilized its forces to the same extent as the Green Camp, but it feels just as strongly about such matters. During the Special Investigation Unit's investigation of the Chen family scandal, Blue Camp legislators and TV talk show hosts questioned the Special Investigation Unit's excessive deference toward Ah-Bian and other concerned parties. When the Special Investigation Unit began its first wave of prosecutions, they suspected the Special Investigation Unit of sloppiness, and wondered whether it was deliberately leaving defendants loopholes through which they could escape. They have never trusted Chou Chan-chun.

Both the Blue Camp and the Green Camp have critiqued the judicial system's handling of these cases, based on their own political stances. They have applied pressure, hoping to influence the outcome of the cases. These are all abberations from the norm. But they are also expressions of free speech, which a democratic society cannot prohibit. When independent prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald investigated U.S. President Bill Clinton's Monicagate and Whitewater cases, his impartiality was questioned. Many dismissed him as a "Republican." Fitzgerald was indeed a Republican. But if a Democratic president is involved in a scandal or corruption, who says a Republican cannot investigate him?

For a judge, impartiality and independence are fundamental. Is Chou Chan-chun a reformist, or a hatchetman? People will draw their own conclusions. From the very beginning, the Chen corruption case has been dogged by political interference. Prosecutors and judges have hobnobbed with politicians. The judicial system needs to do some serious soul-searching, and figure out how to eliminate political influence from the trial process.

中國時報  2008.12.25

扁 案在藍綠夾擊下,周占春法官日昨公開表示,他不是非審扁案不可,如果前審吳淑珍國務機要費案的法官蔡守訓願意,他很樂意將扁家四大弊案,全部併案移送蔡守 訓。尷尬的是,或許是畏懼政治干擾,連蔡守訓都無意承攬全部的扁家弊案。扁案偵結,台北地方法院碰到的第一個難題竟是:到底由誰承審?

周 占春到底是藍是綠?從他二度釋扁以來,一直備受藍營質疑,立委找出周占春近年承審的卅七個案件,只有兩件未押,其他卅五件都裁定羈押,譏笑周根本不是重視 司法人權的人;更麻煩的是,藍營還找得出來周占春在總統大選時為陳水扁拉票,馬英九特別費案在司法審理程序時周竟私下表示,此案若落到他手中,「一定判他 (馬)十年!」周占春的言行在藍營,甚至在部分民眾眼中,已形成立場可能左右判決之印象。

不過,周占春「私下」的政治言行,是否真正影響 他專業的司法判決,還是要實證檢驗,比方說,當年檢察官劉承武公然為扁站台輔選,就被嚴重質疑,但周並未公開站台,只是私下拉票,相信司法界同樣有私下為 馬拉票者,只要不是公開站台,就無違司法官的專業規範!至於他到底有沒有說過要判馬十年之事?因為沒聽到周的前言後語,也很難以此定論其藍綠,比方說,他 可能是對清廉非常堅持之人,對馬都要判十年,若以此標準問他對扁案可能判幾年,他的答案也可能出乎意外的重。藍營批評他,對周是壓力;綠營褒揚他,對他也 未必有利。政治立場被「鎖定」的法官,除非有相當定力,其司法專業空間難免就被限縮,即使他自信公正,但任何判決結果都會遭懷疑,這對司法的威信無疑是最 大打擊。

對周占春而言,他還未開始真正審理扁案,各界即以他過去言行或交往對象,揣測其心證,未盡公平;但是,身為舉國、甚至世界矚目的 元首弊案承審法官,難免遭到質疑與非議,周占春被批評,還有過去的言行為憑;對比當年偵辦吳淑珍國務機要費案的公訴檢察官張熙懷,遭到綠營鋪天蓋地般圍 剿,從中央到地方公職,從各類綠營社團到電視名嘴,全面發動,連他因為兩岸司法交流赴大陸,都被批評為「叛國」,終至落淚,情緒失控,甚至缺席法庭的情 境,周占春的處境其實好多了。


綠 營如此,藍營與扁家弊案周旋三、四年,儘管動員能量沒有綠營強,但愛之欲其生、恨之欲其死,幾無二致。特偵組偵辦扁家弊案過程中,藍營部分立委到電視名 嘴,一而再、再而三質疑特偵組辦案對扁過分禮遇,對關係人過分禮遇,待特偵組第一波偵結起訴,又懷疑特偵組急乎乎起訴,是否故意留下漏洞?乃至對周占春的 審理,始終不信任。

不論藍的、綠的,對司法偵辦審理中的案件,以自己所愛的立場評論、施壓,甚至希望藉此影響案件進行的方向,這些都是不 正常的現象,但卻都是民主社會沒辦法禁絕的言論自由。就像美國獨立檢察官費茲傑羅,調查美國總統柯林頓所涉及的緋聞案、白水案時,同樣遭到輿論全面性的質 疑,直指他根本就是「共和黨」,費茲傑羅確實是共和黨,但若民主黨的總統涉入醜聞或弊案,誰曰不宜調查?


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Has the Special Investigation Unit Ever Considered Detaining Wu Shu-chen?

Has the Special Investigation Unit Ever Considered Detaining Wu Shu-chen?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 24, 2008

The Taipei District Court ruled for the second time that former president Chen Shui-bian need not post bail, and need no longer be detained. The Special Investigation Unit's second appeal was overruled. This week it appealed to the High Court. We look forward to examining the Special Investigation Unit's evidence. But we would also like to ask the Special Investigation Unit, has it ever considered detaining Wu Shu-chen?

The Special Investigation Unit had sound reasons for detaining Chen Shui-bian. The reasons for doing so may be different now than before. But basically there are three reasons. One. Chen Shui-bian is a flight risk. Two. Chen Shui-bian may collude with others to destroy evidence. Three. The crimes Chen Shui-bian is charged with are felonies. Felonies mandate detention. These three reasons for detaining Chen apply equally to Wu Shu-chen.

First, let's talk about flight risk. When the Special Investigation Unit detained Chen Shui-bian a month ago, it did not cite flight risk as one of its reasons. The first time the court released Ah-Bain without bail, prosecutors did not offer any evidence he was a flight risk. When their second attempt to detain him failed, the prosecution said that Chen Shui-bian at times ordered his bodyguards away, leaving him on his own, for example, when he visited a Tarot reader. Whether or not Chen Shui-bian attempted to flee after ordering his bodyguards away, the prosecution's argument does not hold water. If it did, wouldn't any defendant without bodyguards, who might flee at any moment, have to be detained before trial? The logic is dubious. When the Special Investigation Unit determined that Chen Shui-bian was a flight risk, did they decide he would abandon Wu Shu-chen? We hesitate to suggest that Chen Shui-bian might flee on his own. But shouldn't we consider the possibility that the husband and wife might flee together? Wouldn't the possibility of successfully detaining them be higher if all the possibilities were considered?

Now let's talk about the possibility of collusion. The Special Investigation Unit is worried about Chen Shui-bian colluding with accomplices. Leave aside the fact that Chen Shui-bian has been walking around free for months, even years. The Special Investigation Unit's bill of indictment includes four major charges. All four of them involve Wu Shu-chen. Chen Shui-bian has never denied that Wu Shu-chen masterminded everything, understood everything. Others have said that Ah-Chen often took the lead. Since we are worried about Ah-Bian colluding, shouldn't we be worried about Ah-Chen colluding? The prosecution has no reason to detain Ah-Bian for crimes which involved only Ah-Chen and not Ah-Bian. Instead, it should think about whether to detain Ah-Chen. Especially since Ah-Chen has recently made some inappropriate remarks, wishing ill of a number of concerned parties. Ah-Chen's lawyer has demanded written transcripts. The prime suspect has expressed a desire to take the life of another suspect. Is that not reason enough to detain her? Her spouse, Ah-Bian, was detained for his role in the same cases. Shouldn't the Special Investigation Unit consider the possibility of detaining Wu Shu-chen as well?

Finally, detention is mandatory for a felony. This was the main reason Chen Shui-bian was detained. On four felony counts, Wu Shu-chen's offenses are more serious than Ah-Bian's. Crimes Ah-Bian committed, she committed. Crimes Ah-Bian didn't commit, she committed. Ah-Bian is guilty of felonies. Ah-Chen is definitely not guilty of mere misdemeanors. Doesn't the failure to detain Ah-Chen at the same time as Ah-Bian, constitute a major inconsistency in the application of the law?

Everyone on Taiwan with any common sense knows that Wu Shu-chen's physical condition is not the same as most peoples'. But that does not make Wu Shu-chen immune from prosecution. She is still subject to the Code of Criminal Procedure. Does one's physical condition exempt one from detention? The law is unclear on the point. Those who enter the detention center can be released for medical treatment. But they cannot be totally exempt from being detained. The main purpose of pre-trial detention is isolation. An entire medical team can be moved to the detention center in order to meet humanitarian requirements. But failure to detain a suspect for reasons of health cannot be justified by referring to the Code of Criminal Procedure.

An important objective of pre-trial detention is to ensure that the defendant appears in court. He can be either be summoned by forcible means, or detained incommunicado. These all accord with due process. No one can say they are violations of human rights. Ever since becoming a defendant in the State Affairs Fund case, Wu Shu-chen has ignored over a dozen summons to appear in court. How a defendant should be dealt with is up to the courts. A defendant has been indicted. The prosecutors of the Special Investigation Unit must consider how the defendant can be successfully prosecuted. If a felony suspect refuses to appear in court, a guilty verdict cannot be rendered, The Code of Criminal Procedure is quite clear. The Special Investigation Unit is worried about detaining Ah-Bian. But it is allowing Ah-Chen, whom it has even more reason to detain, to roam free.

Wu Shu-chen claims she is physically unable to appear in court. Yet she is able to go to the polls to vote. She is able to entertain guests at home. She was responsible for money-laundering, and for the State Affairs Fund. She had no qualms about collusion, destroying evidence, and obstructing justice, The Special Investigation Unit has wracked its brains. It had goods reason to detain Ah-Bian. But did it simultaneously allow another fish to slip through the net? It wants the support of the court, and the trust of the community. It wants to make law enforcement credible. But such a huge loophole must be plugged. Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen have been indicted. If Ah-Chen refuses to appear in court, how can the trial continue? Whether Chen Shui-bian should be detained before the trial is a trivial matter. Whether Wu Shu-chen should be detained, on the other hand, is a serious matter. It must be evaded. Has the Special Investigation Unit ever considered detaining Wu Shu-chen? If not, why not?

中國時報  2008.12.24



先談逃亡的問題。特偵組約一個月前聲押陳水扁成功時,並未以阿扁有逃亡之虞作為聲押理由。法院第一次裁定不具保釋放阿扁時,檢方也未提供他虞逃的事證。到 了第二次聲押失敗時,檢方則是主張阿扁曾有支開隨扈(例如去算塔羅牌)、單獨行動的情況。姑不論阿扁支開隨扈時並未逃亡,檢方此說如果成立,那任何無隨扈 在側而可單獨行動的被告,豈非都須交付審前羈押?其論理邏輯很有問題;重點是特偵組認定阿扁可能逃亡,難道以為他會拋下吳淑珍獨自離去?如果不是要提出阿 扁單獨逃亡的事證,要不要想想夫妻雙雙遠走高飛的可能性?是不是各種可能性都想得周全,聲押的成功率較高?

再談串供的可能。特偵組擔心阿扁會串供,姑不論阿扁從案發至今遊走在外已然累月經年,單以阿扁涉案的罪行,從特偵組的起訴書觀察,四大部分中,全都有數的 是吳淑珍,阿扁從不諱言吳淑珍運籌帷幄,瞭然一切,其他一干人等也都常謂係以阿珍馬首是瞻。既然擔心阿扁串供,似乎沒理由不擔心阿珍串供。至少在特偵組立 場僅有阿珍而無阿扁參與的部分,聲押阿扁沒有理由,就該想想聲押阿珍有無理由。何況近日傳出許多阿珍出言不遜,嫉惡若干周邊人物的消息。就像阿珍的律師要 求記明筆錄的內容一樣,主要被告表示要取其他涉案人性命,構不構成聲押的理由?相對於她同案遭到聲押的配偶阿扁涉案的程度,特偵組該不該想想聲押吳淑珍的 問題?


在台灣,當然稍有常識的都曉得,吳淑珍的身體情況,與一般常人不盡相同。但是,吳淑珍並不因此即能免於刑事訴訟法的追訴;身體狀況是否法定豁免於聲押的事 由呢?法條上看不出來,進入看守所的受押人可以保外就醫,卻不能因此就完全豁免於羈押。審前羈押的主要目的,是隔離;即使將整個醫療團隊搬進看守所,也可 符合人道的要求,但若以健康為由不予羈押,恐怕在刑事訴訟法上須要詳細交代。

審前羈押的重要目的,是確保審判的進行,如果被告拒不出庭,輕則拘提,重則羈押,都是於法有據,誰也不能說是違反人權。吳淑珍自從成為國務機要費案的被告 之後,十餘次開庭,均不出席,審判庭應該如何處置,固然由法院決定,看在特偵組檢察官的眼裡,起訴之後,能否順利完成追訴,不能不有所思考。重罪嫌犯拒不 到庭,有罪判決不能做成,刑事訴訟法有明文。特偵組聲押阿扁的同時,放著聲押理由比阿扁而言似更顯得充分的吳淑珍在庭外,難道沒有顧慮?

吳淑珍不能開庭,但是可以外出投票,也可以在家見客會友。她肩上扛著整個洗錢案、國務機要費案,尚且不虞串供、滅證,阻撓司法,在特偵組絞盡腦汁,蒐證聲 押阿扁的同時,是不是一張應該補織的漏網?想要贏得法院的支持,社會的普遍信賴,樹立執法的信用,偌大的漏洞,恐怕不能不補。阿扁阿珍均已起訴,阿珍若不 到庭,審判如何繼續,是個必須面對的問題。阿扁是否應付審前羈押事小,吳淑珍是否應付審前羈押事大,卻不容閃躲逃避。特偵組有沒有想過聲押吳淑珍?為什麼 不?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan: The Next Generation's Commitment to Peace

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan: The Next Generation's Commitment to Peace
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 23, 2008

The two pandas born in Wolong, don't know they have been chosen as cross-Strait goodwill gifts. They don't know that two years ago the Taiwan authorities rejected them. The don't know that today they are scheduled to fly to Taiwan, and to live out their lives on this unfamiliar island. They don't know, given Taiwan's complex politics, whether everyone on Taiwan welcomes their arrival.

These two pandas may not know the meaning of their names. But Tuan Tuan and Ruan Ruan are already quite familiar with their sound, and can accurately respond to their breeder's instructions. Of course they don't know how heavy a burden they are carrying. But that will not affect their ability to bring joy to people. For many people, just seeing these big fuzzy cartoon characters play, utterly carefree, rolling about, chewing their food, an even sleeping, is enough to distract them from their cares.

Pandas have charm, not merely because of their rarity, but also because of their unusual behavior, the difficulty of breeding them, and their unique sense of joy. Their large, soft bodies are ingeniously decorated with a monochrome, black and white color scheme. They almost look like giant babies, wearing diapers, or flannel dolls, wearing bibs. Despite their bear-like bodies, they also resemble cats. The mainland refers to them as "bear cats." Taiwan refers to them as "cat bears." The genus and species are difficult to classify, and it is impossible to arrive at a single name. All of this adds to their colorful background. Their manner is mild. Their movements are slow. When they sit, they resemble human babies. This may be the reason no one ever tires of watching them.

Tuan Tuan and Ruan Ruan's arrival on Taiwan has coincided with a severe economic downturn. But for a year that can be summed up as chaotic, they are a precious New Year's present. For many parents at least, they are a story to tell the next generation. For many children, visiting the pandas will be the happiest event of the New Year. It will also be an important biology lesson. Don't look down at these two four year olds. In May they survived a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. They have been sent from Wolong to Ya An Chi Ti. They have crossed the sea to Taiwan as ambassadors of peace. For children, such a tale should be deeply moving.

Indeed, animals can sometimes teach human beings a thing or two. They can achieve something more profound than humans. Before this, reports that Australia's koala bear in the Taipei Zoo had died giving birth, and images of Emperor Penguins sharing the burden of hatching an egg, attracted public attention and public sympathy. Projecting these situations on human society provides us with valuable lessons in life. In recent years, the relentless incitement of political hatred on Taiwan, has occasionally made us think of the animal world and pure instinct. The arrival of the pandas may allow us to lower our psychological defenses, and find a common language. If we leave aside politics, and return to the animals as animals, Tuan Tuan and Ruan Ruan's arrival on Taiwan should allow us to find the meaning of peace.

From a more solemn perspective, for Taiwan these pandas, are not merely a gift. They are a trust. Mainland China has always adopted a lease system for Pandas. For Taiwan, it has generously made an outright gift. Naturally the gesture implies the politics of reunification. But from a conservationist perspective, we have taken Tuan Tuan and Ruan Ruan from their original habitat to Taiwan. We must ensure their physical and emotional well-being. We must conduct valuable scientific research on panda breeding and reproduction, in repayment of this debt. If in the future, a new generation can be successfully bred in Taipei, it would demonstrate that Taipei has made a contribution to panda ecology.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan's names may connote political reunification. But the larger meaning of the pandas' arrival on Taiwan is that they symbolize the spirit of peace. This dream of peace may not be something the current authorities on the two sides can achieve. But the two sides, by exchanging pandas, mei hua deer, and other animals, may allow the next generation to see the results, and ensure that the two sides never go to war.

Those who are welcoming Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan have set aside politics, and forgotten their age. They have returned to their childhood, and are looking at the pandas through the eyes of a child. That is why the pandas are such welcome angels of peace. Many people on Taiwan will give their children a rare New Year's surprise. Politicians seeking re-election, please don't undermine this common dream of parents and children.

2008.12.23 02:50 am


這兩隻貓熊不會知道自己的名字有什麼意義,但對團團、圓圓這個疊音的呼喚已經十分熟悉,並能準確回應飼養員的指令。牠們當然也不會知道自己肩負著多大的任 務,但這完全不影響牠們所能帶給人們的歡樂和期待。許多人光是看到這兩個毛茸茸的大玩偶無憂無慮地嬉戲、翻滾、嚼食、酣睡,就足以解愁忘憂。

貓熊的魅力,不僅在於其物種之稀有,更在於牠罕見的習性、艱難的繁育和獨特的喜感。牠們龐大柔軟的身軀,經黑白二色的巧妙點綴,像極了包尿布、穿圍兜的絨 布玩偶。牠們雖有「熊」的體態,卻長相似「貓」;在對岸被稱為「熊貓」,在台灣卻被稱為「貓熊」;難以分類的科別、無法統一的名稱,更增添牠們身世的姿 彩。牠們性情溫和,行動緩慢;尤其在坐臥之間,透露出一股宛如人類嬰兒的憨態,這或許是世人對貓熊百看不厭的奧妙所在。

雖然正逢景氣嚴冬,但在以「亂」字總結的一年即將結束之際,團團、圓圓來到台灣,應是一個彌足珍貴的新年佳禮。至少,對許多家長而言,他們有一個可以向下 一代講述的大故事;對許多兒童而言,探訪貓熊將是他們新年的一大快樂,也是他們人生中重要的一課生物啟蒙。別小看四歲多的團團、圓圓,牠們五月間曾歷經八 級的強烈地震,幸運逃過一劫,從臥龍被送至雅安基地,隨即又渡海來台充當和平大使。這樣的故事,兒童聽了應會心動。

的確,動物能夠教給人類的東西,有時比人類自己能做的還深刻得多。在此之前,澳洲無尾熊在台北動物園產子乃至病故的報導,國王企鵝如何分工抱蛋的畫面,都 曾經深深吸引人們的關注與同情。這些,放在人類社會情境中,都是極珍貴的生命教育。台灣社會近幾年的發展,不時因政治對立而陷入仇恨動員的境地,偶爾回顧 動物世界的純真本能,或許能教人們放下心防,找到共同的語言和感情。團團、圓圓來台,如果撇開政治,回歸動物為本的立場,應不難找到可以共同的和平意義 吧?

更嚴肅一點看,台灣接受這對貓熊,不只是一項「禮物」,也是一項「任務」。中國大陸對貓熊出境一向採取「租借」制度,對台灣能慷慨相送,自有特殊的「統 戰」考量。但站在保育的觀點,我們把團團、圓圓從原生地接來台灣,除須妥善照料牠們的身心健康,也應該對貓熊的飼養和繁殖提出有益的科學研究,以為回饋。 未來,若能進一步在台北成功繁殖團團、圓圓的下一代,那才證明台北也對貓熊生態作出了回饋與貢獻。



Monday, December 22, 2008

The Really Complex Cross-Strait Issues Have Yet to Be Breached

The Really Complex Cross-Strait Issues Have Yet to Be Breached
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 22, 2008

The two-day KMT-CPC forum ended yesterday, and successfully arrived at nine joint proposals. The forum is purely a party to party dialogue mechanism. But both parties are ruling parties, and this is the first time officials from both sides sat at the same table and held a direct dialogue. The two sides touched upon an important issue, how they will interact during the next phase. Naturally the forum meant more than fora in the past. At the very least the two sides reached a consensus. The consensus is referred to as "recommendations." But the nine recommendations are likely to comprise the real world agenda for the next stage of cross-strait interactions.
Some of the interactions during the two-day forum are worth noting. For example, Taipei has long advocated a "Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement" (CECA). During the current KMT-CPC forum, the response from Beijing was highly encouraging. To prevent Taiwan from being marginalized, Ma made a CECA-related proposal during the March presidential election. He proposed an approach that combined a free trade agreement (FTA) and the Hong Kong and Macao "Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement" (CEPA) model. On the one hand, it would avoid state-to-state disputes. On the other hand, it would avoid implications that the ROC's sovereignty had been diminished. The main focus would be to abolish cross-Strait tariffs and other economic, trade, and investment-related obstacles, to establish a common market.

This concept may or may not gain currency. It requires amendments to the laws, changes in the system, and countless policy planning details. The KMT-CPC forum can only offer concepts and initiate a dialogue. Full implementation of such polices is a long way off. But the two sides have at least reached a consensus. Industry leaders, government officials, and members of academia should now begin developing specific policies.

The KMT-CPC forum offered another promising sign. For the first time officials from the two sides held a direct dialogue. A dozen or so mainland officials attended. Five cabinet officials from the Taiwan side took leave so they could attend. As before, the participants were classified as VIPs and invited experts, rather than as government officials. The main theme of the conference remained overall industry interaction and economic cooperation. The two sides did not touch upon substantive policy. Nevertheless, officials from both sides were no longer afraid of direct contacts. Will officials adopt more direct forms of contact in the future? We shall soon see.

Whether cross-Strait interactions are proceeding too slowly or too quickly remains controversial. Critics who feel progress is too quick invariably claim that cross-Strait interactions threaten our sovereignty, or fail to address opposition party objections. Critics who feel progress is too slow, on the other hand, stress that cross-Strait interaction has already been delayed for eight years. We are still playing catch up. Such disagreement over the pace of cross-Strait interaction will persist for some time, and cannot be ignored.

Over the past few years East Asia's economy has undergone rapid economic integration. Taiwan meanwhile, has remained mired in long-term political turmoil. It has wasted a lot of time, for no good reason, Zero-sum confrontation has persisted. The conflict during Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan was an example. The ruling and opposition parties must communicate more on cross-Strait issues. But no matter what, we will never return to the ideological struggles of the past. Such internal struggles contribute nothing. Both the ruling and opposition parties should have learned this from experience. The ruling party cannot ignore opposition party oversight. Nor can the opposition Democratic Progressive Party persist in endless obstructionism.

With the initiation of Three Links, we have begun an irreversible process. The KMT-CPC forum has ended successfully. Next year, Chiang and Chen will meet three more times. More complex issues will be addressed. Once economic, trade, tourism, shipping, and educational issues are addressed, more sensitive issues will also arise, one after another. It's not clear how next year's participation in the WHA will be resolved. On the eve of the KMT-CPC forum, at a press conference with Thailand's media, President Ma called for Beijing to remove its missiles. His intention was clear. Many complex cross-Strait issues have yet to reach the conference table.

中國時報  2008.12.22

在順利達成九項共同建議後,為期兩天的國共論壇已於日昨順利閉幕。儘管性質上這僅只是一個黨對黨的對話平台,但由於目前雙方都已是執政黨,再加上這次又是 首度有官員上桌直接對話,所觸及的又是兩岸下階段互動的重要議題,意義當然與以往不同。至少可以確知的是,雙方所達成的共識雖然僅被稱作為是「建議」,但 這九項建議,很可能就是下階段兩岸實質互動的重要課題。

為期兩天的討論中,有幾項議題的互動相當值得注意。例如往昔台灣所倡議的「綜合經濟合作協議」(簡稱CECA)議題,就在這次國共論壇中獲得了對岸相當善 意的回應。按所謂CECA的構想,原本是馬總統在今年三月大選間所提出,主要是為因應未來幾年東亞區域經濟邁向整合的大趨勢下,為避免台灣被邊緣化,所採 取的一種界於完全的自由貿易協定(FTA)與港澳所採取的「更緊密經貿關係安排」(CEPA)之間的一種模式,它一方面規避國與國的爭議,另一方面也避免 「主權被矮化」的聯想,而其主要基本構想還是著眼於取消兩岸間包括關稅、經貿、投資等相關障礙,逐步構築一個自由化的共同市場。

可想而知,不論這個構想未來的進度會如何,其中所涉及的包括法令修改、制度調整、政策細節規畫等課題實在太多了,國共論壇所能做的亦不過只是就構想本身, 啟動初步的對話而已,未來要走到完全的落實,其實還有不算短的路要走。至少兩岸在這個課題上已經獲致初步的共識,接下來包括兩岸的產官學界等,都該務實的 就這其間所觸及實質問題,進行政策性的研擬了。

這次國共論壇還有另一項值得注意的徵候,即是首度出現有兩岸官員在論壇中直接對話的畫面。這其中大陸方面有十數位官員出席,台灣這邊也有五位內閣官員「請 假」與會,雙方依舊是以特邀嘉賓與專家的身分與會,對話的主軸,也僅只是圍繞在總體產業互動與經濟合作的大原則上高來高去,並未觸及實質政策上的對談。但 這已經意味兩岸官員直接互動的種種「顧忌」正在淡化中,未來雙方是否越來越不耐採取間接對話的形式,相當值得觀察。

沒錯,就當下兩岸互動的步調論,究竟是走得太快還是太慢一直存有爭議。認為步伐太快的論者,總認為兩岸互動的進程太過忽略主權議題,也太過忽略朝野溝通; 但認為步伐還太慢的論者,卻認為兩岸互動進程根本就是荒廢了八年,目前的互動進程僅只是在趕進度而已 ,這種急緩不一的爭辯,在可預見的將來還會持續一段時間,這也是處理未來兩岸議題所不能忽略的面向。

不能否認的是,過去幾年隨著東亞經濟的快速整合,同一時間內的台灣卻長期陷在政治紛擾中,平白蹉跎了不少歲月,這種零和的對立迄今還未見完全紓緩,陳雲林 訪台期間的衝突即是一例。這說明朝野在兩岸議題上確實需要更有建設性的溝通,但不論怎麼說,也絕不能再拉回到昔日那種瀰漫意識形態攻伐的年代了,畢竟那樣 除了繼續複製內耗衝突,根本不會產生任何正面的意義。這一點朝野政黨都該深自體會,執政黨終究不能完全不理會在野黨的監督,在野的民進黨也終究不能永遠只 停留在堅壁清野的抵制階段,不是嗎?

隨著大三通的啟動,誰都清楚兩岸已經邁向一個再也無法逆轉的進程,國共論壇的順利閉幕,乃至明年三次江陳會談的舉行,都將會有更多的更複雜的議題等著要端 上檯面,經貿、觀光、航運、教育…等課題次第解決了,更敏感的議題也陸續將登場了,明年參加WHA問題要怎麼處理,目前跡象還不明顯,選在國共論壇揭幕的 前夕,馬總統投書泰國媒體呼籲北京撤除飛彈,用意當然非常明顯,兩岸間的複雜問題,還有許多尚未端上桌呢!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Outrages of the Second Financial Reform Scandal are Intolerable

The Outrages of the Second Financial Reform Scandal are Intolerable
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 19, 2008

The Special Investigation Unit has appealed in the Chen corruption case. Prosecutors are expected to focus on the Second Financial Reform scandal and related scandals during its next wave of investigation. The Chen corruption case bill of indictment includes the names of many prominent businessmen. One or two of them are building contractors or real estate agents. Most are heads of financial institutions. They may have played different roles in the Chen family corruption case. Some of them delivered money to Chen's official residence. Some transported money to their banks. Others gave Chen kickbacks or contributions. Others helped the Chen family launder money overseas. Some delivered money. Some transported money. Some gave money. Some laundered money. The one thing they had in common was they were all part of the inner circle of the corrupt man on the throne. Had this not been the case, the Chen family would not have entrusted so many dark and shameful secrets to them. The Special Investigation Unit's bill of indictment noted that these businessmen will be the subjects of a separate investigation. Leave criminal responsibility aside for the moment. Everyone should be concerned about the civil, social, and moral responsibility these financial industry heads owe society as a whole.

Some businessmen told the Special Investigation Unit or the media that they gave money to the president under duress, because they were intimidated by the despotic power and authority of the presidency. Most people are unlikely to buy such arguments. According to reports, Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng implied that even Wang Yung-ching gave them money. But Wang Yung-ching, the "God of Enterprise," was honest and forthright. He clearly ignored such demands. Common sense suggests that those who willingly colluded with the president had ulterior motives. Some provided kickbacks in order to profit from illicit land deals. Some contributed money in order to acquire control of Fu Hwa Bank. Some contributed money right at the moment CITIC was attempting to swallow up Mega Bank. Some helped the Chen family launder money because Chen appointed them board members of holding companies.

In short, these businessmen eagerly abetted the president's corruption, and were handsomely rewarded for their efforts. They contributed a mere two or three hundred million in cash. In return they received trillions in state-run bank assets. No matter how one looks at it, "coercion" isn't the word that comes to mind. Prominent businessmen shuttled to and from the president's official residence. They helped Ah-Bian transport money. They cooked for his wife. They connected with Ma Yung-cheng. In exchange, they were able to play god in the financial sector, and act high and mighty. Their overweening ambition was clear for all to see. Take CITIC's acquistion of Mega Bank. If not for the Hong Huo case, over two trillion in Mega Bank assets would have been swallowed up. They contributed two or three hundred million in exchange for control over trillions. No wonder these businessman beat a path to the president's official residence.

We are also concerned about years of bribery, money-laundering, and the acquistion of of state-run banks. How can we restore justice? Some officials worry that pursuing these cases could negatively impact the economy. They cite these as excuses to shield their cronies in the business world. Any official who has the chutzpah to offer such transparently phony justifications for not investigating are underestimating the public on Taiwan and its sense of justice. In 1991, a number of liberal academics launched a campaign against the KMT's party assets. They said that 40 years ago the party's acquisition of assets and expansion of powers was unjust. In terms of scale, the KMT's party assets pale before the state-run bank assets swallowed up by the DPP's Second Financial Reform. In terms of timing, the KMT's party assets were acquired over a period of 40 years. The Second Financial Reform scandal erupted only four or five years ago. In terms of consequences, the KMT underestimated public disatisfaction over its tardy disposition of party assets. Public anger accumulated, and contributed to the first change in ruling parties. The body is not yet cold from the DPP's Second Financial Reform scandal. Yet trillions of dollars in state-run bank assets make the KMT's party assets pale in comparison. Any official who invokes "economic stability" as a pretext to overlook this injustice, is fooling only himself.

Finally, to ensure justice within the financial industry is much easier than disposing of party assets. The public has the right to review and correct the abuses committed by financial industry heads. It has the right to monitor the financial industry through such agencies as the Financial Supervisory Commission. Chapters III and IV of the Financial Holding Law detail the authority to revoke, punish, manage, and relieve officials of the financial industry. As far as the public is concerned, a banker who bribes officials and helps the Chen family launder money is unquestionably an obstacle to the normal conduct of business, hence unfit for duty, regardless of whether or not he bears any criminal responsibility. The legal precedent set by Article 54 also applies. The public has the right to review the Special Investigation Unit's pursuit of criminals, whether they are being sentenced too lightly or too heavily. The public cannot tolerate the bribery of officials in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars. Prosecutors are investigating the Chen family. That is the least society expects from them. The ownership of domestic banks and state assets has illegally fallen into the hands of financial consortiums. This is also an injustice that must be corrected.

中國時報  2008.12.19






Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chiu Yi-ying on Chen Shui-bian

Chiu Yi-ying on Chen Shui-bian
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 18, 2008

Chen Shui-bian is like a massive lead weight, weighing Taiwan down, steadily pulling it down into a dark abysss. One corruption scandal has erupted after another, provoking Blue vs. Green confrontation, consuming the island's oxygen. But Chen Shui-bian has also tested the island's mettle. Can Taiwan remove this albatross from around its neck? Can it reclaim its past vitality? These are questions both the ruling and opposition parties should be asking themselves.

Chen Shui-bian is a skilled political manipulator. He successfully hijacked Deep Green supporters and used them to control the Democratic Progressive Party. But when he was released from custody, he made the mistake of denouncing former Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien. He accused Yu of being too quick to spill his guts. Chen's denunciation chilled the hearts of Chen loyalists and provoked a backlash. DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying openly sided with Yu Cheng-hsien, and called for Chen's wife Wu Shu-chen to "Stand up and face the music. Stop lying. Stop abusing the goodwill of Democratic Progressive Party comrades." In fact, many people have been holding their feelings in for quite a while. Now is the time for members of the Democratic Progressive Party to speak the truth without pulling their punches.

Three simple requests: Face justice, Stop lying. And stop abusing the goodwill of party comrades. Looking back, Chen Shui-bian and his wife have always done just the opposite, and not felt one iota of remorse for their actions. They have alway sacrificed others and looked after Number One. Now they find themselves at a dead end. They are fighting back with all means possible, like cornered rats. They are hardly likely to change their nature at the drop of a hat. But now is the time for Green Camp members to confront the harsh reality of hundreds of millions of NT in being moved hither and thither. Given Chen Shui-bian and his wife's cold-bloodedness and selfishness, isn't it time for them to ask themselves the following questions: Our comrades love Ah-Bian. But does Ah-Bian love our comrades back? Or better yet, Taiwan loves Ah-Bian. But does Ah-Bian love Taiwan back?

As soon as Chiu Yi-ying spoke her mind, others in the DPP chimed in. They were no longer bound hand and foot by diehard Deep Green Chen supporters. One Chen family corruption scandal after another has erupted. If the evidence turns out to be conclusive, the Chen family must take responsibility for its crimes. By the same token, the Democratic Progressive Party must take responsibility for Chen Shui-bian. It must no longer use "due process" and "civil rights" as a pretext to evade the truth. Was the backlash among Chen's troops merely a case of unrequited love? If it involved merely personal discontent rather than moral outrage, it will not motivate the Democratic Progressive Party to thoroughly reject corruption.

For decades, the Democratic Progressive Party carried on a life or death struggle against far more powerful forces. Party members developed an intense feeling of comradeship. To cast aside such feelings is not in the nature of the Democratic Progressive Party. That is why even though many people know Ah-Bian is in the wrong, they can't bring themselves to abandon him. They even feel compelled to back him when he falsely alleges "Political persecution!" Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Tsai Ing-wen's analysis was correct. Historical factors, political realities, and personal feelings all play a part. The fact is Chen Shui-bian remains an albatross around the Democratic Progressive Party's neck.

This man, who was once your president, is consumed by unbridled greed. He is indifferent to the cost his behavior has exacted on society. He cares only about saving his own skin. This is not your run of the mill corruption. It impacts Taiwan's economic future, whether it will continue to prosper or slide into destitution. The Democratic Progressive Party has been gravely wounded. Physically and mentally, it will take time to recover. But even if the public is willing to forgive, they cannot wait patiently for the Democratic Progressive Party to grow up.

Chen Shui-bian is not merely an albatross around the Democratic Progressive Party's neck. He is an albatross around Taiwan's neck. Merely disowning him is not enough. Chen Shui-bian's wrongs were collective wrongs. His word was once law. Dissenters within the party were attacked from all sides. Those hoping to share power and partake in the spoils curried his favor. Now he has fallen from grace. Does that mean those who aided and abetted his crimes need not engage in serious soul-searching? Shifting responsibility onto him alone will not motivate this den of thieves to engage in self-introspection, and more importantly, self-betterment. History will merely repeat itself with a different cast of characters. Drawing lines in the sand is easy, especially when the other person has fallen from grace. Confronting Chen Shui-bian's crimes is difficult for the DPP, because it forces the DPP to confront its own criminal complicity. It forces the DPP to confront the things it should have done, but failed to do. It forces the DPP to confront the ideals it should have upheld, but failed to uphold. It forces the DPP to summon up the courage to prevent a repetition of the same mistakes.

That is why Chairman Tsai Ing-wen stressed that the Democratic Progressive Party is assuming all responsibility for Chen Shui-bian's wrongdoing. This is the only way the DPP and Taiwan can move forward. We hope the Democratic Progressive Party will walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.

Motivated by long-term comradeship, the Democratic Progressive Party condoned Chen Shui-bian's wrongdoing. Motivated by long-term comradeship, The public on Taiwan condoned the Democratic Progressive Party's wrongdoing. Experience has shown that ignoring right and wrong and condoning another's wrongdoing undermines his growth, and is detrimental to society's development. The Chen family's scandals are not the fault of Chen Shui-bian alone. The DPP and the public on Taiwan are also responsible. Everyone is busy pointing fingers at others. We should take a long, hard look in the mirror, and learn from our mistakes. If we do so, the Chen family corruption scandals will no longer be a lead weight that drags Taiwan down into the abyss. They will be rungs on a ladder that allow us to reach a higher level.

中國時報  2008.12.18










Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prosecutors Fight 'Em Tooth and Nail, Judges Turn 'Em Loose

Prosecutors Fight 'Em Tooth and Nail, Judges Turn 'Em Loose
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 17, 2008

The Special Investigation Group has completed phase one of its investigation of the Chen family's four major corruption cases. We can now draw some general conclusions about the defendants, the prosecutors, and the judges.

Prosecutors have indicted 14 defendants. They are seeking heavy sentences for four members of the Chen family. They are seeking light sentences for the other defendants. The reason is simple. The other defendants have come clean. They have also returned the money they took. The prosecution even requested immunity for some of them. The four members of the Chen family however, are stubbornly refusing to own up to their crimes. That is why prosecutors are seeking the heaviest possible penalties.

Based on evidence released by the prosecutors, and the huge sums repaid by other accomplices, the four members of the Chen family will find it difficult to elude justice. That being the case, the Chen family's stubborn refusal to cooperate is unwise. Chen Chi-chung and Huang Jui-ching are still young. They have long lives ahead of them. Are they really prepared to endure social ostracism for the rest of their lives? Do Wu Shu-chen and Chen Shui-bian really have the heart to drag Chen Chi-chung and Huang Jui-ching down with them?

Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's criminal behavior needs no further elaboration. Instead, let's look at the prosecution's enumeration of Chen Chi-chung and Huang Jui-ching's crimes. Both received higher educations. Neither is ignorant. One billion NT suddenly appears out of nowhere. How can they not know where it came from? Chen Shui-bian and Wu Shu-chen squirreled away 740 million NT in a Cathay United Bank vault. Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching have been in the vault at least twice. If the money was legitimate, why would they pass up the opportunity to earn a enormous amount of interest? Why pay substantial storage fees to let the cash sit idle in a vault? The two were also heavily involved in other overseas money laundering operations. They were unquestionably accomplices. The prosecution described how Chen Chi-chung and Huang Jui-ching behaved when they entered the vault and examined the 700 million dollars in cash. It was not a pretty picture. Add to this their unrepentant attitude following the commission of their crimes. The public is going to have a hard time forgiving them.

What's next? The four members of the Chen family should consider their situation carefully. When the trial begins, they should adopt the appropriate attitude, and offer the appropriate responses. If they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge responsibility, if Wu Shu-chen refuses to appear in court for the 18th time, if Chen Shui-bian runs amok, alleging "political persecution," they will only aggravate the Chen family's crimes. They will probably receive the maximum sentences allowed by law, and the eternal censure of the public on Taiwan.

As far as the prosecution is concerned, the Special Investigation Unit's performance can rightly be described as incompetent. A prosecutor's bill of indictment should not contain equivocations. It should not contain emotional language. It should factually enumerate the Chen family's crimes. It should provide evidence of crimes for public inspection. Prosecutors should not intentionally abet criminals. Nor should they arbitrary add criminal charges. These are the prosecutors' duties. As they follow up their investigation of the Second Financial Reform scandal, and the Secret Diplomacy scandal, the Special Investigation Unit should make a concerted effort to get to the bottom of things, and provide the public with a better understanding of the case.

Furthermore, prosecutors should pay attention to the public mood, and take advantage of the raised morale created by the Special Investigation Unit's handling of the case. They should take on major cases they failed to investigate in the past. They should transcend partisan loyalties. Regardless of their personal status, they should resume investigating and not let anyone off lightly. This would inject a breath of fresh air into the system, giving the justice system a prestige unprecedented in the nation's history. It would set bounds of propriety for politicians. It would establish inviolable standards of right and wrong for political struggles, making an unparalleled contribution to the nation's future.

The court has released Chen Shui-bian without bail, provoking intense controversy. Many people think the judges had good reason for the way they handled this first of four waves of prosecutions. But judges know defendants are likely to use the opportunity to coordinate their testimony. They know there will be a second wave of prosecutions. Yet they released Chen without demanding bail. Were they putting on a show of open-mindedness? Were they legal hacks? Or did they have ulterior motives? Moreover, the court stressed that Chen was not a flight risk. They made light of the possibility the suspects might coordinate their testimony. In fact Chen's lawyers have been brazenly coordinating their testimony. They have even denounced Yu Cheng-hsien for being too quick to spill the beans. Could this be what the court had in mind? Chen Shui-bian once again stands atop the commander-in-chief's observation deck. When the court comes up against Chen Shui-bian again, he will have mobilized his supporters. Wu Shu-chen will refuse to appear in court for the 18th time. Will the court be able to pass this test of its mettle?

The Special Investigation Unit has achieved a hard-won victory over the Chen crime family. Will it be defeated by a judge relaxed and kicked back in his chair?

2008.12.17 03:31 am



依檢方公布的犯罪事證,以及其他共犯紛紛繳還鉅額贓款等情形看來,扁家四人恐怕難脫罪責。既然如此,扁家若續採這種頑抗的態度和作法,在未來審判程序中, 恐怕極為不智。尤其是陳致中和黃睿靚還年輕,還有很長的未來,他們能夠背負著如此沉重的社會責難,走完人生嗎?陳水扁和吳淑珍又何其忍心拖著他們一起陪 葬?

扁珍的行為之惡劣,不待多言;且看檢方對陳致中和黃睿靚犯行的認定:兩人均係受有高等教育之人士,並非無知之輩,以其家庭經濟狀況,家中無故多出新台幣十 餘億元之鉅款,豈有不知來源之可能?陳水扁和吳淑珍藏匿在國泰世華銀行保管室的七億四千萬元鉅款,陳致中和黃睿靚至少兩度進入該保管室,若鉅款來源合法, 何以捨龐大的正當利息,反而花高額租金租用保管室藏匿?其餘海外洗錢行為,兩人介入更深,屬共犯殆無疑義。從檢方描述陳致中和黃睿靚進入保管室查看七億多 鉅款的不堪情狀,加上犯後倨傲頑劣的態度,豈能獲得國人原諒?

於今之計,扁家四人實應深思如何自處之道,在法院開始審理後,表現出適當的態度,方屬正確的應對方案。若是一方面仍然死不認錯到底,一方面吳淑珍又耍出 「十七次不出庭」的手段,而陳水扁亦仍四處趴趴走宣揚其「政治迫害論」,則唯有加深扁家四人的罪孽,恐將真的承受司法「最嚴厲之制裁」,以及國人永遠的責 難。

就檢方而言,特偵組這次的表現可謂稱職。檢察官的起訴書沒有花稍的語言,沒有激昂的陳詞,而是將扁家犯行如實道來,拿出證據供全體國人檢驗;既沒有故意縱 放,也沒有亂加罪名。這正是檢察官應有的本分。後續的「二次金改弊案」、「外交機密經費弊案」等,特偵組更要再接再厲,徹底查明追懲,並讓國人得悉案情的 完整真相。

更有進者,全體檢察官若能體察民意,利用這次特偵組辦案帶起的士氣,將過去應查而未查的大案,不分政治立場和黨派,不論其身分地位,均重啟調查絕不輕縱; 則不僅政治風氣將為之耳目一新,且國家司法威信將因此達到前所未有的境界,從而使政治人物有了行為界際,黨爭也有了不可踰越的分寸和是非標準。這將對國家 作出無可比擬的貢獻。

法院無保開釋陳水扁,引發議論。一般認為,就「首波四案」而論,法官此舉容或尚有說法;但若已明知被告串證動作頻仍,且有「第二波諸案」,卻仍無保開釋, 倘非故示開明,即是法匠行徑,甚至別有居心。何況,法院只在強調無逃亡之虞,卻對串供的風險避重就輕;如今聽任扁辦及律師頻頻作出串供式的放話,甚至羞辱 余政憲輕易認罪,這大概正是法院原即樂見之事吧?陳水扁再度站上總指揮的司令台,未來法院面對「施展魅力,挾制群眾」的陳水扁,及「十七次請假不請假皆不 出庭」的吳淑珍,能否勝任嚴峻的考驗?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

History Will Remember How the DPP Dealt with the Chen Scandal

History Will Remember How the DPP Dealt with the Chen Scandal
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 16, 2008

Even at this late date, the Democratic Progressive Party persists in defending Chen Shui-bian, by shifting attention from Chen Shui-bian's crimes to due process and civil rights. It has reaffirmed the importance of the party's commitment to "clean government." But otherwise it has remained utterly silent on the issue of Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng's rampant corruption. It has openly declared that it is putting friendship before justice. In an even more classic equivocation, the DPP has declared that Chen Shui-bian is "part of the Democratic Progressive Party's history," therefore "there is simply no question of disowning him." With this declaration, the DPP has effectively linked its fate to Chen Shui-bian's. Every scandal the Chen family has ever been involved in, will from this moment forward, become an integral part of the Democratic Progressive Party's political legacy.

The term "party assets" has a familar ring to it. For the past decade, they have been the Kuomintang's cross to bear. The KMT has been excoriated by the Democratic Progressive Party over "party assets," to where it could no longer lift its head. For quite some time, scholars have castigated the KMT's "Ruling Party State Capitalism." The KMT is able to defend itself against many charges. But just mention party assets, and it immediately backs down. The only explanation it has been able to offer, is that they were a "vestige of history." The party has been unwilling to deal with them by making a clean break with its past. For years they have been a thorn in the KMT's side. They even became an ATM machine for the Democratic Progressive Party come election time. But now the Democratic Progressive Party has declared that Chen Shui-bian is an "integral part of the DPP's history." We regret to inform the DPP that for the forseeable future, this "integral part of the DPP's history" will be a thorn in the Democratic Progressive Party's side, and leave the DPP unable to lift its head.

The Democratic Progressive Party has put "friendship" ahead of right and wrong. It has effectively drawn a line between itself and mainstream society. Just look at the poll results. A 3000 NT consumer voucher has people salivating. How can they possibly be expected to tolerate the Chen family's embezzlement of hundreds of millions, then squirreling the sum away in overseas accounts? Over half of the public opposes Chen's release without bail. Yet the DPP's response was "We are pleased." The DPP has given the public the impression that the DPP has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to every bit of eyewitness testimony and every piece of material evidence the Special investigation Unit made available.

From beginning to end, the Democratic Progressive Party's sole concern has been Ah-Bian's civil rights. Ah-Bian's accomplices have had to post astronomical sums to obtain release pending trial. Ah-Bian was able to obtain release without posting one thin dime in bail. The Democratic Progressive Party's response was "We are pleased." We suggest they conduct their own poll, and determine for themselves what the public thinks.

The Democratic Progressive Party's declaration has a ring to it. It sounds as if the DPP is "refusing to shirk responsibility," and is "willing to take responsibility." But what precisely is "taking responsibility?" Is the DPP going to repay the State Affairs Funds Ah-Bian embezzled? Is the DPP going to repay the political contributions the Chen family embezzled? Let's not forget that the Chen family even used the DPP as the head of a Chen family dummy account. Ah-Bian has cavalierly trampled over the DPP. Yet the DPP persists in defending him. Is this what they mean by "taking responsibility?" The Chen family scandals have exacted immense social and legal costs upon Taiwan. The Chen family scandals have destroyed Taiwan's international image. Has the DPP offered a single apology? No it has not. That being the case, what exactly does the DPP mean by "taking responsibility?" Does Taiwan owe the DPP an apology? Or perhaps Taiwan owes the Chen family an apology?

Do not underestimate the damage inflicted upon Taiwan by the Chen family's corruption scandals. They have destroyed the alleged core values of Chen's own Democratic Progressive Party. They have destroyed a decades long democracy movement, nurtured by an entire generation. They have destroyed the political platform erected by the DPP over many long years. Why not examine the matter calmly. How many of the DPP's political planks has Ah-Bian reduced to jokes? For example, who will ever dare to claim he is raising money for a "Nation-Building Fund?" Who will ever dare compare himself to Mahatma Gandhi? Who will ever have the nerve to conduct a hunger strike? Who will ever dare to write poetry or letters while in detention? Every one of these gestures has been reduced to a joke. Every gesture capable of affecting peoples' hearts, has been exploited by Ah-Bian and left devalued and worthless.

Chairman Tsai Ing-wen needs to be clear on one thing. The responsibility the Democratic Progressive Party needs to take is not to provide solace for comrades within the party, or to salvage the party's rapidly deteriorating political image. The responsibility the DPP needs to take is to own up to the harm inflicted upon Taiwan by the Chen family scandals. This harm is already past remedy. Think back to the promises made to the public during the first change in ruling parties. Reflect upon the core values you trumpeted in the past, such as "clean government." Compare them to the prosecution's bill of indictment against Chen Shui-bian. Read the testimony of Chen Cheng-hui, Koo Chung-liang, and Ma Yung-cheng. Read Wu Ching-mao's confession. Are Chen Shui-bian's civil rights really the DPP's sole concern?

Perhaps the Democratic Progressive Party is right. Perhaps Chen Shui-bian is part and parcel of the DPP's history. Perhaps there is no possibility of disowning him. But history does not care about the Democratic Progressive Party's emotional problems. When the entire Democratic Progressive Party hierarchy is uniformly silent in the face of the Chen family's corruption scandals, history will record that fact for posterity.

中國時報  2008.12.16
民進黨如此面對扁案 歷史會記住

即 便此刻為止,民進黨對陳水扁起訴的立場,都還鎖定在司法人權的焦點上,除了重申黨對「清廉」核心價值的重視,對扁珍涉及所有重大貪瀆指控完全不置一詞,而 且還明示將「情感」擺在「是非」的前面。更經典的論述是:宣稱陳水扁是民進黨「歷史的一部分」,所以「沒有切割的問題」;有了這句話,陳水扁等於永遠與民 進黨綁在一起了,陳水扁家族涉及的所有弊案,從此刻開始都永遠成為民進黨的黨產了。

黨產,多令人熟悉的字眼!過去十 數年,國民黨揹著這個包袱,被民進黨批的幾乎抬不起頭來;有一段不算短的時間,「黨國資本主義」一直都是學界口誅筆伐的負面概念。國民黨辯什麼都可以理直 氣壯,但一提到黨產,馬上就低頭退縮,唯一能吐出的見解,就是宣稱其是「歷史的產物」,再加上黨不願清楚切割處理,多少年來一直是國民黨揮之不去的痛,甚 至成為民進黨打選戰的提款機。如今,當民進黨宣稱陳水扁是民進黨「歷史的一部分」之後,很抱歉,在未來相當的時日裡,這也將會是民進黨揮之不去,也抬不起 頭的痛了。

換言之,當民進黨選擇將「感情」放在「是非」前頭,等於也就是選擇與主流民意切割了。看看民調的反應吧, 當人民對三千多元的消費券都那麼盼望在乎,怎麼會容忍扁家將幾億的新台幣偷運到海外洗錢?當有過半民意對扁「無條件開釋」都表達不滿之際,民進黨的反應竟 是「欣慰」;它提供給人民最直接的感覺是:特偵組所列舉的扁家種種不法之證言與事實,民進黨彷彿都視若未見,聽而未聞,從頭到尾民進黨關注的好像只有一樁 事:就是扁的司法人權。如今別人都是天價才得交保,扁一塊錢不花就開釋了,民進黨的「欣慰」表態,何妨也去做做民調,聽聽民間的觀感?

話 是說得挺動聽,民進黨必須「概括承受」所有的政治責任,問題是怎麼概括承受呢?難道說民進黨要替扁償還所有被A走的國務機要費?還是要代墊扁家A走的所有 政治獻金?別忘了,連民進黨自己都被扁家拿去當人頭了哪!當扁這般理所當然地糟蹋民進黨之際,民進黨卻繼續一往情深地替他背書,這就是所謂的「概括承受」 嗎?在這裡不妨問一句:迄今為止,台灣社會因為扁家弊案所耗費的社會與司法資源,台灣國際形象因為扁家弊案所蒙受的摧毀,民進黨有道過一聲歉嗎?沒有,統 統都沒有!既然如此,那麼請問到底要概括什麼?又要承受什麼呢?難道是台灣社會對不起民進黨?對不起扁家嗎?

千萬別 低估扁家弊案對台灣所烙下的傷痕,它所摧毀的不僅是民進黨自己所信守的核心價值,它其實是摧毀了十數年民主運動所孕育的一個世代,也摧毀了民進黨多年用心 打造的所有論述。何妨平心靜氣地檢視一下,如今有多少理念,被扁消費過後,已淪為笑話?譬如今後有誰還敢宣稱要募集什麼「建國基金」?有誰還敢自比甘地? 有誰還好意思搞絕食?甚至在看守所寫詩、寫家書,都可能淪為笑料,所有曾經令人動容、令人感動的作為,被扁拿去消費過後,就全都貶值了。

蔡 英文主席必須要弄清楚的是:此刻民進黨所需要概括承受的是,並不是怎麼平復黨內同志的情緒,也不是怎麼挽救日漸滑落的政黨形象,而是怎麼坦然地面對扁家弊 案對台灣所造成的傷害,這種傷害已經是無從回復了。回顧一下當年政黨輪替之際對人民的許諾,反省一下昔日所標榜的「清廉」核心價值,再對照一下檢方起訴陳 水扁的所有內容,看看陳鎮慧、辜仲諒、馬永成等人的證詞,看看吳景茂的告白,到了這個時候,難道真的只有陳水扁的司法人權,是民進黨唯一值得關注的議題 嗎?


Monday, December 15, 2008

Three Links: Rewriting Cross-Strait Relations

Three Links: Rewriting Cross-Strait Relations
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 15, 2008

Direct cross-Strait links, or "da san tong" have been obstructed for nearly 50 years, and debated for nearly twenty years. Beginning today, direct cross-Strait links are official policy. This means the full implementation of direct air passenger, maritime shipping, and postal links. Maritime shipping will no longer need to go through a third destination. Weekend charter flights will be expanded to include daily charter flights. Cross-Strait mail will only require two-days to reach its destination. This is an historic moment. What kind of changes will direct cross-Strait links lead to? At the moment that remains hard to predict. But we can be sure private sector cross-Strait interaction will have far-reaching effects.

Take weekend charter flights. They have already been increased to 108 flights per week. It used to be difficult to get weekend charter flight tickets. That has all changed. Air routes have also been straightened out. It is no longer necessary to detour through the Hong Kong Flight Information Region. This substantially shortens flight times. Take for example, the most heavily traveled air route, the one between Taipei and Shanghai. It now takes only 83 minutes. It is now possible to attend a morning meeting in Shanghai and get return to Taipei by dinnertime. A "cross-Strait commute" will become a reality. This will yield immediate benefits, facilitating the return of Taiwan businessmen and mainland spouses to Taiwan during next month's Spring Festival. The traditional "Spring Festival Charter Flights" will be a thing of the past.

Of course, weekday charter flights are merely an extension of weekend charter flights. They cannot replace regularly scheduled flights. In fact, six to seven hundred flights between Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and 108 weekday charter flights, are not enough to meet the demand. This will be one of the key points addressed at the secnd Chiang/Chen Meeting during the first half of next year. If all goes well, they will sign a formal agreement on regularly scheduled cross-Strait flights. For years, passengers on both sides of the Strait have been forced to detour through Hong Kong and Macao, or resort to the Kinmen-Xiamen mini three links. If the agreement is signed, these detours, and even charter flights, will be a thing of the past.

Maritime shipping detours have also had a negative impact. Beginning today, eleven Taiwan ports will be directly linked to 63 mainland ports. Ships will no longer have to detour through foreign ports. The savings in time and money will be considerable. Estimates are that 16 to 27 hours can be saved on each voyage, amounting to a savings of 15 to 30 percent in transportation costs. Based on current estimates of 4000 cross-Strait container ship voyages, this means a savings of at least 1.2 billion NT. Cross-Strait voyages are expected to increase dramatically, creating many more profit opportunities.

Cross-strait direct shipping will revolutionize cross-Strait economic and trade relations. Several ports will immediately experience a boom. These include Taipei, nearby Keelung, and Taichung, including Taichung Industrial Park. Even Kaohsiung can look forward to regaining its status as the world's largest capacity deep-water container port. According to preliminary estimates, cargo volume will increase 30 percent as a result of direct shipping. In particular, if Taiwan's ports become a southern China region container transhipment center, international shipping will also increase substantially. Do not underestimate the significance of this change. Taiwan's geographical location already gives it a competitive advantage. Taiwan may also be in the best position to become a regional transhipment center. In the past political obstacles deprived us of this unique opportunity. We must no longer pass it up.

The Republic of China has been politically isolated by the international community. It has suffered enough. If it is economically marginalized by the international community as well, then its circumstances will be even more dire. In two or three years, the East Asia free trade zone will gradually take shape. Many East Asian nations began planning long ago, formulating new trade strategies in response to new circumstances. While they were doing so, Taiwan remained trapped in a "no haste, be patient" quagmire, bickering endless over what constituted "effective management." Direct three links remained plans on paper. Add to this ideological quarrels, and who knows how much time was wasted, for no good reason. Manufacturers relocated, one after the other. Foreign operations pulled out. Taiwan's competitiveness declined. Now that the "da san tong" policy has finally been implemented, we truly are in a race against time.

The global financial crisis has plunged the world into economic recession. No one can guarantee that opening direct links will lead to immediate changes. After all, mainland China is also facing the same economic challenges. But at least this provides us with an opportunity. Financial and economic experts within the Cabinet, and industry leaders alike, are thinking about how to make use of this rare opportunity to renew their industrial competitiveness. The government is using the opportunity to expand both local and mainland demand, to attract foreign investors, and persuade foreign businessmen to establish operating headquarters on Taiwan, and to develop a regional operations center. Individual industries are thinking about regional deployment, how to establish new vertical and horizontal divisions of labor. Under "da san tong" these issues must be addressed as soon as possible.

中國時報  2008.12.15



當然,平日包機依舊只是周末包機的擴大版,在輸運需求上還是無法取代正式的班機。以台灣與港澳間每周六、七百班的運量,平日包機每周一○ 八次的航班,其實仍不敷實際所需,而這也將是明年上半年江陳二次會談的重點之一。只要一切順利,俟兩岸正式完成簽署定期航班的航約,兩岸民眾目前已行之多年的繞經港澳第三地中轉、金廈小三通、甚至包機都將成為歷史。