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Saturday, September 16, 2006

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Will Chen Resign?

An Agence France Press report on yesterday's fun notes:

But the lingering political concerns continued to overshadow the island's stock market on Tuesday with share prices closing more than one percent down.

Nevertheless, only 16 percent of almost 1,000 people surveyed Monday by the TVBS cable news network said they believed Chen could survive the challenge and 60 percent said they supported the campaign.

On Tuesday thousands of angry protesters, wearing red to mark their anger, chanted anti-Chen slogans and flashed thumbs down signs. Numbers were well down on the 200,000 that filled the streets of Taipei on Saturday to start the campaign.

Chen has been under pressure to resign after his son-in-law Chao Chien-ming was detained and indicted on suspicion of insider trading and taking bribes. Chen has publicly apologized for Chao's actions but said he would not resign.

Prosecutors are also looking at whether Chen misused funds intended for national affairs and questioned him last month.

In June he survived an unprecedented parliament vote to topple him after the move failed to win the backing of two-thirds of all lawmakers. If passed, it would have triggered a national referendum on Chen's future.

His wife Wu Shu-chen is also under investigation for allegedly accepting department store gift certificates in exchange for lobbying efforts.


The report shows why so many of us here are so disgusted with the foreign press. The article uses a poll from TVBS, anti-Chen and owned 100% by Hong Kong Chinese. Needless to say, the reader is not apprised of this relationship. It also uses the 200,000 figure for the first day, without noting, as less partisan reports did, that the 200K is from the march organizers (the police estimate was less than half that). It also fails in that it gives no background on Shih, and no background to its own statements -- that no investigation has turned up evidence of Chen engaging in wrongdoing. I have this dream that the foreign media will one day report on Taiwan honestly and in depth.

One wild-card that hasn't appeared in the foreign media is the status of Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen. She checked into the hospital the other day apparently weighing less than 30 kilos (has she come out?). If she dies, that could be a major factor in making him step down.

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