Real Deal or Ploy Toy?
His eyes told him what was happening, now that he thought to look closely for it. Beneath the feet of his riding-beast, and those of the other animals in his troop, the grassy land was elongating in the direction of their travel, like an optical illusion in reverse. Three steps forward were required to cover the real distance normally contained in two.
Taiwan News reports that the KMT decided to allow a tiny leak of arms purchase funding to make it to the floor:
The controversial three-weapons arms deal took another twist in the National Defense Committee on Wednesday as legislators decided to refer a budget including funding for the three weapons systems to a plenary session for further discussion later this month.Is someone writing new show tunes? Or is just more of the same old song and dance? The PFP votes for the latter:
At Wednesday's committee meeting, open funding in the 2007 budget for diesel-electric submarines (NT$37.06 million) and P3-C anti-submarine aircraft (NT$2.48 million) - two of three items in the package - was referred for discussion to the plenary session, which opens on November 22.
While open funding for the third item in the package - Patriot-III missiles - was vetoed on Wednesday, legislators said later that they expect the NT$25.5 billion in funding in the 2007 budget for the three weapons systems, most of which is contained in so-called secret budgets, to be discussed at the session, where negotiations are held between the caucus leaders to see if a consensus on the issue can be reached.
The move came one day after the Procedure Committee blocked an NT$6.3 billion supplementary budget that would have provided initial funding for the P3-C aircraft and diesel electric submarines.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislators Lee Wen-Chung and Tang Huo-shen (湯火聖) told the Taiwan News that the National Defense Committee referred the whole issue to a plenary session because the arms deal was too politicized for the committee to make a professional and rational review of the arms budgets.
After the committee meeting, the People First Party caucus condemned the KMT for allowing the arms deal to go to a plenary session, saying it was a strategy to put the issue off until after the December 9 Taipei and Kaohsiung municipal elections. PFP caucus whip Cheng Ching-ling asked that the KMT make known its stance on the arms deal issue so that it couldn't deceive its constituents, many of whom supported the KMT based on its opposition to the arms package.
Funding for the F-16s Taiwan recently asked for is still to be considered....meawhile Chen apologized to Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska for failing to get the arms package through the legislature. BONUS: Want to see how bad the local media are? Read the last two paragraphs of the "article" which appear to be taken directly from the Senator's own media handouts. Yeesh.
[Taiwan] [US] [China] [DPP] [media] [PFP] [KMT] [BBC] [US Foreign Policy] [crossposted at TVFT]