China Post editorial on ‘One China’

Yesterday’s China Post had a great editorial by Dr. William Fang entitled “‘One China with different interpretations’ is only option”. Unfortunately the China Post doesn’t include its editorials on their web site for some bizarre reason. But that editorial is pretty close to my current opinions.

The quoted part in the article title refers to what is called the ‘1992 consensus’ which is based on the ground rules for an ROC-PRC meeting in Singapore. While this ‘consensus’ itself has been argued to mean different thing by different people, the most common interpretation of it is that both parties believe there is one China, but each side has a different idea of what that means. Unfortunately this is still a bit vague. Here are some excerpts from Dr. Fang’s editorial:

“[PFP Chairman] James Soong said that ‘one China with different interpretations’ means the recognition of the current and historical status of the Republic of China.”

“Therefore it is suggested that the notion of ‘one China with different interpretations’ should, from now on, replace the vague and controversial ‘1992 consensus’ in talking about ‘one China.'”

“It is strongly suggested that the idea of ‘one China with different interpretations’ be included in the official joint statement signed by Soong and his Communist counterpart.”

“If the Communists really mean what the say in ‘adhering to the 1992 consensus,’ they should have no difficulty agreeing to do so in order to demonstrate their sincerity in respecting the sovereignty of the ROC.”

“Under this formula, both Taipei and Beijing can each claim itself to be the ‘sole, legitimate government of China.'”

“This is a mutually exclusive arrangement, but under it both are treated with parity, being equal political entities. This gives both sides what the want: one China for Beijing, and equality for Taipei.”

This may be hard for Beijing to accept, as they have spent over 30 years trying to convince the world that the ROC government is illegitimate, doesn’t exist, or is otherwise subordinate to the PRC government. If they are willing to accept that the ROC government is legitimate, then a great deal of progress can be made at resolving cross-strait issues. Thank you, Dr. Fang for a very clearly worded expression of this.

Dreams Come True WOWOW concert video

HD satellite channel WOWOW recently aired a concert video pieced together from Dreams Come True‘s Yokohama concerts in February as part of the recent DIAMOND15 tour. That concert video recently appeared on JPOPSUKI for download with Bit Torrent. The quality both of the file and the concert are excellent. I highly recommend it:
(registration required)

Interesting interview

There is an interesting interview in today’s Taipei Times with Lin Zhongbin (林中斌) that’s well worth reading. While I don’t agree with a few points, he has a very good understanding of the dynamics of cross-strait politics. It might help enhance your understanding by reading it.

Does the TSU read my blog?

After my comment on May 4 about pandas and wooden horses, this quote gets published in the Taipei Times:

“The pandas are a trick, just like the Trojan Horse,” Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Huang Shi-cho (黃適卓) said. “Pandas are cute but they are meant to destroy Taiwan’s psychological defenses.”

Yet again reinforcing my opinion that the TSU is the kookiest party here.

Meanwhile, an interesting dynamic has developed after the Lien trip. The PRC is now coming under a lot of pressure, especially from the US, to talk to the elected ROC president instead of just the opposition party leaders. They are now kind of in a trap where they will have to do something, or they will look hypocritical.

USB Disk Enclosures

I’ve been pretty into USB external disk enclosures for a while now. They are a pretty cheap and flexible way to do something with those old hard disks that are still big enough to be useful, but small enough that you’ve already upgraded the internal drives to something bigger. And with USB 2.0, performance isn’t much of an issue any more. I have a few of them now, but I’ve never quite been completely happy with the features until now. Today I bought a Fotocom CD 350 enclosure that’s just about exactly what I want in an enclosure:

Fotocom CD 350

(Unfortunately while the Fotocom website has an English version, it only has this item in the Chinese section.)

So before I mention why I like this one, let’s review what I don’t like about others:

– Plastic: Most enclosures are mostly or entirely plastic. This probably makes it cheaper, but it makes it feel cheap, and plastic doesn’t act as a heatsink like metal does. The metal ones I’ve seen usually lack some of the other critical features.

– Inconvenient power switch, or no power switch: Surprisingly, many drive enclosures don’t have a power switch at all. If you want to turn it off, you unplug it. Those that do have power switches usually put them on the rear of the enclosure. Then they compound this problem by making the switch small and difficult to turn on/off unless you pick up the enclosure and turn it around. There’s relatively few drives that actually put a switch on the front on the case.

– No power/activity lights, or poorly placed ones: One of my enclosures has the power/activity light at the rear side of the enclosure, which makes it hard to see. Some enclosures don’t have any indicator lights. One of my enclosures goes overboard by having four LEDs on the front panel for power, hard disk activity, usb link, and fan power.

– Wimpy fan or no fan: Taiwan gets hot in the summertime, and disk drives can put off quite a bit of heat. So it is surprising that a lot of enclosures don’t provide any active ventilation. Those that do have a fan usually have a tiny one that’s less than an inch big, that can’t possibly move all that much air through the enclosure.

– Inflexible orientation: Most enclosures are designed to either stand vertical in a stand or lie flat on the desk, but not both.

So here’s what I like about the Fotocom CD 350: The majority of the case is cast aluminum. It has a big 8cm fan for cooling, and you can actually feel the airflow coming from the vent. It has a front panel power switch, and a front panel LED that shows both power and disk activity (solid on when powered and idle, blinking when there is disk activity). It also has feet for horizontal orientation AND a cast aluminum stand for vertical orientation. Besides that, it also looks cool without being garish. As for drawbacks, because of the larger fan, the case is noticeably thicker than others. Also the screws on the side are hidden by rubber covers that seem a bit flimsy. And it costs a bit more than other USB enclosures. I bought mine for just under US$45.

(They also make variations: the CD 351 includes a security dongle which must be plugged in to be able to access the drive; the CD 352 has both USB and Firewire capability, and the CD 350 Ultra has a backlit LCD temperature display on the front panel. Because many Taiwanese products are produced as OEM items, this may be sold under different brands and model numbers.)

Pandas will solve everything

One of the tangible results of KMT party chairman Lien Chan’s recent PRC trip was an offer of a pair of Pandas for the Taipei zoo. Offers of the rare and endangered animals has been a popular diplomatic tool for the PRC government over time, so it’s interesting to see them try to use it in what they call a domestic issue.

Meanwhile, nuttiness abounds over on this side of the strait. When Lien Chan embarked on his trip, protesters practically had a riot at the airport on the basis that Mr. Lien was committing treason by going to talk to Chinese Communist Party officials. While the ruling DPP party has softened their stance (supposedly under US pressure), the TSU party continues to slam the trip as illegal. Though, even on the DPP side, Premier Frank Hsieh has recently characterized peace talks as illegal.

All in all, there’s way too much antagonism on the part of the various parties here. If the KMT can go and talk to the PRC, the DPP should try to go one step further instead of trying to just fling mud. And if the KMT manages to negotiate some good benefits, those benefits should be welcomed, not rejected because you don’t like the negotiator. And calling progress towards peace illegal is just plain nutty.