中午新聞弱 宋林登記 消遣馬之home stay 要他stay home 蔡之Taiwan Next 在找工作時被拒 台灣來的? Next 所以要Taiwan First
美國之了不起 可參考紐約時報的這篇感謝在野共和黨的辯論 給美國人許多難忘的時刻
By GAIL COLLINS
This year, don't forget to give thanks for the Republican presidential debates. Seriously, they have given us so many truly interesting TV moments.
Ma's Lead Narrows as Rivals Enter Taiwan Election
By PAUL MOZUR And JENNY W. HSU
TAIPEI—Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou is slipping in the polls as candidates for a January election formally register this week, setting the stage for a tight contest closely watched in Beijing and Washington.
Mr. Ma, the onetime favorite, has fallen behind opposition Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen less than two months before the Jan. 14 vote, amid rising economic worries among voters, according to one measure. Ms. Tsai would receive 48.6% of the vote while Mr. Ma would get 44.1%, according to Monday results from National Chengchi University's Center for Prediction Markets, which lets people bet on the outcome with fake money and has proven accurate in the past. Other polls have the two running mostly even.
James Soong, a third-party candidate expected to register Thursday, would get 8.2% of the vote, according to the university's political-futures market. He is considered a threat to Mr. Ma because both support closer ties to China.
Analysts say Mr. Soong's support largely stems from dissatisfaction with Mr. Ma. "Ma must strengthen his grass-roots campaign by sleeping less and shaking more hands," said Alexander Huang, Tamkang University professor of political science. Citing Mr. Ma's push for stronger economic ties with China, Mr. Huang added that "he needs to find a different way to convince the voters that a peaceful cross-strait relationship is by far more essential to maintaining Taiwan's long-term stability."
Voters such as Karen Tsai are not convinced. "Taiwan needs a president who will not solely count on China for its economic growth," said the financial-industry worker, who said she plans to vote for Ms. Tsai. "Ma's China-focused policy will only put Taiwan in a more vulnerable position both economically and politically."
The election is being monitored on both sides of the Pacific Ocean because a shift away from the Beijing-friendly policies of Mr. Ma and his ruling party, the Kuomintang, could increase cross-strait tensions. Ms. Tsai has said she supports improved relations with China, but her party backs independence from Beijing and China has historically responded negatively to DPP rule of Taiwan.
People familiar with U.S. policy toward China say that Taiwan has been less of an issue between Washington and Beijing under Mr. Ma, despite terse words between the two countries in September over U.S. plans to upgrade the island's F-16 fighter jets. Analysts said U.S. officials might look for small ways to help Mr. Ma, such as quickening continuing efforts to drop Taiwan visa requirements for visits to the U.S., while trying to keep from appearing to meddle in the island's domestic affairs.
The election is widely viewed as a referendum on Mr. Ma's efforts to thaw relations with China, but it also has been marked by an increased emphasis on the island's slow wage growth, rising unemployment and a widening wealth gap.
Taiwan's wealth gap narrowed slightly in 2010 from record levels in 2009, with the richest 20% earning 6.19 times more on average than the poorest 20%, according to government statistics. Meanwhile, unemployment is stuck above 4%, an enviable level at a time of slow growth in the U.S. and Europe, but a disappointing one in the context of Mr. Ma's promise to keep it under 3% and Taiwan's 10.88% growth rate last year. Wage growth also has been flat under Mr. Ma.
Meanwhile, growth is expected to slow, with the government forecasting GDP rising 4.56% in 2011 and 4.38% in 2012. Taiwan's stock market has fallen 24% and on Tuesday hit its lowest intraday level since September 2009 amid rising economic skepticism and the departure of foreign funds.
Mr. Ma also is seen as making missteps on the issue of China, especially last month, when he proposed talks over a peace pact with Beijing within the decade that would go beyond the current economic rapprochement. Last week at a Foreign Correspondent's Club news conference, Mr. Ma's chief campaign strategist, King Pu-tsung admitted the campaign had failed to anticipate how sensitive the pact would be.
Meanwhile, Ms. Tsai seems to be increasingly gaining the support of independent voters with a campaign focused on social issues and growing Taiwan's domestic economy with policy points such as reducing restrictions against foreign professionals, growing the social safety net, and subsidies for farmers. Ms. Tsai also has made some inroads with the business community, traditionally a Kuomintang stronghold, with comments about China seen as more moderate than the platform of her pro-independence party.—Jeremy Page in Beijing contributed to this article.