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Bulletin — 19 January 2012

Dear members and friends,

Taiwan Electors Return President Ma Ying-jeou

As expected, the KMT’s Dr Ma Ying-jeou won the presidential election on 14 January.

I have written to President Ma and Vice President elect Wu Den-yih, congratulating them on their victory and confirming the ATBC’s commitment to building stronger business and other relations between Australia and Taiwan.

Ma was re-elected with 51.6 percent of the vote, six percentage points lower than his landslide win in 2008.

The KMT also lost seats in the Legislative Yuan, elections for which, for the first time, were held in conjunction with the presidential poll. In 2008, the KMT won 81 seats, with 75 percent of the vote. This time, the KMT’s total was 64 seats from 56.6 percent of the vote. The number of DPP
legislators rose from 27 in 2008 40 in the new parliament. Both the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union and James Soong’s People First Party (PFP) — more pro-China than the KMT — won three seats.

Before the election, we provided members with detailed analysis of the issues in the presidential election campaign and with thoughts about the implications for business of a win by either the KMT or the DPP.

I also contributed to a ‘Policy Commentary’ on the election, published by the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA): Cross-Straits at the Crossroads: Taiwan’s 2012 Elections. You can find my contribution and three others by Australian and Taiwan scholars at the following

Overall, the presidential and legislative council elections are being hailed by commentators as marking further progress in the consolidation of Taiwan’s democratic institutions and practices and we welcome that.

It is also true that the new parliament will better reflect the diversity of political opinion in Taiwan.

Some political observers are suggesting that China, undoubtedly relieved at the return of President Ma, will be prepared to give Taiwan more ‘space’ in international affairs. That would be the logical stance for China’s leaders to adopt, for it would do more than anything else to consolidate the Taiwan people’s clear preference for the ‘status quo’ across the Taiwan Strait.
My view remains, however, that China’s communist party is more likely to increase the pressure on the KMT administration, working harder for what it sees as a historically inevitable unification.

For Australian business, the result offers more certainty and increased opportunity, which we welcome.

We also welcome Taiwan’s new Representative at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Canberra, Ambassador Katharine Siao-Yue Chang.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon!

Ross Maddock Chairman

19 January 2012

Our first event for 2012 will be a Business Luncheon 12.00 noon to 2.00pm, at the premises of
Blake Dawson Sydney. Taiwan’s new Representative at Canberra, Ambassador Katharine Siao-Yue Chang, has
accepted our invitation to attend and address the participants.

Our topic for the event is “Taiwan’s 2012 Presidential Elections: What they mean for Australian business”.

We have invited Mr Rowan Callick, Asia Pacific Editor, The Australian, who recently visited Taiwan, to attend the luncheon and share his views with us.

To celebrate the start of a new year and in appreciation for their continuing support, there will be no charge to financial members for attendance at this event.

The ATBC thanks Blake Dawson, its newest member, for generously hosting the event. We hope to see many members and friends on 3 February.

On 24 December, Taiwan’s new Representative at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Canberra, arrived to take up her posting.

Ms Katharine Siao-Yue Chang is a senior diplomat, having previously served at Representative to the United Kingdom and as a Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs.

ATBC executive committee members went to Canberra to welcome Ambassador on arrival and she has accepted our invitation to address our first business luncheon for 2012 on 3 February at Blake Dawson Sydney.

The Eighteenth World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce Congress (WTCC) will be held in Sydney on Sunday 15 April. The organisers expect that up to 600 Taiwan business people will attend, half of them from Taiwan and other foreign countries. The World President of the WTCC is Mr Jonathan Huang, a leading Taiwan businessman with interests in New South Wales, Taiwan and other countries.

The ATBC has assisted the organizers, including by encouraging the federal and state governments to support the event.

More details are available from the ATBC Secretariat.