If your impression of Taiwanese politics has been dominated by the island's recurring stories of vote-buying and parliamentary brawls, you'll probably be shocked to hear what Mary Kay Magistad has to say about her recent trip to cover last week's elections on the island, in which Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomingtang Party was re-elected to a second term in a surprisingly sedate process.

Trying to keep up with what's going on in China? Today Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined by Mary Kay Magistad for a closer look at the political situation in Taiwan as well as a more general discussion about what it implies for the prospects for democratization in other countries where people also happen to speak mandarin. Also up for discussion are the latest trends in Chinese Internet and mobile usage, and of course a special list of holiday recommendations along with our best wishes for the upcoming Spring Festival. So regardless of whether you're off work, join us for our last show in the Year of the Rabbit. We hope you enjoy it.

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 said on
January 21, 2012
Great podcast! What's everyone's weibo handle?
 said on
January 27, 2012
Interesting to see a perspective from China. Worth asking, also, just how democratic is Taiwan?

See the review linked below of Mikael Mattlin's book Politicised Society: The long Shadow of Taiwan's One Party Legacy.

The answer, in short, is not very...


 said on
January 27, 2012
What a harmonious podcast! It was amusing listening to Kaiser's ill-fated attempt at playing the devil's advocate.

What is with this Chinese obsession with this "suzhi" thing anyway? Democracy is really about stuff like free speech, free press, civil society, individual rights; at least that's what I learned in school.

Some people (whom I shall not name) brings up Xiao Yueyue, but does that really have anything to do with civil society? That stuff happens all the time in Taiwan and the US too, you just don't read about it cause they don't have the same level of press freedom.

As for free speech, I'm for the first amendment and all, but you do realize that, like, half the people are paid shrills right? Or at least brainwashed by those textbooks. You know, "bought" the party line? Or, "paid" the party line perhaps? Haha, I'm so clever.

Some people say China is not a truthful society, but that is just not so. In another podcast (which shall remain unnamed) I heard that "In an untrue society, the false rumor is more true than the truth". And we all know that China has a lot of false rumors, so it's either a true society, or one with a truth filled Weibo and media.

Even CCTV's getting in on it. Talk about brave journalism, exposing the truth with false rumors. A great leap forward for the freedom of press really.

One thing we need to be careful about here is individual rights. I don't know about dictatorship of the majority but I know about the dictatorship of the proletariat. As Mao once said, "the eyes of the masses is bright". In China, they can use those eyes to uncover any violation of individual rights with what is called the human-flesh search engine. Empower that with Weibo and no abusers will escape unscathed!

Counter arguments? Chicken and the egg maybe? But why bother? There's always the straw-man. Cause you know, if staw-man's are being made, then everyone must be a straw-man. I just drove past one on the I-95, QED.

Oh and by the way, I'm totally for democracy, just so you know, cause, you know, I don't want to be misconstrued or anything.

Back to the podcast, glad to see Hu's theory taking root and all, but perhaps it's time to inject a little new blood?
 said on
February 3, 2012
Hiya guys, really enjoyed the podcast.

Just a suggestion, could you please provide links to your recommended sites? Did a quick google search and couldnt find it!

Mark Lesson Studied