Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Links on Hong Kong

Tear Gas Attacks

On the way China's dictator looks at the situation in Hong Kong, Eastern Turkestan and Taiwan.

Live feed in Hong Kong

Comparing how the UK handled Scotland versus how China handles Hong Kong

And in the meantime in Taiwan... Ma was hit by the book Formosa Betrayed

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Monday Morning Protest

A protest this fine morning across from the Bureau of Consular Affairs



The police seemed to be taking notes.

What is this bus doing here? To bring in riot police? To arrest people? The protest is so small and peaceful ... why the need?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Political Wisdom from Literature: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien on China, the KMT and Taiwan


While one writer has compared the Ma regime to the galactic empire of Star Wars, I was thinking of another literary and film analogy: The Lord of the Rings.

The day the Su-Ma meeting was reported, I could just imagine the discussion between Saruman and Gandalf in Orthanc.  Ma/Saruman talking with Su/Gandalf regarding Mordor/China.

Picture it:

Saruman/KMT/Ma: "A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all... We may join that Power. It would be wise... There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it."

Su/Gandalf: "Ma, I have heard speeches of this kind before, but only out of the mouths of emissaries from China/Mordor to deceive the ignorant."

Ma/Saruman: "I did not expect you to  show wisdom, even in your own behalf; but I gave you the chance of aiding me willing, and to save yourself much trouble and pain. The third choice is..." preemptive detention.

Su: "Tell me, "friend," when did Ma/Saruman exchange reason for madness.  There is only one Lord of the Rings and he does not share power."

And after Theodon/Taiwanese people confronts Ma/Saruman in his ruin: ""Were you ten times as wise you would have no right to rule me and mine for your own profit as you desired."

I could hear Treebeard/Taiwanese people after the recent events of the Sunflower Movement and the fast of Lin I-hsiung speaking of Saruman/Ma: "I think that I now understand what he is up to. He is plotting to become a Power... and now it is clear that he is a black traitor... I have been idle. I have let things slip... I will stop it!"

I could hear the media, the KMT hangers-on, sycophants and wannabes (and perhaps the American State Department sinophiles getting a tingle up their legs) enamored with the voice of Saruman/Ma/China/Mordor: "It was a delight to hear the voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves. When others (Taiwanese students, etc.) spoke, they seemed harsh and uncouth by contrast; and if they gainsaid the voice, anger was kindled in the hearts of those under the spell. For some the spell lasted only while the voice spoke to them, and when it spoke to another they smiled, as men do who see through a juggler's trick while others gape at it. For many, the sound of the voice alone was enough to hold them enthralled..."

And finally I could hear Saruman/Ma/KMT when thwarted saying that if they cannot have Taiwan, they will ruin it so that the Taiwanese cannot enjoy it.  I could hear the conversations when Saruman/Ma had taken over the Shire and implemented the ECFA and TiSA and the special "free" trade zone.

Taiwanese people: "We grow a lot of food, but we don't rightly know what becomes of it. It is all these "gatherers" and "sharers," I reckon, going round counting and measuring and taking off to storage. They do more gathering than sharing, and we never see most of the stuff again."

Taiwan under the KMT had become "a bare and ugly place, with a mean little grate that would not allow a good fire... on every wall was a notice and a list of Rules."  "A lot of rules and orc-talk."

"And Ma doesn't hold with folk moving about protesting... there are hundreds of armored police and they want more, with all these new rules. Most of them are in it against their will, but not all of them. Even in Taiwan there are some as like minding other folk's business and talking big."

"There was a whole line of ugly new housing developments"...

"This country wants waking up and setting to rights," said the White Wolf Chang An-lo 張安樂 ("former" hahaha) ganster, "and Ma is going to do it; and make it hard, if you drive him to it. You need a bigger Boss (China). And you'll get one before the year is out, if there's anymore trouble. Then you'll learn a thing or two, you little country-bumpkin Taiwanese rat-folk..." who do not deserve to be called "Chinese."


"The KMT ruffians/mafia are on top, gathering, robbing and bullying, and running or ruining things as they like, in Ma's name. And not in Ma's name even for much longer. He'll be a prisoner pretty soon in Taipei" when China takes over.

The KMT was brought over in 1945 after the Japanese were kicked out, and "before we knew where we were they were planted here and there all over Taiwan/the Shire, and were felling trees and digging and building themselves sheds and houses just as they liked... soon they began lording it around and taking what they wanted."

"Everything except Rules got shorter and shorter, unless one could hide a bit of one's own when the ruffians went round gathering stuff up, 'for fair distribution': which meant they got it and we didn't, except for the leavings... if you could stomach them."

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chinese Brainwashing Abroad


Rejecting Confucius Funding
April 29, 2014
Professors at the University of Chicago have renewed their opposition to the Chinese-government funded Confucius Institute on their campus, with more than 100 of them signing a petition calling on the Council of the University Senate to vote to terminate the university’s contract with Hanban, the government entity that oversees the centers of Chinese language teaching and research.
“There really are two concerns: substantive issues and then there are procedural issues,” said Bruce Lincoln, the Caroline E. Haskell Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions and an organizer of the petition. “The substantive issue is this is really an anomalous sort of arrangement where an entity outside the university and a powerful entity and an entity that has strong interest in what’s taught is in effect seriously influencing who’s teaching and what’s taught under our name and inside our curriculum.”
In regard to procedural issues, the petition argues that the decision of whether to renew the contract for the Confucius Institute should properly belong to the elected council of faculty members and not to administrators. Time is ticking: the five-year contract, which expires in September, will be automatically renewed for another five years unless either party notifies the other of intent to terminate at least 90 days before the agreement's end.
“Although it is generally acknowledged that decisions concerning the establishment of entities with teaching responsibilities ('education') fall within the purview of the council for approval, and although the original [a]greement with Hanban signed on 29 September 2009 prominently included such teaching, the creation of the Confucius Institute was not brought before the council at that time,” the petition states. “We believe it now falls to the council to remedy that oversight with regard to a contract with Hanban which specifies: in Article 4, that the Confucius Institute will undertake the teaching of Chinese language, provide Chinese language teaching resources, and train Chinese language instructors; and in Article 6, that Hanban will provide 3000 volumes of Chinese books, teaching materials, and audio visual materials, as well as send sufficient numbers of qualified [Chinese] instructors … and pay for their airfares and salaries.'"
The establishment of Confucius Institutes on U.S. campuses has been controversial. On the one hand, universities -- especially those that don't have robust Chinese language departments of their own -- have welcomed the influx of foreign money and the ability to import Chinese language instructors at Hanban's expense. On the other, many have raised concerns that in partnering with a Chinese government entity to support the teaching of language and culture, universities are in effect ceding their control over the curriculum. In December, the Canadian Association of University Teachers issued a statement urging the country's universities to sever their ties with Confucius Institutes for these reasons, arguing that in allowing an entity of an authoritarian government to have a say over curriculum, texts and class discussion topics, universities are "compromising their own integrity." 
Critics of Confucius Institutes have also raised concerns related to allegedly discriminatory hiring. Ontario's McMaster University opted to close its Confucius Institute last year after a former instructor filed a complaint with the province's Human Rights Tribunal alleging that the university was “giving legitimization to discrimination” because her contract with Hanban prohibited her participation in Falun Gong. 
The Chicago faculty petition cites both the CAUT statement and the McMaster decision and alleges that Hanban-hired instructors are trained to divert or ignore questions on politically sensitive topics in China like Tiananmen Square and Taiwan. "Among the problems posed by Hanban’s control of the hiring and training of teachers is that that [sic] it thus subjects the university’s academic program to the political constraints on free speech and belief that are specific to the People’s Republic of China," states the petition, which includes 7 department chairs among the 108 total signatories.
Notably absent among the petition's signatories are the university's China specialists, however, with the exception of one professor emeritus, Anthony C. Yu.
Edward Shaughnessy, a professor in early Chinese studies and the chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the time the Confucius Institute was established, took issue with the petition's depiction of Hanban control over hiring and the curriculum.
"The Department of East Asian Languages and Civilization is fully responsible for all Chinese language teaching that goes on on campus," he said.
Shaughnessy said that the department interviews the visiting instructor candidates proposed by Hanban and then votes on their appointments. The instructors teach courses under the auspices of the department, Shaughnessy said: in other words there's no parallel Confucius Institute curricular track offering different courses or using different materials (indeed the faculty petition even notes that Chicago has "ignored the provisions in the agreement specifying that Hanban will supply texts and course materials for Chinese language instruction").
"Our Confucius Institute does not offer classes of its own; the teachers participate in the University of Chicago Chinese language program," said Dali Yang, the director of the Confucius Institute and a professor of political science. He added however that the primary function of the Confucius Institute at Chicago is to fund faculty research projects related to China. He said that a faculty committee vets the research proposals, and while a budget listing the selected projects is sent to Hanban for approval, Yang said that in all cases the projects selected by the faculty committee have been funded. 
"We have instituted processes to be sure that the research agenda is led by our faculty," Yang said.
"These functions of research support and language instruction serve the intellectual interests of our faculty members and our students’ growing interest in learning Chinese," John Mark Hansen, the Hutchinson Professor in Political Science and chair of the Confucius Institute's Board of Directors, said in a written statement. "In that sense it is not fundamentally different from support for scholarship on particular places that our scholars receive from governments and foundations all over the world."
The statement from Hansen, also a senior adviser to Chicago's president, continues, in part: "A committee of three distinguished faculty members has been working since February to review the CIUC's [Confucius Institute at the University of Chicago's] activities and make recommendations concerning areas of value or potential concern. Their work has included discussions with a wide range of faculty colleagues, including outspoken critics of the Confucius Institute. They reached out to all faculty members via email and held open meetings to solicit feedback. Their conclusions and recommendations will inform the CIUC board and the relevant deans and the provost as they proceed with decisions concerning the renewal of the university's agreement with the Confucius Institute."
Judith Farquhar, the chair of that committee, said it was convened by the board of the Confucius Institute on behalf of the president and provost. The committee report is complete, she said, but has not yet been released to the faculty council pending review by the Confucius Institute board and the university administration. She expects the council will take up the report at its May 13 meeting. 
Melina Hale, the spokeswoman for the committee of the council (essentially the executive committee) confirmed that a discussion on the subject of Confucius Institutes is planned for the May meeting. 
As for a vote? "I don't anticipate a vote," Hale said.
A press release distributed by the petition's backers states that "it is still unclear whether President Robert J. Zimmer will permit a vote on the issue or if he will seek to block it." A spokesman for the university, Jeremy Manier, declined to respond to a question about whether the university administration considers it to be the prerogative of the faculty council to take a binding vote on the question of contract renewal.
The latest faculty petition represents the second time that Chicago faculty have objected to a lack of a formal vote on the subject. In 2010, more than 170 Chicago faculty signed a petition objecting to the growing "corporatization" of the university, which cited the failure to consult faculty governing bodies on the establishment of the Confucius Institute as one of many manifestations of the university's movement toward "administrative centralization, entrepreneurial pursuit of profit, evasion and effacement of faculty control." That petition described the Confucius Institute as "an academically and politically ambiguous initiative" and argued that the university risked the use of its reputation to "legitimate the spread of such Confucius Institutes in this country and beyond." 
Marshall Sahlins, the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Chicago and the author of several critical articles on Confucius Institutes (including this one, from The Nation), said that the Chinese government has courted elite universities like Chicago, Columbia and Stanford as part of a strategy to gain acceptance. In a GW Hatchet article from last year, a George Washington University administrator cited the establishment of Confucius Institutes at elite institutions like Chicago as increasing the university's comfort level with the concept.
"Consequently the adverse would be if they [elite universities] withdrew from the Confucius Institutes the effect would be quite the reverse: other places will think twice about joining or renewing their contracts," Sahlins said.


Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/29/chicago-faculty-object-their-campuss-confucius-institute#ixzz30WPEivig
Inside Higher Ed 





Src: Inside Higher Education article

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lîm Gī-hiông (林義雄 Lin I-hsiung) halts his fast.


Following is the public statement Lin I-hsiung issued declaring an end to his fast and calling for a mobilization of Taiwanese people for an extended fight for Taiwan's democracy.

When we have an English translation available, we will post it.


林義雄公開信全文如下:

敬愛的親友,

  義雄自四月十五日宣布禁食、懇請台灣人民「採取各種積極有力的方法,共同來敦促權責機關『停建核四』」以來,半個月中,全國各地成千上萬、識與不識的親友,都熱烈地給予關懷和聲援,甚至為我的健康而憂心。廢核團體、公民社團更竭盡全力舉辦各種活動,也獲得許許多多新一代公民積極參與,甚至堅毅地承受國家暴力的兇殘對待,只為了展示強烈的停建核四意願。政治團體也不落人後,民進黨蘇主席四處奔波,尋求停建核四方案的共識;國民黨內的良知之士,也以言詞或行動呼應反核四的訴求。這一切愛護鄉土的熱忱以及對我的關愛,使義雄深深感動和感激。

  面對這廣大、前所未見的「停建核四」的呼聲,當今的掌權者首度在民意壓力下宣佈「核四全面停工」作為回應,這可以說是反核運動的一個階段性成果。但掌權者卻又心不甘、情不願地大玩「停工」不是「停建」的文字遊戲,企圖迴避立院監督、留下伺機續建的伏筆。對「落實民主」的訴求,則以拒修公投法橫加蔑視,其冥頑不靈的程度,更使我們明白:廣大人民持續的、堅定的抗爭,已是未來唯一的道路。

  從服貿到核四,掌權者的所作所為,都遭致公民社會的強大反抗,甚至鄙夷不屑。任何稍具政治觀察力的人,都可以看出當今掌權者,只是一個僅有少數扈從、處處與民為敵的獨夫。對這樣的掌權者,我們實在不必妄想他能作出什麼符合台灣民意的好事。我們必須努力的是,阻擋他繼續戕害台灣的民主,出賣台灣的主權。

  近幾個月的各種抗爭行動,可以看出台灣人民已經普遍覺醒。如果能將這覺醒,以有效的組織和適當的方法加予鍛鍊,就能增進人民的主人意識,提高大眾抗爭的能力,成為一股沛然莫之能禦的人民力量。有了這股力量,當今掌權者的伎倆將無所施展,更可確保未來台灣不會再出現藐視民意的獨裁者。

  人民力量的培養,需要決心、意志和勇氣,也必然會犧牲個人的時間、精神和私慾享受。這當然是漫長而艱辛的一條長路,但在近期中,我們可以努力做好以下二件事:
一、用心花時間和精神,鍛鍊自己的抗爭能力:與有心捍衛台灣民主和主權的人民積極互動,一起砥礪心志、切磋抗爭方法、培養互信與感情,俾具備更強的能力,來做更有效的抗爭行動。

二、以下列活動,實地鍛鍊抗爭能力:

  1. 要求立法院補正「公民投票法」:包括提案連署門檻過高、投票結果計算不合理、審議委員會的設置……等等。

  2. 阻止立法院通過「自由經濟示範區特別條例」。   3. 召開全國「公民憲政會議」,推動修憲。

  4. 在今年的七合一選舉和來年的立委、總統選舉時,要求候選人承諾促成非核家園。   5. ……等。

  核四既已決定停工,只要不再復工,那麼「停建核四」已不是議題,反核人士大可進一步致力於核一、二、三廠的準時除役;熱愛台灣的廣大人民更應專注於台灣民主及主權的維護。

  義雄對於當今的掌權者本無任何期待,因此不屑對他有任何請求。所以禁食的目的是在「懇請台灣人民以積極有力的方法」展現力量。半個月來,台灣人民的優異表現,已屬空前未有,實在使人感動和激賞,更使義雄深深感激。為了回應台灣人民的真摯關愛,義雄決定停止禁食,並誓願以餘生與台灣人民共同盡力維護台灣的民主和主權,並在其再現危機時,奉獻一切,與所有台灣人民共同奮鬥。

  再一次感謝親友的關愛和支援。

      敬祝 平安

                        林義雄 敬上
                        2014.04.30

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Including the Entire Letter of Judy Linton 林奐均 to her father Lin I-hsiung 林義雄

While many of the newspapers did include the entire letter that Judy Linton wrote to her father, Lin I-hsiung, just before he began his hunger strike, some news sources only included excerpts that might give a skewed understanding of what Judy Linton wrote. Here is the letter in its entirety -- both in English and Mandarin. This was written as a personal letter from Judy Linton to her father, not written with the media in mind.

--------------------------------
Dear Dad,

We never know what tomorrow may bring.  A wise person would never take any moment for granted.  Any time we meet anyone, it may be our last time.

With all of my heart, I hope for many more years of life together with you - that my children will have many more years with their grandfather.  I hope tonight is not our last meeting, but it is always a possibility.  You have had many years to write all your thoughts down to me.  Please allow me a little chance to say some things to you.  

You have always been a good dad.  And you’ve been a wonderful grandfather.  The only grandfather my five girls know.  Having your love in their life is making them strong, just as your love has made me strong through the years.  You do realize you play a very important role in their little lives, right?  If ever you feel weak and lose the will to persevere, would you please remember their five faces and fight to stay alive?  Your life will strengthen them.  To lose you would cause a great hole in their hearts.  Please fight to stay with us.  

Dad, I know that you are willing to die for a good cause.  That’s what makes you a remarkable man.  But since I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to say this again, please allow me to say now: “You are not yet ready for eternity.”  Dear Dad, if Heaven were made for righteous men, you would be the first person admitted.  I don’t know of any other man more righteous than you in all of history.  You live up to your name.  But entrance into Heaven is not through a man’s own righteousness.  

Dear Dad, you have read about all the different religions.  Almost all religions are the same.  They talk about ‘being good.’  But the Bible is different from all others.  The Bible says that no one is good.  Not even one.  “No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, it is through the law we become conscious of sin.”  Meaning, the purpose of the ‘do good’ laws is to show us how much we sin.

I have heard you quote First Corinthians 13 many times.  “Love is patient, love is kind...”     It is a wonderful reminder of how to love others, and at the same time it shows us plainly how often we fail, especially with those closest to us.  How often have I failed to show patience and kindness to my own kind mother and sweet children?  

We cannot enter Heaven based on our own righteousness.  You have said in your own letters to me that you, too, have often failed.  No matter how ‘good’ we are in this life, “there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  The only righteousness God accepts “comes through faith in Jesus Christ.”  Meaning, faith is the righteousness with which we must wear to gain entrance into Heaven.  

It is midnight now.  I wonder if I should write more or stop.  This very morning, we celebrated Easter.  We celebrated Jesus’s dying on the cross and rising from the dead after 3 days.  Dear Dad, you have spent an entire lifetime following Jesus’ many good teachings.  As you now put your own life on the line for Taiwan’s democracy, could you please spend some time reflecting on why Jesus sacrificed his life?  Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins, so that if you believe in Him, you will be forgiven, and you will be declared righteous by God Himself.  

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.“  

Dear Dad, as a gift to your daughter, please give me more chances to discuss life with you.

Love you so much,

       Judy

Easter Sunday
April 21, 2014

------------------------------------------
親愛的爸爸,

沒有一個人可知道明天會發生什麼事,有智慧的人就不會把任何一刻視為理所當然,每次見面都有可能是最後一次見面。

我全心全意希望還能有多年時間和你相處,也希望孩子們還能有很多年時間和你相處,我希望今晚不是我們最後一次見面,但今晚仍有可能是我們最後一次見面。你用了多年的時間把你的想法全寫下來給我,請你也給我一點機會向你說幾句話。 

你一直是好爸爸,也一直是好棒的阿公,你是五個女兒唯一所認識的阿公,她們因為生命中有你的愛而變得更堅強,如同多年來我也因為有你的愛而變得更堅強,你在她們幼小的生命中扮演非常重要的角色,我相信你懂這點,對不對?當你覺得軟弱、失去堅持的毅力時,能不能請你想想她們五個孩子的臉龐,繼續奮鬥,繼續活下去?你的生命會帶給這些孩子力量,失去你會在她們的生命中留下很大的缺口,請你一定要奮鬥下去,留在我們身邊。

爸爸,我知道你願意為理想而失去生命,這就是你不凡的原因,然而,我不知道自己還有沒有機會向你說一句話,所以請容許我在此向你說:「爸爸,你還沒準備好進入永恆。」親愛的爸爸,天堂若是給義人去的,你一定是第一個進入天堂的人,我在歷史上看不到一個比你更公義的人,你的名字中有「義」字,你也就是名符其實的義人。但人不是靠著自己的公義進天堂的。

親愛的爸爸,你涉獵各種不同宗教的書籍,其實幾乎所有的宗教都一樣,談的都是「行善」。但聖經和其他宗教不一樣,聖經說:沒有義人,連一個都沒有。「所以凡有血氣的,沒有一個因行律法能在 神面前稱義,因為律法本是叫人知罪」(羅馬書三章20節)。換言之,律法告訴人要「行善」,但這些律法的目的是要向我們顯明我們犯了多大的罪。

我曾多次聽你引用哥林多前書十三章:「愛是恆久忍耐,又有恩慈……」這段經文是很好的提醒,教導我們要如何愛人,但這段經文同時也清楚向我們顯明我們多常做不到「愛」的真諦,尤其面對我們最親密的人時,常常做不到。我自己有多常對善良的媽媽和貼心的孩子失去耐心、失去善意?

我們無法靠自己的公義進天堂,你在寫給我的信中也說過你經常失敗。不論我們此生多「良善」,「並沒有分別,因為世人都犯了罪,虧缺了 神的榮耀」(羅馬書三章22-23節),上帝接納的唯一公義是「因信耶穌基督」而來的,也就是說,我們進天堂所必須穿戴的公義就是「信耶穌基督」。

現在已經是午夜了,我不知道自己是該繼續寫下去,還是就此停筆。就在今早,我們剛好是慶祝復活節,我們慶祝耶穌死在十架上後,第三天從死裡復活。親愛的爸爸,你一生都遵循耶穌許多美好的教導,現在你已為台灣的民主冒了失去自己生命的危險,你能否在此刻花一些時間思考耶穌為何要犧牲祂的生命?耶穌死在十架上是為了替你的罪付贖價,這樣一來,你若信祂,你就會得赦免,上帝也會親自宣告你是義人。 

約翰福音三章16節:「神愛世人,甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的,不致滅亡,反得永生。因為 神差他的兒子降生,不是要定世人的罪,乃是要叫
世人因他得救。信他的人,不被定罪,不信的人,罪已經定了,因為他不信 神獨生子的名。」

爸爸,我有一輩子的時間可以好好的思考你所寫給我的每一封信,謝謝你。同時我還有很多生命中的話題想要跟爸爸討論,請你一定要留更多機會給我們彼此交流喔。

Love you so much,

奐均


復活節
4/21/2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What a 14 year old student in Taipei thinks about the Sunflower Movement



The following was written by a junior high school second year student in Taipei. 
(Name withheld)
=====================================
The question isn’t exactly if China will invade Taiwan or not.  China has already decided to try and "reclaim the break away province" that is not the break away province.  One thing I want to make clear is that Taiwan is an entirely different country and we have always been a different people.  We are Taiwanese, not a kind of Chinese.  It's not like we are a break away province trying to gain freedom, we were here BEFORE China even noticed us.  Anyways Taiwan's history before China tried to control us is pretty complicated so I won't go into detail about that.
Before I keep going, I'll have to give an explanation on what the KMT are.  In the 1900s Chang Kai Shek and Mao Zhe Dong were both leaders fighting to get power of China.  Chang Kai Shek lost and fled to the island of Taiwan to get away from Mao.  Now don't get me wrong, he was not fighting for freedom in China, he just wanted the power for himself.  The reason these two people are fighting is because they want the powers for themself.  Okay now that (I think) I've gotten that straight I'll move on.  When Chang Kai Shek came to Taiwan he established a dictatorship here.  Don't believe what most textbooks say about him, he was not a nice guy trying to help out Taiwan.  Yes, he was not a communist, but he was a fascist and that's almost the same thing.  He called himself "general" but in reality he was a dictator.  He killed many thousands of innocent people and put Taiwan under martial law.  So this is the guy that led the KMT or Kuomintang. This is the political party that likes Chang Kai Shek, wants China to take over Taiwan, and doesn't want Taiwan to be a democracy.
So coming back to present time.  Unfortunately in 2008 people were not thinking of that and voted for Ma Eng Jioh the guy that is chairman of the KMT party.  (I know many people who didn't, but there were a lot of people who were drawn in by his nice speeches and promises of good stuff, kind of like what happened with Obama.  There are also people who just care about power and money that would vote for him.  It is also possible that there were some fraud votes.) Now that he's in office and has the power, he's been trying to get Taiwan to become part of China.  It wasn't really happening very well (at least it was happening very slowly) until the following happened: The KMT signed a trade tract with China.  Let me explain more about this pact before I go on.
Sounds fair, it might even benefit Taiwan, right?  This doesn't sound really bad, does it? At first, maybe, but let me give you the details.  It's like the "Trojan Horse" of China.  Normally trade pacts should take YEARS to look over and discuss, ESPECIALLY with a communist country like China.  Not this time, the way that the pact was passed was very sneaky.  They met to supposedly "discuss" the trade pact but instead they "discussed" for 30 seconds then suddenly said, "Okay, it's passed."  You have to start wondering about that, don't you?  Before I go on I need to give more about the details of the trade pact.  First of all, China has 1600 missiles pointed at us.  Do you really negotiate a "real" trade pact with a country that has missiles pointed at you?  Secondly, this is not just trading food or different material, this is allowing workers from China to flood into Taiwan and work in major industries.  Again, at first this doesn't sound bad.  But think a little bit longer.  So a Chinese worker eventually owns a Taiwanese industry and everything seems fine.  Then, since he's the boss, he can eventually tell all the Taiwanese workers to leave and that he just wants his own Chinese workers, making less work for Taiwanese and more work for Chinese.  It’s starting to sound bad, right?  Here's another thing.  All businessmen that have been here for 6 years can vote.  Well that means that they are going to vote for the KMT, and since there are so many of them then there isn't a chance that the people who want democracy and oppose the KMT will have enough votes.  It's a slower process than an immediate invasion, but it slowly floods out all the Taiwanese and makes Taiwan overrun with Chinese.  As the Chinese make more work and slowly take over higher positions, Taiwan is basically gone.  This is exactly the same thing that happened to Hong Kong.  Did you know that some of Taiwan's biggest supporters are people from Hong Kong?  They went through this exact same thing and realize what will happen to Taiwan if we pass the pact.  Hong Kong actually wasn't Chinese; they were Cantonese.
So now that I'm done with the trade pact, I'll get to what's going on now.  So many people were outraged at this trade pact because we felt like Ma was betraying Taiwan.  (Well, he was.)  On March 18th, 300 students gathered together and got in to occupy the Legislative Yuan (the Congress Building) where the pact was going to be signed.  Before I go on let me get something straight: These students are clean, organized, and most importantly entirely peaceful.  They take care of their trash and even started cleaning off graffiti.  The protest they are doing is called “civil disobedience.”  We were so happy that they took the initiative to do this because we would not have known what to do.  Anyway the police tried to get in several times but failed.  So the police took to not letting anyone out and not letting anyone in.  Well to show their support, more then 10,000 people came, sat, and are still sitting around the Legislative Yuan where the students are inside.  Right now even more people have gone to sit there and show support.  The president, Ma, has refused to talk to the students and is totally ignoring us.  In fact, they are still trying to get the pact passed even though they can't go to do it at the building. Well after a while another group of people went to occupy the presidential cabinet building.  This time, Ma sent riot police to go and kick them out of the area.  Imagine, riot police!  These students were just peacefully sitting there!  Well they got in, beat the students until many were bleeding, and set the water cannons on them.  It was so sad to hear the sirens going down the street.  (We live pretty close to the parliament building.)
Then a rally was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 30th, 1-7 PM for all to show support to the students and want Taiwan to be a free democracy.  Everyone wore black to signify the "black box" (or in the USA the expression means "behind closed doors") in which the pact was made and brought sunflowers that signified hope and transparency to all.  Guess what?  700,000 people came!  I was at the rally; there could easily have been that many people.  They covered so many streets and almost everyone couldn't hear the speeches being made because there were too many people that we couldn't get to the stage.  It was amazing!  That was around a week ago.
Well now, our president and the KMT are still ignoring us.  I mean, ignoring 700,000 people??  They are still doing their best to ignore us and, unfortunately, they have the wealth and power to do that.  Ma wants to arrest the students now and they're still trying to get the trade pact passed.  That is where the prayers are needed now.
OK, now where the USA comes in is that first of all, there is hardly anything on the news over there about a rally that had 700,000 people fighting for democracy.  All that's really being reported is stuff that China reports on, which, of course, is mostly lies because they want to cover up all that they are doing (Like beating up peaceful and unarmed students until they are bleeding).  So while Taiwan is struggling for democracy and freedom, the news in the USA is showing Michelle Obama doing some tour in China... it's like they want to “get good” with communist China and aren't paying attention to a struggling democracy.  Well, I hope that explains what’s going on over here.