MEDIA REACTION: FIRST YEAR OF PRESIDENT OBAMA, HAITI
Jan. 20, 2010, 9:45 a.m.
1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies gave extensive coverage January 20 to the resignation of Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming, which came shortly after a Control Yuan motion to impeach him for dereliction of duty and lack of integrity. News coverage also focused on the year-end five city and county magistrate elections and on developments in cross-Strait relations. 2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, an op-ed in the pro-unification "United Daily News" discussed President Barack Obama's first year in office, saying that "Obamaism" is taking shape and will become the guiding principle for the United States' foreign relations in the next few years. A column in the KMT-leaning "China Times" discussed the U.S. role in Haiti and said it looks like the U.S. military is going to stay in Haiti for a long time now. End summary. 3. First Year of President Obama "Justice and Peace: New Vision of Obamaism" Yen Chen-shen, research fellow at National Chengchi University's Institute of International Relations, opined in the pro-unification "United Daily News" [circulation: 400,000] (1/20): "It has been a year since President Barack Obama took over the helm. Since he assumed office, he has been busy traveling around the world and has delivered many speeches that revealed [his] strong diplomatic style and were regarded as a modification of the unilateralism upheld by [former] President George W. Bush. [What Obama did] has greatly altered the United States' international image. Now we can roughly discern the Obamaism taking shape, which will become the guiding principle for U.S. foreign relations in the next few years. ... "Obamaism has gradually taken shape after Obama delivered a speech focusing on 'war of justice' and 'justice and peace' in Oslo when he received his Nobel Peace Prize award. ... When compared with several former [U.S.] presidents whose diplomatic lines centered on containing Communism or sending troops overseas, Obamaism, on top of [dealing with] wars, also touches on [the topic of] peace. Also, the areas that Obamaism is applied to are no longer limited to the Middle East or Latin America, which Washington was traditionally concerned with; instead, it applies at a global level. Thus it is a more balanced and broader diplomatic line." 4. Haiti "Has the United States Taken over Control of Haiti?" The "International Lookout" column in the KMT-leaning "China Times" [circulation: 120,000] wrote (1/20): "... Within twelve hours after the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, the U.S. air force had sent in three giant transport planes bringing a total of 115 rapid reaction soldiers to forcibly land on the airport in Port-au-Prince. [The U.S. air force] immediately stepped in to take over control [of the airport], executing air control on behalf of the Haitians, and making it a top priority to ensure [the safety of] the takeoff and landing of U.S. military aircraft. As of now there are already 4,200 American soldiers stationed in Haiti, and an additional 6,300 soldiers will soon arrive in the country. This indicates that the United States has control over the external communications of Haiti. Foreign passengers who are anxious to leave Haiti said: 'They [i.e. the United States] only care about evacuating the Americans and no others. The Americans have absolute power [in Haiti]; they take control over us and would not let us return to our countries.' ... "The U.S. soldiers in Haiti are about to exceed 10,000. Is that really necessary for a rescue mission? The supplies for these 10,000 people can help keep hundreds of thousands of Haitian refugees alive. Surely the U.S. military is not occupying the country by force, because the U.S. government has signed an agreement with the president of Haiti, who granted permission for U.S. soldiers to enter his country. Even the U.S. media believe that the rescue operations have a strong smell of gunpowder. ... U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said when meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval: 'We are here at your invitation, and we will be here today, tomorrow and in the future.' It looks like the U.S. military will stay in Haiti for a long time. Fortunately, 85 percent of high-ranking Haitian officials have gone missing after the earthquake, and it is all right for the United States to take over control [of Haiti] now." STANTON