Dear Alan:
Dr. Charles Morrison, who is part of the international election "obervation team" just emailed me about Ma Ying Jiu's victory.  Congratulations!  This is good for Taiwan, good for China, the U.S., and the entire Asia-Pacific region which needs high-minded people who advocate and promote peace and reconciliation. 
I am also very happy that the U.S. and Burma have retored diplomatic relations.  With the U.S., and Europe in very unpredictable economic situation, a peaceful, stable, economically progressive, Asia-Pacific region is needed and can save the world. 
I really believe that each nation has the inalienable right to pick its own course of destiny.  The U.S., and other stronger nations, should only lead by example, not by imposition of their values and social-polical systems on others. 
Mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual acceptance of differrences are essential ingredients for peace.
I am in Hanoi, a city I love to visit some ADB colleagues. 
It is dark, wet and overcast with freezing temperature. 
But the pre-TET (new year) atmosphere is really nice.  I am going back to Vientiane in two days, and then for Honolulu on 23rd Jan.