Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Soong to be rehabilitated by Beijing?

Don't miss this amazing ROC military recruitment video. With technology like this, Taiwan can't lose.

From the South China Morning Post comes this piece announcing that Beijing will join a cross-strait forum hosted by one of Taiwan's opposition parties. (Wait -- the DPP or the TSU?). Here's the headline and article:
One of Taiwan's opposition parties is set to hold a cross-strait forum with the Communist Party in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, early next month, four years after their first convention in Shanghai. Analysts say the event is an apparent sign that the mainland wants toincrease its political options in Taiwan instead of putting all its eggs in the Kuomintang basket.

James Soong Chu-yu, chairman of the People First Party (PFP), will lead a delegation comprising party officials, scholars and experts for the three-day forum to discuss agricultural, water conservation and green energy co-operation.
It's certainly humorous to read that the PFP is an "opposition" party, but more interesting is the name of Soong. Further on the article drops the broad hint that Beijing is displeased that its KMT allies gave the Dalai Lama a visa, and so they are showing favor to James Soong, the PFP head, once a colossus bestriding Taiwan politics, now doing his Ozymandias imitation in the political desert as most of his party legislators have returned to the KMT fold.

Could Soong be rehabilitated as a political force by tighter links with Beijing? It would be classic authoritarian strategy to play off one bigwig against another to prevent the growth of a single powerful figure, or more likely, merely to let the KMT know that such a thing could happen if they are not sufficiently servile.
Daily LinksJOBS: SOAS in London is looking for a senior teaching fellow in Taiwan Studies. For some reason they rejected my proposed courses of 'Beer and Political Economy in Taiwan,' 'Imagery of the Female: Betel Nut Culture,' and 'Management 401: Let Your Taiwanese Wife Handle Everything'. Ah, well, maybe next year.
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Anonymous said...

Did you read the article?

"Keh was sacked and reassigned as an advisor at the Ministry of National Defense on Friday."

This is some corruption of the language. You can't be sacked but then be given a job as an advisor. That's merely a reassignment. It's a slap on the wrist.

Same exact situation with the former vice-mayor of Taipei County. During work hours, married official goes on a date with hot half-Aboriginal legislator that he claims he isn't sleeping with even though he regularly goes to hot springs with her and holds hands with her. Result? Resigns and claims he will not accept any post at the Taipei County government. Few months later, hired back as an "advisor" to the TC govt.

The KMT are corrupt as hell.

(For the record, I don't really care that you had four kids, your wife loves you, but you want to have fun with a half-Aboriginal that always hid that she was Aboriginal until recently when she found she could win elections with that identity. I care that you're a liar and you're doing this doing work hours. Water conservation expert or not, go the f away.)

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting development if you also consider that Hu Jintao was upstaged at the National Day celebration by Jiang Zeming, whose re-emergence signals a probable conflict within the CCP. The pawns are moving around the chess board!

Thomas said...

Really though, who gains from this besides Soong? What could Beijing have to gain by developing a possible competitor in the blue camp for the KMT? Even when the PFP was decently represented in the legislature, while they usually sided with the KMT, they were still a pretty powerful faction that had to be placated.

I thought this might just be a way for Beijing to get another friendly voice spouting their line at a moment where there is a relative lull in China fever among the KMT due to preoccupations with Morakot and the election splits. Or perhaps it is a way to reinforce their links to a key cheerleader who, may be influential in rallying support for pro-Beijing points in the future. Making nice with Soong might be part of what Beijing sees as a comprehensive approach to solving their problem.

Or, it could just be that they want to reinforce the message that support for their viewpoint crosses parties in order to give more legitimacy to their viewpoint with uninformed readers.

Or it might just have been a slow news day at the SCMP and Lawrence Chung was making a big deal out of something that is not a big deal, using the Dalai Lama bit as some tired old excuse to back up his point. He isn't exactly an unbiased reporter, and I have noticed that the SCMP seems to be getting a bit more propagandistic lately, using more of certain ritual clumsy stylistic forms that make it clear for their readers that Taiwan must be a part of China.

Anonymous said...

This shows Communist Beijing is still so ignorant of Democratic Taiwan politics!

Say Frank Hsieh! Yo LTH! James Soong?

Anonymous said...

Keh was probably sacked for trying to take measures that might protect the country... like dealing with China as a potential military threat.

China Debunked said...

I highly doubt the CCP is ignorant of Taiwan politics, at least certainly not anymore since the younger generation has taken over and the older rats have taken a step back.

I believe China's doing it for the benefit of the KMT since Soong is pretty much useless and disposable for all intents and purposes.

The KMT looks bad and certainly looks like the "too pro-China party" in Taiwan which puts it in a weaker position so there needs to be some contrast.

By having Soong play in the thermometer, especially as the "opposition", when the "China Love" heats up people in Taiwan will have something else to gauge against and might consider the KMT as an "alternative" to what a "radical" PFP might wants.

The DPP and TSU are to play no purpose in here because no one wants to play chess with black and white pieces that don't serve their side.

I think this is the real purpose, to be able to say, "Oh look, the KMT isn't leading us on annexation that fast, why just compare with the PFP!".

Changing the definition of everything from fast growing ties, to what status quo is, has always been China's game. It might even get some extra naive Taiwanese to give the KMT a boost.

Macca said...

Interesting article from the Guardian about efforts to rid Spain of the last of its Franco statues.
Franco and CKS died in the same year...


Robert Scott Kelly said...

Michael, thanks for that video. I have sent it home to all my friends and family to ensure them that I am safe and sound in the ROC, protected by the finest military in the universe.

Michael Turton said...

Macca, I was planning to blog on that article today. Thanks for the reminder. Yes, great article.


Aoede said...

Is that video for real?


I have trouble believing that it's unironic. Perhaps watching it with the sound off made me miss some cue that would confirm its deliberate irony?

Jonathan Benda said...

From what I can tell, that video is showing that our military has Decepticons in its midst. Now I don't know if that means they've been sent here by China, disguised as military equipment and spying on our military (so perhaps the ad is warning us to be on the lookout for suspiciously acting tanks and planes). Or perhaps it means we are actually the bad guys, and the Autobots are on the side of the PRC. Hmmm...