Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Long Live King

Headlines were made last week with the tapping of King Pu-tsun to be the KMT Secretary-General:
The party confirmed that Ma had invited his former top aide and deputy city mayor, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), to assist him with party affairs. King, currently a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is expected to return to Taiwan later this month.

“We expect Mr King to bring more energy to the KMT and initiate bold and creative moves to help with party reform,” KMT spokesman Lee Chien-jung (李建榮) said after the party’s Central Standing Committee (CSC) meeting.


King, 54, played a major role in Ma’s previous campaigns, helping him win the Taipei City mayoral elections in 1998 and 2001, and the presidential election last year.
King is of Manchu descent [Correction: no, he's not] and grew up in Tainan. He speaks excellent Taiwanese. He was the former deputy mayor of Taipei and had headed up Next Media's TV venture. He holds a doctorate in journalism from Texas Tech.

He is said to be quite close to Ma.

There has been much speculation about King in the media, where he was accused of being narcissistic, and also nicknamed "little dagger" for his role as Ma's hatchet man. Many KMTers not in the Ma faction lined up against King, while his supporters said that King is a man of integrity just like Ma....which should tell you something. Taiwan News noted:
The director of the party's Chiayi City department resigned as a protest against King's appointment, reports said yesterday. The official later told reporters he was leaving his post because he had completed his mission, the re-election of the city's KMT mayor in the election. Party officials said they would try to persuade him to stay on.

Media reported similar resignations of leading KMT officials in neighboring Chiayi County and in Yunlin County, allegedly as a reaction to King's appointment.

DPP lawmaker Lee Chun-yee said King was the wrong choice to head the party structure, because he would find it difficult to communicate with grassroots workers in Southern Taiwan.

Outspoken KMT lawmaker Chiu Yi described the new secretary-general as a "knife that is sharp, but not precise."

Li Keng Kuei-fang, a KMT member of the Taipei City Council, said King needed to work on his interpersonal relations.

Putting King in such a senior position in the party might bear risks, because if he failed, the failure would be associated with Ma, said KMT legislator Lee Ching-hua.
Resignations, criticism...the casuistry and casualties of Ma's struggle to bring the KMT under his control... another Taiwan News piece on King observed:
it is no doubt that King skilfully moulded Ma's image as a moderate, clean and charismatic politician despite the latter's lack of concrete achievements as mayor and played a the key role in the creation of Ma's presidential campaign slogan, "We Are Ready!"


Ma evidently aims to use King as a "bad cop" to push out the KMT old guard and thus help the born-again KMT chairman promote party reforms which he had promised but failed to realize in his previous term at the KMT's helm from late 2005 to early 2007, including dealing with the KMT's illicitly acquired "party assets" and the KMT's notorious reputation for "black and gold" money politics.
Several newspaper articles pointed out the alleged role of King. The mere fact that Ma has to appoint a hit man to enforce his will on the KMT says much about his role in it.

UPDATE: Don't miss a couple of great comments below.
Daily Links
  • Local media carries tale of how female soldiers flash tits, give finger, in photos. Yes, it's important news, almost unknown in the world to date, that young females like to show off their looks and look tough in poses. Tune in next week for tale of how dozens of new recruits each slept with Tiger Woods.
  • New study says India is cradle of Asian populations. No doubt this will cause Beijing to claim the whole country, instead of just one state (longer version in Chinese).
  • Latest Taiwan What's Up is out.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Chris in Asia said...

Hmmm... Manchu? Surviving members of the Qing Imperial Family, the Aisin-Gioro clan, go by the surname Jin nowadays. Interesting that he chose to romanize his name as King... is he royalty?

Anonymous said...

Jin Pu-chong is a total mess and brings that total mess to wherever he goes. He must believe in his own mythology. His recent history has been to claim that he didn't want any post after Ma's election as if he was above it all (what do you call this latest appointment sir?), then proceeded to teach as a visiting professor in HK, quit after just one semester to head up Next Media's TV station, quit after a few months because he "didn't like it" and then went to the US to do this "visiting scholar" bullshit. What in the world? Despite how smart and creative he claims he is, this guy doesn't finish anything he starts.

His reputation of rubbing other Ma aides the wrong way was absolutely notorious. People said he would be constantly late to meetings, would be so late that everyone had already come to a consensus, and then he'd show up and just tell everyone, no, they'll do it his way. How is that an effective or efficient way to run things? If you want to be the dictator, tell people what you want them to do at the beginning so they can get things done for you and not become your enemy and constantly work silently against you.

Ma is desperate and everyone knows it. It'll be interesting to see if a group of KMTers smell blood and try to do something separate from Ma.

A brief side note: Anyone else notice that Blues are obsessed with breeding and being from a rich family and looks and this idea of an elite super-class? The DPP equivalent is to constantly talk about how poor they were growing up, how despite advantages how well they performed academically, and their connections to tragedy (228, White Terror, etc.).

Anonymous said...

"King is of Manchu descent"

Not true. He is Han-Chinese. The claims of him being of Manchu descent and even being related to the Qing House (as claimed in a Wikipedia entry) have been proven to be untrue.

He conveniently never came out to deny such claims since the Wikipedia entry was created (by his gang?) and quoted by several Chinese news media (cooperation from China?) until Sunday when Liberty Times published a letter to question such claims. The next day (Dec 14), he had to come out to tell CNA that he "personally never made such a claim".

Well. Tactic a la Ma. What a couple!

Anonymous said...

Also ask yourselves why Roger King calls himself "King" as his surname, it should be spilled Ching or Chin or Jin, it is the character GOLD in Mandarin, and not the character of WANG, or KING, but he calls himself KING, on his passport and in English newspapers, why? Aha, because he wants people to think he is from a high class VIP MAnchu background, cousin to the last Emperoror of China, that is the mythologody he trades in. So he calls himself ROGER KING in Englsh. If you ask most Taiwanese peoplke in Taiwan they will tell you they LAUGH at him for using the name KING in English as his surname, they know his putting on airs and it fools nobody. ASk him.