Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) secretary-general King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) will take over the position from Jason Yuan (袁健生), who will assume the post of secretary-general of the National Security Council, following the resignation of council head Hu Wei-chen (胡為真)......
King, 57, has been one of Ma’s closest aides since joining his campaign team and helping him win the Taipei mayoral election in 1997. He promised not to take up any position in the Ma administration after helping Ma win the presidential election in 2008 and has only taken up different positions within the party. However, speculation that he will ultimately be trusted with a major position in the Ma administration has never subsided.Who is King? Longtime right-hand man and a Ma man to the core. In the past Ma has used him to bring local KMT under control -- for example, in the South where many local KMT party organizations were grumbling under Ma.... I rounded up some stuff in 2009:
The Presidential Office and the KMT yesterday dismissed concern about King’s lack of experience in foreign affairs. Sources in the KMT said that as a top aide of Ma, King would be able to convey Ma’s policies more accurately and promote relations with the US more efficiently.
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:King was a "visiting scholar" at Brookings three years ago when he was plucked from there an elevated to KMT secretary general so is probably known to at least some in the US policy community. But Ma's appointment of a longtime insider and enforcer to a diplomatic post with Taiwan's most sensitive and important ally raises some pretty interesting questions. Does Ma feel that the ROC diplomatic corps, whose topmost people are almost all Deep Blue, is too independent of him? Does Ma feel that he needs more control over US relations? Does Ma want to put a political expert and intriguer at a distance? Is he rewarding a loyal subordinate with a plum post?
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.
UPDATED: Smart comments below:
Are the coming years about the "peace accord" with China that Ma has promised and that the cabinet reshuffle was about yesterday? During the phase of smooth walk into "peace," will the US need to be "stalled" "charmed" and "satisfied" somehow by a political Tai-Chi veteran such as King?
Is it "all of above" as in the Chinese saying "a smart rabbit maintains three nests (i.e. just in case)"?
[Taiwan] 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! Delenda est, baby.