Several months ago I asked foreigners who were wasting their time appealing for the medical parole of Chen Shui-bian to stop and think about what they are doing. I then observed:
Were Chen ever to get out, he would go back to seeking the limelight, encouraging splits within the DPP in order to aggrandize his own faction and friends, and so on. Both the China Post and Taipei Times pieces essentially say the same thing even though they disagree. When Chen gets out he is going to re-enter pan-Green politics, sucking up time, effort, resources, and funds that could be going directly to the DPP and meaningful and important pro-Taiwan groups and causes. He'll be constantly pursued and goaded by the pro-Blue media for inflammatory quotes, further dividing rather than uniting.Chen's application to re-join the DPP -- he withdrew in 2008 -- is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. The Taipei Times article gives a taste of his effect on the party, beginning with remarks from former DPP Presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen....
Tsai on Saturday said that Chen, who is serving a 20-year sentence for corruption, “would have to make a lot more effort to win back society’s respect,” since DPP members are divided over the ramifications and implications of Chen rejoining the party.Why does Chen want to rejoin the DPP? Because he is committing to supporting the party? Because he wants to humbly participate in party politics? Naw. It's all about the Family. Note the reference to Chen's son Chen Chih-chung. Some of you may recall that the Chen lad ran as an independent against the DPP in the Kaohsiung legislative elections, losing and splitting the pan-Green vote, which likely handed the victory and the legislative seat to the KMT.
Tsai’s comment drew heavy criticism from Chen’s supporters, in particular his son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), who wrote on his Facebook page that he could not understand the remark and begged to disagree with Tsai, adding that it was she “who has to work a lot harder for the presidential nomination in 2016.”
Former Northern Taiwan Society director Janice Chen (陳昭姿), a staunch backer of Chen Shui-bian, said Tsai took the stance to try to garner support from independent voters and had betrayed the former president’s support for her during his presidency.
“Chen Shui-bian worked hard enough during his eight years in the Presidential Office [and deserves the full support from his former party comrades],” said DPP Legislator Mark Chen (陳唐山), convener of the One Country, One Side Alliance group, which was founded by the former president.
Others said that Tsai had made a good point, although the issue of Chen Shui-bian’s return had not been on the agenda at the congress.
“While many people, include myself, believed that Chen Shui-bian was politically persecuted and that he deserves medical parole, A-bian himself admitted he had made mistakes that disgraced his party. Tsai’s comment was fair because she was not addressing whether A-bian was guilty or not,” Taipei City Councilor Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.
Chen Shui-bian is still out there supporting his son, and rejoining the DPP is apparently part of his strategy for doing so, some DPP insiders say. The media sensation caused by his possible return is apparently part of his strategy for elevating his son's profile and chances of winning the next election. Thus, not only has Chen Shui-bian's move split the DPP, he's apparently using that split to advance his own agenda.
Like I said, international pro-Taiwan folks, quit wasting your time on Chen Shui-bian. He's only going to repay your efforts with division and chaos. Let the locals who support him handle the effort.
- Paul Sharpe on his first ride on the NE coast after blowing out his knee months ago.
- Commercial Times: figures reveal Taiwan's economic plight:
Private-sector investment as a percentage of Taiwan's gross national product was only 14.9 percent in 2012 and 15.4 percent in 2011. The figures not only were lower than the levels of 17-18 percent recorded before the global financial crisis but also far inferior to South Korea's 24 percent.
- Cool: write-up of visit for Robotics contest (h/t to Red A)
[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!