J Michael Cole notes that the main gain from the "government to government" talks between the CCP of China and the KMT of Taiwan is the propaganda coup for Beijing. Nicely put. The ironic thing is while the world is atizzy at the "historic" talks between two parties that have been holding regular conversations for nearly two decades, the Taiwanese themselves are not at all excited, as Ralph Jennings documents in Christian Science Monitor.
I was talking to some bike industry people in Taichung today. They pointed out that Taichung Bike Week, supported enthusiastically by the Hu Administration here in Taichung, has grown to be one of the most important bike industry events. The format of the event is now being transferred to two other local industries, with Hu Administration support, the tool industry, and the shoe industry, each of which will have their own "week" with events at hotels around town. You may also have read that Hu is touting a genuinely ambitious plan to transform the city center, increasing public transportation and banning scooters from many areas. These are the kind of things that have made Hu popular and tough to beat. Hu is not a good campaigner, however, and has not been communicating these successes very well.
Finally, the awesome Bruce Jacobs produces an insightful piece on the conflict within the DPP. As many of us have pointed out, this is both intergenerational, with elders clinging to positions they should be easing younger people into, and between the factions, but especially Frank Hsieh. For months now, since Frank Hsieh got back from China, people have been privately criticizing his behavior. With him running for Chairman, Jacobs comments on how he has the potential to split the DPP when it has a shot at winning 3 of the 5 municipalities outright, and within sight of the presidential election in 2016. Jacobs observes of Hsieh:
Take, for example, former premier and DPP chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷). He led the DPP to a disastrous loss in the 2008 presidential election. Despite promising to leave politics, he has continued to interfere and to place his people in key party positions. His incomprehensible China policies were decisively defeated by the DPP, but he continues to mouth meaningless slogans like “one China, two cities” and “two constitutions, different interpretations.” Does not Hsieh realize that “one China” is Beijing’s policy to swallow Taiwan and that Beijing does not care about its state and party constitutions?On his own Hsieh could never win the DPP Chairmanship, but there has been much talk that he'll make a deal with Tsai to deny it to Su.
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