Sunday, April 06, 2014

Wang Materializes in Front of the LY

Banyan Q3. Are there differing opinions of the TiSA within the Kuomintang?
President Ma: The KMT holds a unanimous view internally but differs greatly from the opposition.
Well well. Eventful day as Speaker of the Legislature and KMT heavyweight Wang Jin-pyng showed up at the Legislative Yuan today to talk to the students. Taiwan Voice sent this around Facebook:
Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng takes humble approach, shakes students' hands, Lin Fei-fan and students warmly receive Wang's goodwill.

Arriving at the legislature, LY President Wang made remarks in front of building, apologizing for the disruption that ensued as a result of the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement. He said that he will face these problems squarely and not avoid them, making a promise that "for now" there will be no review of the agreement. Wang made a last request for the students to end the occupation.

He then went inside the legislative chambers, shaking the students' hands and asking for their well-being. He also thanked the medical staff that have been taking care of the students all along.

Lin Fei-fan, representing the students, said that in their 20 days of occupying the legislature, this is the first time they have seen some goodwill gestures. His response was welcoming, but he stood firm on the purpose of their movement.

"We have seen and we have heard [Wang's goodwill], but we would like to emphasize our position on first passing the bill to monitor cross strait agreements, the citizen's version, and then we can review the agreement," Lin said.

In regards to leaving the legislative chambers and end the occupation, Lin said they will hold a meeting for about an hour and then give a response on that issue.

LY President Wang plays a key role in resolving this stalemate, but he must show that he intends to stick to his promise of not reviewing the agreement for now and respecting the students' opinion. His attitude and approach, however, is different from President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-hua, both having shown no intentions in negotiating with the students and advocating their removal through force.
With Wang was DPP Whip Ker, who, readers may recall, was the man Wang called allegedly to assure him that his case had been fixed with the prosecutor's office, the phone call that sent Ma Ying-jeou haring off after Wang Jin-pyng's hide.

Before Wang met with the students -- thus separating himself from Ma, who is looking more and more like Saruman barricaded inside The Orthanc as the Ents smash it to pieces -- he went out and held a press conference. Bloomberg says:
Taiwan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said he will halt a lawmakers’ review of a trade pact with China until an oversight bill passes, in a concession to students who have occupied the legislature for 20 days over the deal.
Once again, Wang opts for delay. Immediately the Foxconn CEO came out in support of Wang's move. KMT caucus leader Lin Hung-chi responded by declaring that Wang's position left him in "great shock". The order to say this apparently came down from above, since Lin was with Wang when he made the announcement and later in the chamber. Clearly Wang is now (again) in the middle of a public split with the party leadership and on its face, with the party caucus. Notwithstanding this, caucus leaders all went into the chamber with Wang. Do you think they didn't agree beforehand on what would be said and how and to who?

Make of that what you will. Perhaps Wang knows that his support base within the party is large. As several longtime observers pointed out, Wang can't be doing this alone. This incident shows starkly how much power Ma has since he controls party resources and who can run for party seats: only Wang is openly defying him. But Wang's defiance may signal a massive split within the KMT...

....or else simple monkey-wrench-in-the-works defiance for its own sake, since Ma spat on him and rejected him. Who can tell?

These ostensible splits between Wang, Ma, the Taiwanese legislators, and the party Old Guard (where are they?) appear whenever anyone puts pressure on the KMT. What's new here is the openly public nature of the split, and the intensity of it. A longtime observer pointed out that Ma is scheduled to teleconference with CSIS on Apr 9th. Ma will not accept any questions that have not been approved prior to the interview, so don't expect too much, it will look and taste like Banyan's interview of Ma for The Economist.

Or perhaps it is the KMT playing eleven-dimensional chess with all of us.

As for the oversight bill, it is set up so that if there is a delay in ratification of future pacts, they become law. LOL.

If the trade pact is so awesome, why do its supporters consistently claim that Taiwan must sacrifice to make headway? This, very subtly, emphasizes that the pact is the dog its opponents say it is. Letters from Taiwan observes in a brilliant piece:
Back to the dental market, the CSSTA is potentially a great threat to the business I work for. That threat is now generating a sense of fatalism amongst Taiwanese distributors. If Chinese companies start to invest in or buy Taiwanese device distributors, international suppliers will shift their communication to the Chinese companies and Taiwanese distributors will become only ‘local sub-dealers’. The contracts we enjoy with our international partners today may be reformulated so that we can no longer directly communicate with them as partners but have to take direction from Chinese distributors who have been awarded contracts to manage the ‘Greater China Area’. If China can convince these suppliers that they can manage distribution in Taiwan as a ‘local area’ in their business chain, Taiwanese businesses will lose their economic sovereignty and be forced to accept terms of business from Chinese companies if they want the rights to distribute products in their own country. And President Ma, through ECFA, CSSTA, and planned CSGTA, is encouraging this trend. That is very bad news for independent Taiwanese distributors, and ultimately, for Taiwanese dentists.
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TaiwanJunkie said...

Wang is the master chess player he has always been.

This is just yet another saga in his epic struggle with Ma. He literally WAITED, and forced Ma's hand. He knew Ma is going to get impatient and start to get tough with the students. And immediately after Ma turned nasty (not that he wasn't before, but just more sutle form of nasty), Wang shows up and play the role of the reasonable adult.

This guy is something else.

David said...

I'm curious to know what sort of threats Ma is using to bring KMT legislators "into line".

Michael Turton said...

Well, the Chairman can control who gets nominated for what positions, and the flow of party resources. Since he runs the government, he also has great influence on construction programs and what not. Hence.....

Anonymous said...

Hau Lung-bin and Jason Hu, always on the side of justice, have announced their support for the protesters. No bandwagons in an election year to see here. I guess opposing the students is not going to secure many vets, eh!

Jenna Cody said...

A horse trader, a master chess player, magnificent bastard...Wang Jinping is all of these things, but somehow I can't bring myself to hate him.

I'd rather have Littlefinger here doing something that helps the cause I agree with (and to some extent, his actions do help the Sunflowers) than all the well-meaning brow-beaters in the world wailing but being ineffectual when it's balls to the wall and somebody has to do something about Ma Ying-jiu.

Or maybe I have a grudging admiration for the magnificent bastards of the world. Dunno.

Jenna Cody said...

Hao Lung-bin and Jason Hu don't know anything BUT bandwagons.

Hao probably asked his dad first if it'd be okay. "Daddy, can I support the protesters? If I continue my political career it may be good for me to do that."

"Now Little Bingbing, I think it's best if you go ask your puppetmasters. I put you in their care for a reason."

"Okay daddy."

les said...

Now it's clear which side the majority of public opinion is on, it's also clear that anyone who wants to keep their place at the trough is going to have to be seen to be siding with the demands of the students. I doubt Matong will face a push to recall him but I think it's likely he'll be under immense pressure to step down as party chairman.

Anonymous said...

With all the media that surrounds the sunflowers 24/7, the know if they use excessive force it will be televised all over the net. If anyone gets seriously hurt, the demand for Ma to step down as prez will most likely be the next big protest.