The wreckage of someone who was once Shih Ming-teh, former political prisoner, former DPP Chairman, and KMT tool, intentional or not, is back to rescue Taiwan. WantWant's story on his announcement of his presidential candidacy is excellent:
Always a provocative and divisive figure, Shih periodically pops up to grab headlines but no longer commands a significant amount of support or respect.Shih will only get a handful of votes, but he might collect some cash. Solidarity.tw points out his problem:
But he won’t make it to the ballot at all unless the KMT itself holds a signature drive for him. Back then it was easier to get on the ballot. Today, unless you’re endorsed by a party that got at least 5% of the vote in the latest presidential or legislative election, you need to collect a number of signatures equivalent to 1.5% of the last legislative electorate within 45 days. For this next election, in other words, Shih needs to get 269,709 signatures in 45 days, or 6,000 a day. That takes serious political organization, which Shih doesn’t have.Tonight's comic relief...
Meanwhile, KMT attack dog Hung Hsiu-chu, a possible presidential candidate for the KMT this election cycle, was out there attacking the DPP's Tsai Ing-wen on China policy...
Online media outlet NewTalk reported that Tsai told pro-independence groups earlier this week that her interpretation of the “status quo” is in line with the stances of the US and Japan, which is “a status quo of [keeping] Taiwan’s sovereignty” and “a status quo that sees Taiwan as not belonging to China.”...The KMT exploits US reticence to clearly state US policy, which is that Taiwan is not part of China, but a territory whose status awaits final determination. The KMT knows perfectly well that the US One China doesn't include Taiwan, but nevertheless comes out with "One China" rhetoric as if it did. The DPP has finally grasped that it should be aligned tightly with the US on this. You can tell how unhappy the KMT is with this move because it is so upset. As Solidarity.tw remarked on Twitter the other day, it will be fun to contemplate the irony of Tsai Ing-wen, who has some China policy experience with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), telling Hung that she has no experience in cross-strait affairs, if Hung comes out as candidate. This is important because as many have observed, the KMT's last remaining card is cross-strait relations. It can't talk about its domestic accomplishments because the Ma Administration has been a failure.
In response, Tsai was said to have told Yao that she is to maintain the “status quo” of Taiwan being separate from China, which is the “status quo” supported by the US, the report said.
Hung yesterday called Tsai’s remarks “dishonest and irresponsible.”
“[Tsai] should read what was stated in the Three Communiques [joint statements made by the US and the People’s Republic of China]. The US stance is that there is one China, that there is what we call the 1992 consensus and that it is against Taiwan’s independence. Are you sure that the stance you uphold is aligned with the US?” Hung asked.
“The US also says that the CCP is the sole legitimate government of China, supports the yearly reduction of arms sales to Taiwan and is against our participation in international organizations,” she said. “Tsai has not only lost national dignity, but also Taiwan’s dignity in saying that she holds the same view as the US on the status quo.”
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) also weighed in yesterday, criticizing Tsai for “basing her cross-strait policy on the US government’s interpretation while running for president.”
The fallout from the ethnic chauvinism of the mainlander core of the KMT continues to reverberate. Because they rejected Wang Jin-pyng, the Speaker of the Legislature, as a presidential candidate, several legislative candidates aren't going to be running, Solidarity translated. This is especially true in the south, where legislative candidates for the KMT face tough uphill slogging without Wang's strong southern support to pull them up.
Ah, the Rational Party at work again. It's worth observing that a key qualification of Eric Chu to be Chairman was his mainlander pedigree. Similarly, Chiang Kai-shek's great grandson is running for legislative office. His qualification? He's a Chiang. An important source of the KMT's current crisis is that it is running out of viable mainlander third generation candidates to assume the role of running the KMT. If the KMT were not run on the basis of ethnic superiority, and were run on a rational basis, it would be fine...
Export orders drop. Note that the US is Taiwan's number one export destination, as orders from China continue to fall since local production is eating Taiwanese exports to China. This will mean that even as the KMT is pushing "closer to China" and "Cross strait stability" during this election, China is becoming less important as an export market. What effect this will have on the election is anyone's guess...
Speaking of things that will be happening in this election, how about the Dome scandal: Taipei Mayor Ko orders a halt to construction. A significant chunk of the public believes President Ma did some iffy stuff in connection with that project. With the election looming, Ko is tightening the screws on Ma, probably ensuring that the Dome scandal will be in the news throughout the run-up to the election.
- Michal Thim on RIMPAC and Taiwan
- China's new national security law includes Taiwan
- KMT's China policy has passed its expiry date
- 15 year old illegally driving scooter hits Honduran ambassador's car. Mother accuses him of hit and run even though he stayed. Argh.
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