Fabrizio: I can see the Statue of Liberty already!... Very small, of course.
Deputy Speaker of the Legislature Hung Hsiu-chu, the putative candidate for the KMT, has clearly been sent by the Gods of China to flense the people of Taiwan in spiritual preparation for their annexation to the Motherland. Or so her attitude would suggest.
Or maybe just sent by the gods to provide us bloggers and commentators with an endless supply of material for our blogs, the gift that keeps on giving... In response to a question about the curriculum changes, Hung observed...
Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday weighed in on controversy over the Ministry of Education’s high-school curriculum adjustments, saying the changes were “too minor” and “far from enough.”The curriculum changes are currently being protested by high school students across the nation as they involve increasing China and reducing Taiwan in the curriculum. As a commenter on Twitter remarked, her basic strategy is to be more hardline than everyone else. That will go over well... Note that Hung is sticking to her claim that the curriculum protests were drummed up by the DPP and that the DPP is a party of violence. She lives deep, deep inside the KMT bubble world.
Hung claimed that if the ministry had asked a group of academics who have a different political leaning, such as those who favor Taiwanese independence, to sit on the committee, “there definitely would have been no problem at all,” because KMT supporters would not harass those academics or make a scene “thanks to a different political culture.”
The best story of the week, though, was her reaction to an invitation from AIT, the officially unofficial US representative office in Taiwan, to visit the US. Most Taiwan politicians would sensibly jump at the chance to explain to US officials why they are the right choice. But Hung is more awesome than that (Solidarity translation of a Storm Media report):
Hung in an interview this morning with UFO Radio that once upon a time it was not necessary for presidential candidates to visit the United States, but in recent years it has become a custom—a custom she thinks is rather strange. This isn’t a regulation that everyone must comply with—it’s fine not to go, she said. Otherwise it’d be like you have to go there to take a test [yikes, she’s even repeating Chinese government rhetoric –S.tw]. “My feeling of repellence is very strong. How is this honorable? I don’t think our presidential candidates definitely have to go.”It's comments like this that likely explain why Legislative Speaker and Taiwanese KMT heavyweight Wang Jin-pyng refuses to join Hung's campaign team. Eric Chu, KMT Chairman, indicated this week that Wang would not be given a place on the Party List, the list of legislators who are appointed to positions in the legislature based on the party's success in the election. Wang will either have to run down in Kaohsiung, or find some other political niche to occupy.
Noting AIT’s invitation to her and promise she’s receive equal treatment to Tsai, she said, “I’ve been thinking, if I don’t get higher-status treatment than her, why go?” Since President Ma took office, “we’ve” had good relations with the US, so the US should feel very assured about the KMT, she said. But if it is worried, “I invite them to come over here and figure it out!” “I’ll wave to them and ask them to come over!”
Hung also said Chu and other comrades have encouraged her to take a trip to America to at least inspire the overseas community. But she believes that if someone [Tsai] took the test last time and failed, and is now retaking the test, she doesn’t have to go herself. Campaigning time is very tight, and every minute counts, Hung said. She then confidently said, “If I’m elected, I’ll have plenty of time after taking office, so why not go then?”
Hung reiterated them the next day (Taipei Times report).
Hung is 67. She came of age under Chiang Kai-shek, who appears to be her political model. What would a Hung foreign policy look like? Just try and imagine what position Hung would take on issues like ROC claims in the South China Sea, Taiwan-Japan relations, Taiwan-China relations, cross-strait economic relations, Philippines-Taiwan relations, participation in UN and other international organizations, and relations with other SE Asian neighbors. Remember -- she is publicly to the right of Ma Ying-jeou, whose foreign policy has been very bad for Taiwan. If Ma's foreign policy is that the answer to all problems is More China, what will Hung's be?
The Cross Strait Policy Foundation sent around a Jun 18 poll on Tsai vs Hung. Storm media reported on it here. Tsai crushes Hung 50.2% to 29.3% in overall support. Support for Tsai's "status quo" policy, the kind of policy that's like porn ("I know it when I see it"), is at 63% (oppose, 22.4%), for Hung's "We're China" policy the respective numbers are 31.2%/51.7%. Tsai beats her 45.5 to 31.5 on leadership, 44.7 to 31.6 on protecting Taiwan's interests, 47 to 32 on trust, 48 to 28 on understanding public opinion, and international perspective, 58.9 to 18.6. They are close only on feasibility of policies, where Tsai is up 39-34. All numbers must be taken with large crystal of NaCl, but they are indicative of trends.
I don't see any of these numbers improving much over the next couple of months in any major poll, unless she completely reinvents herself as a moderate populist (haha). The Hung campaign is currently being run by KMT Sec-Gen Lee Si-chuan, who I have heard from those in the know is a Ma man but gets along well with Chu. Even if they get a professional manager in, s/he won't have much of a chance of pushing policies through that thicket of factions and ossified, obdurate personalities at the top of the KMT.
Recent sightings of the good ship KMTitanic:
The KMT rules -- It's Hung -- The rational party is Hung -- The Comic Genius of Hung Hsiu-chu -- Eric "Hamlet" Chu suffers the insolence of office -- KMTitanic 11: The Captain is no longer aboard -- Hung? Really? -- Comedy and ethnicity in The Rational Party -- KMTitanic 10: the ship is foundering -- Wang out -- Chu goes there? -- Rounding up the KMT again -- KMTitanic 8: Chu = monkey wrench -- KMTitanic 7: Existential Crisis -- KMT Shorts -- Chu Notes -- KMTitanic 5: Struggling for the Northern Lifeboats -- Chu Political Theatre -- KMTitanic 4 -- KMTitanic 3 -- KMTitanic 2 -- KMTitanic 1 -- Chu's Revolutionary Reforms?
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