Friday, July 10, 2015

Typhoon-blown news....

A singer in a temple procession.

We are in the midst of a typhoon, and China Post has issued one of the most classic Taiwan pics evah: wedding photos in the typhoon.

Meanwhile another gale of news these last few days. First, on Wed, the pro-KMT China Post, offered the story of KMT insiders' dissatisfaction with the China policy of their presumptive presidential candidate, Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu.
According to the local United Evening News, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) has discussed Hung's proposed "one China, same interpretation" policy stance — which is seen by top officials as a deviation from party policy and popular opinion — with Ma, while key members hoped Ma would meet with Hung to discuss the matter in person. Reports say that Ma did not state whether such a meeting would take place. Instead, the president reiterated support for Hung and his belief that she did not stray from the party line on the "1992 Consensus" and "one China with different interpretations."
Recall, as I noted a couple of posts below this one, that a debate over how to frame China policy within the KMT isn't (only) a debate about China policy, but instead is a debate about the social identity of Deep Blues. More important was this bit of news/gossip hidden in the article:
Meanwhile, according to internal polls conducted by the KMT, Hung's support has fallen 5 percent, and she now trails Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) by almost 15 percent (44.7 to 30 percent). Hung's sliding performance was also the subject of discussion during a press conference held by the Cross-Strait Policy Association (CSPA, 兩岸政策協會), which released the results of a public opinion poll showing Hung's support at 19.4 percent, behind both Tsai and People's First Party Chairman James Soong.
The DPP Presidential candidate and party Chairman Tsai Ing-wen crushes both Soong and Hung in the polls. On one of the discussion groups I am on, a sharp observer of local affairs noted that the large group of undecideds is predominantly light Blues or disaffected Blues. In the three-person race, the group of undecideds shrinks, and Soong's support rises to around 20%. As this fabulous piece over at Ketagalan Media observes:
The biggest shock of all for the KMT, however, has been how actively and successfully Soong is exploiting the rift between Chinese-identifying “deep blues” of the civil service and military sectors of society, and the Taiwanese-identifying “light blues” of the local factions. Ma made the situation critical by trying to purge legislative speaker and local faction godfather Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) from office and allegedly suppressing his presidential campaign. Furthermore, Hung is salting the wounds by taking the most pro-China stance of any KMT candidate in the democratic era and expressing little concern at all for Wang’s political future.

In a radio interview last week, Soong warned the KMT against “excluding native Taiwanese comrades who have worked so hard for the party” and “upon whom the party has always depended,” and emphasized “it cannot deal with Wang Jin-pyng this way.” Pundits perceived this as a public declaration that he stands with the light blues and welcomes their support.
That piece reviews some of the history of Soong's party, the PFP. There's a certain enjoyable irony watching Soong exploit the ethnic cleavages in the KMT, after years of the KMT playing ethnic divide-and-rule games with Taiwan.

Speaking of the KMT, as we move toward Judgment Day on July 19, Eric Chu, the Chairman of the KMT from time to time, said that Hung must toe the KMT line on China policy, which she has agreed to do. He also stated that "every one of us knows" that Hung will get the nomination:
However, Chu's statement to the CSC on issues surrounding Hung also sought to eliminate uncertainty over her eventual nomination during the party's national congress on July 19.

"Every one of us knows that comrade Hung Hsiu-chu will be nominated by the party at the July 19 national party congress to become the party's presidential nominee," Chu said.
That means both Ma and Chu have said it. Hard to imagine that they will choose someone else. Storm Media said that after Judgment Day there will be a purge of KMTers who have left the party for greener pastures. I sure hope so... because bloodletting is a great way to ensure the health of something (HINT: it's what purity freaks engage in).

In addition to China policy, someone should get Hung talking about Taiwanese culture in an interview. Deep Blues like Hung are from the generation that considered Taiwanese low class, materialist, and utterly lacking in culture -- sort of the way the world looks at Americans --  and if one hangs around Deep Blues sooner or later this will come out.

In other news, Hau Lung-bin, the heavyweight KMTer and former mayor of Taipei is going to run for a legislative seat in Keelung. Hau has been suggested for seats in Taichung and Tainan -- interesting that the scoured Taiwan for a safe seat, but had to find one in Keelung, a usually solidly KMT city, whose KMT rule is being hollowed out by the same factors that have put Taoyuan into play: long-term incompetent, corrupt administration, along with demographic change: the Taipei housing bubble that is driving young people further and further out of Taipei (making Keelung a bedroom community), and the general pro-Taiwan shift in the public attitude.

Finally, don't miss Shirley Kan's great piece on arms sales to Taiwan under the Obama Administration.
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!

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