My latest for Taiwan News...
Supporting Yang was Sufin Siliko (Liao Kuo-tung,廖國棟), the KMT's legislative caucus whip, an Amis aborigine, who called on Hung to step down for being a chairperson who "brazenly violates the party's internal rules." Liao warned that if the party did not follow its rules, there would be a civil war within the KMT.This week the news of the KMT's internal struggle has come out in the open. That piece I wrote on Wednesday night. It details the pushback and eventual compromise over Hung's moving the election date and her attempt to flood the party vote with the Old Soldiers who support her. Hau Long-bin, the former mayor of Taipei, and Wu Den-yi, the former vice-president, leagued against her. Consider Sufin Siliko's criticisms, enumerated in a piece in TT warning that the KMT could split if Hung wins again:
- Sufin said no party member, including KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bing (郝龍斌) and former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), ...dares to openly challenge the veterans’ branch.
- senior party members and businesspeople have come to him expressing concerns that the KMT might create a new party
- the party shouldn't move to the right, but "...the 100-year-old KMT needs to stand in the center in order to be the ruling party again,” he said.
- “We the caucus want to get out of the quagmire [of ill-gotten party assets] as soon as possible, and uphold that the party assets except those required for personnel expenditure have been dealt with,” he said.
- “The caucus wishes to maintain the [so-called] 1992 consensus, which says ‘one China, different interpretations,’ while the headquarters wants ‘one China, same interpretation,’” he said.
Liao was also calling for younger leadership, according to the KMT news organ... and trying to get Wu Den-yih to run for head of the party....
When asked by media, Liao stated that many KMT legislators, including himself, had urged Wu Den-yih to run for the KMT chairmanship, but Wu was not forthcoming with a response.The current struggle will likely result in a leader from the older generation...
Liao stated, “More and more people within the KMT caucus have expressed the hope that the KMT could choose a young leader. Johnny Chiang is a popular candidate. A young leader will give the KMT a new image and bring more opportunities. However, the question is how to convince elders within the party that it is important for them to pass the baton to the younger generation.”.
Hung is far to the right of center even in her own party. This week she spoke to university students and was the hero of the Chinese exchange students... and called for political negotiations...
“The reality is [Beijing] believes its sovereignty claim covers Taiwan, and Taiwan vice versa, so the sovereignty claims of the two sides actually overlap,” she said, calling for mutual recognition of governance and a step forward toward political negotiations rather than restricting cross-strait talks to economy-related matters.This is an extreme position, not supported in Taiwan's society at large, and not supported in her own party. Apparently she learned nothing from her presidential run.
Will the KMT split? Probably not. The obvious split is between the rightist mainlanders and the moderate mainlanders + Taiwanese. The former unofficial leader of the Taiwanese KMT legislators, longtime legislator Wang Jin-pyng, is basically powerless. He will not lead a Taiwanese revolt. Wu Den-yih, probably the highest ranking Taiwanese, is a servant of the mainlander elites and will never revolt. Who else would lead a split? A putsch against Hung is far more likely, but as long as she keeps the Old Soldiers in her pocket, she's powerful.
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