This week, with pro-China gangsters and thugs attacking Joshua Wong and other Hong Kong democracy activists arriving in Taiwan, a former Vice Chair of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) was being interviewed in a Chinese paper. saying that the chaos in the KMT was destabilizing cross-strait relations... (Taipei Times):
Regarding Taiwanese politics, Wang said there no longer exists a force within Taiwan that could counterbalance the pro-Taiwan independence faction, adding that the only such force now lay in China.Interesting how first, he dismisses the KMT and says from now on China will be the principal force against Taiwan democracy. His claim that China won't punish Taiwan "economically" and protect it is of course absurd -- China is currently stealing Taiwan tech and enticing talented and skilled individuals from Taiwan to milk their knowledge and then send them home. China won't punish Taiwan economically because it would disrupt these processes.
The KMT has lost its status as one of the nation’s major political parties, and the factions favoring unification are now scattered, leaving the DPP the sole party in power, Wang said.
Economic sanctions against Taiwan would damage the interests of ordinary Taiwanese, Wang said, adding that Beijing should not seek to use the economy as leverage, but should instead seek to protect it.
Otherwise, China would continue to be unpopular in Taiwan, Wang said.
Also interesting is that he concedes China is disliked in Taiwan.
China's refusal to talk to the DPP has, as I have noted before, placed it in a bind. The KMT is too weak at the moment, and it appears Chinese officials believe it is too weak to be of use. This means that China will have to, at some point, start talking to the DPP, probably while maintaining a verbose facade of toughness and benevolence for its home audiences.
Meanwhile lots going in the KMT. KMT Chief Deputy Chairman Steve Chan quit this week -- he was an important link to the southern/Taiwanese factions of the KMT, Solidaritytw observed on Twitter. It's that much less cement connecting the party with its factional networks in the hinterland. UPDATE: See comment on Chan below
Hau Long-bin, the former mayor of Taipei and KMT vice chairman, threw his hat in the ring for the Chairmanship election, but said if elected Chairman in 2017 he would not run for president in 2020. Of course, if he wants to run, he will arrange one of those bog-standard scenes of KMT politicians: "My followers are begging me, so I must reluctantly run for President." He also promised to make the legislative caucus head a KMT Vice Chair. Solidaritytw tweeted that it would be a big change...
Typical of Taiwan, he announced his Chairmanship candidacy on Facebook (Taiwan News), saying that he respected Hung but... (Taipei Times):
However, he has “been witnessing a party that is going downward; no matter how many mistakes the ruling Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] has made, the KMT, with the exception of its caucus, seems to have become an outsider [in the political realm],” Hau wrote.Heavyweight Wu Den-yih is holding a press conference Monday morning and will likely announce his candidacy. Readers may recall that in the run-up to the 2016 election Wu, a Taiwanese closely linked to the inner circle of KMT mainlanders, said that a fortune teller had predicted that he would be president and his wife the first lady. Obvious presidential ambitions there....
Solidaritytw reminded on Twitter that the KMT Chairmanship election rules (the KMT has rules?) call for a run-off election if no candidate gets 50% of the vote. Is this some strategy by the party elders to attempt to split the Deep Blue Old Soldier vote by offering them the son of Old Soldier idol Hau Pei-tsun as a candidate and hoping he gets more than Hung does, to force a run-off in which she finishes third? Then the run-off would be Hau vs Wu, a win either way for the mainlander elites.
But Hung has control of a large chunk of the Party machinery, and she has the backing of the Old Soldiers -- her father was not a KMT elite. To my mind she remains the frontrunner.
Want a glimpse into the KMT bubble world? Just read this piece from the Taipei Times on what went on at a conference organized by a Blue youth org....
“That the KMT still suffered electoral defeats after having followed the ‘Taiwanese nationalist party’ direction suggests it is a dead end,” Pang said, adding the KMT’s future would be dire if it continues to cling to the naive idea that being a Taiwan-centric party would help it gain the support of swing voters.Yes, that's right. The KMT has been following a 'Taiwanese nationalist party' direction. Missed that, didn't you?
Note also their support for the 1992C with different interpretations. KMT advocacy for the "different interpretations" claim -- which Beijing has never supported -- is important. Under that rubric, the ROC has a kind of continued existence as one of the interpretations of China, with Beijing's (imagined) acceptance. That is why Hung's "one interpretation" was so ominous and strange -- it threatens that arrangement. Indeed, it almost reduces 'China' to the PRC -- though I expect she means that only the ROC is 'China'.
If Tsai comes up with some other formula and the CCP wants to talk, what happens to the "two intepretations" then? And the KMT's clinging to the faux 1992 Consensus?
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