Friday, May 01, 2015

Wang Jin-pyng Positions Himself for a Presidential Run

One reason I've always liked Taiwan is that you can take your dog to shops and restaurants. Very sensible.

Wang Jin-pyng, KMT heavyweight, Speaker of the Legislature, former faction politiciam whom President Ma Ying-jeou attempted to have removed from the party two years ago, is clearly positioning himself for a run at the Presidency. He stated yesterday...

You can't say I am a Chinese, but you cannot deny I am of Chinese ethnicity
Wang is dipping a toe in the perilous waters of Taiwanese identity politics. Recall that he is a Taiwanese faction politician from down south. Unlike Chiang Ching-kuo and Ma Ying-jeou, both of whom proclaimed themselves to be Taiwanese for political purposes, Wang does not have to make noises about being Taiwanese, he is already accepted as one. Rather, Wang has to find a position that makes him palatable to the mainlander elites who run the KMT, some of whom have already publicly stated he is an unacceptable candidate, but at the same time makes him electable to the population at large, an ever growing number of whom are designating themselves as Taiwanese. It may prove impossible to square that circle.

Meanwhile James Soong, once KMT heavyweight and member of that mainlander core that runs the KMT, now head of the People's First Party (PFP), was asked for his thoughts at an event today.
He also said he clearly understands that his extremely good friends, the KMT, will soon make a decision. “If they make a good decision, and select a candidate very correctly, we can work together as one. After they make their decision, we will make ours.”
Hard to say what he means, typical meaningless politician talk. Soong is still seeing what deals are out there. The KMT candidate won't be known til June...

The China Post also ran an editorial this week that said KMT Chairman Eric Chu is the only hope:
Tsai isn't unbeatable, however. The DPP won a landslide in the Nov. 29 elections because hard-core KMT supporters refused to go to the polls to vent their frustration over President Ma's failure to keep his campaign promises, including the one to conclude a peace accord between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. The opposition party won 47.66 percent of all the votes cast, only 6.85 percent ahead of the KMT's 40.7 percent. It isn't a disastrous rout, as far as voting shares are concerned.

While Tsai's presidential campaign is getting underway, the KMT has yet to start a party primary. One hopeful is Hung Hsiu-chu, vice president of the Legislative Yuan. She insists on opening political dialogue across the strait and signing the peace accord President Ma has renounced.
Doubling down on Chineseness, Hung Hsiu-chu is unelectable. Perhaps she is campaigning for Veep. More importantly, this editorial is essentially correct, Chu has a better chance of beating Tsai than any current KMT candidate, and Tsai is more beatable than many people think. Remember, a campaign has to actually be run...

Frozen Garlic picked up a story on Chu's China views, which are no different from Ma's, apparently. This was an important find, for Chu may simply have decided that his views, once widely disseminated, will hurt his chances to beat Tsai. Scroll down for Froze's delightful posts on KMT internal politics, but note that Sean Lien's attack dog in the Taipei Mayoral election, Lo Shu-lei, is taking a beating from the KMT central, as Froze posts.

If Chu doesn't run, as the recent victory of Ko in Taipei shows, there's a large population of disaffected blues who are willing to consider other candidates. In the 2000-2004 period, the People's First Party skimmed hundreds of thousands of votes from the KMT, which the KMT eventually hauled back in. It will be very interesting to watch this group in the 2016 election.
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TaiwanJunkie said...

Just a question, does Austrian politicians running for elections have to remind Austrians that they are ethnic Germans?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the dog comment (caption under the picture, not Hung Hsiu-chu),

yeah, there is nothing like eating at a restaurant and watching a dog sitting on the table next to you wiping his butt on the table top.

d said...

It may also prove possible to square the circle. One could argue that deep blues want to vote against Tsai more than for Wang, and if they can feel sufficiently non-guilty about voting for Wang, they will.

OTOH, of all the potential viable KMT candidates I could choose to win, Wang is the least bad.

Michael Turton said...

TOH, of all the potential viable KMT candidates I could choose to win, Wang is the least bad.

That's probably true. Much depends on the attitude of Soong.


d said...

Wang/Soong would be a serious threat, especially since I think DPP is already pulling some punches to make room for PFP candidates in some districts. I assume that would unravel if Soong joins a ticket with Wang, but (1) VP can be chosen later, right? so Soong could play both sides for a while, and (2) some damage would have been done already in terms of lost momentum and campaign groundwork.

Who knew James Soong (or more likely, the attitudes he represents or attacts) would be pivotal in so many elections over such a long time period.

Michael Turton said...

I suspect that Soong will want too much -- unopposed legislative seats for his people -- for being on the ticket, never mind heading it, and that in the end the KMT legislators will balk at giving up seats to make room for PFP legislators for a mere vice presidential candidate. In the end, it won't be Wang-Soong.


Mike Fagan said...

The allowances made in Taiwan for dogs (restaurants and public transport) are, I believe, basically a function of men trying to get laid. That is why these allowances only apply to the "cute" toy breeds generally beloved by the women.

Larger breeds with greater physicality are not welcome. Partly because of the disturbances made possible by their greater physicality but more importantly, I suspect, because such dogs have fewer women owners to demand such allowances on the dogs' behalf and also because a lot of women are intimidated by large and medium breed dogs.

Anonymous said...


China Chinese called themselves 中國人. the term 華人 is a general term for Han Chinese in rest of the world. Taiwanese would have no issues identifying themselves as or being identified as 華人.

it's all superfluous words by Wang.