Sunday, January 08, 2017

KMT Chairmanship, China relations in the news...

Unloading a giant water tank as fields are burnt off in the background.

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.

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.
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.

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?
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!


TCasanova said...

While reading the Washington Post's piece on Pres. Tsai meeting with Cruz and Abbott in Texas, I found the Chinese Consul General's letter to Cruz to be quite telling about how China utilizes international media reactions to control the narrative regarding Cross-Strait "tensions."

"In his letter, Li called the “Taiwan issue” the most sensitive one in Chinese-U. S. relations and acknowledged that it had been in the news media lately. Tensions regarding U.S.-Chinese-Taiwanese relations have been high since early December, when President-elect Donald Trump accepted a phone call from Tsai, breaking with nearly four decades of protocol in speaking directly with the Taiwanese leader."

Anonymous said...

"KMT Chief Deputy Chairman Steve Chan quit this week -- he was an important link to the southern/Taiwanese factions of the KMT"

Steve Chan (詹啟賢) is an unique figure in the KMT. He quit the Chief Deputy Chairman not because what he said in his public resigning statement as having "completed his scheduled tasks", but because the KMT Chairwoman, Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), stabbed him on his back --- He was promised by Hung the full authority to represent Hung and the KMT to negotiate with the Ill-gotten Party Assets Committee (IPAC) about the KMT's assets. But, after he's struck a deal with the IPAC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄), Hung not only refuses to acknowledge her promise of the full authority, but also made an public statement (behind Chan's back) that humiliates and insults Chan. Chan has to call Koo to apologize. (KMT’s Steve Chan quits, said over assets contract

But, this is NOT the first time Chan was stabbed behind his back by the KMT. During the 2008 presidential election, he was the key figure to aid Ma exploring territory in mid- and southern Taiwan. With his extensive and deeply rooted relationships in all walks of lives covering local elites, families, medical leaders, local factions, political and religion leaders, he helped Ma solidified a huge portion of support in the mid and southern Taiwan.

After the election, however, Ma's people launched waves of political attacks with lies and insults against him. Without Ma's support, he was forced to not only leave Ma but quit politics entirely.

That's, what happened between he and Hung is almost an exact clone of that between he and Ma.

The significance of Chan can be seen in what was circulated in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign, in which he was in the radar of vice-president tickets of KMT candidate Ma Ying-jeo (2008), the PFP candidate Soong (2012) and the pro-independence DPP candidate Tsai (2012). That makes him the only political figure in Taiwan who is valued highly by all 3 major political parties covering the wide spectrum from pro-annexation to pro-TI.

The article cited below details the complicated and extensive influences he has:


and warned the DPP that if the DPP overlooks him, there will be dire consequences. It was published in June 2016. Now, 6 months later, the KMT commits suicide all by itself. The DPP no need to worry about it.

The repeated back-stabbing from the KMT to such a capable and widely-influential person highlights the blind-sight and stupidity of the KMT. Maybe it also high-lights Chan's limit of vision --- after all, who would still so loyal to a party after being trashed like that ?

Runsun said...

"he (Chan) was in the radar of vice-president tickets of KMT candidate Ma Ying-jeo (2008), the PFP candidate Soong (2012) and the pro-independence DPP candidate Tsai (2012)"

In addition, Chan was also invited by Hung to be her vice-president when she campaigned for the 2016 president (before she was replaced by Chu). Chan didn't accept the offer even after Hung's repeated attempts.

Looming over vice-president seat over and over, going through 2008, 2012 and 2016 and over the entire political spectrum, yet he rejected the temptation of closing in onto the power center again and again. Really unique.