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
By Michael Turton, The View of Taiwan
Published with permission, read the original here…
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 [April 30] …
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 [May 1].
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.