Signs suggest that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (
When the KMT first announced that Lien was going to China, many observers began to suspect that perhaps Lien was not quite ready to ride off into the sunset. The fact that he went on the trip despite threats of criminal prosecution for "treason" by the pan-green camp, suspicions and skepticism within Taiwan, and US concerns reinforced this belief. After all, if he was really ready to step down, his time and efforts would be better spent looking for a suitable nursing home.
Lo and behold, before Lien had even returned from his trip, his cronies within the KMT had began to talk about how Lien should stay in the chairman's post. Of course, he needs justification -- serious justification -- for not stepping down. After all, he suffered two devastating presidential defeats. Under his leadership, the KMT shrank from the nation's biggest political party to an opposition party. It would take some really thick skin to hold onto the office without some excuse. Not even Lien could stoop that low.
At first, the justifications offered by Lien's supporters was that the race between Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
It would be naive to think that Lien would want to compete in the chairmanship. After all, he will probably lose the election. So he can stay on in the post only if his current term is extended or both Wang and Ma back out of the election. The second scenario would be a repeat of the last KMT chairmanship election, in which Lien was the only candidate.
Unfortunately, when asked what he would do if Lien runs for the chairmanship, Ma has consistently said he will run as well. Wang has cunningly said that he would back out of the race -- thus shoving the responsibility for complicating Lien's bid onto Ma's shoulders.
Under the circumstances, the trip to China gave Lien the glimmer of hope that he so desperately needed. So far everything seems to be working out well for him. In a recent poll conducted by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), after Lien's trip to China, the level of the KMT's popular support increased to 34 percent, surpassing the DPP's 33 percent. That, of course, is because a lot of conservative pan-blue supporters switched from supporting the People First Party (PFP) or New Party as a result of this trip, and as a result of the meeting between PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
So, as expected, after Lien returned from his trip, even more of his supporters began to openly urge Lien to stay on. As for Lien himself, consistent with the teaching of his mother culture -- the "Chinese culture" -- he lets his gang speak out for him, while himself denying any intention to stay in the chairman's office. This is what the Chinese culture calls the virtue of "humility."
But Lien can only feign humility for so long. On Thursday, while continuing to deny any intention to stay in the chairman's office, Lien let down his guard somewhat and said it may be premature to talk about his retirement just yet.
As a person raised in a family that revered the teachings of Confucius (孔子) and Mencius (孟子), I believe that both sages would agree with Hong Kong students that people-based politics is the only legitimate way to govern China, including Hong Kong. More than two millennia ago, Confucius insisted that a leader’s first loyalty is to his people — they are water to the leader’s ship. Confucius said that the water could let the ship float only if it sailed in accordance with the will of the water. If the ship sailed against the will of the water, the ship would sink. Two
South China Sea exercises in July by two United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers reminds that Taiwan’s history since mid-1950, and as a free nation, is intertwined with that of the aircraft carrier. Eventually Taiwan will host aircraft carriers, either those built under its democratic government or those imposed on its territory by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). By September 1944, a lack of sufficient carrier airpower and land-based airpower persuaded US Army and Navy leaders to forgo an invasion to wrest Taiwan from Japanese control, thereby sparing Taiwanese considerable wartime destruction. But two
The US Navy’s aircraft carrier battle groups are the most dramatic symbol of Washington’s military and geopolitical power. They were critical to winning World War II in the Pacific and have since been deployed in the Indo-Pacific region to communicate resolve against potential adversaries of the US. The presence or absence of the US Seventh Fleet — the configuration of US Navy ships and aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region built around the carriers — generally determines whether war or peace prevails in the region. In the immediate post-war period, Washington’s strategic planners in the administration of then-US president Harry Truman shockingly
This year, India and Taiwan can look back on 25 years of so-called unofficial ties. This provides an occasion to ponder over how they can deepen collaboration and strengthen their relations. This reflection must be free from excitement and agitation caused by the ongoing China-US great power jostling as well as China’s aggressive actions against many of its neighbors, including India. It must be based on long-term trends in bilateral engagement. To begin with, India and Taiwan, thus far, have had relations constituted by various activities, but what needs to be thought about now is whether they can transform their ties