The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship race concluded with an overwhelming victory for Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
Legislative Speaker and KMT Vice Chairman Wang Jin-pyng (
We believe that both Ma and Wang are mature politicians and will now show a sportsman-like spirit in the interests of maintaining party unity. The KMT cannot afford further divisions, and as the new party chairman, Ma should invite Wang to serve as deputy chairman as a goodwill gesture in the interests of party unity.
With the election of the new KMT chairman, the relationship between government and opposition will enter a new phase. Outgoing chairman Lien Chan (
The KMT's unresolved issues, such as the handling of party assets, have hurt it in elections and in many cases have become a burden for the party's workers. Although the KMT is transforming itself into a democratic party, it is still at its core a revolutionary party with a power structure that fails to respond to public opinion. Attending to these issues will be one of the most important duties of the new chairman.
Even if the KMT does not change its name, a rejuvenated focus on localization remains an urgent matter. The election campaigning has taken Ma into every corner of Taiwanese society, and he must realize that if the KMT fails to shed its image as an alien political party and become more localized, it will certainly be fighting an uphill battle to perform well in the upcoming mayoral and county commissioner elections -- not to mention the 2008 presidential election.
At the same time Ma's continuing lack of support among party heavyweights will be a major obstacle in his efforts to promote party reform. Since he had to rely on the Mainlander vote, the pace of party localization will likely be delayed, and this might also hurt the KMT's long-term prospects.
Although Ma defeated Chen in the 1998 Taipei mayoral elections, he might not be able to beat the Democratic Progressive Party's candidate in 2008 and win back the presidency for the party.
The KMT has been out of power for five years now, and it cannot win back power on its own. The key will be pan-blue cooperation. Unfortunately, there are too many similarities in the appeal of Ma and People First Party Chairman James Soong (
Ma has his work cut out for him in reaching his ultimate goal -- the presidency.
The US House of Representatives on July 1 passed by unanimous consent a bipartisan bill that would penalize Chinese officials who implement Beijing’s new national security legislation in Hong Kong, as well as banks that do business with them. The following day, the US Senate unanimously passed the bill, which was later sent to the White House, where it awaits US President Donald Trump’s signature. The bill does not spell out what the sanctions would look like and Trump has yet to sign it into law, but Reuters on Thursday last week reported that five major Chinese state lenders are considering
A Briton who has lived in Taiwan for 10 years has gained renown for drawing detailed maps of Taiwanese cities. Artist Tom Rook gained a following in 2013 when a magazine posted an interview with him online. By the next day, the magazine’s post had been shared more than 1,000 times, and Rook’s Facebook page was inundated with comments and friend requests. The Taipei Times first reported on Rook in 2015 (“The accidental illustrator,” Sept. 9, page 12). Rook’s drawings are so special because he looks at cities from a unique perspective, whether he is sketching a 3D streetscape as a 2D
Two and a half years ago, following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to put the highly contentious fight in historical perspective. “Nothing is broken about our democracy... we have big arguments over a lot of important things,” he said. McConnell went on to reference other difficult times, including the emotional 1960s debates over civil rights, where he said the US ultimately came out “in the right place.” This is critical context for American friends in the Pacific. The political turmoil the US is now going through is not so extraordinary.
Although news reports have been dominated by lawmakers’ scheduled review of the qualifications of Control Yuan member nominees and an ensuing vote at the Legislative Yuan this week, two more important issues await their consideration during the extraordinary session: changing the cover of the nation’s passport and adding “Taiwan” motifs to the fuselages of China Airlines (CAL) aircraft. The motions for the changes have an interesting parallel with the nation’s previous efforts to update the cover of the passport by adding the word “Taiwan” in 2003, in that they were both prompted by a pandemic originating in China — SARS in