Last month, former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (
To show her support for Lien, KMT Vice Chairwoman Lin Cheng-chi (
Although everyone is aware that Lien and Ma do not get along well, the incident has made the rift between the duo public. Lien said that he was rather surprised when Ma did not show up at the airport when he returned. Lien's closest aides, therefore, berated Ma, for he had made the outside world aware of the bad blood between the two.
In all honesty, according to KMT tradition, the party chairman is the one who should to be sent off and greeted, not someone who has already stepped down. Considering the power structure within the KMT, Ma's unwillingness to see Lien off or welcome him on return is hardly surprising. The question is: Why was Lien surprised? It is evident that Lien does not want to play second fiddle to Ma. After receiving a pat on the head from Chinese President Hu Jintao (
Lien has held a grudge against Ma ever since he stepped down as KMT chairman. Recently he has said that "many things remain unsaid" and he must feel that Ma has given him a raw deal. The pan-green camp's criticism of the KMT-CCP economic forum was understandable.
However, Taipei mayor hopeful and Ma's "chosen" successor, former Taipei deputy mayor Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) has openly criticized two trade concessions in the medical field reached at the Lien-Hu meeting, a direct slap in the face for Lien. Perhaps Lien may not care what someone like Yeh, a man without power and position, said, but he will certainly blame it on Ma. The question is: If Ma had showed respect for Lien, would Yeh have dared put Lien down like that?
With Ma's popularity soaring, the only thing that can keep Ma in check is an alliance between Lien and Wang. When KMT Legislator John Chiang (
A new wave of conflict between the mainstream and non-mainstream factions of the KMT has begun, and the battle will be decided on the issues of constitutional amendments and the KMT's primary for Taipei mayoral nominee.