Two weeks after the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections, the question of who will run for the nation's top job has once again become the focus of media attention. Last week, speculation regarding the possibility that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
While Ma remains the likeliest presidential candidate for the KMT, the importance of Wang -- either as a potential challenger for the nomination, a running mate or a key figure to foster intra-party solidarity -- should not be overlooked.
The fact that Wang lost to Ma by a wide margin in the election for KMT chairman should not by any means diminish the crucial role that Wang will have to play. One of his biggest assets is the fact that he has managed to maintain good relations on all fronts -- within and outside the KMT. He also has some level of appeal within the pan-green camp.
This has a lot to do with the fact that he is a native Taiwanese and has a southern background. It is precisely because of his good relationship with elements within the pan-green camp that the rumor arose that he, former president Lee Teng-hui (
Within the KMT, Wang has managed to maintain good relations with former chairman Lien Chan (
This puts Wang in an advantageous position to build good relations with these elements. Because of his background, Wang is also the spiritual leader of the local or pro-Taiwan factions within the KMT. This is precisely what is so interesting about Wang -- his ability to maintain his influence and relations with so many diametrically opposed camps and individuals.
At the same time, when People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (
On the other hand, this well-rounded personality is also keeping Wang from successfully challenging Ma. Taiwanese voters are hungry for major reform. The calls for a new political order simply cannot be ignored. The problem with Wang is that his personality is making it difficult for the public to believe that he has what it takes to bring about necessary change.
But the door to challenging Ma is open, mostly as a result of the mayor's recent political faux pas, of which his use of the mayoral funds is but one. Therein lies Wang's chance to prove his mettle and change his image into a reformer that Taiwan needs.
With its passing of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to tighten its noose on Hong Kong. Gone is the broken 1997 promise that Hong Kong would have free, democratic elections by 2017. Gone also is any semblance that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays the long game. All the CCP had to do was hold the fort until 2047, when the “one country, two systems” framework would end and Hong Kong would rejoin the “motherland.” It would be a “demonstration-free” event. Instead, with the seemingly benevolent velvet glove off, the CCP has revealed its true iron
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All lives eventually come to an end. Over the years, my friendship with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had its ups and downs. Lee’s passing was a heavy blow and has left me deeply saddened. We experienced a lot together and the memories have come flooding back. Lee was born several months earlier than me. During World War II, he was studying at Kyoto Imperial University, but halfway through his studies, he was forced to change his name and enter military service. I was studying at Tokyo Imperial University, but went into hiding to avoid military service, and I was later