Last Thursday, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
However, Wang's rejection of a Ma-Wang ticket was just what Ma wanted.
In other words, since Ma did not invite Wang to team up with him at the outset, he must not have respected Wang that much.
Indeed, if Ma truly respected Wang, Ma's camp would not have accused Wang of corruption.
Not long ago, Ma's support ratings were still sky high and his choice of running mate was not supposed to be an issue.
The problem was that Wang became somebody that Ma, after he was indicted for corruption, could no longer afford to ignore .
The more interesting issue is why Wang rejected being Ma's running mate.
As Wang cannot become the most powerful person within the KMT -- that honor belongs to Ma, regardless of whether he is the party's chairman or not -- Wang's position as legislative speaker is as high as he can go.
Since he failed to become party chairman or a presidential candidate, serving as the vice presidential candidate would seem to be the best choice for Wang to further his political career.
From this point of view, Wang should have been begging Ma and the KMT to let him run as vice president.
So why was it the other way around?
Perhaps Wang was invited simply because he is particularly adept at political maneuvering, or because he can attract moderate voters, or because he is influential in the legislature, or because he is considered part of the pro-localization faction inside the KMT.
But if all these things are true, why did Ma attack him so viciously in the KMT chairmanship election?
Wang, who has spent a lifetime in politics, undoubtedly understood the situation.
He knew that all he had to do was say "yes" and the vice presidential candidacy would have been his.
Although he would have been serving under Ma, this would have been a boost to his political career.
In a meeting with Ma, Wang brought up the party's various difficulties, including its position on localization, its controversial stolen assets, corruption and position on Taiwanese sovereignty.
But all of these are the legacy of the KMT's past as a party-state and not new issues.
The fact is that Wang decided not to team up with Ma regardless of the negative impact on his career or the party.
Wang insisted on not teaming up with Ma because he knows that Ma only has a slim chance of winning the presidential election.
Pan-blue camp media reported during Wang's visit to former KMT chairman Lien Chan (
Wang replied: "Since you know that winning will be difficult, why have you asked me to team up with him?"
Today, Ma's front-runner status is weakening and Wang, rather than going down with Ma's ship, is stepping back to watch.
Although Wang rejected a vice presidential bid, he stressed that his cooperation with Ma would continue unchanged.
However, such a pledge has a double meaning. First, it indicates that Wang will not run for the presidency as an independent candidate.
Although he would stand little chance of winning as an independent, he could affect the outcome of the election.
Thus, his promise not to run was designed to soothe KMT election anxieties.
Second, Wang pledged to continue cooperating to give himself room to maneuver so that the KMT couldn't pin Ma's failure to win the election on him.
Wang's ambiguous attitude toward Ma has made Ma lose face and made Wang the object of dark-blue hatred.
Now that the Ma-Wang ticket is no more, the pan-blue camp will very likely attack Wang.
KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (
It is thus evident that internal power struggles have begun within the KMT.
The KMT's problem is that the public's faith in Ma has been weakened.
Some consider Ma to be even worse than Lien, who is often compared to A-dou (
In truth, it is Ma who is worse than A-dou.
When Lien and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (
However, an opinion poll conducted by the pro-Ma China Times showed that Ma's support ratings dropped to 32 percent after Wang refused to be his running mate.
In this light, Wang's decision is already proving to be a wise one.
As the Chinese saying goes, "God destroys those who don't help themselves."
By refusing to run with Ma, a shrewd politician like Wang could only have been trying to help himself.
Chin Heng-wei is the editor-in-chief of Contemporary Monthly magazine.
Translated by Eddy Chang
On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) spoke during the opening ceremony of this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA). For the first time in the assembly’s history, attendees, including Xi, had to dial in virtually. Xi made no acknowledgement of the Chinese government’s role in causing the COVID-19 pandemic, nor was there any meaningful apology. Instead, he painted China as a benign force for good and a friend to all nations. Except Taiwan, of course. The address was a reheated version of the speech Xi gave at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Xi again attempted to step into the
The World Health Assembly (WHA) held its annual meeting this week; Taiwan was still not represented. Its journalists were also barred from covering the online-only proceedings, despite the nation’s clearly demonstrated pandemic expertise that has set an example for the world. When the SARS epidemic reached Taiwan from southern China in 2003, dozens of lives were lost, but its health experts learned the importance of general testing, masks, technology to locate infected persons, swift decisions and quarantines. The lessons were applied immediately across Taiwan when COVID-19 arrived this year. From 2009 to 2016, Taiwan participated as an observer in the assembly under