The refusal by Steve Chan (詹啟賢) to join president-elect Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) Cabinet has triggered speculation about a power struggle over positions in the new administration. The focus has been on ethnic conflict, but this misses the real issue.
Former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) is a Mainlander who led a social movement to abolish Article 100 of the Criminal Code. The universal values of liberty, democracy and human rights are always in his heart.
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) is an ethnic Taiwanese who treated Taiwan’s decade-long transformation into a democracy as a bad dream, saying that he wanted nothing to do with it. He vowed to regain political power and restore the party-state. Consequently, after a string of successive electoral failures, Lien went over to another party-state, meeting Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). Hu had just proclaimed the “Anti-Secession” Law, which threatened to swallow up Taiwan. Lien acted as if he thought it a pity he hadn’t gotten to know Hu sooner.
These are two different value systems, and they have nothing to do with ethnicity.
There are two types of power-hungry KMT members: officials of the former party-state, and members of the “one China” faction that have recently succumbed to China’s unification tactics and joined the communists in Beijing to oppose Taiwan’s independence.
Most of the people from these two groups are concentrated in the KMT’s National Policy Foundation think tank, chaired by Lien. When Lien established this think tank, he spent the first four years grooming leaders in preparation for the restoration of the party-state. When he realized that there was no hope of restoration, he switched tack and spent the next four years focusing on China, establishing a “KMT-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) platform” and throwing himself into the great “one China” mission by “joining with the Communists to work against Taiwan’s independence.”
Some of the major figures in this think tank include KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), who in 2005, following the proclamation of the “Anti-Secession” Law, took the lead in traveling to China to hold “working discussions” with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office head Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) to pave the way for the Lien-Hu meeting.
Another major figure is think tank board member Su Chi (蘇起), architect of the so-called “1992 consensus.”
These men both possess dual identities as former party-state officials and “one China” faction members and are consumed by their lust for power.
Now that Chiang has schemed his way into the chairmanship of the Straits Exchange Foundation. This was no accident. China took the lead in announcing that Chen, as opposed to Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen (錢其琛), would head the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.
This would ensure that Chiang’s counterpart would be on the same level as him. If Su manages to work his way to the head of the National Security Council, the Lien-Hu, KMT-CCP platform would simply turn into the Ma-Hu, KMT-CCP platform.
Besides Chiang and Su, there is think tank chief executive officer Tsai Hsun-hsiung (蔡勳雄) and a whole host of people under him. They have gone hungry for eight years and have eagerly awaited this chance to jump from Lien’s opposition think tank into Ma’s administration team.
Ma has said that he would select people possessing both talent and morals, with an emphasis placed on morals.
Morality is a value. Different value systems will have different standards of morality. For example, Hu’s “Anti-Secession” Law, the 1,000-plus missiles targeting Taiwan and threats of war are all criminal violations of universal values. However, the “one China” faction members, who stand with Hu and have given in to China’s unification tactics, all see this as the culmination of “loving Taiwan” with a love that ensures, by any means necessary, whether through peaceful or non-peaceful measures, that the object of their affection will be theirs.
Hu’s China is still not completely at ease with Ma’s responses to issues dealing with universal values such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Falun Gong and Tibet. They are also unsure as to whether he will continue to follow Lien’s pro-China line after he assumes office. They will keep a close eye on who Ma selects for his administration.
Will Ma be able to transcend ethnicity, party factions and private friendships in selecting talent to protect the lives, liberty and happiness of Taiwanese? Can he eliminate the influence of the crazed, power-hungry members of Lien’s think tank? This is the toughest and most urgent challenge facing Ma today.
Ruan Ming is a consultant at the Taiwan Research Institute.
Translated by James Chen
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