Fri, Apr 10, 2009 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Taiwan at dusk

Your editorial (“The DPP is its own enemy,” April 3, page 8), reminds me of the Chinese saying “the setting sun is limitlessly good, but close to dusk” (夕陽無限好只是近黃昏), and the Taiwanese song Homeland at Dusk (黃昏的故鄉), in regard to former presidential office secretary-general Mark Chen’s (陳唐山) decision to run for Tainan County commissioner against another DPP [Democratic Pregressive Party] candidate and the KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] candidate.

The saying means that the scene of a sunset is beautiful but heralds an ending, and the song is so moving that it makes many Taiwanese well up with tears when they sing it.

Chen, at age 74, is still popular in Tainan County because of his excellent service there for two terms, which earned him the top rating in performance among all commissioners and mayors in Taiwan.

He served at different official capacities during the DPP era. In spite of his popularity, there is no need for him to run again for the same office, especially against a younger DPP candidate.

History has shown that two candidates from the same party are usually defeated by a candidate from another party. Chen is pivotal in the unity or disunity of the DPP, with all members depending on his decision to withdraw from the race or not.

His decision can also affect the future of Taiwan. If he withdraws from the race, many voters in Tainan County may be disappointed initially but they will eventually appreciate his actions for cultivating younger blood in the DPP.

The young blood should be encouraged to run for public office — win or lose.

If Chen’s name (meaning Old China) were used as a riddle, the logical answer to this riddle would be “New Taiwan.”

Let’s hope that Chen will make a wise decision so that Taiwan at dusk will become Taiwan at dawn.

CHARLES HONG

Columbus, Ohio

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