Sat, May 09, 2009 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's News Watch: Just leave the damn dog out of this

By Johnny Neihu 強尼內湖

The Neihu household’s in an uproar, and the Chicoms are to blame.

It started with an invitation to yours truly, addressed as “Tongbao Johnny,” to come on an all-expenses paid junket to Crazyland (read: China).

Per the invitation, I and my family would stay at the best suites of the choicest hotels, get chauffered around in limos by local Party hacks, and slurp up shark’s fin soup at the finest restaurants Province X had to offer.

Or, if I wished to leave my family behind, I’d enjoy the “highest class” entertainment (wink, wink), including the best single-malt Scotch that money can buy and the company of top-caliber Mongolian escorts.

I have to admit, they really had my number on that one. Tempting. But no cigar.

Then it got worse. Came the letter addressed to the old lady Cathy Pacific, inviting her on an all-expenses paid shopping trip to the flagship Louis Vuitton store in Shanghai.

After I faxed that letter to a post office in the middle of nowhere down in the southeast, the rumblings from my normally stone cold sober, wayward beloved began — as did the rationalizations for accepting the offers (“We should see the real China for ourselves,” “But isn’t it a polite invitation!” and “But it’s been so long since I had a new LV bag!”).

The final straw came when a package of gourmet dog chow appeared mysteriously at our door with the note, “To Punkspleen. There’s more where this came from — lots more. Hope to see you soon in Zhongnanhai! Wang, wang! — Comrade Hu.”

Now I’m no spring chicken when it comes to China’s “United Front” strategy, but this is getting ridiculous.

What’s going on here? Simple. The Chicoms have ramped up their campaign to win over “real” Taiwanese.

They’ve already got the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in their pocket. Now it’s time to co-opt those greens who can be co-opted … and it’s heat-seeking missiles for the rest.

As former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) hotshot Parris Chang (張旭成) put it in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: “The Communist Party’s United Front Department is actively recruiting potential fellow travelers inside the DPP, hoping to sow discord in the party and play one faction against the other.”

One example: “Beijing has discreetly sent out a feeler to former Vice President Annette Lu [呂秀蓮], inviting her to visit China ... While she has not yet announced whether she’ll go — she may wait until her publishing venture is more firmly established — the invitation itself has created waves within the DPP.”

That ain’t the half of it. According to my sources, which include but are not solely limited to the guy who hands me my morning youtiao, these kinds of “feelers” have of late been going out by the mailbag-full.

Forget the 1,000-plus missiles pointed at the “separatists” here. It’s the 1,000-plus junket invitations lobbed over by the Chicoms that are the real problem.

A flurry has gone out for an upcoming cross-strait forum in Fujian Province (May 15-May 22), my sources say.

According to the Chicoms’ International Press Center Web site, the forum will include a “Gala Evening with the theme ‘China Passion and Straits Connection’ in Xiamen, ‘Exhibitions on Fujian and Taiwan Family Tree and Cultural Heritage,’ a ‘Fujian Women Dancing Competition’ in Quanzhou [sign me up for that one], and on Monday, May 18, a ‘Match-making of Cross-straits Trade Union (Fuzhou).”

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