Just as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) rose to prominence because he managed to hide his true self, his fortunes are now plummeting because he has revealed his true colors. This outcome should be obvious, but he still doesn’t seem to have reflected on his behavior. Instead, he worries about the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) image over fears that honorary chairmen throwing a feast for and toasting Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) gave the public a negative image of the party.
When Ma blocked former KMT chairmen Lien Chan (連戰) and Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), as well as People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) — all players in the old Chiang family camp — from hosting a dinner for their “old pal” Chen, he not only failed to cover up the KMT’s image as treasonous, but drew criticism for his arrogance and defeatist cross-strait policies.
As the trio criticized Ma while doting on the Chinese envoy, it became plain that Ma is not only incapable of suppressing corruption among the party’s lower echelons, but also of suppressing privileges among the politically powerful and influential KMT “nobility” in resisting manipulation by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It is only natural that the public saw through his charade.
Lien, Wu and Soong overstepped their bounds by doting on Chen. It looked bad, and their criticism of Ma was not very tactful. Lien said Taichung Mayor Jason Hu’s (胡志強) years at Oxford had not been a waste of time, thus implying that Ma had wasted his years at Harvard.
While that was a clever jab, Lien’s doctoral thesis, Chinese Communism Versus Pragmatism: The Criticism of Hu Shi’s Philosophy, detailed how the CCP purged the intellectual thought of Hu Shih (胡適), a philosopher and essayist who fled to Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) KMT forces. Lien has also served as the vice president of the Republic of China (ROC) and is now an honorary chairman of the KMT.
Despite this, he is unable to differentiate between what is important and what isn’t, so when he went to offer tribute to the “C-list” politician Chen, he only showed that he had wasted his years studying at the University of Chicago.
Soong was not happy about being brushed off, so he used his direct connection to Chen, going to Sun Moon Lake, where he walked right through the lines of police officers protecting the Chinese envoy to have a private meeting in his capacity as a “normal citizen.” This highlights both Soong’s extraordinary privileges and the fact that Chen does not require approval from Ma to see whomever he wishes to see.
Although the semi-official meeting between Chen and Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) had already given Ma a headache, Soong said that if it weren’t for him and Lien, “Mr Chen probably would never have been able to come to Taiwan.”
This makes it sound as if Soong made considerable contributions to cross-strait negotiations, but listening more carefully, it reminds me of when the Manchu army was allowed to walk through the Great Wall of China to bring down the Ming Dynasty.
Ma managed to stop Lien, Wu and Soong from doting on Chen, but at the banquet given by host Jason Hu, Lien and Wu cheerfully toasted Chen as if there were no problem. From anti-communism to pro-communist defeatism, the KMT nobility enjoy themselves while trampling all over Taiwan. Their treachery is unacceptable.
James Wang is a media commentator.
TRANSLATED BY PERRY SVENSSON
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