Wed, Aug 12, 2015 - Page 8 News List


Typhoons Soudelor, Soong

Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan on Saturday — Father’s Day — leaving seven people dead, five missing, 402 injured and necessitating the evacuation of thousands. The nation was hit by flooding and mudslides, with trees toppled, cars smashed, statues knocked down, train services stopped, flights called off, power lost and stores closed. The deadly typhoon came and left a trail of devastation in its wake.

Before this natural disaster, a man-made typhoon rocked Taiwan on Thursday, with People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), 70, announcing his bid for the presidency.

“The way forward for Taiwan is to leave aside power struggles, not focus on pan-blue or pan-green divisions or winning and losing, but cooperation, sharing, mutual assistance and not doing to others what you do not want them to do to you. Let’s work closely together for ourselves, for our families, for our children, for everyone surrounding us to secure a bright future,” Soong said, setting out his platform.

Soong has long been known as a very talented politician. However, he has not made his presidential aspirations a reality. His first bid for the presidency was in 2000, when he ran as an independent candidate after failing to obtain the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nomination. His second brush with the top spot was in 2004 when he ran for vice president alongside then-KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰). The third time was in 2012, when he competed against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Why did Soong fail in all these campaigns?

There must be something fundamentally wrong with his judgment — lets figure it out.

In his campaign speeches, he said that it is indisputable that cross-strait relations are a continuation of the Chinese Civil War.

Following the retreat of the Republic of China (ROC) to Taiwan in 1949 and the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), cross-strait relations have been characterized by the power struggle between the ROC and the PRC, but the battle has moved on from a military confrontation to the realms of politics and economics.

Unfortunately, Soong’s perception does not match this reality, meaning his views are anachronistic. I really feel sorry for him that his understanding of modern Taiwanese history is poorer than that of the high-school students who have been protesting the adjustments to the curriculum guidelines.

However, Soong did point out that during Ma’s two terms Taiwan has had a ton of problems emerge that must be decisively fixed.

He has made six campaign pledges:

To facilitate open communication between political parties to avoid confrontation.

To revise the Constitution and establish a system of checks and balances for the government.

To fulfill his political responsibilities and to deliver an annual “State of the Union” style address to the nation.

To establish a cross-party coalition government to put an end to one-party rule.

To listen to the public and protect their livelihoods.

To establish a framework for peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

Soong has tried to convince voters he is the only presidential candidate capable of securing a peaceful future for the nation.

Well that might be the case, but it depends on which nation he is talking about, Taiwan or China?

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