Wu’s ‘golden parachute’
On Monday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) told the media that it is important for him to campaign for the KMT’s legislative candidates, and that he is too busy to serve as the chairman of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) presidential campaign office. Not long ago, Wu also confirmed that he was thinking about adding himself to the party’s list of legislator-at-large nominees.
From that, we can infer that Wu is not only pessimistic about Han’s bid, but also leaving room to beat a retreat should the KMT suffer an election defeat.
First, in the presidential and legislative elections, a party’s presidential candidate must be strong enough to boost the momentum of its legislative candidates. Even if Wu truly believes that the legislative campaign should be the focus of the elections, there is no reason for him to abandon Han.
Second, the chairmanship of a presidential campaign office has a kind of symbolic meaning and, more importantly, the chairman as a kingmaker will be able to recommend officials and draw up policies after winning a presidential election. In other words, he would enjoy a great opportunity to place his own people into the administration and even guide the president. Why would Wu give up this opportunity if he were optimistic about Han’s bid?
Third, if Han suffers an election defeat, Wu, as the chairman of the KMT, would inevitably step down to shoulder his share of the responsibility. However, if he puts himself on the party’s list of legislator-at-large nominees, he would have a chance of “transferring” to the Legislative Yuan and would strive to win the legislative speakership to preserve his strength. Thus, the seat would become Wu’s “golden parachute” if he were forced to step down.
Lessons of the Kurds
Taiwan would be well advised to take note of the US treatment of the Kurds in northern Syria. The Kurds were allies of the US in defeating ISIS [the Islamic State]. That did not count for much, with the US leaving them at the mercy of Turkey, a country which has contributed little to the fight against radical Islam.
The same fate could well befall Taiwan if the US considers an accommodation with China more to its interests. It must be remembered that for all its honey-sweet words regarding Taiwan, the US still does not accord Taiwan diplomatic recognition, a situation which sets a negative example to the rest of the world.
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