Last year was a productive year for Vice President Annette Lu (
Lu's recent tactics have garnered positive results.
Before the year-end local elections, Lu was the only key figure of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to predict that the party would fail in the polls and urge dramatic reform.
The DPP's performance, which was negatively affected by scandals involving key party figures, proved that Lu's criticism was not groundless.
Later, her election as the party's acting chair -- which resulted in a public airing of accusations between her and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) -- did not affect her status.
Since the start of the New Year and her repaired relations with Chen, Lu has become the No. 1 promoter of the president's New Year address, which announced stricter cross-strait policies.
When accepting German and Italian political figures visiting the Presidential Office, Lu reiterated China's ambition to annex Taiwan by displaying new large-scale posters detailing the growth of China's military power, the distribution of China's missiles targeting Taiwan and said that China's goal was to take Taiwan by 2015.
"I believe that our European friends learned a lot about China's ambition to expand its power to the Pacific Ocean. And I'm sure that they know the importance of maintaining the EU's decision last year not to allow the lifting of the arms embargo on China," Lu told the media last week.
Last week, Lu became the first political figure to highlight the qualifications for a future premier hidden in Chen's New Year address, squashing speculation about the president possibly inviting any of the opposition parties to form a new Cabinet.
"The leader of the reshuffled Cabinet would have to loyally follow the seven guiding principles in the president's New Year address," Lu said last Thursday.
The seven guiding principles include national identity, cross-strait relations, national security, economic development, fairness and justice, constitutional reform and incorruptible governance.
Two days later, on Saturday, in a public speech, Chen also noted the qualifications.
In addition, Lu's meeting with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) last Friday at a Harvard University Alumni gathering demonstrated that she can complement Chen.
"My meeting with Ma has been fully supported by the president and I'm sure the contact will be a prelude for a peaceful exchange of opinion between the ruling and opposition [parties]," said Lu, who will step down as the DPP's acting chairwoman after a by-election late this month.
However, Lu's intention to smooth political turbulence between the leaders was jeopardized by the indifference of Ma, who deliberately avoided talking about sensitive political issues with Lu at the meeting.
Nevertheless, Lu said that her recent active involvement with the party would cease after she steps down as DPP chair.
After that, "I will become a full-time vice president again," she said.