Former vice-president Lien Chan (連戰) relied on his father, Lien Chen-tung (連震東), as Lien Chen-tung did his father before him. With Lien Chan’s son Sean (連勝文) now relying on his father as he takes up the family flag in Taiwanese politics, there are three generations, from grandfather to father to son. Lien Chen-tung and Lien Chan are both former government officials with an astonishing amount of wealth to their names. Sean is more pedestrian, but he has inherited the prodigious wealth, and his debut foray into the world of politics is a stab at mayor of the country’s capital, no less. It is not entirely surprising that he is being rebuffed by voters and that he is trailing in the polls.
In the face of this rather uncomfortable truth, the Lien clan has chosen to spout nonsense and vulgarities, driven to desperation as they are. Last week, Lien Chan showed his true colors behind his mask of “a man of culture” when he slandered their main rival, independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) by saying that Ko’s grandfather served in the Japanese colonial government and that as a third-generation descendant of such a man, Ko had received an “imperial” Japanese education and therefore dismisses everything pertaining to Chinese culture.
The Lien camp says that having wealth and power is not a sin. They have a point. Sean Lien says that being born into a rich family was not of his choosing. That is totally correct. However, whether you rely on your father, that is your own choice.
The Lien political dynasty is lent some credence by the precedents of the Kennedy and Bush dynasties in the US. Closer to home, there is the Republic of China’s founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), who also relied on his father, and former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), of course, who was in his position by virtue of who his father was, too.
The Bush dynasty has spawned two presidents and two state governors. The Kennedy clan have produced one president, three senators and several members of the US Congress over two generations. The difference is, they did not rely on their fathers and got to where they were on their own steam, being elected within a system that is fair and just.
Lien Chen-tung got to where he was through his father Lien Heng’s (連橫) connections, rising through the ranks and amassing his fortune. His son was able to get a position in the governments of former presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo, the former’s son and successor, and rose steadily through the ranks, before finally becoming former president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) vice president. His own legacy, his own personal achievement, has continuously frustrated his efforts to be elected president. Sean Lien is even worse, relying entirely on others for money and public position.
Former US president George W. Bush did not bring in his father to campaign on his behalf when he ran for the office of president. Sean Lien, on the other hand, has roped in his parents to back him up, rolling out references to “the Chinese people” and anti-Japanese slogans that slander people who grew up in Taiwan during the period of Japanese rule.
The objective of suggesting Ko’s ancestor served the Japanese colonial government was to appeal to the older generation who still harbor ill-feelings toward their former Japanese colonial masters. However, if a person targeted by slander then turns around and says their accusers’ ancestors served the Manchu Qing Dynasty for 200 years, it is nobody’s fault but the accusers’.
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Paul Cooper
China has started to call Tibet “Xizang” instead of Tibet for several reasons. First, China wants to assert its sovereignty and legitimacy over Tibet, which it claims as an integral part of its territory and history. China argues that the term Xizang, which means “western Tsang” in Chinese, reflects the historical and administrative reality of the region, which was divided into U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham by the Tibetans themselves. China also contends that the term Tibet, which derives from the Mongolian word Tubet, is a foreign imposition that does not represent the diversity and complexity of the region. Second, China wants to
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) had engaged in weeks of political horse-trading between high-ranking officials, hoping to form a joint ticket to win January’s presidential election, but it all ended in a dramatic public falling out on live television on Thursday. The farcical performance involving mudslinging and quarrels among three men — the TPP’s candidate and Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the KMT’s candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), an independent — and their aides in the evening before the official candidate registration deadline
Due in large part to the US-China trade war, Taiwanese supply chains continue to relocate from China and some manufacturers have increased the rate at which they have invested in Mexico to align their operations with the needs of customers and to comply with US policy. However, setting up manufacturing plants in Mexico is not without its complications, including the language barrier, different cultures, local regulations and finding qualified staff. Accumulating talent with proficiency in Spanish is the first step to developing the market in Mexico, and indeed Latin America as a whole. WHY MEXICO Mexico is a good location for three
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) might be accused of twice breaking his promises and betraying the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), then launching a signature drive for himself to stand as a candidate in January’s presidential election, only to turn around and quit the race. It clearly shows that rich people are free to do as they like. If that is so, then Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is the perfect example of a political hack who changes his position as easily as turning the pages of a book. Taiwanese independence supporters