1. In a democracy, the right-wing political party has its die-hard supporters, and so does the left-wing one.
2. But, these die-hard supporters alone won't be enough to guarantee the political party to reach a majority, and win the election. Example: in USA, the Democrats usually has 43% in popular support, and the Republicans has 38% or so.
3. So, all political parties have to work hard to win the swing voters that are at the political center.
4. One definitive feature of these swing voters is the lack strong connections to political ideology. Rather, they care more about their economic well-being. So, in such a democratic setting, usually it is the economy that sets the one for any election.
5. In Taiwan, Chen can't talk on the economy. Two reasons: (1) He knows nothing about the economy. In his whole political career, he never works on the economic issues in any previous elections. What he knows best is the political issues, not economic issues. (2) The economy during the past 3 years of his presidency is very lousy. When he tried to seduce the KMT vice chairman, Siew, to join his side, he has implicitly admitted that his team alone can't handle the economy well.
6. So, Chen then has a different strategy in mind now. He wants to create another Taiwan Strait crisis like the one we saw in 1995-1996, so that he can stand tough against a common enemy from the outside. He wants to play the hero in the spring of 2004, so he needs somebody to be the bad guy.
7. To do so, he then picks up the referrendum law as a way to intentionally provoke the hardliners in Beijing. In order to assure that the USA will back him up in time, Chen waters down the referrendum law to the version similar to what we see in USA used for the purpose of local politics. Chen even promised the USA that he will NOT use independnece for the referrendum. So, such a "simple, watered-down version" of referrendum law will seem reasonable in the eyes of USA. But, in the eyes of Beijing, the situation will be still unacceptable. Then, a confrontation will be set up.
So, to sum up: Chen is playing fire with a subtle game plan. He wants to push Taiwan into another crisis, so that he can use the national crisis, instead of the economy, as the one and only issue for the 2004 election. Then, he will do whatever it takes to act like a hero with grace under pressure. In order to assure that the USA will still back Taiwan up in such a crisis, Chen will adopt the least aggreesive version of the referrendum law. Once both the USA and the PRC are sucked in, then there will be another showtime. When a country faces outside pressure, the voters usually will give their leader the much needed support in order to tell the outside enemy that "hey, your tricks won't work here. so, why don't you just
You must be informed that WOWGONER calls himself a true Taiwanese, i.e., an aboriginal.
But we don't believe he is. His political leaning is very much aligned with KMT and PFP and New Party.
Japanese were the one who tried to kill his people but he blamed it all on Taiwanese. His objective in life is to drive all Taiwanese off the island. He calls Taiwanese fake Taiwanese, just like the Chinese call Taiwanese fake Chinese.
He so ingratiates himself to the KMT/PFP/NEW-PARTY that he calls himself WOWGONER, after a KMT poster on this board, WOWGONE.
He has another famous saying on this board. That is, the Chinese communists love Taiwanese so much that they want to convert Taiwanese to communism the way the Christians want to convert people to Christianity.
I believe it is called DPP (Democratic Progress Party)instead of People xxx. Only 'Soong Special Head' is interested to have his party called People xxx. That gives a strong hint that his party has a very tight connection with Poeple's Repblic of xxx.
<<<...He is militarily smart....Chiang had the nationalist pride....>>>
I don't know how you can be so privileged to have your ears to the conversation that took place between Godfather and US.
Anyway, Godfather ABANDONED HIS FRIEND IN NEEDS; what was why US turned to China. This was very dumb.
I used to think that US foreign policy pertaining to Taiwan and China was driven by conglomerates with eyes for China's market potential only or maily.
Godfather wasn't a smart military man. He was very dumb. In China during WWII, he told his troops to run like hell from the Japanese. In the book by Sterlling Seagrave, it said that was Godfather's strategy of forcing the Japanese to exhaustion from having to chase the Nationalist troops. The Americans in China at the time did not hold him in any regard either because he had proved himself to be a loser to Mao's troops and the Japanese troops despite massive US aids.
What he was good at was elimination of his potential political rivals by playing one person/party against the other with him reaping the benefits along the way. I just learned that in Fujian, under Godfather, there was a KMT division that gave the Japanese effective resistance and was popular among the people there. But Godfather saw him as a potential threat, so Godfather cutoff his supplies and let him be eliminated by the Japanese. He was both dumb and shamless. With ill-gotton gains
and US aids, he lived to ripe old age. What pride is there?
What is PFP ? Is that James Soong's gang ? I know I
know. That is People xxx Party. My God. Whenever
I see a political organization with name something
like People xxx, I get nervous and scared. Does that
have any connection with Prople's Republic of xxx
or Poeple's Army ?>>>
PFP stands for People First Party. It is a party that split from the KMT due to personality conflict within the KMT during the year 2000 presidential election. There were 2 KMT members who wanted to run in the presidential election but the party nominated Lien Chan, not James Soong. So James Soong chose to take his followers out of KMT and formed his own party. Technically it is a different party. Nevertheless, it's principle doctrines and practices are exactly the same as KMT. The only difference is KMT and PFP are led by different person and that PFP is not as rich as KMT. So PFP has to appeal to Taiwanese for votes. During the 2000 presidential election, James Soong managed to learn a few Taiwanese phrases of different local languages. His pronunciation was very bad; sometimes it drew spontaneous outburst of laughters from the locals. He even called himself "Taiwanese" and "stole" the locals' historical and cultural sentiments, such as "someday we will prevail over the oppressors", in his campaign speaches.
Not knowing his true motives behind his "clowning around", the fact that a person of "superior" race would demote himself to the rank of locals endeared himself to a large segment of the voters. He posed a big threat to the "native son", A-bian, and almost won the election.
Three years hence, it is getting harder and harder to hide his true color. So he and KMT head, Lien Chan, form a coorporative alliance, with Lien Chan as the presidential candidate and himself the vice presidential candidate in the upcoming march, 2004 election.
Having to play the second fiddle to his former political rival obviously is a big blow to his ego. But the prospect of the opportunity to dip into the vast riches of KMT is very enticing. Get into the door first, get the prize later is obviously what he had in mind. Many political observers have already noticed his fingerprints left by him in many scenes.
Ostensibly, the commies across the Taiwan Strait are the enemies of both KMT and PFP. After all, the commies defeated them in WWII. But one-party-dictatorial rule was so entrenched in their minds that when the native son, A-bian, was elected president, they equated this political defeat as the military defeat for the second time by another enemy. They are very bitter and very hostile to the DPP(Democratic Progressive Party).
Only a few months after the native son took office, there was already a motion in place to recall him out of the presidential office. And scores of other treasonous acts that are too lengthy to mention here.
Their allegiance is to China. And if they cannot "retake" China, they would rather be loyal to the communist China than to be "ruled" by the Taiwanese, the barbarian islanders in their eyes. There is also guilt feeling associated with their misdeeds inflicted on the locals during their 50 years of unchallenged one-party rule. So they never adapted themselves to Taiwan. Even their children don't. Even the children of the mixed Taiwanese and Chinese are ashamed of their Taiwanese blood.
I get nervous and scared too when I see the word "people". The reasons are plenty.
You cannot convince me that all the time from 1945 onward, KMT was selflessly concentrating on building a SUSTAINABLE economy for Taiwan. Even if it is so, why did it take so long?
Why did it take so long? Well, it takes long time to accumulate primitive capital from scratch. You can read Marx's Capital. It takes USA 30 years to do so after the end of civil war in mid-1980s. It takes Japan 20 years to finsih the first stage of primitive campital accumulation in late 19th century. A lot of countries still can't make it even if you give them 30 years. Taiwan spent 10 -15 years from 1950 to 1965. Then, USA terminated the economic aids in 1965, and the momentum of the Taiwanese economy moved on without it.
2)In the year 1950, the land reform was manipulated to root out the well-educated middle class to eliminate the opposition leadership(recall the 228-Massacre). But the working class farmers and landless agricultural laborers were also exploited by the government through heavy taxation in the form of compulsory exchange of farm produce for fertilizer in an artificial price system principally to feed the huge army.
The KMT's real, big, and najor mistake since she took over Taiwan from the Japanese hands is the 228. All other mistakes are minor, including the so-called 80% budgets devoted to the military. After all, the Taiwanese economy did take off after a preparation period of the 1950s. During this decade, Taiwanese gov't at that time has successfully design various industrial and trade policies to set the stage for the 1960 take-off. Taiwan actually was among the first economy to take off in the posy-war world history. South Korea even sent their economic ministers to visit Taiwan year in and year out to learn lessons in economic development. Southeastern Asian economies actually fall behind Taiwan even though they were at a higher GDP level at the beginning of the post-war era. The Chinese Communist Party used a very tough policy on the agriculture, and the farmers there suffered a lot as the CCP squeezed out surplus from the farmers to help build the industrail sector. When all countries try to figure out how to accumulate capital for sustainable development, Taiwan's methods in the 1950s and 1960s turn out to be the best strategy. The agriculture sector was squeezed, but only in a limited degree. And, the push into industry and export was successful that later the industry sector can feed back to the agriculture sector. The ex-President T H Lee was an expert in the agricultural economics department. he knows it; he did a Cornell PhD thesis on capital accumulation for the two-sector economy.
I agree that you can make some points by attacking the KMT on the 228, but attacking the KMT's handling of Taiwan's agriculture and other economic reforms and strategies will let you go nowehre. Peng Ming-Min's account of Taiwan's economy is not his major expertise. He was a very good political science professor though. I don't think he has figured out how the KMT has done the homework to get to the secrets of accumulating capital from scratch for Taiwan. In the post-war cold war era, many countries want to find out how to accumulate capital from scratch, but they have tried the wrong way mostly.
<<...Now the US was involved in the Vietnam War, the Johnson administration badly wanted Chiang to send Nationalist troops to fight in Indochina. The mission of Jr. to Washington was to negotiate this issue. But the Chiangs refused and it ended in a stalemate. The consequent disenchantment of the Johnson administration with Taiwan as an ally carried over to the Nixon administration. Disillusionment with Taiwan became fashionable.
This paved the way for Kissinger to set into motion policies leading to recognition of the People's Republic of China.
Why did Godfather and Jr. refuse? Did they have secret deals with PRC? Isn't this the way the KMT and PFP behave in Taiwan now?
Even if you like to turn the issue from the development and transition of the Taiwanese economy to the Chiang family, I can still give you some update on the question you brought up here.
During the 1960s, USA did contact Chiang Kai-Shek on fighting the communists in Vietnam. At first, Chiang was excited to get back to the battlefield against the commies. He then asked for more deatils about the American proposal. There are two main points in the American package:
Number 1: Chiang Kai-Shek asked, are we the ally gonna march into the North Vietnam, to take Vietnam back from the commies? Or, we just stay in the south? That is, do we have an aggressive military strategy, or we just go there to support South Vietnam, without unifying Vietnam into a non-communist country?
The Americans replied: we'll stay in the south only. We will not attack North Vietnam.
Chiang replied: If so, then you are asking me to send the troops from Taiwan to Vietnam without a meaningful cause. My troops have a lot of experiences of fighting the commies. So, you just want to exploit that expertise without helping our anti-communism cause at all. From a strategic point of view, attacking the Vietnamese commies in South Vietnam will at best force them to hide into the mountains of North Vietnam. They will get new supplies and come back later, and we will be exhausted. So, this is not the solution. In order to solve the problem in Vietnam, the ally will have to adopt an aggressive military startegy to also attack North Vietnam and wipe them out.
The USA replied: So, are you planning to use this chance to draw in the Chinese commies, and then fight them so as to return to the mainland China?
Chiang then smiled...
Number 2: USA wanted to kncok a deal with Chiang by covering almost all the defense budgets of Republic of China on one condition: using the Korean format to let the USA military officlas become the Taiwan army's officilas. Chiang refued because Chiang did not want to become a colony to USA. Chiang has the nationalist pride.
Chiang Kai-Shek later sent a military advisory group to South Vietnam. Later, as history shows, the USA's major purpose is to use Asian troops as a transitional replacements to help the USA pull out from South Vietnam. At that time, the White House sees burden in internal politics in Washington, and hence did not care much for the interests of the Vietnamese people in their fight against the communism. Theyjust wanted to get out. This is why Chiang Kai-Shek sees no point to send the troops from Taiwan to South Vietnam to fight a hopeless cause when attacking the North Vietnam is ruled out at the very beginning by the USA. He is militarily smart. USA is also right by not promising Chiang Kai-Shek to march into North Vietnam, for in that case Chiang will attack the Chinese commies all the way from South Vietnam.