Friday, May 06, 2005

China Fever III

"'Chairman Lien should not be too selfish,' said Central Standing Committee member Hou Tsai-feng.
'The KMT cultivated him for several decades. The KMT needs him to be responsible and not think of his own personal considerations.
'The KMT needs you,' she said. "

Some other interesting things are happening, adding to the mix. Lien Chan is allowing himself to be beseeched to continue in the role of KMT Chairman. It seems obvious to me that if he intended to retire gracefully and also planned to make a "personal" trip to China, he would have waitied until August, stepped down, and then made his trip. At what point does Ma Ying-jeou lose patience with this act from Lien? Ma is described as standing by expressionless as Lien was implored to stay on. The China Post article says“Ma,who was besieged by reporters after he left the meeting, said: 'I respect everyone's opinions,' before escaping down a fire exit.” I couldn't help but notice that it was Ma who escorted Soong to the airport for his trip. A potential alliance, or am I thinking too much?

On another front, as if on cue to remind Taiwanese of the difference between sweet words and substance, Taiwanese doctors were barred from participating in the Annual World Health Assembly despite the fact they had been promised seats by the organizers and despite a Chinese commitment to "help" Taiwan join. Of course, the only help Taiwan needs is for China to stop umremittingly opposing Taiwanese entrance to international organizations. "Though Chinese leaders recently claimed that they are willing to help Taiwan enter the international health body, 'On the eve of the Annual World Health Assembly, the question of whether or not they were sincere seems clear at this point,' said Peter Chang, of Taiwan's Department of Health.

Pan - Greens have been having a lot of fun parodying the reception Lien received at a mainland elementary school: (爺爺爺爺 你回來了 你終於回來了!) "Grandpa! Grandpa! You've come back! You've finally come back!" But the difficult fact is that the juxtaposition of Lien being greeting so emotionally in China, juxtaposed with Chen Shui-bian being feted in the Marshall Islands and Fiji, didn't work to the DPP's favor at all. At a DPP rally, much was made of the fact that Lien's name - Chan (戰) - means war: "Oppose War and Protect Taiwan!" Lien says he was given the name in the context of the Japanese invasion of China, to demonstrate his family's defiance of the invaders. At the same rally, VP Lu offered that Lien "has become the spokesman in Taiwan for the Chinese Communist Party." Ouch!