Hsieh Attacks Ma for Colluding with China
International media reports on Taiwan's upcoming elections rarely mention, let alone analyze, the growing cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and the KMT in Taiwan. Yet it is a major issue in the election here:
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday accused his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) counterpart, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), of colluding with Chinese leaders over the holding of a referendum on UN membership.
"Ma made promises to Chinese leaders when he was the KMT chairman," Hsieh said. "They most likely included carrying out the promises made by former KMT chairman Lien Chan [連戰]. Ma owes the public an explanation if he encounters any difficulties or contradictions in putting them into practice, because they could affect Taiwan's future."
Hsieh did not provide any evidence to substantiate his claims.
The remarks were occasioned by an article in the local Chinese-language China Times, the Xinhua of the KMT in the bad old days, that said the KMT had gotten a letter from Beijing:
A report in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday said Ting Yuan-chao (丁遠超), Lien's secretary, confirmed two weeks ago that Lien had received a letter from China and was asked to pass it on to the party's leaders.
The report said Chinese officials responsible for Taiwanese affairs had decided the referendum was "inappropriate."
Ting was unavailable for comment yesterday, while KMT leaders denied the letter existed.
KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said he didn't know anything about the letter, while KMT Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said the China Times report was "groundless."
"The KMT is pushing for the country's return to the UN. This will not change because of Chinese pressure," Wu said.
Wu said the party would go ahead with its plans to stage a rally in Taichung on Saturday to attract support for the party's referendum proposal.
The KMT can't be lying, because its senior members constantly go to China, obviating the need for a letter. For example, Lien Chan is on his way there right now:
Lien was accompanied by his wife, and will have to transfer airplanes in Hong Kong en route to China's Xinjiang province due to the lack of direct transport links between Taiwan and China.
Prior to his departure from the Taoyuan International Airport, Lien declined to answer reporters' questions regarding his role in a local newspaper report claiming that Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a letter to Ma Ying-jeou, the KMT's candidate in the March 2008 presidential election, voicing his objection to a KMT campaign aimed at holding a referendum on the country's U.N. bid.
According to the Taipei-based China Times, Hu sent a protest letter through Lien to Ma two weeks ago, but both Ma and the KMT central denied knowledge of receiving such a letter and said that they will not hold back in their efforts pushing for a U. N. referendum on the grounds that the issue has gained widespread public backing.
In April KMT Party Chairman Wu Po-hsiung announced that he would go to China immediately after being elected Chairman. Wu is widely reputed to be a Ma supporter.
In recent academic pieces on Ma, scholars have argued that Ma is a "moderate" because he has never gone to China. Why should he, when senior KMT officials go there for him? This "moderation" is typical of Ma -- while he has never gone there himself, neither has he criticized his fellows for kowtowing to Beijing.
Meanwhile, the closer the KMT gets to Beijing, the less well it will do in the polls here. Yeye, hurry home!
[Taiwan] [KMT] [Ma Ying-jeou] [Frank Hsieh] [media]