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Hung is Ma’s KMT prodigy for president
By Paul Lin 林保華
Taipei Times  2015.6.19

Just when a mini-Sunflower movement of junior and senior-high school students protesting national curriculum amendments has broken out, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), as if planned, proffered a presidential candidate — Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) — who has for 10 years worked in junior and senior-high schools, primarily as a director of student affairs. This is something of a historical irony. It is also the end of the KMT.

Hung worked her way up quickly, promoted to director of student affairs, director of academic affairs and head of counseling. From there, she was selected for the KMT’s then-Taipei County headquarters, advanced to the KMT’s Taiwan Provincial Branch and then moved to the central party headquarters. Her work impressed someone.

Hung’s family was affected by the White Terror era, however this has had no effect on her career. Even early on, her loyalty to the party-state trumped her affection for her family.

Naturally, her direction of student affairs was informed by the KMT’s party-state ideology, perhaps this explains her distaste for democracy and her advocacy of “one China, with a common interpretation.” It could also explain her enthusiastic involvement in the Yu Chang Biologics case, which led President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to support Hung’s candidacy for deputy legislative speaker and deputy KMT chairperson.

It is no wonder that, for next year’s presidential election, she is somewhat of a prodigy of Ma’s. It is just that — given the political views she has professed — Taiwanese must wonder what she is going to do next.

Hung appears to view the nation’s democracy as mere populism and when she speaks of “winning the hearts and minds of 1.3 billion people,” she means the collective hearts and minds of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and disregards 23 million Taiwanese.

Is she standing for chairperson of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) or for president of the Republic of China (ROC)?

When she speaks of “one China, common interpretation,” does she mean to go to the US for its interpretation of “one China?”

Perhaps she should go to Beijing, so she can come up with a common interpretation with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). Hung’s advisers are members of Ma’s team; powerful individuals originally from China. The think tank offered to her by KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) is headed by former minister of economic affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘), an important member of Ma’s circle. It is likely, then, that Hung’s economic policy would be China-leaning; widen the wealth gap and see salaries of average Taiwanese shrink further.

Hung has accused the Ma administration of timidity, compromise and appeasement. If Hung is elected, Taiwanese and the Democratic Progressive Party had better watch out, because she will not be satisfied until Taiwan has been annexed by China.

If Hung plays her cards badly, it could mean the end for the KMT. Taiwanese, including the KMT’s own pro-localization faction, need to think carefully about this. Of course, Beijing would support this feisty “one China, common interpretation” woman emerging as the KMT’s presidential candidate, including financially, which it can pass on via Taiwanese businesses operating in China.

And what of Chu, who, despite his special relationship with the US, still said: “Both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China,” and Hung, with her “one China, common interpretation,” making the KMT pro-China, sacrificing Taiwan and destroying everything it has worked for.

Paul Lin is a political commentator.

Translated by Paul Cooper

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