A former KMT spokesman argues in an influential foreign publication that the KMT is in the ‘throes of reform’. That would be wonderful, but don’t hold your breath
A recent article in Foreign Policy magazine penned by Charles Chen (陳以信) has caused a bit of a sensation among some Taiwan watchers for its seemingly candid assessment of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) failures and need to reform. Chen, who until recently was the KMT spokesman and has now been elevated to the position of spokesman for the Presidential Office, is absolutely right when he argues that the party needs to change. Sadly, he gets just about everything else wrong.
Published on Feb. 17, Chen’s article, titled “How Taiwan’s Ruling but Reeling Kuomintang Can Win the Future,” sparked an odd reaction among some Taiwan specialists who saw in the piece the germs of true reform within the KMT, which since Jan. 17 has been headed by Eric Chu (朱立倫). A number of those experts, who up until then had been scathing critics of the KMT, regarded the article as a groundbreaking admission of mistakes by the party, a “wow” moment even. Undoubtedly there are many others overseas who will likely reach similar conclusions.
However, if we pay close attention to the language used in the article, it becomes clear that Mr. Chen’s blueprint for reform is not quite what it seems.
My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here. (Photo by the author)