Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Strange Case of the KMT’s Hung Hsiu-chu

The KMT is in a process of adjustment before the 2016 elections, but it seems to be moving in the wrong direction 

There is something very bizarre going on at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nowadays. Shaken by last year’s Sunflower Movement, a catastrophic showing in the November 29 nine-in-one elections and the removal of President Ma Ying-jeou as party chairman, there was every indication that the KMT would do the “rational” thing and move closer to the center so as to better align itself with the wishes of the electorate ahead of next January’s presidential and legislative elections. Instead, thanks to poor leadership by Chairman Eric Chu, Hung Hsiu-chu has emerged from left field as the prospective presidential candidate, and her platform, rather than seeking to reassure voters, reads as if it has been drafted in Beijing. 

With the more moderate members of the KMT seemingly standing by, Hung has forged ahead with a radical pro-Beijing policy that has much in common with the pro-unification New Party. In fact, a new term — the “New Party-ization of the KMT” — was recently coined to describe what has been going on at the KMT. Hung, who was vitriolic in her opposition to the Sunflower Movement’s occupation of the Legislative Yuan, has also complained that controversial changes to school curricula, which present more China-centric material, are not going far enough. 

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.

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