Former VP elected KMT chairman, same downward spiral?

152824eb-526d-4a94-a042-f58dd33bd176After losing both the presidency and, for the first time, control of parliament in the 2016 elections, the century-old Kuomintang today elected former Taiwan Vice-President Wu Den-yih 吳敦義 as its new chairperson. Of the 476,147 eligible party members, 58% voted, 52.2% (144k) of which voted for Wu, just past the 50% that would otherwise have triggered a runoff election between Wu and incumbent chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu, who received the second most votes (19.2%). The six candidates include Wu, Hung, former Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin, former health minister Steven Chan, former MP Han Kuo-yu, and former MP Tina Pan. Continue reading “Former VP elected KMT chairman, same downward spiral?”

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2.28

February 28 is a public holiday in Taiwan, designated as Peace Memorial Day to commemorate the massacres that began on February 28, 1947 and the White Terror period that followed for the next four decades (1947-1987). 70 years have since passed, but it is still a contentious topic in Taiwan due to the fact that Kuomintang (KMT), the political party that massacre perpetrators belong to, is still a major (though currently in minority) player in Taiwanese politics. In many ways, KMT during the White Terror period behaved very much like the Communist Party of China today, as the incident was a taboo subject during those 40 years, and was not even taught in schools until 1990s. Taiwan Bar’s video above (English subtitle/CC available) provides an introduction to something many families in Taiwan still grieve about today.

From the Washington PostFor decades, no one spoke of Taiwan’s hidden massacre. A new generation is breaking the silence.

Detention: horror game about Taiwan’s martial law past

Set in the 1960s, when Taiwan was still under martial law imposed by the authoritarian KMT regime, Detention is an atmospheric horror game that has players go through the life of two high school students. They have to go through the once familiar campus, avoid the evil that has seeped through the classrooms they thought they know, and try to make it to safety. The game infuses elements from Taiwan’s history, Chinese mythology, as well as East Asian folk cultures and religions. With carefully crafted graphics and original soundtracks, the game provides an experience that makes you treasure the freedom and rights afforded to a democratic society.

Detention is available on the online game platform, Steam, for $11.99.

KMT Chairperson visits China

Kuomintang Chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu begins her five-day visit to China today, first stopping in Nanjing to pay respect at the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Sun Yat-sen is widely considered to be the founding father of modern China as well as the founder of what became modern-day KMT. Hung is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his capacity as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing tomorrow.

China has welcome this visit as an important step towards peaceful development of cross-strait relations, again citing the “1992 Consensus” as the basis for cross-strait relations. Of particular importance to China is the one-China principle, while KMT believes the “China” of such principle refers to the Republic of China instead of the People’s Republic of China.

Many in Taiwan, including President Tsai Ing-wen’s government and her Democratic Progressive Party, are watching closely, as some fear that Hung will publicly commit Taiwan to a peace agreement with China, even as KMT lost both the presidency and parliament majority this January. Hung has previously publicly endorsed the idea of both sides belonging to one China without specifying the Republic of China, drawing controversy and ire from many within her party.

Chinese Taipei?

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Every four years, whenever the Summer Olympics comes along*, I inevitably get the question, “why is Taiwan called Chinese Taipei in the Olympics?”

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Taiwan’s official flag, Chinese Taipei Olympic flag, and the Olympics rings

CNN provides an explanation for this, but I want to give it more context. Continue reading “Chinese Taipei?”

KMT elected new chairperson

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Hung Hsiu-chu 洪秀柱 was elected the chairperson of Kuomintang yesterday, becoming the first female to serve in the position. She won 56.16% of party votes, defeating Acting KMT Chair Huang Min-hui 黃敏惠 and two other candidates. After New Taipei Mayor and ex-KMT Chairman Eric Chu lost the presidential election in January, he resigned chairmanship in his concession speech. Ms. Hung served as a member of the Legislative Yuan from 1990 until 2016, as Deputy Speaker of the Legislature between 2012-2016, and was nominated by KMT as presidential candidate in July 2015. She was subsequently replaced by party chairman Eric Chu in an unprecedented special party congress in October 2015 after public support dropped. She also previously served as KMT Vice Chairperson and Deputy Secretary-General. Before entering politics, Hung was a high school teacher in New Taipei City (then Taipei County).