A Tsai Ing-wen Surrender to Deep Greens Would Spell Disaster for Taiwan
China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
September 19, 2016
Executive Summary: Deep greens provide Tsai Ing-wen's core support. Her policy path and personnel appointments must bow to these considerations. But surely one must draw the line somewhere. Can she hold the line on Lin Chuan? This may show just how far President Tsai Ing-wen is willing to accommodate deep green forces. Peng is another matter. Allow us to be blunt. If Tsai Ing-wen bows before deep green forces and pro-green talking heads; if she replaces Peng, her government will experience an across the board crisis of confidence.
Full Text Below:
After many days of harsh attacks by green camp legislators, Central News Agency Chairman Chen Kuo-hsiang wrote a strongly worded letter to President Tsai, vowing to "fight to the bitter end". Nevertheless, the attacks against him continued to escalate. Before this wave of pressure began, the Chairman of the Grand Hotel resigned. Others appointments, including those for Radio Taiwan International, were also under attack. These officials supposedly enjoy tenure. They should not be affected by ruling party changes. But if they refuse to cooperate and step down, they will be besieged, smeared, and discredited. The rush for positions in the new government is on. Even the most rudimentary table manners have gone out the window. The spectacle is truly amazing
The latest wave of rumor-mongering and mud-slinging by Legislative Yuan fringe elements, intended to force certain people to resign, is even more vicious than what happened during the Chen era. In 2000, the DPP became the ruling party for the very first time. To ensure political stability, most civil service officials were temporarily retained, with the exception of political appointees. The gradual replacement of all personnel took one to two years. New political appointments were not made immediately. Continuity was not interrupted. People were indeed scrambling for official positions. But at least they had better table manners.
In particular, wave upon wave of deep green elders have been pressuring Tsai to replace Lin Chuan. To say that their deeper intentions are "abundantly clear" is a gross understatement. The Tsai government's First 100 Days report card is poor. But can all the blame be laid at Lin Chuan's feet? Cross-Strait relations are frozen. Our diplomatic options have been narrowed. Labor confrontation has intensified. Military personnel, civil servants, public school teachers, and tourism industry operators have all taken to the streets. Did all these groups take to the streets to protest the Lin Chuan cabinet? Spare us. Does Lin Chuan alone really have the wherewithal to do all this? Anyone with a modicum of common sense knows better. In today's cabinet personnel appointments, how many people can he really decide? Put bluntly, Lin Chuan's real function is to stop bullets aimed at Tsai Ing-wen.
Of course, Lin Chuan's expertise in finance and economics should be respected and his recommendations adhered to. Upon becoming Premier, his financial personnel appointments were made strictly on the basis of professional considerations, not political coloration. Therefore personnel appointments in the eight major government shareholder companies did not include green camp people.
But the “greening” of government shareholder companies was too slow for deep green forces. The ratio of greens was not high enough for them. Mega Holdings. Hua Nan Holdings, Taiwan Holdings, and other important financial holding companies all sought professionals. That insistence angered many lying in wait to snatch lucrative personnel appointments. The result is the strange phenomenon of both the green camp and the blue camp eager to force Lin Chuan to resign.
Even more absurdly, Mega Holdings' Mega Bank violated the US Money Laundering Control Act. It was assessed heavy penalties by the US amounting to 180 million USD. This led to “Friend of Tsai” Mega Bank chairman's resignation in late March. The position remained unfilled for over four months. Many candidates vied for the position. After careful consideration by the Executive Yuan, Hua Nan Holdings CEO Hsu Kuang-hsi was appointed. He would concurrently serve as chairman of the board. But Hsu Kuang-hsi happened to be general manager during the incident in 2012. As a result he immediately became a target for green camp factions fighting over the post. The siege intensified, and spread all the way to Central Bank President Peng Huai-nan, merely because Hsu Kuang-hsi is a distant relative. This forced Hsu Kuang-shi to resign. Lin Chuan was also beaten black and blue over the matter.
Attacking Hsu Kuang-hsi was merely the pretext for an attack on Peng Huai-nan.
This son of a laborer boasts no dazzling academic credentials. He has no illustrious family background. This central bank president is a rarity among his peers the world over. He is charged with managing 9 trillion NT in assets. His personal account contains less than 700 million NT. He served under the Chen government and the Ma government, gaining trust and respect. Tsai even wanted him as her vice presidential running mate. Recently Global Finance magazine awarded him the only 13A rated central bank president in the world. Yet deep greens have locked on to this key position. They intend to use the Mega Holding political storm, to battle Peng Huai-nan and demand that he step down.
What can one say when the scramble for positions has descended to this level?
Deep greens provide Tsai Ing-wen's core support. Her policy path and personnel appointments must bow to these considerations. But surely one must draw the line somewhere. Can she hold the line on Lin Chuan? This may show just how far President Tsai Ing-wen is willing to accommodate deep green forces. Peng is another matter. Allow us to be blunt. If Tsai Ing-wen bows before deep green forces and pro-green talking heads; if she replaces Peng, her government will experience an across the board crisis of confidence.
A leader who looks the other way when deep greens snatch political resources is of course, despicable. But a leader who allows deep green forces to direct the government, spells disaster for Taiwan.