The KMT Paradox: The Anti-Communist Party or the ‘One China’ Party?

Chiang Kai-shek once called communism ‘a disease of the heart.’ Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu now describes Taiwan and China as partners in an ‘arranged marriage’ who are now ‘madly in love.’

The News Lens
Date: 2019/04/02
By: David Evans

The KMT Paradox: The Anti-Communist Party or the ‘One China’ Party? Credit: Reuters / TPG

Taiwan appears to be on the brink of what may become a constitutional crisis.

The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, buoyed by its success in the nine-in-one elections last November, is suddenly seen as having a decent chance of seizing control of both the Legislative Yuan and the presidency. If it succeeds, then some of its policies could potentially threaten the very sovereignty of Taiwan.

In recent years, the KMT has morphed into being Taiwan’s pro-China party. This reached its zenith on Nov. 7, 2015, shortly before the most recent presidential elections in Taiwan, when the Beijing-friendly KMT president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), formally met with the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi Jinping.

The backlash against that meeting and the trade agreement which preceded it in Taiwan was profound. With Ma having reached his term limit, the KMT candidate for the presidency in the elections that took place just two months after the meeting was Eric Chu (朱立倫). Chu was obliterated, winning just 31 percent of the vote and a mere 3.8 million votes. By comparison, in the 2012 election, Ma had secured just under 6.9 million votes for a 51.6 percent share.

The fact that the KMT lost more than 3 million voters in just four years is not exclusively down to that one meeting, of course. But it was, in no small part, down to the party’s pro-China policies, most notably the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) which triggered the 2014 Sunflower Student Movement.    [FULL  STORY]

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