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Apple Daily: KMT, DPP chairs facing different challenges

Apple Daily: KMT, DPP chairs facing different challenges

Eric Chu (???) and Tsai Ing-wen (???), chairpersons of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), respectively, are facing divergent challenges. Chu's major issues originate mainly from inside Taiwan -- his party and the island --while Tsai's challenges primarily come from outside the country, from the United States and China. While someone may be able to tackle challenges at domestic level on their own, it would be difficult to do the same with problems from outside the country. Tsai's challenges of dealing with the United States and China are more difficult than those facing Chu. Given the complicated cooperative-competitive ties between the two superpowers, Taiwan will find it difficult to straddle the fence. A major challenge for Taiwan in navigating U.S.-China relations is gauging when their ambivalent friend-enemy relationship is changing, and responding to those changes. Washington does not want to see Taiwan either tilt too much towards China or become antagonistic towards China, while Beijing would express concern if Taiwan was being overly friendly towards the United States and would be surreptitiously delighted if Taiwan showed anti-American sentiment. Therefore, Beijing is easy to please as long as Taiwan is more friendly towards China than the United States, whereas it is by no means easy to satisfy Washington since it does not wants Taiwan to be either hostile or too friendly towards China. Despite this situation, Washington has no intention of swallowing up Taiwan. China, on the other hand, still has its sights set on eventual unification with Taiwan. Compared with the stiff challenges of complicated Taiwan-China-U.S. relations facing Tsai, the issues facing Chu will be easy to overcome, given the KMT's good relations with the two superpowers. Chu's foremost mission is dealing with his political opponents within his own party. Judging by a petition recently launched at a KMT legislative caucus group to urge Chu to run for president in 2016, the KMT chairman is seen as having the best chance among KMT contenders of winning the election, although he has said he will not run. (Editorial abstract -- March 23, 2015) (By Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-05-18 22:59 GMT+08:00