Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

KMT Lacks Promise for the Future

KMT Lacks Promise for the Future

Even Sun Yat-sen, revered by the Kuomintang (KMT) as the Republic of China’s (ROC) founding father, contended that the democratic trend in the modern world would go on in full vigor. But the KMT seems content to live outside of this trend, as party members oppose attempts in Taiwan to rid the island of place names and images of the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek by organizing “protect Chiang” protest parades. The party even went as far as changing the theme of the parade to “loving Taiwan, protecting the ROC.” This move only goes to show the KMT lacks any promise for the future for the following reasons:
1. Initially it wasn’t the KMT that was calling for the parades; it was the descendants of Chiang Kai-shek. The first one to come out was Chiang’s grandson John Chiang followed by Elizabeth Chiang, wife of the third son of Chiang Jing-kuo. They made it clear that this was a family matter not one of the party-state of the past. But what was even more lethal in this matter was that the Chiang family was split into two factions that held two different marches protesting moves in Taiwan to rid the island of vestiges of their infamous relative. The KMT unexpectedly accepted to be part of John Chiang’s march, changing it from a family matter to a party one.
2. The most important aspect for a political party in gaining the approval and support of the people is to have a solid platform. The KMT is an old, established party in the greater China region that needs to reform and come out with an entirely new look and platform. Why is it then that the KMT insists on the obsolete “cherishing the memory of the former leader” stance? Acting KMT chairman Chiang Pin-kung has made no qualms about reviewing the supposed prosperity and well-being Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Jing-kuo brought to Taiwan. This not only flies in the face of the trend of the times, but wasn’t it only the privileged class that derived benefit from this well-being and prosperity? Otherwise why would it be the case today in Taiwan that the vast majority of middle and lower class citizens support the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)?
3. The publicity before this event was handled terribly. On the day before the 331 march, the KMT took out an ad in the China Times through its Culture and Communications Committee calling for a “more promising 2007.” What was an attempt to depict new hope for the people in fact was an unexpected discussion on Taiwan history as interpreted by the KMT.
This was indeed an impressive full-paged ad, but half the space was taken up by pictures and their captions. The smaller print consisted of over six thousand words like in those ads we used to see twenty years ago when Taiwan was dominated by two newspapers. It is impossible to think anyone would want to strain their eyes to read them these days, especially those old soldiers that are diehard supporters of the KMT. Of course the point of view expressed in the fine print was vastly different that that of Taiwan’s green camp. The ad sang the praises of land reform, claiming Taiwan independence advocates failed to discuss this important matter. But shouldn’t the KMT take a closer look in the mirror here? Why wasn’t the KMT willing to undertake land reform in China, as the Chinese Communist Party stole this banner from under them? Wasn’t it because the big landholders in China were represented Chiang Kai-shek at the time and so he needed to protect their interests?
Wasn’t it the case in Taiwan that land reforms only were able to be implemented after ensuring they would not harm the interests of landowners from mainland China here? This only goes to further prove that the KMT was indeed an outside regime ruling in Taiwan.
Those taking part in the 331 march only numbered in the few thousand, with the majority of those elderly citizens making the whole scene seem more like a funeral procession. This only goes to show that the marches not only had little widespread public support, but there was also scant support from within the KMT. We’ll have to wait and see what new rallying call Elizabeth Chiang comes up with for any subsequent marches. Of course in the midst of its own attempt to rid Taiwan of the vestiges of past dictatorship, the DPP also faces a challenge in how to reconcile the feelings of those who are still enamored with the Chiang family legacy.

Translated by Steven Marsh


Updated : 2021-08-06 11:13 GMT+08:00