Taiwan president resigns party role

The World

Even before Taiwanese went to the polls this weekend, signs of their discontent were growing. Like in this video with a young Taiwanese voter on YouTube: �Dear President, my name is Jack. There is something I want to tell you before you finish your presidency: I don’t like you and you are not a good president.� Jack goes onto say that Chen’s antagonism towards the Chinese mainland and even towards mainlanders, whose families came to Taiwan half a century, has polarized Taiwanese society and has left Taiwan’s economy lagging behind. Enough Taiwanese voters agreed with Jack that in this past weekend’s elections, Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party won just a quarter of the legislative seats. A chagrin Chen reacted with this announcement: �As we face what could be described as the greatest disaster since the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party, I have no excuse. I hereby announce that I am resigning from my duties as party chairman with immediate effect.� That’s a big deal because Chen basically founded the Democratic Progressive Party. His call for a stronger, separate Taiwanese identity resonated a decade ago when China was lobbing test missiles into the Taiwan Strait. But in power, Chen has goaded the mainland. He’s maneuvered towards declaring Taiwan formally independent, he’s called for a Taiwan seat in the United Nations, and has pushed for membership in international organizations. This man is the Secretary General of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taipei, �This government is going too far in the extreme direction and autonomy is not good. Therefore we expected the decision made by the voters this time would have a better change of policy.� Taiwan’s stock market certainly leapt with optimism today at the election results. It was almost 2%. Analysts say that’s because the market expects the Kuomintang Party will do better than Chen has at invigorating Taiwan’s economy. This man is the Chief Economist for Standard Chartered Bank in Taipei, �If you look at the other economies in the region, they have shown a very strong performance over the last couple of years and one of the key reasons to that is because they were more open towards the Chinese economy and allowing their respective economy to integrate with the stronger and rising powers from the mainland Chinese.� Chen’s policies have limited how much Taiwanese companies can invest in mainland China, and even more how much mainland Chinese can invest in Taiwan. The Kuomintang presidential candidate has pledged to open things up, somewhat. But he still supports the status quo, of Taiwan preserving its own government and its own identity. And he like Chen has spoken of the need to get China to reduce or withdraw the 700 missiles Taiwanese intelligence say are now aiming at Taiwan. In other words, the Kuomintang victory this past weekend or even a Kuomintang presidential victory in March is not expected to yield a government willing to talk reunification with the mainland, just one that’s willing to talk and do business. Meanwhile, Chen still has another four months in office and Taiwanese voters seem to be hoping he’ll do something uncharacteristic and ride it out quietly.

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