JOHN McLAUGHLIN SAYS: "WRONG!"
starters Lee discouraged Ma’s nomination. When Ma was nominated
by the KMT hierarchy in spite of Lee’s wishes, because nominees
John Chang and Jason Hu lacked the charisma to beat Chen,
Lee refused to attend Ma’s rallies. Finally, a week or so
before election day Lee relented.
did not win because Lee campaigned "vigorously"
for Ma, because Lee did NOT campaign "vigorously"
for Ma. Lee campaigned grudgingly, half-heartedly for Ma.
Getting Lee to campaign for Ma was like pulling teeth. Ask
KMT "non-mainstream faction" members who drafted
Ma to be their party’s nominee.
DEMOCRACY VS. THE NEW PARTY
won because New Party members sacrificed their own better
qualified candidate Wang Chien-hsuan, in order to block the
separatist Chen’s path to the ROC presidency. What they did
was referred to as "qi Wang, bao Ma" or "dump
Wang, save Ma." Ask DPP members registered to vote in
Taipei. You’ll be subjected to an earful of angry profanity
directed at "mainland pigs." Two years later they
still resent Chen’s loss, and place the blame squarely on
the pro-reunification New Party.
DEMOCRACY VS. LIEN CHAN
recent months, Lee publicly denounced Chen as unreliable.
And he declared that, if the DPP came to power, there would
be instability between Taiwan and China. These don’t seem
like the actions of a DPP cheerleader. They look more like
the actions of a leader who hoped his own KMT would win so
that he would retain a degree of power after he was no longer
Recent months? Try recent DAYS. Again Lee reluctantly went
through the motions of supporting his own party’s candidate
for appearance’s sake. But he did so only after he was reasonably
confident his strategy of "qi Lien, bao Bian" had
DEMOCRACY AND THE ORDER OF LENIN
Mann just doesn’t get it.
KMT, like the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is a Leninist
political party. For that matter, so is the "opposition"
DPP. KMT tradition mandates that whoever is president is also
automatically party chairman, and vice-versa. That’s right.
Just like the "Communists" in Beijing.
Lien Chan were elected, Lee would be forced to step down as
party chairman. Besides, by Lee’s lights Lien is not sufficiently
committed to Taiwan independence. That’s why many pro-reunification
KMT members supported Lien against Chen. Rightly or wrongly,
they believe Lien to be a closet advocate of reunification.
on the other hand, Chen were elected, Lee could argue he needed
to retain the chairmanship in order "to rescue the party
in its hour of need."
Lee did NOT hope his own KMT would win so that he would retain
a degree of power after he was no longer president. Instead
Lee hoped Chen Shui-bian, whom Lee compared to Joshua and
himself to Moses, would win. Lee hoped after he conferred
the ROC presidency on Chen Shui-bian, that Lee would at least
be able to retain his own party’s chairmanship.
DEMOCRACY VS. JAMES SOONG
the election Lee Teng-hui marshaled the entire resources of
the KMT party machine to smear James Soong with false accusations
of embezzlement. A subsequent Control Yuan investigation cleared
Soong of any and all wrongdoing. The damage however had already
been done. Soong never fully recovered in the polls. See "The
Least of Three Evils."
DEMOCRACY TO A-BIAN’S RESCUE
the other hand, Lee Teng-hui ordered evidence that Chen Shui-bian
defrauded a wealthy Chinese-Malaysian tycoon out of a fortune
in a phony lottery scheme suppressed until after election
day. Prosecutors have since announced that the handwriting
on a sheaf of incriminating documents match Chen’s handwriting
samples. Too late. Chen is already president-elect, soon to
be president, with full executive immunity. Chen meanwhile,
has openly declared his intention to cover for benefactor
Lee Teng-hui. Who says there’s no honor among thieves?
Academy Award winning film LA
Confidential painted a riveting portrait of Los Angeles
during the 1950s, on two levels. On the surface, the mythical
Los Angeles of Jack Webb’s police drama Dragnet, viewed
through Eisenhower era rose-colored glasses. Beneath the surface,
beneath the Tinseltown glitz, a Dark City of Rodney King police
brutality and Heidi Fleiss sex scandals which persists even
THE FACTS, MANN, JUST THE FACTS
conspiracy theory of Taiwan’s election is too simplistic to
bear scrutiny. Chen didn’t win because the Taiwan president
secretly supported him... Lee Teng-hui looks above all like
King Lear, an elderly ruler in decline... His downfall is
the stuff not of conspiracy but of tragedy and pathos."
is too simplistic to bear scrutiny is Mann’s glib but irrelevant
King Lear analogy. Misleading literary allusions are a sorry
substitute for hard facts. Newsweek in 1996, and the
Los Angeles Times in 2000 have presented us with a
Pleasantville version of Taiwan’s "democracy"
akin to the sanitized Los Angeles Jack Webb depicted in Dragnet.
DEMOCRACY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
iconoclastic Li Ao recently suggested that Chen Shui-bian
will sell out Taiwan independence for personal political advantage.
According to Li AO, Chen Shui-bian is actually an unprincipled
opportunist wolf in Taiwan independence sheep's’ clothing.
Li AO is right, and Li AO ought to know, having known Chen
for twenty years, then Lee Teng-hui may have outsmarted himself
by turning the reigns of the ROC government over to someone
who will wind up making a deal with Beijing and relegate Taiwan
independence to the dustbin of history.
Li AO’s prediction proves correct, Chen Shui-bian’s election
will prove an ironic and unexpected benefit to both sides
of the Taiwan Strait. The fact is Deng Xiaoping’s, and now
Jiang Zemin’s intention, was never to overrun Taiwan in order
to impose doctrinaire "communism" on the island,
but merely to prevent the loss of sovereign Chinese territory.
is perfectly happy to permit Taiwan an extraordinarily high
degree of local autonomy, even to keep its own armed forces,
as long as Taiwan remains part of China. A pragmatic deal
struck between the Chen regime in Taipei and the Jiang regime
in Beijing would be a win/win proposition for America, for
mainland China, and for Taiwan.
only losers would be Robert Kagan and William Kristol of the
Weekly Standard. These Armchair Warriors, these Profiles
in Courage would be instantly deprived of their newest and
most likely candidate for Son of Evil Empire. Better luck
next time, fellas.
Newest Export: KMT Corruption
Abbreviated Chronology of Liu Tai-ying’s Influence Peddling
Tai-ying’s official title is "Chairman, Business Affairs
Committee, Kuomintang" (or KMT), the ruling party of
the Republic of China (Taiwan). He is the man President Lee
Teng-hui has entrusted with Taiwan’s most notorious overseas
export: political influence peddling. He is the prime suspect
behind the 15 million dollar bribe to Clinton and the Democratic
National Committee. In short, he is Lee Teng-hui’s Ambassador
of "Checkbook Diplomacy."
Kuomintang is reputed to be the world’s wealthiest political
party. Americans may be surprised to learn that unlike their
own political parties which are required by US law and custom
to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the KMT openly
owns and operates a wide range of highly lucrative business
enterprises, from which it competes unfairly by exploiting
its status as ruling party of the R.O.C.
follows is a paper trail, thoroughly documented and a matter
of public record, of Liu Tai-ying’s long and sordid history
of illegal and unethical influence peddling at home and abroad.
Tai-ying’s Paper Trail
In August 1994, Liu Tai-ying met with then Democratic Progressive
Party Chairman Shih Ming-teh face to face, and offered to
pay the cost of the new DPP Headquarters building. Liu Tai-ying
freely admits this event took place but insists that President
and KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui knew nothing of the offer.
Skeptics consider this even less believable than Hillary Clinton
not knowing about the White House Travel Office firings.
On the same occasion Liu Tai-ying offered to underwrite the
DPP’s entire annual budget, to the tune of $4.3 million US
Both building and budget offers were turned down, but considering
that the DPP is the largest pro-independence party in Taiwan,
they cast more than a little doubt on Lee Teng-hui’s public
expressions of support for reunification with the mainland.
Liu Tai-ying’s boss, KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui not long
ago declared his intention to offer the United Nations $1
billion US for a seat in the General Assembly. This brazen
attempt to bribe the world body was ignored, but reveals the
"anything is for sale" world view of the KMT leadership.
On behalf of Lee Teng-hui, Liu Tai-ying engaged the high-powered
public relations firm of Cassidy and Associates for the astronomical
sum of $4.5 million US in order to smooth the way for his
politically-motivated "private" 1995 Cornell University
Cornell University admits that they received a $2.5 million
US donation from a "friend" of Lee Teng-hui after
In February 1994, Liu Tai-ying paved the way for Lee Teng-hui’s
Indonesian state visit by making a $100 million US contribution
to Indonesian president Suharto.
In April 1995, Liu Tai-ying prepared the way for Lee Teng-hui’s
Mideast trip with generous contributions to Jordan and the
United Arab Emirates.
In April 1995, Liu Tai-ying attempted to bribe Israel with
an offer ranging between $250 and $400 million US to allow
a state visit by Lee Teng-hui. Israel turned him down.
In 1994 Liu Tai-ying arranged for the sale of the Hong Kong
Times office building at the bargain basement price of $190
million H.K. The building was resold only three months later
for the sum of $580 million H.K. Why was the spread so great?
Who pocketed the profit? These and other troubling questions
Liu Tai-ying arranged for the purchase of an office building
in Japan at the exorbitant price of 13.9 billion Yen. The
building has been appraised as having a market value of only
6.5 billion Yen. Who pocketed the 100% profit? Did it pay
for Lee’s Japan visit? These are reasonable questions.
Liu Tai-ying’s annual salary of $700,000 US exceeds that of
R.O.C. President Lee Teng-hui, which in turn exceeds that
of US President Bill Clinton. Liu’s bar-hopping lifestyle
compares with that of Clinton advisor Dick Morris, as does
his ego. He boasts of having single-handedly raised $800 million
US for the KMT over a period of three short years, without
apology for the unethical means by which he did so.
Liu is well connected with the heads of Taiwan’s "Four
Big Enterprises," namely Evergreen, China Trust, the
Cathay Group and Formosa Plastics. It was Liu who introduced
Mark Middleton, President Clinton’s Special Assistant to the
"Four Big Enterprises." That Evergreen was subsequently
fined by the State of California for making an illegal $890,000
US campaign contribution does little to dispel suspicion about
Liu’s involvement in the latest Clinton bribery scandal.
Tai-ying and his boss Lee Teng-hui are of course responsible
for their misdeeds and must answer for them. Nevertheless
our overview is not intended as an indictment of Liu and Lee
as individuals, but rather of endemic, systemic corruption.
Lee Teng-hui’s "corruption as a way of life" must
be rooted out before the Republic of China can become a democracy
in more than name only. It is only when clean government has
been reestablished at home that the R.O.C. will cease to be
an exporter of corruption abroad.
by: Fung Hu-hsiang, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy at National Central University
Member of the Legislature of the Republic of China, New Party
Translated by: Bevin Chu