It is worth quickly noting what a beating the KMT just got in local elections in Taiwan, winning only six of 22 contested seats for county and city heads. For the most part, people have had enough of president Ma Ying-jiu and his decidedly lacklustre leadership. This is also the first election on the island since the student protests in Taipei in March, which headed off a new services trade agreement with the mainland. The election results reflect general unease that Ma’s only economic policy is to look to Beijing for more integration and more favours. Plus the Taiwanese public has been following events in Hong Kong closely, where Beijing has breached the spirit of the Basic Law agreement on gradual democratisation. If Beijing cannot be trusted over Hong Kong, why should it be trusted over Taiwan? This seems to be an increasingly telling question when Taiwanese voters encounter a ballot box. It is particularly telling because more and more voters identify themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese in each successive election:
Breaking news on Sunday night suggested that Ma Ying-jiu will resign as Chairman of the KMT.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong:
Police use inexcusable violence in clearing protesters in Mong Kok, and arrest and then tell lies about journalists. Steve Vines has good video and analysis of the Mong Kok clearance on the RTHK Pulse programme.
The next day:
Well, HK police attacked demonstrators in Admiralty Monday morning. A wrap here from The Guardian, with video. Meanwhile, a big hoo-ha about Chinese embassy in London telling British MPs they will not be allowed into Hong Kong to investigate what is going on. Hoo-ha because it is probably illegal for Beijing to make such decisions, according to the Basic Law. But since the Hong Kong government will line up behind (or slightly in front) of whatever Beijing decrees, likely not actionable in any court of law.
And no, Ma Ying-jiu over in Taiwan has not said he is stepping down as KMT chairman. Yet. Probably no one quite so fabulous as Brave Number Nine Horse to take over the job.
Taiwan election links:
Bruce Jacobs with a good backgrounder on the hole that the KMT has dug itself, in the Taipei Times. In essence, the KMT has issues dealing with the praxis of democracy.
A psephological breakdown of the election results from Thinking Taiwan.
Reuters special report on the role of (former?) triad leader and convicted heroin trafficker ‘White Wolf’ in supporting the CCP-KMT agenda for reunification. Includes an interview with the Wolf himself.
David Pilling in the FT (sub needed) waxes lyrical and interesting, with the benefit of several days’ hindsight, on the election. Contains a few remarks about the new DPP leader.