Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chen Shui-bian’s Next Move

Now that Chen Shui-bian’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost Taiwan’s parliament election big time, what will be his next move? First to atone for the overwhelming defeat, he resigned his position as chairman of his political party.

Next, Taiwan is afloat with the rumor that he plans to fly to the Spratly Islands (南沙,Nansha meaning southern sand in Chinese)ostensibly to honor the military personnel based there for their vigilance—presumably against the attack of killer whales.

Typical of actions related to Chen, his office denied knowing anything about his plans to visit the troops, albeit boosting the morale of the military was something he was said to do regularly. Then the next day, they deny Chen having any plan to fly to Itu Aba Islet (太平屿, Tai Ping Islet) even though a runway is nearing completion on this fortified islet. (See how he points east while attacking west in earlier post, ">click here

“What is Chen’s next ao bu (奥步, Taiwanese for trickery move),” people of Taiwan are wondering? Given some of the more outlandish antics that have taken place in the past, I would like to venture a prediction.

Just before the March presidential election, Chen will fly toward Nansha and the plane will mysteriously disappear from the radar screen. This could create a great turmoil and confusion among the Taiwan electorate and cause one of two possible outcomes.

In the confusion, the DPP candidate Frank Hsieh scores a surprising upset victory by means too difficult to speculate, perhaps abetted by a hanging chad or two. At which point, Chen just as mysteriously reappears in triumph and regains the admiration of his hard core supporters even if at the askance of the rest of the population.

On the other hand, if Ma Ying-jeou still wins as he is heavily favored to do so before any shenanigans, then Chen pops up in Los Angeles with his new hukou (residence permit) in hand.

As predictions about Taiwan go, my version is relatively tame. There are even speculations floating around Taiwan on whether Chen is desperate enough to resort to assassination.

No, not aimed at Ma, because that would be too obvious. The more diabolical speculation is for Chen to have Hsieh taken out. After all, it is well known that the two do not get along. In a massively confused aftermath, Chen cancels the election and declares martial law and stays in power.

Too farfetched? Stranger things have happened that pass for politics in Taiwan.

No comments: