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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Hung Hsiu-chu upholds KMT ethnic prejudice

Hung Hsiu-chu upholds KMT ethnic prejudice

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After passing the support threshold in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential primary, Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) listed three criteria for her running mate. The first criterion was that her running mate should be native Taiwanese.

This statement reflects the stance of the old KMT guard that believes native Taiwanese should not run for president, but should rather work as servants for “high-class” Mainlanders.


This mindset was adopted by former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). It is also a belief adopted by Hung, who is leaning even more heavily toward China. Some journalists who are Mainlanders have moved to condemn such attitudes, as it discriminates against native Taiwanese.

Based on their own conscience, such journalists are not afraid of being accused of “manipulating the ethnicity issue,” and it is an admirable approach. Taiwanese have long been aware of their unfair and unjust treatment, but they mostly tolerate it and are unwilling to address this sensitive issue. They allow discrimination to continue, causing some older Mainlanders to believe it is justified.


The KMT’s discrimination against other groups based on provincial origin is ugly. Discrimination against a racial or ethnic group usually occurs when a majority looks down on a minority. For example, black people, not white people, are often discriminated against in the US.

During the apartheid era in South Africa, a minority group of white colonists discriminated against black people, a majority. After the KMT government relocated to Taiwan, it claimed to represent China and implemented its colonial rule over the land by excluding native Taiwanese.


The native Taiwanese who put themselves forward for the KMT lacked the DNA of democratic reform and were void of talent. However, the party welcomed them for the good of its image. The people doing the discriminating and those being discriminated against formed a group of corruption.

To push for the localization of the KMT, then-president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) chose Lien, who adopted an ambiguous attitude toward provincial background, to be his running mate in Taiwan’s first direct presidential election in 1996. In the end, Lien turned out to be “deep blue.”

Before the presidential election in 2000, Lien said during a visit to Washington that there was no ethnic problem in Taiwan.

I could not take it anymore, so I said to Lien: “There might no longer be an ethnic problem in the nation economically and culturally, but when it comes to politicals, all the way from Chiang, Lee and yourself to People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and former Control Yuan president Chen Li-an (陳履安), presidential candidates from the KMT have all chosen to team up with native Taiwanese. How do you explain this?”

Lien avoided my question at that time, saying only that he really hates to divide the people of Taiwan into Mainlanders from China and native Taiwanese because we are all from China originally. Clearly, he was willing to abuse the identity of others in order to avoid the existence of political discrimination.

James Wang is a senior journalist.

Translated by Eddy Chang

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2015/07/01

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