Tension between China and Taiwan escalated this month with Taiwan’s
first democratic election. A few days before voters hit the polls,
China’s Premier Zhu Rong-Ji warned them to choose their leader carefully
— a threat insiders knew to mean, “Don’t elect Mr. Chen.”
On March 18, the day of the election, the citizens of Taiwan gave
Rong-Ji their answer:
Go to Hell!
In a three-party contest, Chen was elected by just under 40 percent
of the vote.
But Taiwan’s battles are far from over. Because Chen, a member of the
Democrat Progressive Party, did not receive a majority of the popular
vote, he faces the very serious challenge of uniting the public.
The progress of holding its first democratic election may be a
milestone for the country, but the DPP has a long way to go — the party
is less than 20-years-old and has never before been in power. As a
result, the DPP does not engender the public prowess enjoyed by larger,
more established parties.
Additional challenges the young party must face include defining its
relationship with China and establishing friendly relations with the
United States. As the new leader of the DPP and Taiwan, Chen must rise
to those challenges.
With just two months before he takes office, Chen sent his
representative, Chiou I-jen, to the U.S. Upon learning of Chiou’s visit,
I scheduled an exclusive interview — the only interview granted to
English-speaking media — to get an inside look at Taiwan’s
I met Chiou in the Los Angeles International Airport yesterday when
his plane arrived at 2:00 p.m. Immediately, I could see the tremendous
burden of responsibility in his eyes. It was as though he knew his trip
was more than simple diplomacy.
I asked what his agenda would be while in the U.S., and his answer
was not surprising: to exchange opinions and ideas with mainstream
American society. Chiou is trying to collect as much information as
possible for Chen about American politics and its sentiments toward
His main objective is to create a favorable image of the DPP. Chen’s
party is not a proponent of violence, Chiou said, but seeks peace. To
accomplish that goal, Taiwan’s new leader is seeking to create a
discussion forum between his nation and the U.S.
“Besides,” said Chiou, “I am a DPP representative in the U.S., but
because of the election, I have to do a job for the party.”
Chiou was trying to communicate that facilitating relations between
his party and the U.S. are part of his regular duties, regardless of the
I asked him, “How can your party create the image it seeks and then
promote it to American society?”
Chiou emphasized the need to resolve internal issues.
“For example,” he said, “first we have to take care of families; then
we will promote our families to your society.”
The representative also pointed to the fact that Taiwan holds
democratic elections, “just like America” — a fact that could strike a
sympathetic nerve in Americans.
But there is a lot more to Chiou’s visit than meets the eye.
According to my sources, this gentleman could be appointed to such
high-ranking positions as national security advisor to Chen or minister
of foreign affairs. He may even become Taiwan’s ambassador to the U.S.
Of course, we’ll find that out when Chen takes power in May.
One thing I do know from my sources, Chiou is here to contact
high-ranking state department officials and other influential members of
Of course, Taiwan’s new government wants to build their friendship
with the U.S., as Chiou said. But the key to his mission is setting up a
good communication channel between the U.S. and Taiwan. Surely that
relationship will increase dialogue between Taiwan and China, as well as
all of Asia.
Unfortunately, the youth of the DPP work against Chiou’s mission. The
party has a limited relationship with Washington and other superpowers
on which to build. The U.S. does have an “unofficial representative,”
however, the American Institute in Taiwan is familiar with the DPP and
has already sent positive information to U.S. officials.
As Chiou already knows, the DPP’s goals could be met more easily if
it worked with a public policy institute. With an American advocate, the
party could win U.S. support in defense of Taiwan.
Chiou will spend ten days in the U.S., returning to Taiwan on April
4. My own observation tells me this is the ice-breaking trip for the DPP
to begin forming political alliances — no small task for a small party
taking its first stab at leadership as a heavyweight communist nation
breathes down its neck.
The way I see it, Chiou has a heavy weight on his shoulders, which
means President-elect Chen has an even greater responsibility. He must
lead his nation’s 22 million people into the new century.
How will he do it? WorldNetDaily will attempt to find out through a
tentatively scheduled interview of Chen in the near future.