Chinese Regime Harbors Mixed Feelings About 'Anti-Chen Shui-bian' Movement

August 29, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: August 29, 2006 12:00 am

HONG KONG—Beijing has been low-key regarding Taiwan's anti-President Chen Shui-bian movement, and China's state-run media have carried only brief reports about it. A recent Hong Kong commentary expressed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s Central Propaganda Department had given instructions to all levels of the media to not publish reports on the anti-Chen movement, reflecting Beijing's mixed feelings toward Taiwan and Chen. Hong Kong's daily newspaper, The Sun , commented that this is a difficult issue for Beijing. If the anti-Chen movement is successful, the current President of Taiwan may lose his bid for re-election. Mainland Chinese who abhor their own government's high levels of corruption might then ask, “If Taiwan can do it, why not us?” The Chinese Communist Party believes that this type of free thinking would be disastrous to its political stability in China.

The Sun commentary analyzed that if Beijing publicly supports the anti-Chen movement, then Chen will have an excuse to label his opponents as “agents” of the Chinese mainland. To avoid this, Beijing is taking a course of action similar to the Pan-blue Coalition and remains decidedly quiet on the issue.

Recent waves of anti-Chen activities have been led by the Pan-Green Coalition. To avoid the appearance of a debate on policy between Blue and Green, the Pan-blue Coalition (Nationalist Party and People First Party) have also remained quiet on the issue.

The commentary claims Taiwan's political climate has changed greatly during the past year. President Chen has been preoccupied with the upcoming presidential election. Chen's new version of the Taiwan constitution, including a platform for an independent Taiwan, has received little of his required attention. Beijing remains opposed to any movement toward an independent Taiwan.

Whether President Chen is re-elected or not is unimportant to Beijing, the commentary critiques. If Chen is re-elected, he and his Democratic Progressive Party will be the focal point for future anti-independence movements.

If Chen is not re-elected, the Democratic Progressive Party and the Pan-Green Coalition must determine a new course of action. The party may elect a new person into its leadership position and regroup after defeat. Failure to elect a new leader and regroup may result in a diminished influence of the Democratic Progressive Party within the Green Coalition. Neither of these options meets the political objectives of Beijing.