“Start fires”? What Chen should have said was “Do my bidding even if it costs you your careers and self respect, and if you should event THINK about disagreeing with me, you’ll go the same way as old Franky…”
This cabinet is a mix between Chen and New Tide lackies. They are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the two arms of the DPP that are now in the ascendency. If they get out of line, Chen or New Tide will cut them down in the same disrespectful way they did Frank’s crew.
And why did Frank get the chop? He disagreed with old greasball on cross-strait policy. That’s not a question of Taidu/Tongyi mind you - Xie is just as adamant about the indivisability of Taiwan’s sovereignty as the New Tide kids. He was just looking for a conciliatory path that best advanced Taiwan’s national interests, and this just happened to include introducing the three links. Chen sees this as a concession to the boys in Beijing, and lost ammunition in the war against the blues. And so Frank was axed.
Premier Su is going to fight an uphill battle trying to establish his credibility as anything more than a Chen puppet, particularly on cross-strait matters. On Chen’s direct orders, Cai Ying-wen will probably run this show over Su’s head - she has a slavish dedication to Chen, and must be particularly pleased that he has taken a deep-green rhetorical turn in recent years.
As ordaned by Chen, selling the abolition of the NUC and NUG will be Su’s main task for 2006. And what a complete waste of time and effort that will be. While Cai is busy frothing at the mouth about how important dissolving the NUG is for democracy, and Su is trying to convince the LY that “we should all be friends,” key pieces of reform legislation will be sidelined and the economy will continue its gradual descent down the drain. With a hostile LY, you can kiss goodbye to tax reform, SOE privatization, liberalization of the financial industry, blah, blah, blah…
So, in brief, what is the function of the Su’s EY? Put simply, it’s a war cabinet. Su and Co. are the shock troops in Chen and New Tide’s largely rhetorical struggle against the Mainland and the blues. When it’s all over (and when it goes badly wrong, as it will) Cai Ying-wen will return to academe and spend the rest of her life getting well paid to consider “what could have been.” Su, the poor bastard, will end up being a deputy, assistant zhuren in Taidong.
Politics is firmly in control with the new cabinet appointment. “Reasons of state” are on hold while Chen and his new deep-green friends have their last harrah. The whole thing is deeply shameful, and the worst of it is, the Taiwanese will probably let him get away with it…