May 3rd, 2005

Pandas will solve everything

One of the tangible results of KMT party chairman Lien Chan's recent PRC trip was an offer of a pair of Pandas for the Taipei zoo. Offers of the rare and endangered animals has been a popular diplomatic tool for the PRC government over time, so it's interesting to see them try to use it in what they call a domestic issue.

Meanwhile, nuttiness abounds over on this side of the strait. When Lien Chan embarked on his trip, protesters practically had a riot at the airport on the basis that Mr. Lien was committing treason by going to talk to Chinese Communist Party officials. While the ruling DPP party has softened their stance (supposedly under US pressure), the TSU party continues to slam the trip as illegal. Though, even on the DPP side, Premier Frank Hsieh has recently characterized peace talks as illegal.

All in all, there's way too much antagonism on the part of the various parties here. If the KMT can go and talk to the PRC, the DPP should try to go one step further instead of trying to just fling mud. And if the KMT manages to negotiate some good benefits, those benefits should be welcomed, not rejected because you don't like the negotiator. And calling progress towards peace illegal is just plain nutty.