Chapter Four: Factionalism Inside the KMT
This chapter considers the nature of current factionalism within the KMT and how it relates to Taiwanese and international politics. Some major examples of factional disputes will be examined for the light they shed upon Taiwanese politics.
Some challenges to KMT governance and prestige have been external, notably from opposition parties such as the DPP and from blows to the international prestige of the KMT/ROC regime from the United Nations and United States. External challenge from the PRC influences Taiwan's identity and viability, independent of what shape the KMT determines for itself. These are matters that will be treated later. Internally, however, the KMT faces challenges as well, manifesting as different opinions about proper responses to issues. These challenges range from outright factional splitting of party membership, to formation of new opposition parties, to persistent factional debate within the party. This is debate not only over public policy but also over the proper internal party structure and administrative practices (e.g., Taiwanization), which again point to public policy as long as the KMT remains the principal party of governance.
Taiwanization and the KMT Old-Timers
Under pressures of time and of democratization, real-world factors of Taiwanization were bound to disturb first-generation mainlanders who had for so long ignored how unrealistic their party's principal priorities were. Consider just how tenuous the KMT's version of reality was: In 1949, a supposedly nationalist faction, declaring itself the democratic hope of Asia while suppressing all political opposition, entrenches an elite cohort in a provincial backwater, having been displaced by a revolutionary faction as undemocratic as itself. On Taiwan, this displaced faction itself displaced the political culture of an indigenous people, declaring itself revolutionary vis-a-vis the Commun...