Pan-Blue Plot to Overthrow Chen Verified!

This really does seem over the top. But then, hurling over-the-top accusations at one another (Blues and Greens) seems to be the norm here in Taiwan. That said, could this possibly be true??

The nation’s top military leader yesterday threw his weight behind claims of a coup plot by pan-blue supporters after the bitterly disputed presidential election in 2004.

During a legislative hearing, Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (�傑) yesterday said that some military personnel had approached him and asked him to feign sickness and step aside so that they could organize a coup against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水�).

On Monday, a second hearing began at the Taiwan High Court in a suit filed by former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) against Chen Shui-bian. They claim that he defamed them by asserting that there had been an attempted coup d’etat following their defeat in the election.

At Monday’s hearing, Chen’s lawyer showed the judge classified documents that he claimed proved the coup attempt. He claimed that the classified documents clearly record persons, happenings, times, locations and evidence of the coup attempt.

I also remember reading countless pan-Blue articles with “definitive proof” the 2004 Chen assassination attempt was choreographed. Everything’s a conspiracy. When it comes to politics in Taiwan, who knows what to believe? I think the safest strategy is to believe nothing. What a shame; the people here are longing for a real government that really cares about them. Instead, we have a never-ending soap opera of charges and counter-charges, fostering a mood of profound cynicism when it comes to all things political in Taiwan.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Richard, I think you’re overdramatizing things. This is a lawsuit filed by Lien Chan in an attempt to keep his grievances in public view. Nothing more, nothing less.

In the days after the 2004 election when all sorts of pan-Blue politicans were calling Chen a cheat, a liar, Hitler, etc (and even suggesting that protestors storm the presidential palace), Chen said that the pan-Blues were trying to mount a ‘soft coup’.

Over-the-top rhetoric maybe, but pretty mild in comparison with what was being said about him. If he’d said they were trying to destabilize the country then it would have been fine.

Lien Chan takes offense and sues him – and hence we have this case where the DPP are describing things that happened in 2004.

If Lien Chan (a man I have zero respect for) had actually been a mature adult and said ‘OK we lost’ then politics in Taiwan would not be in such a mess. Instead he’s intent on bitching and whining until … well until well after everyone is sick and tired of it all.

March 22, 2006 @ 12:41 am | Comment

David, I may be guilty of unintentionally over-reacting. God knows, I’ve done it before. But did you see the subhead of the article?

FAILED MUTINY?: The defense minister said that he had been approached by pan-blue supporters and asked to admit himself into a hospital to clear the way for a coup d’etat.

Can you get more dramatic than that? I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say the people here feel nearly everything being done by their politicians is for show. I’m new here, so I may be wrong; I just know what I hear from the people I deal with on a daily basis. But the cynicism meter seems right at the bursting point when it comes to Taiwanese politics.

March 22, 2006 @ 12:50 am | Comment

Ah – are you talking about sensationalism in the Taipei Times? If so, i’ve got no argument. Compare the heading you quoted with the report in the China Post:

But he [Lee] refused to say whether the proposal could be taken as a form of “coup” attempt.

I agree that people in Taiwan are (rightly) hugely cynical about their politicians – but the media should also take some of the blame for overdramatizing things.

If you look at what Lee actually said he was quite clear to say he didn’t know that the people came from Lien/Soong (but guessed they did), and that there’s no way he could know whether this was part of any ‘coup’. He just told everyone what happened.

Also note that he didn’t mention this at the time when it could have really inflamed the situation (the DPP in general took plenty of steps to decrease confrontation during the protests) – but only did so when he was called to testify under oath because Lien Chan can’t let the whole thing drop.

March 22, 2006 @ 1:08 am | Comment

David, thanks for the insights. Remember, I’m still learning the territory. And yes, I was partly referring to the audaciousness of the media, which seem to be extensions of the political parties.

March 22, 2006 @ 1:16 am | Comment

I’ve long feared that the military would move against Chen in something like this. I think one of the things restraining Chen is this threat from the largely mainlander officer corps — which also had a habit of evolving conspiracies against the previous Chiang government as well. It is important to view this behavior against that background too. .

I also noticed how nuanced Lee’s testimony was. Nice work — increases credibility, and defuses claims of conspiracy with Chen. Great work. I’ll blog on this tomorrow, if I have time.


March 22, 2006 @ 8:26 am | Comment

Can you find anything more dramatic, conspiratory and satirical than 319 shooting? I think not. It’s a shame the mainlander officer corps, coined by Michael, couldn’t handle this clown.

March 27, 2006 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

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