Practically all the people in Taiwan have been fed up with the escalating political turmoil, resulting from the all but cut-throat strife between the ruling party, which is a minority in the Legislative Yuan, and the opposition. Things are getting worse in Taiwan, with the stagnant economy seeing no light at the end of the tunnel. Unemployment has remained intolerably high. People have lost hope for the future. Many have committed suicide. Worsening relations between both sides of the Taiwan Strait have hit the economy hard. Taiwan has no way to get out of its current -- and long -- economic doldrums. All Winston Wang wants is to get into the saddle and get Taiwan's economy back to its former robust self. "We have to increase our economic efficiency," Winston told the press yesterday. The current administration and the one that may follow can't do that, unless he himself heads it.Wang believes improvement in cross-straits relations with China are essential to improving Taiwan's economy, a point that makes sense, but is sure to evoke strong feelings. Whether or not he wins, it would be interesting to have a president in Taiwan with plastics industry ties (including affliates in the United States that are major players in plastic resin, pipe and film).
Wang could be Taiwan's Ross Perot
Winston Wang, son of the founder of Formosa Plastics Group, could be the next president of Taiwan, according to this story from the China Post. The story likens Wang to Ross Perot. The comparison is interesting -- both are business executives who are political outsiders. Wang, like Perot, could play a spoiler role by mounting a third-party run for the presidency. But Wang has some personal baggage -- his father, Wang Yung-ching, basically banished Winston to the United States after a scandal over a love affair in the mid-1990s. I don't know enough about politics in Taiwan to say whether the scandal makes his campaign a non-starter. But the China Post story deals with the scandal very casually -- "The cause for the alienation was Winston's extramarital affair with his former student Annie Lu" -- and perhaps voters in Taiwan are willing to look past personal indiscretions to elect a leader who can fix a failing economy. Notice the similarities to the U.S. political climate?
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