KMT considers sanctions against Lien

by Matthew Strong

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Kuomintang’s Evaluation and Discipline Committee might consider sanctions against the party’s honorary chairman Lien Chan over his controversial presence at a Beijing military parade, Chairman Eric Liluan Chu said Friday.

Lien returned to Taiwan amid protests late Thursday following his attendance at China’s celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the World War II victory against Japan. His visit met with widespread condemnation inside Taiwan, with even President Ma Ying-jeou criticizing him. The KMT’s main qualm is that Lien’s presence lent support to China’s official version of the war, which claims the Communist Party was the leading force in offering resistance against Japan, and not the KMT government led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

Serving KMT officials should not have gone to China to attend the military parade, so they will be judged by the relevant party authorities, Chu told reporters Friday. He said the Evaluation and Discipline Committee and the Central Standing Committee were to discuss the matter.

The KMT leader also said he would not attend a wedding anniversary party for Lien planned for Saturday evening because his own schedule was already full with visits to districts of New Taipei City, where he serves as mayor.

The small Taiwan Solidarity Union meanwhile took the lead in the protests against Lien, with supporters showing up at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport late Thursday, where they threw shoes at members of the former vice president’s delegation. Lien himself reportedly left through another exit and was never faced with protesters.

The TSU also wanted prosecutors to charge Lien with treason because of his trip.

In addition to Lien, Chin Chin-sheng, a close confidant of People First Party chairman and presidential candidate James Soong also faced questions about the Beijing parade. The PFP said that even though he had traveled to the Chinese capital, he had stayed away from the event, though other sources denied the party’s statements and said Chin had been seen near the site, though not on the podium.

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