First, the bare news as reported in the China Post, the pro-KMT English paper:

Honorary Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan urged his own party yesterday to decide in time to boycott the two upcoming referendums on Taiwan’s admission to the United Nations.

Speaking at a tea reception at Ma Ying-jeou’s presidential campaign headquarters, Lien said he wants the Kuomintang to make a decision in time to abort the referendums scheduled to take place alongside the March 22 presidential election.

“Don’t let the referendums get hitched with the election,” Lien said.

The paper reported that Ma Ying-jeou, the Presidential candidate, would abide by the decision of the Central Standing Committee of the KMT if they decided to boycott based on Lien’s “suggestion.”

Taiwan News came out with another one of its excellent editorials on this, observing that it shows who will really be running Taiwan if Ma is elected President:

The ringing demand by Kuomintang honorary chairman Lien Chan Sunday that the KMT and its presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou must carry out another boycott of two referenda scheduled to be held with the March 22 presidential election answers the question of who will be the real “masters” of the Taiwan government under a restored KMT rule if Ma “wins back Taiwan.”

In response to Lien’s thunderous demands, the KMT presidential candidate meekly mumbled that he would “respect the decision of the Central Standing Committee,” which KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung promised will be issued, with rationalizations, on or before March 12.

After discussing the immorality of the KMT position and its harm to the development of genuine popular democracy in Taiwan, the editorial goes on to observe:

Lien, who is clearly quite comfortable with such a result, is also sending a ringing message on behalf of both reactionaries in the KMT with the approval of the CCP that the KMT in power will never allow the 23 million Taiwan people to hold a genuine referendums again.

Decisions that will determine our national destiny, such as whether to join in a “one China” common market or to formally unify with the PRC, will be decided solely by the KMT and will not be subject to ratification by our people.

Ma’s passivity also shows that it will be Lien and the former mainlander power elite who will actually control the Taiwan government through their grip over the KMT Legislative caucus and the reins of executive power.

Hence, Lien’s forcefulness and Ma’s meekness on the referendums issue is a sign of things to come for the Taiwan people if they allow Ma and the KMT to “win back Taiwan.”

We need entertain no doubts about the answer to the question of who will rule Taiwan under a restored KMT government: “President” Ma will be little more than a puppet for Lien Chan and the KMT mainlander power elite, while their strings will in turn be pulled by whomever happens to be the master of Zhongnanhai.

And as for the Taiwan people if they return the KMT to power?

The message for us will be the same as delivered by former PRC World Health Organization envoy Sha Zukan, namely: “Who cares about you?”

This referendum boycott might well be stage managed so that the opprobrium for boycotting its own referendum — in support of which it solicited hundreds of thousands of signatures in Taiwan, as cynical a political ploy as was ever foisted on the long suffering Taiwanese — that opprobrium falls on Lien rather than on Ma. But that means Ma, perhaps the tallest invertebrate in Taiwan, whose weakness is a frustration even to his own followers, was given a script that gave him not the slightest room to register a protest. Any way you cut this, Ma’s weakness stands out. Here’s hoping the DPP can take advantage of Ma’s lack of spine before it is too late.