Daily Bloom is the shortform blog of New Bloom, covering breaking news events as they occur in real-time.
The White Wolf is a clown alright. This morning’s bizarre spectacle was when he arrived at around 11 AM outside DPP headquarters dressed in Japanese imperial uniforms and with Japanese imperial flags. The White Wolf had previously announced that he would be “passing by” the students in the Ministry of Education tonight at 7:30. We will see if he still comes…and what he will be wearing when he comes. A video of the incident can be seen here.
Probably the reason why he would show up in uniforms from the Japanese imperial era was because of his continued focus on Chinese nationalism and his claim that Taiwanese are slavishly imitating Japanese. The funny thing, however, is, of course, that Japanese nationalists make much the same claims about China while wearing such uniforms in earnest, rather in mockery as with the White Wolf.
Previously, the White Wolf had issued a series of bizarre demands including such things as that students stop speaking the Chinese language, to burn their ancestral tablets because their ancestors came from China, and not to use any infrastructure built by the KMT in the 1970s under Chiang Ching-Kuo’s Ten Major Construction Projects.
Hilarious and strange to be sure. And what the White Wolf is seeking is just attention. Last year, he pulled something similar when he announced that he would be visiting student occupiers in the Legislative Yuan, with the threat of forcibly evicting them. Although he arrived with an entourage of 200 drugged up gangsters at that time and beat up a few protestors that strayed too close, largely to police inaction, this was just public spectacle.
Actually, today’s visit to DPP headquarters was a bit of a surprise. Given that the White Wolf telegraphed his intentions so specifically as to state that he would arrive at 7:30 PM tonight, many had scoffed at this as just another one of his efforts to get media attention through ridiculous antics. If the White Wolf had really arrived without warning with 200 individuals, this might have led to violent conflict, which would not have gone so well for either him or demonstrators.
Yet where the White Wolf rose to fame as the alleged head of Taiwan’s Bamboo Union gang, his infamy originates from the assassination of Taiwanese journalist Henry Liu in 1994, who wrote a critical biography of Chiang Ching-Kuo. Chang was subsequently forced to flee to China in 1996 and returned in 2013, after arrest, he was released on bail and subsequently began to reinvent himself as a pro-China politician, although his China Unification Promotion Party is alleged to be a front for gangster activities. Certainly, given the split which exists in Taiwanese organized crime between the pro-independence and pro-unification factions, Chang only operates within orbit of the pro-unification factions, however.
If Chang is ridiculous, however, what is frightening to what extent his actions are reflective of the dark underbelly of the current Ma government. Chang is notably quite close with one of the sisters of current Taiwanese president Ma Ying-Jeou, Ma Yi-Nan, and has been sighted with her publicly a number of times. Chang had at various other points offered to provide protection for Ma, raising eyebrows.
But what does it mean when a gangster who conducted political assassinations in the past for the KMT government during the authoritarian period still continues to walk around freely, cavorts with close associates of the current KMT president, and can make threats as he did today and during last year’s Sunflower Movement? Can we really say that Taiwan is a democratic country when there are still White Wolves out in the world? We will see as to what reactions are if and when he arrives at the Ministry of Education tonight.
Author: Brian Hioe
Photo Credit: Liberty Times, 天橋底下說政治, Jessie Chen, CN-RN
Biography: Brian Hioe (丘琦欣) is an M.A. student at Columbia University, a freelance writer on politics and social activism, and an occasional translator. He is a resident of Taipei, Taiwan.