Mon, Jul 21, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Diana Chen prods DPP in Hualien

BY-ELECTION The media darling visited the county to lend support to the DPP candidate in the race, while the other two candidates took their message to voters

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER IN HUALIEN

Diana Chen, center, chairwoman of China Development Financial Holding Co, presents flowers to You Ying-lung, the DPP's candidate in the Hualien County commissioner by-election, yesterday. Chen offered You advice on ways to boost development in the county.

PHOTO: YANG YI-CHUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

One day after a heated candidates' debate, the three major contenders in the Hualien County commissioner by-election worked feverishly yesterday to solicit support.

The DPP's flag bearer in the race, You Ying-lung (游盈隆), yesterday received support from members of Ketagalan Institute, the DPP-sponsored political think tank, and got a heartfelt endorsement from media sweetheart Diana Chen (陳敏薰), chairwoman of the China Development Financial Holding Co (中華開發金控) and a graduate of the institute.

Chen, also a deputy superintendent of the institute, said Hualien's diverse ethnic groups, including Min-nan, Hakka and several Aboriginal tribes, provide abundant human resources for developments in cultural creativity, software engineering and agricultural bio-technology.

You has made developing these sectors a major campaign promise.

Students from the institute's national policing class, female public administration class and Aboriginal affairs class -- representing elites from all walks of life -- yesterday gathered in Hualien to campaign for You, who made the power of intellect one of his campaign appeals.

While promising to improve education and the overall investment environment in Hualien, You said he will invite Chen to use her expertise in marketing to boost Hualien' s development.

Chen's trip to Hualien marked her debut at a campaign event.

She gave You advice on how to attract investment to Hualien, which has been seen as a backwater compared with other parts of the country.

Another heavyweight campaigner Lee Ming-liang (李明亮), the recently retired co-chairman of the Cabinet's SARS Prevention Committee and a professor of the medical department of Hualien' s Buddhist Tzu Chi University, also stood up for You yesterday.

Lee expressed his wish for a campaign free of vote-buying and encouraged You to continue to his push for clean campaigns.

The pan-blue candidate, Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山), received support yesterday from PFP Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄), who sought to reinforce Hsieh's image as the orthodox representative of the alliance and to dent support for Wu Wu Kuo-tung (吳國棟), a KMT splinter candidate.

Chang accused You of being arrogant and boastful about his high-level of education.

In a televised debate on Saturday, You said Hualien residents were "people with low democratic spirit."

According to Chang, "That's why so many people in Taiwan are dissatisfied with our education reform, because some people think themselves more capable simply because they have a better education."

Independent candidate Wu, a KMT renegade, said he wants to finish a project he began when he was a commissioner in the early 1990s -- to make Hualien an academic center through the establishment of more universities and to improve the county's bio-technology sector.

He also dismissed an accusation from Hsieh that he neglected the welfare of landowners during a land-acquisition case in the late 1980s when he was county commissioner.

"I procured the land with tremendous efficiency in five months and ensured that landowners got compensation three times higher than the market price," Wu said yesterday.

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