President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday acknowledged his concerns about a split in the pan-blue camp over People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) participation in the presidential election, adding that negotiations with Soong and the PFP would continue.
In an interview on CTV’s political TV show Report to the Voters, Ma, seeking re-election in January as the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, discussed Soong’s possible presidential bid with host Jaw Shao-kang (趙少康) and said the KMT was concerned about the possible impact of Soong running for the presidency because the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its candidate, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), could benefit from a split in the pan-blue camp.
“We are continuing our discussions with the PFP ... We should look at the big picture and avoid a spat between allies affecting the outcome of the election,” Ma said.
Soong declared his intention to join the presidential election in May and started a petition last month. He has previously said he would not join the race unless he collected 1 million signatures for his presidential petition, but later said he would join the presidential election if the number of signatures surpassed the legal threshold of 257,695.
Soong’s presidential bid has caused great concern in the KMT, especially because Ma has been polling neck-and-neck with the DPP’s Tsai.
Soong has been ignoring the KMT’s call for pan-blue unity and he said earlier this week that his petition had passed the legal threshold and he promised to make his candidacy official by sending the first batch of petitions to the Central Election Commission on Tuesday.
PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu (吳崑玉) yesterday shrugged off Ma’s concerns, saying Soong wanted to participate in the presidential election because he wanted to respond to the public’s expectations.
“Chairman Soong is concerned about the nation’s future and he is looking at the big picture,” Wu said.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South