Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Standing Committee member Chiang Shuo-ping (江碩平) yesterday demanded a provisional party congress be held to review whether the party’s presidential candidate, Hung Shiu-chu (洪秀柱), should be replaced, dealing a severe blow to Hung’s campaign and further fueling rumors of division within the party over Hung’s candidacy.
KMT sources were yesterday cited by a TVBS report as saying that the most recent poll conducted by the KMT indicated that Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating had soared to a record level of 45 percent, while Hung’s rating had plummeted to 13 percent.
Anonymous party members said Hung’s support rating was critically low and might severely damage the KMT’s standing in next year’s legislative elections.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Chiang yesterday said he planned to propose that the party hold a provisional party congress at a Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday.
KMT sources added that “more than half” of the Central Standing Committee members supported convening a provisional party congress to address the issue of Hung’s candidacy.
In response to media queries on the possibility of party members proposing a withdrawal of Hung’s candidacy, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) earlier yesterday said KMT members are free to “communicate” their opinions via all available channels, adding that party solidarity would be preserved as long as “all come to an agreement.”
In related news, a high-level unnamed KMT source was quoted by the Chinese-language United Daily News as saying yesterday that Hung should not advocate “ultimate unification with China,” because it is not supported by mainstream Taiwanese public opinion.
In a radio interview on Friday Hung said the Republic of China Constitution “calls for ultimate unification with China.”
She said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) stances on the so-called “1992 consensus,” the maintenance of the “status quo,” and “one China, different interpretations,” and “no unification, no independence and no use of force” have “accomplished their medium-term goals,” and that there should now be “political dialogue with China” concerning unification.
Hung had previously advocated the idea of “one China, same interpretation,” only to see her approval rating tank, compelling Hung to “return” to Ma’s standpoints, the source was quoted as saying in the report, who added that Hung “should remember this lesson.”
The “1992 consensus” refers to a supposed tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides agree there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Hung “is a KMT candidate” who should “ground [her] cross-strait narrative on KMT policies,” or risk the “profound disappointment” of Ma and the party, the source was quoted by the United Daily News as saying.
Hung should “take the initiative” and demand that Tsai, who has said maintaining the “status quo” is the DPP’s policy, clarify how she would define “status quo” and how it would be maintained, the source said.
Additional reporting by Lee Ya-wen
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations