Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Eric Chu challenges Tsai to clear up ‘status quo’

NOT A DIVINER:The New Taipei City mayor said his fortune-telling ability was not good enough to show the KMT was going to do so poorly in last year’s local elections

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Newly anointed Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫), who is also mayor of New Taipei City, yesterday asked whether Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) idea of the “status quo” with China encompasses a “two-state theory” or the DPP’s Taiwanese independence platform.

In an interview with the Chinese-language United Evening News, Chu said that Tsai must offer a clearer explanation of her take on the “status quo.”

When asked whether Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would top the KMT’s list of recommended legislators-at-large, Chu said that Wang and the party had reached a consensus in which they would work as a team, adding that Wang is one of the KMT’s crucial assets.

Chu said he would provide a more complete account at a New Taipei City Council meeting today of his vow to serve out his term as mayor, as he is expected to quit that position to concentrate on his presidential bid.

After the KMT’s extempore party congress on Saturday annulled Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) nomination as its presidential candidate on Saturday, Chu said on Facebook that he had considered a presidential bid before last year’s nine-in-one elections.

“I have to say sorry to those who support or once supported me,” Chu wrote. “I understand your anger and disappointment, and need to bear its weight. My previous decision not to run for president betrayed many people’s expectations.”

“I believe that most of the negative emotions were incited by questions over whether I made the decision not to run because I was afraid to lose,” he said.

“Of course I thought about running, but the party wanted me to run for re-election [as mayor] and keep the stronghold in New Taipei City last year,” he said. “I announced my re-election bid and promised not to enter next year’s race.”

“It would be overestimating my ability to correctly predict fortunes if people think that I had could see that the KMT was going to take a drubbing and found an excuse to drop out,” he added.

The Facebook post spawned a string of memes making fun of its first sentences, which said: “I’ve just made a cup of coffee. Facing the computer screen with no cars or people on the streets; the night, along with quietness, has fallen. [I have remained] silent for too long; the damage has been done. Now it is time for me to straighten out some confusion.”

The message was posted after 8pm on Saturday, prompting netizens to ask why there would be “no cars nor people” on the streets.

“Where exactly do you live, Eric?” one asked.

“Do you live in Neihu?” asked another, an apparent reference to former KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文), who said last year that Neihu is “overwhelmingly dark” at night.

Netizens expressed concern over a possible aide posting the article on Chu’s behalf.

“It was apparently posted too early. I hope she is not fired,” one wrote.

In related news, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said Chu is considering a visit to the US, but the details are still being planned.

Media reports have said that Chu might make a one-week trip to the US next month, with a possible stop in Japan on his way back.

Additional reporting by CNA

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