Sun, Nov 15, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Chen Chu ‘confirms’ Tsai running mate

NO COMMENT FROM TSAI:Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu yesterday confirmed that Chen Chien-jen from Academia Sinica would be the DPP’s vice presidential candidate

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

Academia Sinica vice president Chen Chien-jen yesterday gives a talk at the Holy Family Church in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

While Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is still keeping her lips sealed about her running mate for January’s presidential election, Tsai’s campaign manager, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), yesterday confirmed media reports that Academia Sinica vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) would be Tsai’s campaign partner.

“I was supposed to keep it as a secret for now, but since many media outlets have reported on it, I think I can say it now,” Chen Chu said while attending a Hakka event in Kaohsiung. “[What the media have reported] is true, it is Chen Chien-jen. The media are pretty good.”

Chen Chu said that Chen Chien-jen is from Kaohsiung’s Cishan District (旗山), adding that she is happy that someone from Kaohsiung would become Tsai’s running mate.

Chen Chu praised Chen Chien-jen as a hero for his action during the SARS breakout in Taiwan in 2003, when he took over as minister of the then-Department of Health.

Although Chen Chu confirmed the news, Tsai still declined to comment on the reports when questioned by the media.

“Why still this question? We will all know about it when it is time,” she said.

Asked about the vice presidential candidate issue when attending a church event yesterday afternoon, Chen Chien-jen said he has been asked by Tsai about it, and he has discussed it with his wife and former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲).

“We will make an announcement about it with Tsai,” Chen Chien-jen said.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is a long-time friend of Chen Chien-jen’s father, Chen Hsin-an (陳新安), said that an announcement would have an impact on support for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in Kaohsiung.

Wang said Chen Hsin-an had served as Kaohsiung county commissioner and is a well-known figure in local politics.

“It is inevitable that it would have an impact on how the KMT will do in the upcoming elections in southern Taiwan,” he said, adding that although he is friends with Chen Hsin-an, he would still campaign for the KMT in the election.

Chen Chien-jen, 64, holds a doctorate of science in epidemiology and human genetics from Johns Hopkins University in the US. He began research on hepatitis B early on in his career and was one of the first people to champion across-the-board vaccination against the disease, which is widespread in Taiwan.

He is also an expert on arsenic poisoning and was part of a research team that looked into black foot disease — a disease that peaked in southwestern Taiwan between 1956 and 1960 — and found links between the high death rate among residents and drinking water from deep wells that contain arsenic.

Additional reporting by CNA

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