Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Acting Chairman Lin Rong-te (林榮德) said he would urge all Central Standing Committee (CSC) members older than 60 to step down tomorrow, a call that has received a mixed reaction from other KMT members.
The committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow.
Lin, who turns 61 this year, told the Chinese-language China Times in an interview published on its Web site on Sunday evening that he would be resigning from the committee.
The departure of older members would allow younger KMT members to join the decisionmaking body, the newspaper cited him as saying.
As acting party chairman, he hopes to create a new platform for reforming the KMT, so his replacement could lead the party in exploring its future policies, he said.
Hopefully, KMT mayors, county and city councilors, and legislators would make up 80 to 90 percent of the CSC membership, he said.
Lin became acting chairman on Wednesday last week after former chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) stepped down to take responsibility for the party’s drubbing in the Jan. 11 elections.
A new chairperson and Central Standing Committee are to be elected on March 7.
KMT Acting Secretary-General William Tseng (曾銘宗) yesterday told reporters that he strongly supports Lin’s idea, but the way in which it should be carried out should be “subtler.”
“Hopefully, we would able to reach an agreement with relatively senior committee members who do not have public support, so that they would forgo committee elections in the future,” he said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
During tomorrow’s meeting, he also hopes to get a plan passed to establish a reform committee that would consist of the party’s mayors, county commissioners, legislators and councilors, as well as members who can represent the younger generations and academia, he said.
The KMT’s reform plans should cover four key areas: restructuring its decisionmaking body, its cross-strait stance and finances, and recruiting younger members, he said.
The KMT spends more than NT$200 million (US$6.68 million) annually, so it must reduce expenditures and increase its revenue, he said.
Lee Cho-ping (李昭平), who resigned from the CSC last week, agreed with Lin’s proposal to have older members step down.
The party must reform completely and allow its younger members to take on more responsibilities if it is to improve, he said.
However, CSC member Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said the key to reform should be passion, not age.
KMT regulations state that anyone who is a Central Committee or Central Advisory Committee member can take part in the CSC election, and there is no ban on those older than 60 from running, Lu said.
KMT legislator-at-large nominee Yen Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) said that Lin’s proposal could constitute age discrimination.
The party should include as many people as possible in its reforms, instead of “viewing things in black and white,” she told reporters in Taichung.
Additional reporting by Lin Liang-sheng and Chang Ching-ya
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
ESPIONAGE CHARGE: A TAO spokesperson said that the rights of Shih Cheng-ping were ‘fully safeguarded’ during the hearing, which handed him four years in prison China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday. The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media. Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing. Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying. CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even