Sat, Dec 14, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Lien and Soong meet to discuss pan-blue future

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) are scheduled to meet today at the Ambassador Hotel in Taipei City, according to separate press releases from the KMT and PFP last night.

This will be the first time Lien and Soong have met since the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral and city councilor elections held last weekend.

"A joint-press conference will be held following the Lien-Soong meeting," PFP spokesman Hsieh Kung-ping (謝公秉) told the Taipei Times last night.

According to KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正), Taiwan's economy and politics will be among the topics discussed. Issues concerning pan-blue cooperation in the 2004 presidential election will also be touched upon during the meeting.

"The priority now is to salvage Taiwan's economy; everyone's effort is needed for [this] task," he said. "As for pan-blue cooperation, it needs to be done."

Lien, however, remained tight-lipped when asked to comment on his own position with regard to the 2004 presidential elections.

Even though he's been handed personal recommendations from Keelung City council speaker Chang Tong-rong(張通榮) and Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍), Lien smiled and shook his head.

He said that his visit to Keelung was not related to the 2004 presidential elections but to visit old friends such as KMT Keelung City Mayor Hsu Tien-tsai (許添財).

In response to Lien's comments on pan-blue cooperation, PFP Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄) said that the KMT is being overly anxious and pressing too hard on the issue.

Noting that the KMTs' seats on the Kaohsiung City council have fallen from 25 to 12, Chang asked the KMT to learn from the loss and not automatically think that pan-blue cooperation would guarantee electoral victory.

"The key point for electoral victory lies not in pan-blue cooperation, but the choice of candidates," Chang said.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) expressed his approval of Lien's remarks.

"I remain optimistic [about] pan-blue cooperation," Ma said.

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