Fri, Jul 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Wang courts the support of old KMT

OLD SCHOOL In his bid to lead the Chinese Nationalist Party into the future, the legislative speaker vowed he would dust off Chiang Ching-kuo's policies from the past

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wang Jin-pyng, right, helps Sung Shih-hsuan to his seat at Wang's KMT chairmanship campaign headquarters yesterday. He was joined by other members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) old guard to give their support to Wang.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday turned to the party old guard for support for his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship election bid and vowed to adhere to the localization policy line of former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

"The party is facing a life-and-death situation now," Wang said. "If a wrong person is chosen to take the party helm, I'm afraid there won't be any future for the party."

Wang said that the KMT can only resume power by adopting Chiang's policy line and that if elected, he would guarantee a win of half of the total seats in the year-end election of city mayors and county commissioners, or shoulder political responsibility for failing to make good on the promise.

About 130 retired military generals attended a tea party organized by the Wang camp at the legislative compound yesterday morning.

They included former president of National Defense University Cheng Pan-chi (程邦治), former combined services deputy Wang Yi-tien (王詣典) and former deputy director and executive officer of the ministry's Political Warfare Bureau, Chen Hsing-kuo (陳興國).

Also present was KMT Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), Chiang Ching-kuo's son. The junior Chiang raised political eyebrows when he threw his backing behind Wang on Tuesday, as many analysts believed he would back Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) because of their shared Mainlander identity.

Desperate to shake off the impression that he is a follower of Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) policies, Wang yesterday said that he is a believer in the localization policy line of Chiang Ching-kuo, and vowed to continue holding the line.

"Many have categorized me as a follower of Lee, but if I were, I wouldn't have ended up getting zero support from the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) in February's legislative speakership election," he said.

In addition to committing himself to following the Chiang Ching-kuo policy line, Wang yesterday reiterated his platform of retaining the national title. He also repeated the wish to see a gentlemanly competition with his rival, Ma.

His camp, however, submitted "evidence" of alleged vote-buying by the Ma camp to the party's election supervision committee, following a similar move made by the Ma camp on Wednesday.

Wang yesterday outlined the "plight" caused by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration since it came to power in 2000, and depicted five tasks he would dedicate himself to if elected. In addition to depleting state coffers, Wang said, the DPP government's economic policies have blunted the nation's economic edge, while its election strategies have incited ethnic divisions and its cross-strait policies have pushed both sides to the brink of military confrontation.

To solve all the problems, Wang said that the KMT must resume power. If elected, Wang said that party reform would top the agenda.

He also vowed to integrate the plan-blue camp because only through unity can guarantee triumph in the year-end city mayor and county commissioner election and eventually in the 2008 presidential election.

Wang also insinuated that his rival lacks political ethics, because Ma had announced his election bid before KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) publicly announced his decision to step down.

"I did not register for the election until June 7, one day after Ma signed up for the election and Chairman Lien told me to hurry up to register," Wang said.

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