People First Party (PFP) vice presidential candidate Lin Ruey-hsiung (林瑞雄), said via a video link-up yesterday that he has begun his tour of Bhutan and that he will meet the king of the landlocked South Asian country today.
During the video conference with the press in Taiwan, Lin said he arrived in Bhutan on Thursday to find the weather was “a bit cold.”
He added that although the mercury was hovering around zero, there was plenty of sunlight and fresh air.
Speaking about his first impressions of the Himalayan kingdom, Lin said he noticed that Bhutan has a higher standard of living than Taiwan, as well as better infrastructure.
He added there was a sense of tranquility in the country and that the pace of life was slower than that in Taiwan.
In Bhutan, he said, the government pays everybody’s medical insurance fees and offers free education to its citizens. On the contrary, in Taiwan, people must cover their own education bills, which tend to be high. Medical insurance fees that Taiwanese people have to pay are also rising, he added.
Lin left Taiwan on Wednesday for a four-day visit to Bhutan, a place touted as a kingdom of happiness.
Prior to his departure, the epidemiologist and running mate of PFP presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) said he wanted to bring back peace and happiness to Taiwan. Lin said he will meet with the king, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, for talks today.
Meanwhile in Taipei, the Soong-Lin campaign said Soong has a tight itinerary in the last week before the presidential election, which is scheduled for next Saturday.
PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu (吳崑玉) said Soong has of late been tied up with numerous private appointments with some of his supporters who are unwilling to attend public events.
In addition to attending further private meetings, Soong will participate in three separate rallies in northern, central and southern Taiwan to drum up support as his campaign enters the final sprint, Wu said.
Formed in 2000, the PFP, which is chaired by Soong, is a minor political party that split from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
A political veteran, Soong is challenging President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election bid in a three-way race that also includes challenger Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party.