Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Hau’s Yunlin visit fuels presidential bid speculation

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, third left, and officials from the Yunlin County Farmers’ Association make a thumbs-up sign in Yunlin as the Taipei City Government and the association entered into an agreement to promote agricultural exchanges between Taipei and Yunlin yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday traveled to Yunlin County to promote the cooperation between the two areas on agricultural products, but his visit again raised speculation about a possible 2016 presidential bid.

The Taipei City Government signed an agreement with Yunlin County to purchase its surplus fruits and vegetables to sell them at a reasonable price in the capital.

“About 30 percent of the fruits and vegetables in Taipei’s public markets come from Yunlin. This is a win-win situation for both sides and we hope to continue the cooperation,” Hau said.

The Yunlin County trip was the latest in a series of visits by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member to central and southern areas in recent months.

Hau visited Greater Tainan earlier this month and met with Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), raising suggestions that the Taipei mayor is trying to expand his support in pan-green strongholds.

Yesterday, Hau met privately with former Yunlin County commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味) and other local KMT politicians.

An influential Yunlin politician, Chang is campaigning for his sister Chang Li-shan (張麗善) after she was nominated by the party to stand in the election for Yunlin County commissioner next year.

Hau’s visits to central and southern politicians of both camps are seen as a preparation for his 2016 presidential election bid.

However, the city government has insisted the mayor’s trips are to promote city-to-city exchanges.

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