New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday reiterated his pledge to serve out his term, denying speculation that he was considering standing in next year’s presidential election.
“My current step and the next will be to serve as an excellent mayor,” Chu said, when asked about his plans for the Lunar New Year on the sidelines of a visit to New Taipei City Hospital’s Sanchong (三重) and Banciao (板橋) branches to express solidarity with on-duty medical personnel.
He laughed when pressed on whether there was any chance he would run for president.
“You want me to say it again? Happy new year everyone, I will bring my work in the city government to a full and excellent conclusion,” he said.
During his campaign for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship last year following the party’s crushing defeat in November’s nine-in-one elections, Chu pledged not to make a run for the presidency.
However, there has still been speculation that he might be drafted for a presidential run, with KMT legislators stating that he might need to “take one for the team” if no other candidates emerge, rather than handing the presidency on a silver platter to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Chu said that other than expressing solidarity with on-duty personnel in New Taipei City, his only other plans for the Lunar New Year holiday would be to visit city temples and attend family gatherings in Taoyuan.
Meanwhile, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is scheduled to visit 28 temples in 13 counties and municipalities over the next five days, in a move widely viewed as the opening shot of the presidential campaign she announced last week.
Asked why he had not arranged trips around the nation like Tsai, Chu said it was because he is the mayor of New Taipei City.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said he does not foresee a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan in the next decade, although it is “perfectly possible” that China could seek to weaken the island’s status. “I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see,” Kissinger said yesterday in an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. Kissinger, 98, who also served as national security adviser and helped pave the way for then-US president Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, said that “everyone wants to be a China hawk” and
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