Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday said she is “repulsed” by the proposal to remove “Chinese” from the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) name, saying it bears historical significance.
“I am not only repulsed by the idea, but also strongly oppose it,” Hung said when asked by radio host Tang Hsiang-lung (唐湘龍) during a morning interview with radio show UFO Breakfast whether she sees a need to change the KMT’s name, given the stigma attached to it in recent years.
Hung said the name has its own historical significance and that the recent string of “de-Sinicization” movements in Taiwan have turned Taiwanese independence from a shunned concept to a “natural component” of younger generations.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
“In the minds of today’s young people, China is China and Taiwan is Taiwan and that [China] does not have much to do with them. The older generations still have certain emotional bonds [with China], but such connections are non-existent among the younger generations,” Hung said.
Hung said a responsible politician must let the people know about the possible consequences of independence and see if they are willing to shoulder the risks together.
The interview came one day after Hung announced her bid to run for the KMT chairmanship, which is scheduled to take place on Mar. 26.
The position was left vacant by New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) after he resigned on Saturday last week in a bid to take responsibility for his and the party’s losses in the presidential and legislative elections.
The KMT’s landslide defeat has given rise to calls for party reforms, with some of its younger members saying the matter of whether to remove “Chinese” from the party’s name should be open to discussion.
As for a suspected graft case involving Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Hsi-shan (林錫山), Hung said she regrets that Lin holds significant clout in the legislature.
“To be honest, I have no inside information on the matter. Given that the investigation is still ongoing, I should refrain from commenting on the case,” Hung said.
As for whether Wang should step down as the KMT’s legislator-at-large to take responsibility for the embroilment of Lin, one of his trusted aides, Hung said the public should give Wang some space to figure out what to do.
Lin is suspected of having received more than NT$10 million (US$295,526) in kickbacks from Far Net Technologies Co (網遠科技), which won 32 computer and IT-related contracts at the Legislative Yuan amounting to NT$200 million.
Following the interview Hung was asked if all of the KMT chairman hopefuls are the party’s old guards, to which Hung said that while the KMT should reflect on its failure to produce a younger leadership line-up, what really matters is one’s mental age and the ability to progress with time.
Hung, who was replaced by Chu as the KMT’s presidential candidate last year, also dismissed allegations that the recent decision by the KMT’s Central Standing Committee to postpone the chairmanship election from Feb. 27 to Mar. 26 was made to keep her out of the position.
“I do not care about this... What is important is not the position itself, but rather what its holder intends to do,” she said.
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