Several pan-blue camp heavyweights yesterday gathered in Taipei to show their support for former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator and Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), as he opened his campaign headquarters in the city.
KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) attended the ceremony on Heping W Road Sec 1.
Other major figures in the pan-blue camp, including KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), former Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), KMT Central Committee member Sean Lien (連勝文), New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) and several KMT lawmakers, also attended the event.
“There is a special meaning behind my decision to open my campaign headquarters on Double Ten National Day. As we celebrate the 107th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, our nation is faced with two major crises,” Ting told a crowd of supporters.
Ting said the first crisis is the Democratic Progressive Party administration’s use of state apparatuses to promote its independence-focused ideology and target its political opponents.
The second crisis is Taipei’s declining competitiveness due to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) focus on personal worship rather than improving the living standards of the city’s residents, Ting said, citing Ko’s inefficiency in facilitating urban renewal projects.
“There are still 400,000 buildings in Taipei that are more than 40 years old, which could lead to casualties of about 100,000 if the capital was struck by a magnitude 6 earthquake,” Ting said.
“Yet the Ko administration merely issued 203 and 205 construction permits in 2016 and last year respectively. At this pace, we would not be able to renew the old buildings in the city even in the next 300 years,” he said.
The highlight of the event was Lien taking the stage and giving Ting a hug in an apparent attempt to mend an old feud between them.
“Taipei’s future depends on this man. Whether Taipei can be reinvigorated and start anew rests on Shou-chung. He deserves a hug,” Lien said.
Lien and Ting’s rapport ran aground after Lien announced his bid for the KMT’s Taipei mayoral primary in February 2014, which prompted Ting, who also sought the party candidacy for the post, to run a full front-page newspaper ad criticizing Lien and saying he lacked the experience needed to govern the capital.
The two later exchanged harsh words until the KMT nominated Lien as its Taipei mayoral candidate for the local elections in April that year.
Wang said that as the nation’s capital, Taipei is the first city where the KMT must regain control to secure victory in the 2020 presidential election.
“It is a pity that Ting was only able to secure the KMT’s nomination as the party’s Taipei mayoral candidate on his fourth attempt. We must help him fulfill his dream and elect him as our mayor,” Wang said.
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