Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) yesterday announced that he would seek the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) nomination to run for president in 2020, saying that he would engage in talks with Beijing and explore the possibility of unification if elected.
Chang, a National Taiwan University political science professor and former diplomat, is the second KMT member to express his intention to vie for the presidential nomination after former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).
By joining the primary race, he hopes to “reset the Republic of China and the KMT” as the nation faces a series of political, economic and identity crises at home and abroad, he told a news conference at the KMT-affiliated school in Taipei.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The KMT must “eliminate its feudal culture and tendency to ignore rules” and “reform itself into a party with ideals and clear rules, energetic and close to the public,” he said.
With new-found values, the party could reset the nation, beginning with the 2020 presidential election, he said.
Commenting on Chines President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) call on Wednesday last week for unification, Chang said that while Xi proposed “one country, two systems” as a framework for governance after unification, he is more concerned about putting an end to the hostility between the two sides, which would be “more practical and necessary.”
He said he would sign a peace treaty with Beijing on the premise of “one China, with each side having its own constitutional government” to ensure the peaceful development of both sides.
Following that, “it would be natural to explore the option of unification,” he said, adding that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are like “brothers of one family” and “there is nothing brothers cannot talk about or cannot compromise on.”
A peace treaty would allow the government to reduce its military spending, and focus on economic development and social security, he said.
It would also pave the way for negotiating increased participation by Taiwan in international organizations and meetings, he added.
“The KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party have both been avoiding elaborating on cross-strait relations, but the problem can only be solved by confronting it,” he said.
Once an aide of Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) when she was KMT chairwoman, Chang said that he believes Hung would support him, as they “share similar beliefs.”
“Hung played the first half and I will play the second half,” he added, referring to Hung’s short-lived bid for presidency in 2015.
Hung, who advocated a “one country, same interpretation” formula, was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate in July 2015, but replaced by Chu after three months, as a majority of party members found her support for unification controversial.
Chang’s platform also includes replacing the semi-presidential system with a parliamentary system, increasing the number of legislative seats from 113 to 200, abolishing the Transitional Justice Commission, and scrapping all curriculum guidelines for history and social studies previously issued by the government in favor of allowing schools and parents to choose their own textbooks.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said