Fri, Mar 29, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Trip ‘no sell-out’: Han Kuo-yu

OUT OF THE RUNNING:The Kaohsiung mayor said he is focused on improving the municipality’s economy and has never considered running for president

By Hung Chen-hung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

Supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu yesterday wave national flags at Kaohsiung International Airport to welcome Han home from a trip to Hong Kong, Macau and southern China.

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday rejected accusations that his trip abroad was designed to “sell out Taiwan,” saying that a mayor does not have the right to do so.

Han made the remarks at Kaohsiung International Airport after returning from a seven-day trip to Hong Kong, Macau and southern China, during which he stirred controversy by meeting with Wang Zhimin (王志民), director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Han’s meeting with Wang on Friday last week was insensitive and could touch on a political nerve, the Mainland Affairs Council said on Monday, adding that if it determines that the visit violated the law, Han could face a fine of up to NT$500,000.

Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) on Wednesday lodged a formal accusation against Han for violating Article 104 of the Criminal Code, which reads: “Any person colluding with a foreign state or its agent with intent to subject territory of the Republic of China to such state or other states shall be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.”

Han said that the delegation had stayed in a group throughout the visit.

“What authority does a mayor have to ‘betray the nation?’ The whole thing has been blown out of proportion,” Han said.

By that logic, the visits to China by former Pingtung County commissioner Tsao Chi-hung (曹啟鴻) and former Tainan mayor William Lai (賴清德) could also be considered treason, Han added.

Han said he was confused as to why former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was criticizing his visit and calling it treason, while disregarding his efforts at improving Kaohsiung’s economy.

“I would gladly have voted for the Democratic Progressive Party” had it been able to help fisheries and farmers sell their fish and produce, Han said.

Regarding the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) reported plan to draft him for its primary for next year’s presidential election, Han said that he is focused on the economy and has never considered running.

Commenting on how satisfaction for his governance has dropped, despite his being named “the most anticipated presidential candidate,” Han said that he would work to improve Kaohsiung’s economy and help it become prosperous again.

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