Thu, Jul 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han wants a VP with diplomatic, economic chops

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu revs up a Harley-Davidson motorcycle at an event in the city yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said that his vice president must have expertise in economic affairs and experience in international affairs, Mirror Media magazine reported yesterday, adding that he already has a candidate in mind.

“I already have an idea of the qualities the vice president should have and who that would be,” the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential primary winner told the magazine in an interview on Wednesday last week.

Given the nation’s unique diplomatic challenges, the vice president should be responsible for networking with diplomatic allies and international organizations, while the president should focus on running the nation, he said.

Asked if his choice could be former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) or former premier Simon Chang (張善政), Han did not give a direct answer.

As for a rumor that if he is elected, he would designate Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) as premier and KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) as legislative speaker, Han said that the roles could not be assigned without agreement from Gou and Wu.

Gou is a very successful entrepreneur, Han said, adding that he is confident they would have “greater opportunities for cooperation” in the future.

Han said that he has called Gou several times since the party’s presidential primary and left a message saying that he hopes to visit.

While he has yet to receive a response, he would visit Gou as soon as they can set a time, he said.

Han said that if elected president, he would bring change to Taiwan by ensuring cross-strait stability.

From an economic standpoint, Taiwan must not give up the Chinese market, he said, adding that he backed the so-called “1992 consensus” when running for Kaohsiung mayor, a gesture that would serve as the foundation of cross-strait interactions.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has constantly tried to intimidate Taiwanese by exaggerating the threats posed by China, Han said.

“Freedom and democracy are very secure in Taiwan. Why should we be afraid?” he asked.

While people might have questions about him running for president before completing his term as mayor, “how can it be bad for Kaohsiung when its mayor becomes the president?” he added.

If elected, he would feel a huge responsibility for Kaohsiung and “that would of course be a good thing,” he said.

“Kaohsiung residents have nothing to worry about,” as he would continue to work in the city even if elected president, Han added.

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