Sun, Nov 24, 2019 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: KMT’s Wang Jin-pyng speaks out about the elections

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng, who announced two weeks ago that he would not run in the Jan. 11 presidential election, said in an interview with ‘Liberty Times’ (sister newspaper of the ‘Taipei Times’) staff reporters Chen Yun and Huang Wei-chu that he has been disappointed since the KMT’s ‘odd’ presidential primary, not with the party itself, but with its inner workings

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng gives an interview with the Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) in Taipei on Nov. 15.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Liberty Times (LT): You said you have been disappointed with the leadership of the party since it primary. Could you elaborate on this?

Wang Jin-pyng (王金平): I have been disappointed since the oddity that was the party’s primary, and the oddness has continued with the legislator-at-large list.

LT: You are putting this very politely.

Wang:Sometimes, a polite way of phrasing things is the most severe form of criticism.

LT: What do you think caused the KMT to lose a substantial amount of support following last year’s nine-in-one general elections?

Wang: You can reference the remarks made by [TV host] Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康). [Jaw said during his Nov. 13 show that the party had never seen a more selfish chairperson than Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).]

The party must be fair and trustworthy, only then can its members rely on it and trust its decisions.

The party is not at fault, but there are issues with the party’s inner workings. It would be a good step if a sincere attempt were made to adjust things and address public expectations.

LT: Does the leader need to be selfless?

Wang: I have mentioned this [the word “selfless”] many times.

He [Wu] is just that kind of person and making things complicated. This is also why we have this very odd election campaign. I believe this is also what Jaw meant.

“When the Great Way prevails, the world will belong to all. They chose people of talent and ability whose words were sincere, and they cultivate harmony. Thus, people did not love only their own parents, nor did they nurture just their own children.”

That is a passage excerpted from the Book of Rites (禮記) and often quoted by Wu — it lays out very clearly how one should govern, how a nation should comport itself and how its citizens should act.

One should be true to their word and their actions should benefit others. This is the principle that I have lived by since stepping into politics. I feel that it is also a principle that others could live by, for otherwise, they are only being selfish.

LT: It has been noted that, so far, you have yet to openly endorse any presidential candidate. Can you explain why?

Wang: I have not made clear my support simply because I have not made a choice. I will support anyone who holds the same ideology as I do.

LT: Would you agree to head, even if in name only, a group of KMT supporters or a consulting group [for Kaohsiung Mayor and KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜)]?

Wang: No. It would be impossible for the party to ask that of me, so neither.

If Han asked me again, I would still decline. I have not exerted any influence over my supporters. I have allowed him to win over my supporters. That is the most support that I am willing to give him.

I have my own stance and ideals and Han should respect that.

LT: Is China’s influence over the presidential election especially powerful this time around? And is China leaning toward Han as its preferred candidate?

Wang: China’s preference for Han is a sure thing. The question is how China can go about influencing things without looking bad.

However, it will be difficult for China to play a pivotal role [in the elections]. Hong Kong is such a mess right now — it has created a realistic sense of fear. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will definitely play into people’s fears — that is its momentary advantage.

LT: What was your reason for giving up on a presidential bid, instead of garnering the needed signatures to pass the threshold, which you would have surely been able to achieve?

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