Wed, Jan 15, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Think tank head to run for KMT chairman

CORE VALUES:Chang Ya-chung said abandoning the ‘Chinese’ in its name or the ‘1992 consensus’ would betray the ‘original spirit’ with which the party was founded

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung listens in a Pop Radio interview in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) on Monday evening said that he would run for the chairmanship of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and that he hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding with Beijing to ensure cross-strait peace.

Chang made the announcement on Facebook, becoming the first KMT member to commit to a chairmanship bid after KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) on Saturday announced his resignation to shoulder responsibility for the party’s defeats in the presidential and legislative elections.

Following the KMT’s losses in the elections, the Republic of China and the party “are now pushed to the edge of the cliff,” Chang said in a statement on Monday.

If elected chairman, he would immediately begin negotiations with China to sign a memorandum of understanding to ensure cross-strait peace, he said.

He would reform the KMT’s structure and core policies to transform it into “a party that belongs to the young generation and fights for the public’s well-being and justice,” he added.

In a Pop Radio interview yesterday, Chang said that the KMT must propose a new cross-strait discourse superior to that of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

As the DPP is separatist at its core, only the KMT is capable of creating cross-strait peace, he said.

However, “the KMT must convince the general public that it only engages the mainland for the purposes of creating peace, and that it would never sell out Taiwan,” he added.

Certain KMT members have suggested a complete reform, which would entail abandoning the so-called “1992 consensus” as the party’s cross-strait stance, Chang disagreed.

“Some are saying that the party should do away with the ‘Chinese’ in its name or the ‘1992 consensus,’” Chang said. “But by trying to appear neutral on those subjects, it would merely be taking away the original spirit with which it was founded and the value of its existence.”

If the KMT is to give up its core values, its members might as well just found a new party, he added.

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

Separately yesterday, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) reiterated that he has no intention to run for KMT chairman.

Han said on Facebook that he has “no interest in either becoming KMT chairman or taking the election subsidy.”

Local media on Saturday reported that Han would receive an election subsidy of more than NT$160 million (US$5.3 million) for receiving 5.52 million votes in the presidential election, despite losing to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Asked about the subsidy, Han said in Kaohsiung that the subsidy would go to KMT headquarters.

“The entire subsidy has been taken by KMT headquarters and we did not receive a single dollar,” he said.

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