Two more join KMT’s New Taipei City primary

NAVAL STRATEGY::Former city councilor Ching Chieh-shou said that, if elected, he would create a maritime self-defense force to safeguard Taiwanese working at sea

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 3

Two more Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members yesterday registered for its New Taipei City mayoral primary, with one vowing to form a maritime self-defense force to defend the rights of Taiwanese fishermen.

Former Taipei county commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and former New Taipei City councilor Ching Chieh-shou (金介壽) submitted their applications on the last day of registration, bringing the party’s total number of candidates for the mayoral election in November to three.

New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) completed his registration on Monday.

Setting his sights on making New Taipei City better than the nation’s capital, Chou said he would form a cooperative and competitive relationship with the next Taipei mayor.

“New Taipei City has 1.5 million more people than Taipei and 7.5 times more land, but our [annual] budget is NT$12.6 billion [US$430.7 million] less than that allocated to the capital,” Chou said, vowing to make sure that New Taipei City residents no longer consider themselves as second-class citizens.

Ching focused his campaign on fishermen, saying that the city is home to 34 harbors, five fishermen’s associations and thousands of fishermen.

Taking pride in being the first Taiwanese to set foot on and raise the Republic of China flag on one of the contested Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in 1996, Ching said that, if elected, he would create a maritime self-defense force, or even hire mercenary ships from the US, France or Africa to protect Taiwanese working at sea.

According to the KMT headquarters’ timetable, representatives of the party’s New Taipei City chapter are to meet with the three aspirants before Tuesday next week to discuss follow-up arrangements, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.

“They will jointly determine whether they want to have a policy presentation, as well as how many and which polling companies they intend to entrust with conducting public opinion polls,” Hung said.

The primary poll results for New Taipei City — the only one of the nation’s six special municipalities that is governed by a KMT member — are expected to be announced on March 26, Hung said.

As for the other special municipality mayoral races where the KMT has yet to nominate a candidate, Hung said the survey results for the Taoyuan primary would be made public on March 19, while the primaries for Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taipei are still being planned.

The KMT nominated Legislator Lu Hsiu-yen (盧秀燕) as its Taichung mayoral candidate on Tuesday last week.

Additional reporting by Lai Hsiao-tung and CNA