The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday officially nominated Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) as its candidate for next year’s presidential election.
The nomination was passed at the KMT’s National Congress at the Banciao Stadium in New Taipei City, attended by more than 1,000 delegates.
In his acceptance speech, Han expressed gratitude to the party, supporters and Kaohsiung residents, and to the other primary candidates for showing good sportsmanship.
“People assume I am filled with joy [for the nomination], but in fact the responsibility weighs heavy on my heart,” he said.
The next presidential election will not be a civilized competition, or about the KMT returning to power, but a battle that would determine the life or death of the Republic of China (ROC) and its people, he said.
For Taiwanese, the election will be a choice between “defending or destroying the ROC, obeying or breaking the Constitution” and between opening up or isolation, cross-strait peace or war, he said.
The nation’s democracy and economy have deteriorated under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), as the Democratic Progressive Party has grown increasingly corrupt, he said.
He urged Taiwanese expatriates to call and write to their local politicians and inform them of Tsai’s failings, especially those living in the US and Japan.
“Everyone is responsible for safeguarding the ROC, wherever you are,” he said.
Photo: Liu Hsiao-hsin, Taipei Times
“Taiwan needs to change” and “the Taiwanese will say no to dirty politics,” he added.
While many KMT members might not consider him an ideal candidate or a wise leader, “democracy is not about selecting one person so that he can solve everything,” he said.
Instead, it is about “electing a person who will allow members of the public to take charge” and work with them side-by-side, he said.
As someone who has experienced hardship both in his career and personal life, he truly understands the longing of the people, he said.
“We shall strive to create another Taiwan Miracle, where Taiwan is safe and the people are rich,” he said, adding that the nation would again amaze the world as it did with an economic boom three decades ago.
“The KMT cannot be weak anymore; it must get back on its feet to protect the ROC” and to lead the public to a better life, he said.
KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said the party’s goals for next year’s elections are to win the presidency and more than half of the seats in the legislature,
If it wins the presidency, it would work to improve the economy and social harmony, fight corruption and ensure cross-strait peace, he said.
The 1992 consensus is a key foundation to ensuring stable cross-strait relations, he said.
“Only by improving cross-strait relations can the nation improve its foreign relations, economy and social developments,” he said.
The so-called “1992 consensus” is a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted that he had made up in 2000 and 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.
The KMT delegates also passed three proposals to amend the party’s charter.
Under the changes, a KMT member elected president would no longer be required to double as party chair and the chair would be able to designate five city mayors and county commissioners to join the KMT Central Standing Committee.
Additional reporting by staff writer
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
‘TAIWAN IS SAFE’: As there have been no new local cases for 42 days, people should feel free to travel around the nation — as long as they follow disease prevention rules No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday and only 20 of the people hospitalized after testing positive are still being treated in hospitals, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) as he promoted a “new disease prevention lifestyle” for the nation. As yesterday was the 42nd consecutive day with no new domestic cases, and experts consider 28 consecutive days with no domestic case — the span of two incubation periods — a sign that a community is relatively safe, Taiwan is safe, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC),
SMOOTHER TRANSIT: Japan Airlines reportedly planned to land the flight at Haneda Airport, but changed it to Narita for direct flights to Taiwan The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked Japan for allowing 94 Taiwanese on a chartered plane evacuating others stranded in Russia, where COVID-19 cases are rising and many international flights have been canceled. Ninety-four Taiwanese exchange students and expats, as well as two Russian spouses, arrived at Narita International Airport in Japan yesterday morning on a charter flight operated by Japan Airlines, before taking a transfer flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last night, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. As of press time last night, Russia had reported more than 362,000 cases of COVID-19, including more than 3,800 deaths. The government had