Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday resigned from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), expressing his disappointment at its culture of reactionary politics and backroom horse-trading.
Gou said in a statement that quitting the party was not an easy decision.
While he feels sad about leaving the party, “reason tells me I am doing the right thing, something that will significantly change the fate of the Republic of China [ROC],” he said. “If former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) could see the way the KMT has turned its back on the public and forgotten its ideals he would be heartbroken.”
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The KMT should not exist just to oppose the Democratic Progressive Party, or to promote its members’ personal interests or to trade favors, he said.
Gou said that he had hoped to change the KMT and bring in more young people when he rejoined the party in April, but over the past several months he had been disappointed to find that “no amount of effort on my part could change the KMT’s culture of reactionary politics and backroom horse-trading.”
Gou expressed the hope that his departure would “expedite the reform and rebirth of the KMT,” while extending his good wishes to the party.
Gou announced that he would resign from the party when his office was asked to comment on an advertisement the KMT published in major newspapers yesterday, calling for party unity and urging Gou to support its presidential candidate, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
Next year’s presidential and legislative elections would determine the fate of the ROC and internal divisions would cause unrest, the KMT ad said.
The ad, organized by former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), was signed by 31 party members, including Lien, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄).
The ad was one of the factors that led to Gou’s decision to quit the party, said Evelyn Tsai (蔡沁瑜), deputy chief executive of Gou’s Yonglin Foundation, when returning the Gou’s KMT membership card and certificate of honorary membership, but it was just one of many.
“Things have been building up for a while,” she added.
Ma had visited Gou, urging him to support the KMT’s presidential nominee, before attending a rally for Han in New Taipei City on Sunday, she said.
Gou had tried to convince the former president not to go to the rally and was sad to see the way Ma’s speech had been cut off in a humiliating manner, she said.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Cheng Mei-hua (程美華) said that the KMT does have much room for improvement, but that when Gou rejoined the party with the intention of running for president, he should have known that he would not have everything his own way.
“Run [for president] if you like. Why bother with all the acting?” Cheng said.
Gou was reconfirmed as a member of the KMT in April when the party awarded him the status of honorary member after he offered it an interest-free loan of NT$45 million (US$1.45 million at the current exchange rate) in 2016.
That allowed Gou to participate in the KMT’s presidential primary, which he lost to Han by 17.1 percentage points.
Han’s campaign office said that it was “extremely disappointed” at Gou’s decision, adding that Han would do his best to reform the party and change the nation for the better.
Asked whether Gou would now enter the presidential race, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said: “In Taiwan there are lots of discussions about the candidates for the 2020 election... The process will run its course following the election regulations.”
“Our party is very united at this time,” Tsai said. “We will continue to stay united, so that we can garner the most support and go on to win the election.”
DPP Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said that if Gou did decide to enter the race “it could affect Tsai’s support.”
“She has a double-digit percentage lead over Han right now, but with Gou’s entry, Tsai’s support could be trimmed to a single-digit percentage,” Lai said. “The DPP must be careful about this development.”
Additional reporting by Jason Pan
ANTI-SHIP CONFIGURATION: The Tuo Chiang-class vessels are to be built for NT$9.7 billion by Lung Teh, a shipyard that previously built four similar corvettes for the navy The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday awarded Lung Teh Shipbuilding (龍德造船) a NT$9.7 billion Co (US$317.57 million) contract to build five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes with anti-ship capabilities, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The corvettes would carry vertical launchers for four Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles, as well as eight Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, in contrast to ships configured for anti-air warfare, which carry eight HF-2 and four HF-3 missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The anti-ship corvettes would be armed for improved standoff range against surface combatants and carry the latest
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel
Taiwan is to obtain maintenance parts for its AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, after the Republic of China Defense Mission to the US and the American Institute in Taiwan signed a NT$1.44 billion (US$47.1 million) deal that is to be in effect until Sept. 15, 2028. Taiwan operates 29 Apaches. The US is concerned that if China were to blockade Taiwan, it would be impossible to supply the nation with military equipment, natural gas, coal and other items, a military source said on condition of anonymity. The deal seeks to ensure stable supply of maintenance parts for the Apaches to keep them operational