Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters yesterday rebutted media reports that KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) is seeking to boost her electoral prospects in the party’s upcoming leadership race by taking a trip to China.
According to a report published on Wednesday by news site Up Media, Hung canceled a planned visit to the US, which was expected to take place later this month or early next month, to avoid being away for too long in the middle of her re-election campaign.
It was believed that she would be meeting members of US President Donald Trump’s team during stays in Washington and New York, the report said.
Photo: Luo Hsin-chen, Taipei Times
Instead, Hung, at the invitation of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, is reportedly planning to visit China next month, and is expected to meet with Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲), it said.
The possible China trip is interpreted by some as an attempt to ask for help from Beijing in view of her dismal electoral prospects, the report said.
The Chinese-language magazine The Journalist also reported that KMT headquarters is planning a trip to China for Hung to unify support from deep-blue party members and those who are worried about the state of cross-strait ties, as it did during Hung’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in November last year.
According to a survey published by TVBS on Monday, only 16 percent of respondents wanted to see Hung continue to head the KMT, trailing KMT Vice Chairman and former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who garnered 17 percent.
However, Hung is leading the other four candidates in the poll, with former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) at 14 percent, Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co general manager Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at 12 percent, former KMT vice chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) at 8 percent and former KMT legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) at 2 percent.
“It is true that some China-based Taiwanese businesspeople and civic groups have invited Chairwoman Hung to attend events commemorating Confucius (孔子), but due to a conflict in her campaign schedules, Hung does not have plans to visit China in the near future,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) said.
The report only contains politically motivated speculation and pure nonsense, Hu said.
In related news, Hau yesterday accused several pro-Wu members on the KMT’s Central Standing Committee of railroading a motion through on Wednesday to only allow members who have been in the party for more than a year — instead of four months — to compete in this year’s representative election.
The representative race is to be held alongside the chairperson election on May 20.
“The regulations for this year’s representative election were passed by the committee last year ... and many young members have been preparing for it ever since,” Hau said in a statement.
He said it is utterly unacceptable that some committee members, prompted by the elections, drastically raised the threshold.
He also expressed regret over what he called the committee’s double standards, referring to a decision on Wednesday to dismiss his motion aimed at solving the “dummy party members” issue by rejecting applicants who share addresses and guarantors.
“What I do not understand is that the dummy party member issue has been widely criticized, but the committee refused to solve the problem once and for all. Its decision to handle the two issues with very different attitudes is regrettable,” Hau said.
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