Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday launched an online policy platform called “Chu’s Initiatives” in a bid to reform the party by fostering dialogue on Hong Kong, constitutional amendments, the economy, disease prevention and other issues.
Chu, after announcing the initiative on Facebook, posted a statement with reflections on Taiwan’s political progress over the past few decades, as the KMT’s reform committee convenes today to announce plans for party finance curbs, promotions to young people, organizational reform and cross-strait discourse.
The reform committee was established in April after the party suffered a major defeat in the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
On the Web site, Chu has posted views under the categories Republic of China (ROC) identity, Hong Kong issues, constitutional reform, people’s livelihoods and the economy, and disease prevention.
Chu’s move shows his concern for party reform, Chu aide Ling Tao (凌濤) said, adding that opinions gathered on the platform would serve as a think tank for the pan-blue camp.
Under ROC identity, Chu has posted articles about reaffirming the party’s commitment to democracy, freedom and cross-strait peace.
Under Hong Kong issues, he posted articles that commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre and that call for a refugee act to demonstrate support for Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates.
In the statement, Chu said that since entering politics at the age of 37, he has faced many challenges and served in many positions.
Now that he does not serve in any positions, Chu wrote that he can resume his identity as “Eric Chu” and spend more time listening to the opinions of the public.
The ROC has endured for 109 years, including 71 years in Taiwan, with society witnessing revolutionary changes since the lifting of martial law in 1987, he wrote.
Taiwan’s democratization happened in a few decades, but rapid social progress brought with it many problems, including confusion over national identity, generational conflicts, a “distorted government structure,” imbalanced economic development, dire prospects for young people and escalating tension in the region, he added.
Reform in the KMT is not just about a party metamorphosis, but also about the party keeping abreast of societal change, Chu wrote.
Taiwanese would be willing to support the KMT again if the party could bravely step forward amid changes in society and its comeback fight, while “standing with the people,” he wrote.
Many people accuse the party of lacking a core platform, but former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) can serve as a model of a KMT politician who had achievements and was loved by the public, Chu said.
For example, Chiang sought to defend democracy and freedom, the establishment of the ROC, and foreign policies that favored the US, while opposing the Chinese Communist Party, he added.
Chiang’s domestic policies cultivated young talent to pave the way for Taiwan’s economic miracle, while his integrity, hard work and compassion won approval across party lines, Chu wrote, urging people to follow Chiang’s example.
Later yesterday, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) in a Facebook post thanked Chu for reminding the party of the importance of reforming itself.
Writing that he and Chu share many similar views on party reform, he expressed the hope that Chu would lend greater support to the party’s reform committee.
Additional reporting by CNA
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