Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said he would be the best choice to handle US-China tensions because both sides can trust him, as he compared his party to the Jesuit order.
“I am the most capable among the three candidates of handling relations with the US and China. I have good credibility and can give assurance to the US government, [that there would be] no surprise coming from me, so they [Washington] would surely place their trust in me,” Ko yesterday said in Yilan County.
“On the other hand, although I have visited China and made friends there, Taiwanese people would still have trust in me, as this is the most important thing,” he added. “I am the safest choice here that both sides [the US and China] can accept.”
Photo: Tsai Yun-jung, Taipei Times
Ko also gave an interview a few days ago to media personality Fan Chi-fei (范琪斐), in which he said that the TPP would get stronger after the Jan. 13 election and not disappear like other small parties have before.
“We want the TPP to be just like the Jesuit order, as we have our own ideas and beliefs,” Ko said.
“The Jesuit order was the world’s first international corporation and we must take its culture as a model,” he said. “I think the TPP is more like a business, not a political organization.”
After he got involved with politics, in the past decade he brought change to Taiwanese society and became a symbol of ethics, imposed fiscal discipline and fought against corruption, Ko said.
“In that regard, I am like the advanced version of former minister of justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南),” he said.
Ko referred to Chen again during his campaign events.
Chen, who died in 2006, was among the few political figures admired across the political spectrum. He was known as “Mr Clean” due to his dedication to fighting corruption.
Chen Ding-nan’s son, Chen Jen-chieh (陳仁杰), yesterday wrote on Facebook: “Hey, Dr Ko. Please stop your nonsense, okay? My father was never a political chameleon.”
Taiwan Statebuilding Party Chairman Wang Hsing-huan (王興煥) yesterday referred to Ko’s Jesuit comparison, saying: “Ko, by comparing the TPP to the Catholic Jesuit order, is declaring himself as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. He also compares himself to popular Taiwanese figures from the past. Ko is deifying himself to create a personality cult within the TPP.”
“Ko is becoming extremely self-centered and narcissistic by referring to great historic figures to promote himself as a divine being,” Wang said.
Talk show host Liu Bao-jie (劉寶傑) said that TPP members worship Ko like in a cult.
That Ko had said in previous interviews he would not have to resign as TPP chairman if he loses the election shows that he could rule for life, Liu said.
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