Will KMT’s Hung Hsiu-chu run for president?
Hung Hsiu- chu, vice president of the Legislative Yuan or deputy parliament speaker, remains the only participant in the ruling Kuomintang’s ( KMT) 2016 presidential primary. The KMT didn’t cancel the primary, and instead requires her to have her voter support found out by at least two public opinion surveys. Should the straw polls show the support at 30 percent or lower, the party’s all- powerful Central Standing Committee could recommend that she be not nominated, and instead draft a more likely winner to run for the election scheduled for Jan. 16, 2016.
The chances are that the 67-year-old deputy speaker is likely to win that much voter support. A number of media outlets have conducted straw polls, and the highest support she got was the 50 percent The Apple Daily reported. The pro-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Liberty Times and the Taiwan Think Tank founded by Koo Kuan-min, the don of the Taiwan Independence Movement, found Hung’s support at a little more than 10 percent.
That hasn’t daunted Hung, nicknamed “Little Red Pepper” for her provocatively piquant opinions. She pointed out that Professor Ko Wen-je’s voter support in the early days of his mayoralty campaign for Taipei was only one digit. Bill Clinton started with a mere 20 percent when he declared U.S. Democratic Party candidacy for president in 1992, Hung said in a bid to show her confidence in increasing her odds against Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP’s standard bearer.
Hung may be a dark horse. With her mainlander Chinese-born KMT father arrested for anti-government remarks during the February 28 Incident of 1947 and persecuted thereafter, the Little Red Pepper worked through college, taught in a high school and got elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1993. She has since been returned. As a matter of fact, she decided to run for president because the KMT heavyweights have shunned the party primary, convinced that they won’t stand a chance against an invincible Tsai buoyed by her party’s landslide victory in the nationwide combined local elections last Nov. 29, known popularly as the 9-in-1 Elections.
A fighting woman, Hung equates herself with a “Biblical cornerstone.” Jesus describes himself as a cornerstone that his church would be built on so as to unify Jew and Gentile believers alike. She wants to be the cornerstone on which the prosperity of all the people of the Chinese nation, mainlanders and Taiwanese, will be built. For that lofty purpose, she proposed her principle of “one China” to replace the “1992 Consensus” as the modus vivendi for the ongoing peaceful development of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The “1992 Consensus” was reached in that year between Taiwan and China and says they are agreed that there is but one China whose connotations can be orally and separately enunciated. It is commonly known as the “one China with different interpretations” principle and is now the legal basis to continue the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. The opposition DPP does not accept the “1992 Consensus,” and Tsai, who is visiting Washington, is trying to explain her “Taiwan status quo” China policy sans the modus vivendi to American authorities. The ultimate goal of the opposition party is the independence of Taiwan.
According to Hung’s one China principle, Taiwan and mainland China are “one nation with two political entities sharing the sovereignty” ( ), and should sign a peace accord to end the Chinese Civil War that resulted in President Chiang Kai-shek moving his KMT government from Nanjing to Taipei toward the end of 1949 to create the Republic of China in Taiwan, or “Free China.” Her China policy is basically the same as President Ma Yingjeou’s, except for her insistence on the conclusion of the peace accord that he promised in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election but reneged on after his election victory.
Her voter support certainly will increase as she is campaigning, and she may well succeed in achieving over 30 percent. But she said she wouldn’t complain if she fails the test in the polls and that she would campaign for anyone drafted by the KMT to run for next year’s presidential election.