Hung vows to bring KMT back on the road to victory

Pol­icy speech at party HQ aims to re­sus­ci­tate flag­ging morale

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu- chu ( ) on Wed­nes­day vowed to take the Kuom­intang (KMT) to victory in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in a highly scru­ti­nized speech de­liv­ered at the party’s Cen­tral Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, in which she out­lined her vi­sion to bring the be­fud­dled rul­ing party back to the hearts of the na­tion’s vot­ers. With a two-day opin­ion poll run by the party to gauge her el­i­gi­bil­ity as pres­i­den­tial can­di­date loom­ing, Hung’s speech was her last good chance to rally last-minute sup­port.

In her 20- minute speech called “The Road,” the 67-yearold Hung touched upon crossstrait re­la­tions, en­ergy pol­icy, trade pacts and other top­ics. The main thrust of her attack, how­ever, tar­geted the KMT’s estab­lish­ment think­ing and what had caused the rul­ing party to lose its sup­port­ers.

“We must ask our­selves: Have we blurred over what should re­main clear, com­pro­mised over what we should re­main stead­fast on, ap­peased on the in­ap­peasable, and given up on what we must hold on to?” she asked a packed meet­ing room in the KMT head­quar­ters.

Ac­cuses DPP of Warp­ing

Democ­racy

While she tied the rul­ing party’s apathy to its cow­er­ing from core party val­ues, Hung also ar­gued that Tai­wan’s process of de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion had been made into a tool in a strug­gle against China’s 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple. She also ac­cused the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) of mask­ing its proin­de­pen­dence stance un­der the pack­ag­ing of “main­tain­ing the

sta­tus quo.”

Pro­poses Peace Pact with China

The sole reg­is­trant to the KMT’s oft-un­cer­tain pres­i­den­tial pri­mary also pro­posed the sign­ing of a peace ac­cord with China in or­der to guar­an­tee cross-strait peace and open up op­por­tu­ni­ties for Tai­wan’s in­ter­na­tional space. She also ad­vo­cated cre­at­ing the mea­sures pos­si­ble to at­tract more tal­ent to the is­land in higher ed­u­ca­tion while con­tin­u­ing the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion’s call to join re­gional trade agree­ments such as the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) and the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship (RCEP).

Dark Horse Cre­den­tials Touted

Hung, whose un­der­dog cam­paign was ini­tially seen as an up­start sideshow vis-a-vis the greater whims of the more in­flu­en­tial party heavy­weights, made an im­pas­sioned at­tempt to char­ac­ter­ize her­self as a loyal party mem­ber out­side the priv­i­leged in­ner cir­cle. Her in­creased pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent weeks has so far foiled at­tempts by higher level party mem­bers to scrap her cam­paign.

“I want to tell the peo­ple of Tai­wan that I am the poor­est of all pres­i­den­tial con­tender’s in (Tai­wan’s) his­tory, and I know what it’s like to have noth­ing to eat,” she said, while also ref­er­enc­ing her fa­ther’s im­pris­on­ment dur­ing Tai­wan’s White Ter­ror era in the 1950s. Hung’s mother worked over­time, but her fam­ily was forced to sep­a­rate due to eco­nomic hard­ship.

“God placed me in this fam­ily, forced me to work hard, and forced me even harder not to give up on my­self.”

She con­cluded by call­ing at­ten­tion to the fact that the KMT is a party that has given op­por­tu­ni­ties to the poor, and was con­vinced that if given an­other chance, she could lead the party to­ward the ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive of victory.

Yuan-Ming Chiao, The China Post

Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu, top cen­ter, ad­dresses the Kuom­intang Cen­tral Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day in Taipei. Speak­ing days be­fore an opin­ion poll that will largely de­ter­mine her el­i­gi­bil­ity to run as the party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Hung sought to steer the ail­ing party to its more salient val­ues in or­der to se­cure elec­toral victory in 2016.

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