Hung gathers pace, aspires to move forward on China
Says Taiwan needs to win the “hearts and minds” of 1.3 billion
As her party cleared the way for recently released opinion polls to be verified by its Central Standing Committee today, Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) said on Tuesday that both sides of the Taiwan Strait needed to exercise more compassion in their mutual relations. Hung made the comments at the Legislative Yuan before political negotiations between the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP) broke down regarding possible constitutional amendments to be made early next year.
Elaborating on Cross-strait Relations
In remarks made to the press yesterday, Hung tried to dispel fears that she advocates immediate unification with China, saying that the process would hinge on the nation’s constitution and popular will.
“The idea of a peace agreement is not my invention. It’s just that nobody has chosen to act. Why? Because of popular opinion. The prospect seemed terrible and because of resistance they shrank back,” Hung said while mentioning early attempts brought up by presidents Lee Teng-hui, Chen Shuibian and Ma Ying-jeou, as well as presidential candidates including Tsai Ing-wen ( ).
She said that if the “1992 Consensus” was to move further toward the “deep-end of the pool,” public opinion would be pivotal. Hung also expressed doubts on whether the constitution would allow for Taiwanese independence.
Hung said that Taiwan’s democratic system should be used to win the hearts and minds of China’s 1.3 billion people, a remark she made during a speech outlining her political vision at KMT headquarters last Wednesday. Hung said that in the past, Taiwan was envisioned as a model province of all of China and that its institutions had drawn admiration from the mainland. She said that Taiwan should exemplify confidence, learning and hope to its larger neighbor.
Hung added that China needed to consider popular sentiment in Taiwan so that its “gigantic scale” was not a means to threaten but could be changed to opportunity.
Ma ‘surprised’ at Polling
The deputy speaker also elaborated on a meeting between herself and President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday in which the incumbent leader pledged to support her campaign, a promise which was also made by KMT Chairman Eric Chu on Sunday.
“I think he was surprised that I ended up over the barrier,” Hung said referring to the party’s 30 percent opinion poll hurdle. Hung eventually exceeded that figure with a 46.2 percent showing.
Hung said that Ma referred to her as “tough.”
Fundraising Passes NT$10 million mark
Meanwhile Hung’s financial campaigning stepped into gear as her official campaign website announced that it had attracted thousands of individual contributions amounting to over NT$10 million since the account for small-sized political campaign donations was set up in late May.
She reiterated that she would not draw party funds for her presidential campaign thus saving financial resources for legislators in local elections.