Hung says fu­ture US trip plans ‘up to me’

Hung makes com­ment af­ter KMT chair sug­gests trip date

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Con­tra­dic­tions ap­peared to sur­face yesterday be­tween Hung Hsiu- chu ( ), the likely Kuom­intang (KMT) can­di­date for the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, and her party Chair­man Eric Chu ( ), over when and whether Hung would tour the United States be­fore the elec­tion, with Hung stat­ing that the fi­nal de­ci­sion lay with her.

On Satur­day morn­ing, Chu told the press that a U.S. trip led by Hung could take place af­ter she was of­fi­cially con­firmed as the party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date fol­low­ing its na­tional party congress on July 19. Chu said that depend­ing on sched­ul­ing fac­tors and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the U.S. side, the trip could be slated for Au­gust or Septem­ber.

Later in the day how­ever, Hung said that de­ci­sion-mak­ing on a fu­ture U.S. trip and the course of her cross-strait pol­icy would be an­nounced by her or her spokesper­son. Elab­o­rat­ing on the pos­si­bil­ity of a U.S. trip, Hung said that such a trip would need to con­sider na­tional in­ter­ests and whether it would be per­mis­si­ble given the cur­rent elec­tion time­frame.

Chu had in­di­cated that the party would be united if the view­points of ex­perts from its think tank, scholars, party head­quar­ters and lo­cal sup­port bases were com­bined in or­der to field the poli­cies most ben­e­fi­cial to the coun­try. He de­nied that Hung had been asked to re­fer her pol­icy view­points to the party think tank for opin­ion.

Hung said that be­ing late to the race meant that she would need to fo­cus her time on build­ing grass­roots sup­port. She said she be­lieves that her over­seas sup­port­ers would be able to un­der­stand her con­sid­er­a­tions.

She said that af­ter of­fi­cially se­cur­ing the KMT’s nom­i­na­tion, she would meet with the head of the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT, ), Di­rec­tor Kin W. Moy ( ), in or­der to ex­change views on “the three-way re­la­tions among the R.O.C., the U.S. and main­land China.”

On Fri­day, con­cern­ing a pos­si­ble U. S. trip, Hung openly ques­tioned whether she would re­ceive the same treat­ment af­forded her ri­val, Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party Chair­woman (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen ( ), who com­pleted an ex­ten­sive 12-day, six-city tour this month in­volv­ing top U.S. of­fi­cials and a visit to the White House. Di­rec­tor Moy of the AIT had stated that Hung would be re­ceived just as Tsai had.

For­eign Press Does Not Un­der­stand Me: Hung

Mean­while, an ar­ti­cle pub­lished yesterday by the Bri­tish mag­a­zine The Economist that stated Hung is “stri­dently in fa­vor of uni­fi­ca­tion” with China was crit­i­cized by Hung’s aides. The ar­ti­cle, ti­tled “Fe­male face­off,” de­scribed Hung’s un­likely rise from poverty and po­lit­i­cally per­se­cuted fam­ily, de­spite be­ing “an old-style KMT type.”

Of­fi­cials from Hung’s cam­paign said that the for­eign press did not cor­rectly cap­ture the gist of Hung’s pol­icy ideals. Ac­cord­ing to Hung, sup­port for a peace ac­cord with China is con­di­tional on not vi­o­lat­ing the R.O.C. Con­sti­tu­tion, and is pred­i­cated on po­si­tions of re­spect and equal­ity, the re­moval of the threat of force, im­prove­ments in Tai­wan’s in­ter­na­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion and sup­port from Tai­wan’s cit­i­zens.

Hung ar­gued that a peace ac­cord with China was not an agree­ment on uni­fi­ca­tion, but rather a means of “con­firm­ing main­te­nance of the sta­tus quo.” She said that for­eign media had used a purely lit­eral in­ter­pre­ta­tion of her cross-strait pol­icy with­out con­sid­er­ing its deeper mean­ings, thus re­sult­ing in mis­un­der­stand­ings. She re­solved to spend more time to clar­ify her po­si­tions in the fu­ture.

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