Hung says future US trip plans ‘up to me’
Hung makes comment after KMT chair suggests trip date
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.