Hung coy on VP selection, defends credentials as moderate on China
Deputy Legislative Speaker and likely Kuomintang ( KMT) 2016 presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) stated yesterday that it was too early to determine who would be her vice-presidential running mate, although she revealed that plans were being made for her to visit People First Party Chairman James Soong (
). Hung made the comments before joining youth volunteers for lunch at the Legislative Yuan. She indicated that many suggestions for a suitable candidate had been made to her recently, including many that are “highly qualified, experienced, and with good public reputations.” The KMT’s sole candidate for president said it was too early for a decision to be made. An idea floated recently by Hung would have KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu ( ) join her as vicepresidential candidate, but was ruled out by Chu. KMT Legislator Liao Kuo-tung ( ) suggested that former Health Minister Chan Chi-shean ( ) would make a suitable choice owing to his experience in office and background as a southern Taiwanese.
As ‘median as one can get’:
Meanwhile, Hung brushed off criticisms that her stance toward China was turning away support from median voters. She said that the current efforts to smear her reputation would probably mean rumors and false reports on “an increase in property or income, a boyfriend, illegitimate children, health problems,” among others. Hung said she would be prepared to take the stones that others had cast at her, collect them and use them to build a solid foundation to move forward.
She also called amoral those who questioned her identification with Taiwan, saying that as someone who “ate Taiwan’s rice, drank its water and was raised here: who does not love Taiwan?” Hung argued that her political stance is “as median as one could get.” She said that in her effort to find new opportunities for Taiwan, she would not favor mainland China, the United States or Japan in particular, adding that the island needed to convince other countries of its intrinsic value before they will take it seriously.
According to the latest public opinion poll conducted by the local United Daily News, Hung is trailing Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing- wen ( ) by 12 percentage points. Hung took the figures in stride, saying that she would use them as a reference point only.