Focus Taiwan: Lawmaker Chiang Chi-chen announces KMT chairmanship bid

Taipei, Jan. 25 (CNA) Lawmaker Chiang Chi-chen (江啟臣) became the fourth person to announce his bid to run for chairman of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) when he confirmed his candidacy Saturday.

At his service office in Taichung, Chiang urged everyone who cares for the KMT, no matter how old they are, to “shoulder the responsibility we should take on,” and he asked for a united effort to change the party for the better.

Chiang, 47, was re-elected to the Legislature in Taiwan’s Jan. 11 elections, in which the KMT suffered big defeats in both the presidential and legislative races.

“This is the worst of times for the KMT,” Chiang said, but in the face of defeat and its many challenges, the party has demonstrated an ability to criticize itself and reflect on its shortcomings.

It now needs a “consolidated platform” to reflect all the voices calling for party reforms, he said.

Attributing the election loss to the party’s stance on matters related to cross-Taiwan Strait links, Chiang said that however the KMT adjusts its policy toward China, it must uphold one position — that “it is a fact that the Republic of China exists.”

The “1992 consensus,” which the KMT has used as a basis for interaction with China, was born in a certain era and enabled there to be dialogue and peaceful interaction between Taiwan and China, Chiang said.

With the consensus called into question, however, it should be reviewed and adjusted to reflect the broadest possible consensus within the party and also be aligned with Taiwan’s mainstream public opinion, he said.

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