Taipei, April 25 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chair candidates and their campaign officers spoke about their plans for reforming the party and improving cross-Taiwan Strait relations Wednesday prior to their first televised debate.
The five contending chairman candidates are former DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong, former Tainan Magistrate Su Huan-chih, former DPP Chairman Hsu Hsin-liang, former Premier Su Tseng-chang and former Deputy Premier Wu Rong-i.
Su Tseng-chang's campaign spokesman, Andrew Wang, said the debate scheduled to be held April 29 in Kaohsiung will be focused on party reforms, readjusting the party's structure and priorities and preparing for 2014 elections.
In addition, he added, Su will explain his Taiwan-China policy during the debate.
In a radio interview with party member Frank Hsieh a day earlier, Su said that "he will not have any presumptions when formulating his China policy, and has not excluded the possibility of visiting China in a suitable capacity."
Wu for his part pointed out that the new party chief's most important mission will be to restructure the party so it can become a strong party that can earn the people's trust and help the party win the 2014 seven-in-one local elections. These elections refer to mayoral and council elections in the five municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
The five other elections are for mayors, magistrates and councilors in cities and counties outside the five municipalities, township chiefs, township councilors, and village and ward chiefs.
As for cross-strait policies, Wu proposed a "brotherhood alliance" and promised to present a set of effective economic policies.
In an interview earlier Wednesday, Hsu Hsin-liang said he will not focus on Taiwan-China policies during the debate, but will instead focus on party reforms and laying a new foundation for the party.
Su Huan-chih's campaign officers said that the main focus of the TV debate will be on how the party will cope with new developments in the face of globalization, and how it will defend Taiwan's sovereignty.
Su, who belongs to the party's middle generation and has administrative experience thanks to his stewardship of Tainan County, will propose a reform plan that will make the party stronger, his campaign officers added.
Tsai's campaign officers, meanwhile, said their candidate will address the issue of pardoning former President Chen Shui-bian and will ask the other candidates for their opinions.
Chen is currently serving a 17.5-year jail term for corruption during his two terms in office from 2000-2008.
In addition, Tsai will explain his strategies on how to strengthen relations with the United States, expand the participation of party members, amend Taiwan's referendum law, reinforce team training and preserve the party's ideology.
(By Sunrise Lin and C.J. Lin)