Taipei, Nov. 18 (CNA) Wang Ju-hsuan (王如玄), announced as the running mate of ruling Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu, said Wednesday that she remains politically independent and hopes that Taiwan can become an all-inclusive society in which political affiliation and ethnic identity do not matter.
"We've had too many divisions or stand-offs regarding the pan-blue and pan-green divide, the mainlander-Taiwanese divide and even the southern Taiwan-northern Taiwan divide," she said.
"In fact, we're all in the same boat," she told the press after being named on the ruling party's ticket.
Wang, a former head of the Council of Labor Affairs during President Ma Ying-jeou's first term in office, said her personal experience in living in Taipei and Changhua has sharpened her sensitivity toward being asked the question of whether she considers herself southern Taiwanese or northern Taiwanese.
"Why should we make such a distinction? It's beyond my comprehension. We all love this land. We all grew up on this land and are fighting for its future," Wang said.
She thanked Chu for giving her the chance to run on the KMT ticket, a move that she said demonstrates that the KMT is a party that respects and tolerates different voices.
Asked how she will act if elected vice president in January 2016, Wang said that the Republic of China Constitution assigns a role to the vice president in terms of national security, human rights and selecting grand justices .
Although lacking experience in national security, she said she has wide experience in fighting for labor rights and human rights.
"As I have a lot of experience in fighting legal battles, of course I would take a serious look at the selection of the grand justices," she said.
She also took the opportunity to respond to criticism that she has not acted in the best interests of workers laid off after their employers moved their production lines to China.
She explained that the CLA only continued with legal suits against workers who received government loans that they later did not repay. The lawsuits were actually filed by her predecessor in the previous Chen Shui-bian administration.
As to the issue of putting workers on unpaid leave, Wang said it was also a policy initiated by an earlier labor affairs chief in Chen's DPP administration.
"The laid-off workers' issue has always been closest to my heart, even after I left the CLA," she told the press.
(By Claudia Liu, Hsieh Chia-chen and S.C. Chang) ENDITEM/J