Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) In New Taipei City Saturday on the latest leg of his national "listening tour," Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said that "the greatest challenge" facing the next president will be protecting Taiwan's sovereignty and security while allowing its economy to flourish.
The comments were made at a campaign event held at the Taipei Innovation City Convention Center, which invited approximately 200 people aged 35 and under to participate in an open dialogue with Han and his running mate Chang San-cheng (張善政).
During the event, Han was asked how he would strike a balance between preserving national security and reaping the economic benefits to be gained from cross-strait exchange.
Han replied by quoting a traditional Chinese idiom, which refers to living in peace and security while working contentedly.
The idiom is structured this way -- with peace and security coming first -- for a reason, Han argued.
"If there's no safety, then there's nothing else. The logic is very clear," he said.
If elected president, Han said that he would arrange his priorities in a similar way.
"Taiwan's security is the president's top responsibility, but a strong premier is vital for economic prosperity," he said.
Han noted that his model in this regard is former President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), who presided over a period of rapid economic growth in Taiwan during the 1980s.
Despite a lack of formal economic qualifications, Chiang made excellent appointments to the positions of premier and minister of economic affairs, which allowed him to focus on national security matters while successfully managing the economy, Han said.
In Taiwan's system of government, the president appoints a premier to preside over the Executive Yuan, an administrative body that serves as the equivalent of a Cabinet.