TAIPEI (CNA) — Newly appointed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) on July 18 said the nation’s top priority should be preventing opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) from winning the presidency next year.
“Our goal should be to create a ‘Han-free homeland,'” Lin told the host during a radio interview Thursday morning. Should the China-friendly Kaohsiung mayor win the presidency, Taiwan will move closer to the totalitarian government of China, Lin warned.
Also, all the major reforms introduced under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), including the push for marriage equality, transitional justice and a nuclear-free homeland, will likely be reversed by the KMT candidate if he wins the presidency, Lin claimed.
The 31-year-old former leader of the 2014 Sunflower Student Movement said that he chose to join the DPP because he fears Han could win the presidential race. He was appointed deputy secretary-general on Monday.
Asked to comment on Lin’s statements, Cheng Mei-hua (程美華), acting director-general of the KMT’s Cultural and Communications Committee, said the party has long supported upholding the “1992 consensus.”
The KMT also opposes declaring independence and does not accept the “one country, two systems” model proposed by Beijing, she added.
“As the KMT presidential candidate, Han is required to abide by party guidelines,” she noted.
The KMT is extremely dissatisfied with how the DPP government has handled cross-strait relations, which has resulted in an effective freezing of contacts for the past three years, Cheng said.
The “1992 consensus” is a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the then-KMT government of Taiwan and Chinese government.
The consensus has been consistently interpreted by the KMT as both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledging there is only “one China” with each free to interpret what “China” means. However, Beijing has never publicly recognized the second part of the KMT interpretation.
Beijing has taken a hardline stance on cross-strait relations since Tsai took office in May 2016 and refused to accept the “1992 consensus.”
Meanwhile, during the radio interview, Lin also claimed that Beijing has, over the years, penetrated Taiwan’s grassroots level with the help of pro-China or “Red” media.
The DPP will soon hold a series of seminars across the country to better inform people of the grave threat posed by China and educate them on how to spot the disinformation or fake news that has spread via instant messaging app Line.
The Sunflower Movement was a 24-day occupation of Taiwan’s Legislature in March 2014 that protested the lack of transparency in a trade-in-services agreement signed by Taiwan and China but never ratified in Taiwan because of the movement.
Han won the KMT presidential primary to represent the party in the 2020 presidential election after beating his closest challenger, former Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), by nearly 20 percent, on Monday. The party will formally name Han at its national congress on July 28.
Tsai, meanwhile, is seeking a second term after beating her sole challenger, former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), in the party’s twice delayed primary, in June.
By Matt Yu, Wang Cheng-chung and Joseph Yeh