Han vows to keep Taiwan-US ties in good shape if elected president

Taipei-Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (???), the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT's) 2020 presidential candidate, has promised to keep relations between Taiwan and the United States in their best shape if he is elected Taiwan's next president.

Han made the remarks during a meeting Tuesday in Kaohsiung with Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan's Taipei office, former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chao Chien-ming (???) told CNA Wednesday.

Chao, who heads the cross-Taiwan Strait affairs division in Han's national policy advisory team, was also present at the meeting, during which Han and Christensen delved into issues of mutual concern, such as U.S.-Taiwan-China relations and the volatile situation in Hong Kong.

According to Chao, Han assured Christensen that if he is elected president in the January 2020 election, he will spare no efforts to maintain Taiwan-U.S. relations while trying his best to maintain cross-Taiwan Strait ties.

In response to grave U.S. concern over the situation in Hong Kong, Han was quoted by Chao as saying that he is totally opposed to China's "one country, two systems" unification formula and that he blames the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for irresponsibly equating the "1992 consensus" to the formula.

Han also accused President Tsai Ing-wen (???) of belittling Taiwan when she said that "Today's Hong Kong, Tomorrow's Taiwan," Chao said.

Taiwan as a sovereign independent state and Hong Kong, which is a part of China, are not comparable, Han was cited as stressing.

According to Chao, Han also urged the Hong Kong government to address the five demands put forward by the protesters.

Echoing his own comments made a day earlier, Han reiterated the importance of a strong Taiwan-U.S. bond at a luncheon hosted Wednesday by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei.

Invited by AmCham to share his views on energy, economic development and Taiwan's future in a closed-door speech, Han said he highly values the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S.

"I can promise everyone that the Republic of China (Taiwan) will be the best partner of the U.S. in the future," said Han, according to a draft of the speech provided by the Kaohsiung City government.

Meanwhile, AmCham Taipei Chairman Leo Seewald shared Han's view on enhancing Taiwan-U.S. relations, saying that "our members' success is tied to the success of Taiwan."

Seewald said the chamber is open to different insights that could forge such a partnership.

"When we have an opportunity to have candidates come to talk to us, or people in the Taiwanese government come to talk to us, we are always very interested to hear about their vision and their view of Taiwan," Seewald said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel