Hung meets with former KMT leaders

The leader of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), Hung Hsiu-chu, has met with four of her predecessors to discuss issues facing the party. On Thursday morning, Hung and the former party heads talked about the state of party finances and a new government committee investigating the party's assets.

KMT Secretary-General Mo Tien-hu, who was also at the meeting, said some of the former party chairs said they would help with fundraising and contribute money themselves. Mo said another former chair also suggested raising party membership dues.

The former KMT leaders also discussed the issue of party assets. Under a law passed in July, all assets obtained by political parties after 1945 are to be considered illegal and must be returned to the state. This does not include party membership fees and political donations. The law is considered a measure of transitional justice to address lingering historical issues from the time the KMT ruled Taiwan as a one-party state. A government committee charged with handling party assets began work at the end of August.

The KMT has opposed the law on party assets, which it has called unconstitutional. Former KMT chair Lien Chan reportedly suggested launching peaceful protests against the new law. Former president Ma Ying-jeou called on the party to hold press conferences and write to the media about the issue of party assets.

The former KMT leaders did not discuss Chair Hung Hsiu-chu's upcoming visit to Beijing, where she is expected to meet the head of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping. At a meeting of the KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday, Hung said she will leave room for flexibility when talking with Chinese officials during her trip.

Asked to comment on the state of the KMT's finances on Thursday afternoon, Presidential Office spokesperson Alex Huang said that no political party in a democratic country should have assets beyond party membership dues and donations. Huang said that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party has been able to stage a comeback from a period of financial difficulties by soliciting small contributions. Huang said this system shores up the party's finances and offers donors another way to participate in politics.

Source: Radio Taiwan International