Eric Chu (also Chu Li-luan), mayor of New Taipei city, stood unopposed for the party leadership on Saturday, January 17, and was elected with 99.6 percent of the total votes cast by party members, the Kuomintang (KMT) said. Shortly after his election was announced, China’s President Xi Jinping sent his congratulations to Chu.
The election became necessary after Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou resigned as KMT chairman over a defeat in local polls last November, a move seen as reflecting the voters’ disillusionment with the party and its management of ties with mainland China. The government faced unprecedented protests in March last year against a planned trade pact calling for closer ties with Beijing.
Alan Romberg, director of the East Asia program at the US-based think tank Stimson, says in a DW interview that if there is anyone in the KMT capable of reinvigorating and reunifying the KMT, it is Chu Li-luan. But even though he has started with an impressive level of energy and determination, only time will tell whether even he can manage it, the expert adds.
To read full interview click here.