KMT candidate likely to be announced in May
The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) 2024 presidential candidate, Lai Ching-te is overseeing the opening of 'unofficial' campaign offices to help the party garner support ahead of next January's election. The first such office has been opened in Tainan while the DPP says it will open an 'unofficial' campaign office in New Taipei City on 25 June.
Meanwhile, Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus whip William Tseng is hinting that the party will likely announce its candidate for next year's presidential election on 20 May, exactly one year to the day before the next president is due to be sworn in. However, Tseng says no final decision about an exact date has been reached yet.
That statement comes after KMT Chair Eric Chu said the nomination process is likely to be finalized in May, as party officials say naming a candidate in either June or July - as they have in the past two elections - will be too late.
In other election news, Terry Gou is slamming the Tsai administration's cross-strait policies, telling students at Taichung's Tunghai University that he believes China doesn't want war, "but Taiwan cannot mess around with independence."
According to Gou, Taiwan is "not the top priority" for Beijing, but many politicians here try to stoke anti-China sentiment simply in order to win elections.
Gou criticized the arms purchases made by the government, saying he's aiming to turn Taiwan into a "tech island" not an "ammunition depot," and he favours "a dignified peace" and "negotiations between equals."
The KMT presidential nominee hopeful also said that if elected, the "harassment" of Taiwan by Chinese warplanes would stop, because his focus will be on economic development that will also bring benefits to China.