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KMT's Hou would rebuild Taiwan-China relations starting with 'low-level' exchanges

Hou says mutual exchange of military observers also possible

Hou Yu-ih is pictured in November. (CNA photo)

Hou Yu-ih is pictured in November. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said that if elected, he would use religious, educational, and economic exchanges to improve cross-strait relations.

Speaking to media on Sunday (Dec. 10) Hou said that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should work to stabilize economic, educational, religious, and cultural exchanges, per CNA. Starting from these low-level exchanges will gradually generate mutual trust and help restore official modes of interaction, he said.

Hou referenced stabilizing “low-level” exchanges between both sides, a concept he first proposed in August. Regarding his deputy Jaw Shaw-kong’s (趙少康) Tuesday comments that both sides should exchange military observers, Hou said that there are steps to achieve all approaches and that he will move forward from low-level exchanges.

On Saturday, Jaw told students gathered in Taichung that if he and Hou are elected, a request would be made for Taiwanese military observers to inspect military deployments on China’s coastline, per TVBS. Jaw also said Taiwan should “build as many missiles as possible” for self-defense.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, KMT Chair Eric Chu (朱立倫) refuted accusations laid on Hou by Taiwan People’s Party candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who suggested Hou was “in a hurry” to unify Taiwan with China. Chu said Hou is a genuine Taiwan native, and that the suggestion was unfounded.

Chu also said that the KMT’s internal polls show support for Hou and Jaw within 0.2% of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and running mate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴). According to the Taiwan News Poll of Polls released on Dec. 5, Lai leads the race with around 33% followed by Hou with about 29%.

KMT's Hou would rebuild Taiwan-China relations starting with 'low-level' exchanges
Eric Chu speaks at campagin event in New Taipei in November. (CNA photo)