Taiwan's Kuomintang party elects its first female leader

Hung Hsiu-chu attends a press conference in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, March 26. She was elected the chairperson of Kuomintang(KMT) on Saturday. Photo: Xinhua

Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang party picked its first female leader on Saturday as it struggles to regain public support after a crushing defeat in leadership elections.

Hung Hsiu-chu takes over from Eric Chu, who resigned from the post to take responsibility for the defeat in the island's leadership election to Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on January 16.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Saturday congratulated Hung for being elected the chairperson of Kuomintang (KMT).

Xi said in his message to Hung that he hoped the two parties shall keep the overall national interest and the well-being of the compatriots in mind, and continue to adhere to the 1992 Consensus and oppose "Taiwan independence."

The compatriots on both sides of the Strait are all parts of the Chinese nation, Hung said.

Both parties should work together to maintain cross-Strait peace and stability and create more benefits for compatriots on both sides of the Strait, according to Hung.

Hung -- whose stance leans towards pro-unification with China -- vowed Saturday to revive the party, which is also plagued by inner rivalries.

"Of course I know the road ahead is very long, with all kinds of risks, difficulties, and setbacks, but I definitely believe that I can fulfil my promise with everyone's mutual support and unity," she said after winning the contest.

Hung obtained 56 percent of vote, beating three other candidates including acting chairwoman Huang Min-hui and Taipei City councillor Lee Hsin.

Hung's tall task as the KMT's new leader is answering demands for the party to surrender its assets, which critics say have been misappropriated or misused.

The former ruling KMT lost the leadership to Tsai of the (DPP) in January, as well as control of parliament for the first time in the island's history.



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