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June 28, 2017

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Top KMT officials urge Lien to stay as party chief

High-ranking party officials yesterday stepped up their calls for Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan to stay on as party chief, ahead of coming elections.

In Lien's first report to the party's Central Standing Committee after his historic visit to China, central standing committee member Chen Ching-jang lead the calls for Lien to stay ahead of elections for party chairman in a few months time.

"Chairman Lien should not be too selfish," said Central Standing Committee member Hou Tsai-feng.

"The KMT cultivated him for several decades. The KMT needs him to be responsible and not think of his own personal considerations.

"The KMT needs you," she said.

Lien did not reply directly, merely saying: "OK, OK, thanks."

Both Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng have expressed interest in becoming party chairman if Lien steps down. Both Ma and Wang are vice chairmen of the KMT.

Central Standing Committee member Hong Hsiu-chu said however it was Lien's individual decision.

Ma, who was besieged by reporters after he left the meeting, said: "I respect everyone's opinions," before escaping down a fire exit.

Lien has just completed a historic trip to China that included a summit meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao marking the highest level contact between the KMT and Communists in over half a century since the KMT fled to Taiwan after losing the Chinese civil war.

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