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June 29, 2017

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DPP's Tsai says rumors of alliance with Hsieh for chair seat are false

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday rebuffed accusations that she was teaming up with former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to compete for the party chair seat against current Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

The DPP will hold its chairman elections in May, with Su and Tsai expected to be the two main competitors. Su is pushing vigorously for re-election according to an unnamed source from the pan-green camps, who added that Hsieh was rumored to be another aspirant for the position.

The former chair joined Thinking Taiwan Foundation's (小英教育基金會) CEO Lin Chuan (林全) on Monday in a press conference that explained the goals and conditions of his trip to mainland China last December. Tsai said that now is too early for her to think about the chairman elections, but the unnamed source claimed that Tsai will decide whether she will be running for chairwoman or not before Chinese New Year, which begins on Jan. 30 this year.

According to the source, either Tsai or Hsieh will be running against Su; and local media outlets report that both potential candidates are looking to avoid a three-candidate election and will later decide who is to run against Su.

Tsai spoke out against the allegations yesterday; remarking that the rumors "crossed the line." "Tsai has no special thoughts on running for chairwoman, nor is there a timetable concerning this. The next DPP chairman will have to shoulder a lot of responsibilities, including the upcoming seven-in-one elections and the presidential elections in 2016; a lot of things should be taken into consideration," said Tsai's representative.

"It is too early to decide. Among the many rumors spreading right now, should people think about how the DPP plans to make progress? Or how fast the progress should be made? Everyone should muse about this," Tsai herself added.

Hsieh had spoken outwardly and for numerous times about his thoughts on the DPP's newly-released cross-strait policies. His feedback was mostly negative or skeptical, saying that the current policy conclusion lacked a focus and was shying away from the goal of mapping out concrete policies. Such action was also regarded by many as a direct challenge to Su's authority, as the chairman had led the cross-strait policy discussions.

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